This Slow Cooker Pasta e Fagioli recipe is errily similar to the soup you get at Olive Garden but suprisingly easy to make at home.
I must shamelessly admit I have a thing for Olive Garden’s soup & salad combo. It drives my husband batty because he’s not a fan of dining at chains, so now that I’ve mastered making the Pasta e Fagoli at home combined with the fact that they sell the Olive Garden brand Italian salad dressing at the grocery store means one thing…we can have copycat soup & salad any ole time I want. Score.
Being able to have the soup, salad and bread sticks combo at home during the pandemic has saved my sanity. You know how you don’t really crave something until you can’t have it? That’s how I was when the pandemic first shut down all restaurants. How on earth will I appease my soup & salad craving?
And that’s when I spotted the salad dressing and went on my crusade to figure out the soup.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1cup carrots, shredded
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 10 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
- 8 ounces red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 ounces northern white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 1/2 teaspoons parsley
- 10 ounces traditional spaghetti sauce (like Prego, Ragu)
- 6 ounces Ditalini pasta
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet; drain if necessary and transfer to a large slow cooker. Add all ingredients except for the pasta to a large slow cooker.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. When ready to serve, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to soup.
*To freeze a portion of the soup, remove the desired amount from the slow cooker prior to adding the pasta. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw and heat, and cook the pasta to add at that point.
What I also love about this recipe is that it’s primarily done in the slow cooker, just fix it and forget it. Even better? It makes a TON, so if you’re a small family like mine you will have Pasta e Fagioli soup for another rainy day, too! Just be sure to read the notes section of the recipe card and reserve the amount you want to freeze prior to adding the pasta.
Remember to have fresh parmesan on hand so you can ask the signature question, “would you like any parmesan cheese on your soup? Yes? Ok, juust say when”. It adds to the authentic vibe you’re creating home. In your pajamas. Having your favorite soup.
Looking for more soup inspiration? This Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup went bonkers a few months ago, and this Slow Cooker Taco Soup is my go-to for nights like Halloween when you want something warm and comforting with little fuss because you’re back and forth for the trick or treaters.
Cheers to kicking off 2021 in hopes it will be “souper”.