Slow cooker pasta e fagioli is an easy, delicious, and satisfying soup filled with ground beef, pasta, and beans. This thick and flavorful dish is a full meal in a bowl!
I have never seen one dish spelled so many different ways. If you Google it, you will find: pasta fagioli, pasta e fagioli, pasta fazool, pasta fasul, pasta fasule, pasta fajule and more.
There are also multiple online tutorials on how to pronounce it. Everything from the authentic Italian to some very Americanized versions.
Luckily no matter how you say it or spell it, this pasta fagioli soup is delicious! Literally translated, it means pasta and beans. And that alone is enough information to tell you this thick Italian soup is hearty, filling, warm and wonderful!!! A favorite comfort food.
To make this amazing soup you will need;
- lean ground beef
- garbanzo beans - or cannellini beans or other white beans would work as well
- red kidney beans
- diced tomato cans -with all liquid
- tomato sauce
- onion -chopped
- carrot - chopped
- celery - chopped
- beef stock/broth - chicken broth would work as well
- black pepper - freshly ground if possible
- Italian seasoning
- rosemary - fresh
- ditalini pasta
- parmesan rind - Optional, but it adds great flavor!
How to make slow cooker Pasta Fagioli
This hearty soup recipe starts off with cooked lean ground beef. This can be accomplished in a large skillet on the stovetop. Just make sure to (carefully) drain all of the melted fat that will accumulate in the pan after cooking.
To keep things easy, I prefer to use my slow cooker to cook the beef in large batches. Cooked ground beef can then be frozen in recipe-sized portions so that it is always on hand and ready to go.
Add ground brown beef, beans, diced tomatoes (with all liquid), tomato sauce, vegetables, and seasonings (other than rosemary) to crock pot. Add stock/broth to slow cooker and stir all to combine.
Quick tip: If you can, add a couple of pieces of parmesan rind to the mixture. Parmesan rind is available in cheese shops or sometimes at the deli of your grocery store. This step is optional but adds incredible flavor to this delicious soup.
Lay rosemary sprigs on top of other ingredients, cover, and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
30 minutes prior to serving, remove the rosemary and parmesan rind. Add uncooked ditalini pasta and stir to combine.
A large, hot bowl of slow cooker pasta e fagioli soup is hearty enough to be a great meal on its own. To balance it out, a crisp garden side salad adds a great crunch as does some toasted French bread. A perfect family dinner made with minimal effort.
Freshly grate some parmesan cheese on top for the perfect finish to this hearty meal. Or, if you prefer to keep it dairy free, try topping with some nutritional yeast.
How to store leftover soup with pasta
Storing soup with pasta can sometimes be tricky. Pasta that cooks right in the soup, as this does, will absorb extra liquid as it sits. This can make the pasta mushy and possibly even cause it to break up.
This can happen regardless of whether you are storing the soup in the fridge or freezer. So, the big question is can you store leftovers of this dish? And the answer is: Yes! You have three options:
Remove the pasta prior to storing
You can then add freshly cooked pasta when defrosting leftovers. This route will give you a great end product - but it does not qualify as "lazy"!
Store with pasta
A lazier option is to store it as is with the noodles. This is doable as long as you recognize that, when reheated, it may not be exactly the same as when you stored it. The pasta may absorb extra liquid, giving it more of a stew-like texture (my favorite!)
If you want a more liquidy soup, you can add extra broth to it. This may change the flavor a bit. Is this bad? That's up to your personal taste.
Stir pasta into each bowl individually
A third option is to cook the pasta al dente prior to adding it to your finished soup. You can then add pasta, just before serving, to each individual bowl. This method eliminates the need to worry about having to accommodate pasta in your leftovers. Fresh pasta can be added at encore servings
However you choose to store it, your slow cooker pasta e fagioli will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. In the freezer, it can last as long as 6 months. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or zip-top bag.
Hints & hacks
- Slow cooker pasta e fagioli is a great crockpot recipe that calls for diced celery, carrots, and onion. To keep things extra lazy, you can buy prepackaged cut veggies or mirepoix. Both fresh and frozen work equally well.
- Because I am always looking for shortcuts, I cut up celery, carrots, and onion in bulk and freeze them. This way, they are always on hand for any special recipe, like this one!
- This healthy pasta e fagioli soup is perfect if your people will be eating at different times. After the cooking time, turn your slow cooker to warm (or have it automatically switch to warm). Everyone can have a hot and filling meal, no matter what time they are ready to eat.
- If serving at different times, you may want to add already cooked ditalini pasta to each bowl of soup individually (see above)
- I always recommend the use of a slow cooker liner for my slow cooker recipes. Of course, this is an optional step. I like to purchase my liners in bulk for a less expensive per-piece price.
- In the market for a new slow cooker? I love this one!
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Lazy Slow Cooker Pasta E Fagioli Recipe
- 6 quart or larger slow cooker
- measuring cups and spoons
- 1½ lbs browned ground beef
- 19 oz can red kidney beans, drained
- 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
- 2 cups chopped mirepoix or one small onion, two carrots and 2 large celery stalks
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with liquid
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
- 6 cups beef stock (or reconstituted base)
- 1-2 sprigs fresh Rosemary (optional)
- 2 pieces parmesan rind (optional) skip this if you want to keep dairy free
- 8 oz ditalini or other small pasta
- add browned ground beef, beans, vegetables, tomato sauce, chopped tomato and all seasonings to slow cooker1½ lbs browned ground beef, 19 oz can red kidney beans, drained, 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained, 2 cups chopped mirepoix, 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with liquid, 15 oz tomato sauce, 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic to slow cooker2 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Place parmesan rind into slow cooker, if using2 pieces parmesan rind (optional)
- carefully pour beef stock into slow cooker and stir gently to mix6 cups beef stock (or reconstituted base)
- lay rosemary sprigs on top of mixture, cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours.1-2 sprigs fresh Rosemary (optional)
- 30 minutes prior to serving remove rosemary and add pasta to slow cooker. stir to mix and re-cover until serving.