I would eat at Olive Garden pretty much every day if I could… from the super soft, delicious warm breadsticks to the salad, to the pasta e Fagioli soup, I just want it non-stop. Downside? My budget kiiiind of laughs at me anytime I say I want to eat at a restaurant every day. The bright side is, pasta e Fagioli soup is so easy to make, and it’s affordable enough that you can feed your whole family for what it would cost to feed, well, pretty much just you at a restaurant.
Personally, I think it would be worth it to not cook and just feed me at a restaurant every day… but my hungry family disagrees, which is where this pasta e Fagioli copycat soup comes in. Luckily, it’s easy and delicious, so everyone’s happy!
The soup starts out soup-er simple (see what I did there?). Just chop some vegetables– onions, carrots, and celery. I like to use baby carrots and save the peeling step, but pre-cut works just fine, as do whole carrots.
In a large soup pan, cook one pound of ground beef or ground sausage. We love the sausage for the added flavor it gives, but we’ve found most restaurants use beef, so it’s entirely up to your flavor preference here.
Once the sausage has cooked, add in the chopped vegetables, and cook for a few minutes until the onions are tender and starting to become transparent.
Stir in petite diced tomatoes and beans– again, this comes down to personal preference, as most restaurant Pasta e Fagioli will contain kidney beans and cannellini beans, but my family loves white kidney beans instead.
The best part about making restaurant favorites at home is that you can make it exactly how you want it, substituting ingredients to suit it to your family’s taste (like substituting lighter beans for a different texture and flavor). At a restaurant, you couldn’t make those substitutes, giving home cooking the leg up on the competition.
Finish with beef broth and bring the soup to a boil, stirring it occasionally. Once it comes to a boil, stir in some ditalini pasta. If you haven’t had ditalini, it’s the teeny tiny little bitty pasta, and it cooks pretty quickly, so once you pour in the pasta, it’ll be dinner time in about 5 minutes.
Trust me, you’re going to love the rich, hearty flavor this soup has, and it is cheaper than going out to dinner every night (even if I still don’t see a problem with me eating at Olive Garden every night… *sigh*)
Pasta e Fagioli Soup Recipe (Olive Garden Copycat)
- 1 lb ground sausage or beef
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1 diced onion
- 4 stalks celery, cut into pieces
- 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 box (4 cups) beef broth
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1 can white kidney beans
- 1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta
- 1 Tbsp garlic
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a stock pot, cook ground sausage or beef.
- Add vegetables and stir, cooking until onion is translucent.
- Pour in tomatoes, beans, and beef broth.
- Add seasonings and bring soup to boil.
- Stir in pasta and cook 5 minutes, until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.
- When reheating leftovers, add broth or a slight amount of water, as the pasta will soak up remaining broth in the refrigerator.
More Olive Garden Copycats
Favorite Soup-Making Tools*
Prime Pantry, perfect for groceries and ingredients shipped straight to your door!
An affordable 6.5-quart stock pot that I love!
A stock pot set, giving you tons of stockpot options for any soup you might want to make!
The cutest ladle ever.
What is your favorite thing to order at an Italian Restaurant?
Let me know in the comments below! I may make it my next at-home copycat recipe!
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