Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup

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Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup is hearty and comforting – and tastes just like Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli Soup!

Turns out I left Napa on Sunday with more than a new appreciation for the phrase meth teeth – a nasty head-cold!

A friend on the trip got one a few days prior to heading out there and, despite our best efforts to avoid cross contamination, as of Monday I had officially traded wine, cheese, and sushi – for juice, Nyquil, and tissues.

These are not the same.

To me there’s nothing more satisfying than a hot bowl of soup when I’m sick, so I immediately made a big pot of Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup on Monday night to cozy up with all week.

Pasta e Fagioli means “pasta and beans” in Italian, and the Olive Garden’s version is seriously delish. I know this because I used to pick Olive Garden for my birthday dinner spot every year growing up, and every year I’d devour this soup with unlimited salad and bread sticks (adventurous, no?) We stopped going after the year my Dad accidentally inhaled the juice from a pepperoncini in his unlimited salad and coughed for like, 45 minutes. Quite embarrassing. It was Caesar Salads at Cheddar’s for every birthday after that!

Anyways! This Pasta e Fagioli soup has a savory tomato-based broth with hearty veggies, ground beef, beans, and pasta. It tastes just like the OG’s, is comforting to the audible “mmmm“, and I’ve been eating it for lunch all week in hopes that it’ll help quiet my incessant sniffling and sneezing. We’ll beat this thing yet!

Start the Pasta e Fagioli Soup by browning 1lb ground beef (I used 90/10 grass-fed) that’s been lightly seasoned with salt & pepper in a SOUPER large soup pot (get it? SOUP-er? Crickets.) Drain the beef, then return it to the pot.

Next add 1 cup each chopped onion (about 1 small onion,) carrots (about 1 large carrot,) and celery (about 2 stalks,) along with 2 minced garlic cloves. Season with a bit more salt & pepper, then cook the veggies with the cooked ground beef for 10 minutes to soften up a bit.

Now add in the rest of the soup ingredients, including: 28oz crushed tomatoes,

and 1-15oz can each of tomato sauce, kidney beans (undrained,) great northern beans (undrained,) and beef broth (unpictured.) I was initially skeeved out by the thought of adding the bean liquid into the soup, but the cans state the beans are packed in water with a small amount of sea salt, which is fine.

Finally, add yummy, hearty spices including salt, pepper, and dried thyme, basil, and oregano.

Stir everything together then simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Oh, a parmesan cheese rind (like the one I used in this soup) would be FAB to add in at this point. I didn’t have any on hand this time though – rats!

When the soup has 10 minutes left, cook up 8oz ditalini pasta in salted, boiling water.

Drain the pasta, then stir it into the soup and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Ladle up, and serve!

Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Print this recipe!

Serves a crowd

Slightly adapted from Todd Wilbur

Ingredients:
1lb ground beef (I used 90/10 grass fed)
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large carrot, chopped (1 cup)
2 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
28oz can crushed tomatoes
15oz can tomato sauce
15oz can beef broth (plus more for heating)
15oz can red kidney beans (with liquid)
15oz can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2×2″ parmesan rind (optional)
8oz dry ditalini pasta

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until no longer pink, lightly seasoning with salt & pepper. Drain then return to the pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, lightly season with salt & pepper, then saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the pasta, then simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

2. When the soup has 10 minutes left to simmer, cook pasta in salted boiling water until just under al dente. Drain then add to the soup and simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Remove parmesan cheese rind, then serve.

I was going to wait until October-ish to share this recipe with you, but our high today was only in the mid 60′s which made eating a bowl of this soup wrapped up in a blanket with a cool breeze coming in through the windows feel awesome – head-cold or not. Thinking some of you may feel the same way.

FYI – the soup will thicken up as it cools, so buy some extra beef broth to add in when reheating. It’ll be just as delish. :)

Here’s to the start of soup season!

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Comments

  1. Alexis 09.13.2012

    I am so excited to see this recipe! Just the other day I was wishing for this soup, but sadly there aren’t any Olive Garden’s in my area. Perfect timing, thanks :) Get well soon!

  2. ashley 09.13.2012

    lol i ve read both blog posts and i still can’t figure out the “meth teeth” reference

  3. Lindsey 09.13.2012

    Yummy! Definitely making this soon! :)

  4. Love olive garden’s salad and breadsticks! This soup definitely has me craving soups and chili. Time to break out the crockpot.

  5. Marci Johnson 09.13.2012

    Sounds delicious. I love any combo or meat, tomatoes and pasta. :) And I guess veggies too……

  6. ALlison 09.13.2012

    Pinned it! I love Olive Garden’s soup.

    My husband has a bad cold too. It is so hard to avoid a cold when living with a sick person. Ick

  7. Karna Pfeifer 09.13.2012

    Thank you for this post! Anytime I eat out & there is Pasta Fagioli Soup on the menu I have to try it! I have the sniffles today too~ going to make this tomorrow! You are the best~

  8. Cathy 09.13.2012

    Once it cools down more here, I am making this delicious recipe. Hope you feel better soon! I enjoy your wonderful postings every day.

  9. kathy 09.13.2012

    You are so amazing!!! I have been dreaming for the day where I could find a legitimate recipe for the longest time.
    Dream came through :)

  10. Jess S 09.13.2012

    I made a big pot of Chicken Tortilla Soup tonight! The weather just called for it. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend, though!

  11. Mary 09.14.2012

    This looks so good! I love making a big pot of soup on Sundays to take for lunch all week. Can’t wait to try this–thanks!

  12. Melissa 09.14.2012

    This soup looks delicious, and I just want to let you know that you’re my hero for making food while sick. When I have a cold, it’s pretty much only microwave mac and cheese for me!

  13. I just made a copycat recipe of their chicken and gnocchi soup. It was great and now I’ll have to make this!

  14. Abbey 09.14.2012

    Pasta e Fagioli is my favorite soup at OG and I get it every time! Also, I used to love Cheddar’s when I lived at home. I don’t have any around where i live now and most people haven’t even heard of it! I used to always get their chicken fingers and a virgin strawberry daquiri when I was younger. Delish!

  15. QC Laurie 09.14.2012

    FYI for future reference, the skeevy liquid in the beans is actually good for you. This is where all of the starch from the beans are. If you include this starchy liquid, it acts as a thickening agent to any soup.

    • Hannah-lyz 09.14.2012

      Whilst I don’t doubt it’s good for you, if you have a sensitive disposition with beans (i.e, they give you wind!) It’s better to drain and rinse them. It helps reduce the gassy effect!

  16. Trisha 09.14.2012

    Mine’s not an fabulous Napa trip hangover, but I too have a nasty cold. Yesterday’s chilly, wet weather + my feeling awful had me in the kitchen baking cookies & making chili. I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer yet but boyyyy was it awesome smelling and warm in our house!

  17. Jessica 09.14.2012

    It’s only 70 here in San Antonio….which feels really fall like :) I’m glad you shared the recipe – I’m cooking it tonight!!!

  18. I’m usually not into super tomatoey soups, but this looks sooooooo good!

  19. Candy 09.14.2012

    Whenever we go to OG I always get the Pasta e Fagioli, salad and breadsticks!! This weekend I’m making beef barley, but this will definitely be one for next weekend. There is a girl at work that has had that same head cold all week and I’ve been praying that I don’t get it. Hope you feel better soon.

  20. I adore this soup and now you’ve got me craving some! This actually would be pretty easy to make in college. So I was wondering, why use tomato sauce and not just more crushed tomatoes? And what exactly is tomato sauce?

  21. patrizia Rispoli 09.15.2012

    I read over and over your Pasta e fagioli and I had to make a comment…although it look very hearty there is no meat in the original Pasta e fagioli if you prefer the only meat there would be is cotica which I don’t what it is in english.

  22. patrizia Rispoli 09.15.2012

    It’s me again the Cotica that I mentioned above is like “pancietta” or “guanciale” which are both from pork but never meat as beef.

  23. Kari 09.15.2012

    Yum! I have a gazillion cherry tomatoes out in the garden that are going in this soup tomorrow.

  24. Kim Bergkamp 09.16.2012

    Made it tonight. So good! I did use ground beef, but I also added some italian sausage. I also used fresh basil since I still had some in the garden. I will definitely make this again. Thanks!

  25. Linda Jones 09.17.2012

    Pasta e Fajoili Soup (Mozelle Robb)

    1/2 lb. Ground beef
    3 cans minestrone soup
    2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans
    1 (14.5 oz) can Italian diced tomatoes
    1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn
    1 (10 oz) can rotel tomatoes

    brown ground beef, add all cans undrained.

    Easy Pasta e Fajoili Soup 

    1-2 lb. Ground beef
    3 cans minestrone soup
    2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans
    1 (14.5 oz) can Italian diced tomatoes
    1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn
    1 (10 oz) can rotel tomatoes

    brown ground beef, add all cans undrained.

  26. [...] Pasta Fagioli – [...]

  27. Alicia 09.19.2012

    I made this tonight and it turned out great! I made just a couple substitutions including using textured vegetable protein instead of ground beef (I’m trying to eat less meat), added a box of frozen spinach just to sneak in some more vegetables, and thinned the soup a bit with some of the pasta water. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks, Kristin!

  28. Crafting Play 09.21.2012

    We made this last night and it was amazing–Such strong and solid flavor! Holy cow! Plus I love that we had enough to free half for later.

    Only modification was we cut back on the salt a bit.

  29. Sheila Douglas 09.23.2012

    just made my 1st pot of pasta fagioli. About to dig in on this rainy day in S. Florida.

    Thanks!

  30. Jen F. 09.27.2012

    AMAZING soup! My hubs was totally impressed that I made this tonight. I told him it was another IGE recipe – winner! This will be in our permanent rotation this winter.

  31. Bianca Turner 10.02.2012

    Found your recipe on Pinterest. Making it right now for dinner. Just finished adding everyone in the tub and I just had to have a little taste and YUMMY. It’s not even done yet and it tastes fabulous!! Looks tasty, smells delicious and I can not wait to enjoy it with some homemade bread tonight. Thank you!!! :)

  32. [...] e Fagioli Soup (Olive Garden Copy) Slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats Serves 4 (at [...]

  33. syifani 10.10.2012

    Hi, I’m having a cold too and would love to try this tonight! Got a question though, if I were to use fresh kidney beans and fresh crushed tomatoes, how should I proceed? Eagerly waiting for your advice.. :)

  34. I made this last night and it was so good! Perfect cold weather food. LOVE your blog and recipes!!!

  35. [...] MUST make this soup!  Like, you HAVE GOT TO MAKE THIS SOUP.  Delish!  Well, except for the fact I added too much [...]

  36. [...] Source: Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats [...]

  37. stace Dixon 12.04.2012

    This recipe is now a tope ten for my family! Yum yum yum.

  38. [...] and the car slowing down. IT WAS BREAKFAST TIME!We rarely ate out as a family growing up – save for everyone’s birthday dinner – and my Mom always packed a cooler full of turkey sandwiches and carrot sticks for long car [...]

  39. Kathy Stuart 01.05.2013

    I have been wanting to try this soup at home since my hubby and I had it at a little Mom & Pop pizza place in North Carlonia so I came across your blog when I googled Pasta e Fagioli. Made it today, but used my trusty crock pot cause I wasn’t sure how late I’d be working….I loved it my hubby loved it and my 14 yr old stepson couldn’t get enough. Love your blog and looking foward to following you.

  40. Sharnette 01.08.2013

    This was delicious! Thank you so much for posting this.

  41. tec 01.28.2013

    This was awesome! Made it tonight, had some for dinner and now my hubby has lunch for a couple days…makes a lot! So easy to make and soooo good. Only thing I changed was doubled the garlic and didn’t put in a parm ring. I will try it next time with half italian sausage for the meat like someone suggested. Thanks for the recipe!

  42. Barbara 01.31.2013

    Loved this recipe and so did the whole family. Tastes just like OG. Thanks for sharing!

  43. [...] LINK: Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup | Iowa Girl Eats. [...]

  44. [...] Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup [...]

  45. Ashley 02.27.2013

    I pinned this a while back and am finally going to get around to making it. My toddler loves this type of soup, and I’m excited to give it a shot at home. My husband is Italian, so Olive Garden stuff is usually off limits, but I used to go there a lot and always loved this soup. Thanks for the recipe! :)

  46. Eileen 03.12.2013

    Definitely going to try it

  47. [...] For more details please visit this link : iowagirleats [...]

  48. Chang 03.30.2013

    My husband loves this type of soup!!!Thanks for the recipe!

  49. Kathy 04.19.2013

    Thanks for the recipe I made today and very good for this cold day in April

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