pasta e fagioli

$8.12 recipe / $1.35 serving

The more I cook, the more challenging, complex and lengthy my recipes get. But sometimes all you want is a quick “dump and heat” recipe for those busy week nights. This recipe totally fits that bill. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list because the preparation couldn’t be any easier. Spend 10 minutes chopping your veggies and then just dump in the rest and heat it up. Easy.

Not only is this recipe super easy but I’m not sure if it could be any more healthy. I mean, you’ve got vegetables of every kind, shape and color, beans bursting with fiber and antioxidants and a complete, vegetarian source of protein (beans + pasta = complete protein source). The dish is colorful and fun which should make it a hit with kids.

If you want to put in a little extra time and effort, you can cook dry beans and add a few cups of each in place of the canned beans. This will reduce the sodium content and cost in one fell swoop.

Pasta e Fagioli can take many forms. I’ll list a few variations at the end of this post.

Pasta e Fagioli

pasta e fagioli

5.0 from 1 reviews
pasta e fagioli
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $8.12
Cost Per Serving: $1.35
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.20
  • 1 med. yellow onion $0.45
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.08
  • 4 medium carrots $0.49
  • 3 stalks celery $0.33
  • ½ Tbsp dried parsley $0.05
  • 1 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper $0.05
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans $0.75
  • 1 can (15 oz) white beans $0.79
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes $0.73
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce $0.29
  • 1 cup frozen green beans $0.54
  • 2 tsp chicken base $0.20
  • 3 cups water $0.00
  • 6 oz. dry pasta $0.70
  • to taste salt and pepper $0.05
  • 5 oz. shredded Italian cheese $2.32
Instructions
  1. Chop the garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Place them in a large pot with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and cook over medium heat until the onions become transparent (3-5 minutes).
  2. Add the herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, red pepper), the canned items (beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce) and the frozen green beans. Drain the beans but not the tomatoes before adding to the pot. Stir everything together and bring it up to a simmer.
  3. Add the chicken (or vegetable) bouillon and 3 cups of water. Stir it up a bit to dissolve the bouillon. Add the dry pasta and bring the pot up to a simmer. Add a lid and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. Stir the pot occasionally as it simmers to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
  4. Give the dish a quick taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Ladle the Pasta e Fagioli into a bowl and top with shredded Italian cheese (parmesan, romano or asiago).

 

Pasta e Fagioli

Step By Step Photos

chopped vegetablesStart by chopping and cooking the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in a large pot with olive oil.

softened vegetablesCook them just until they have softened (3-5 minutes).

herbsAdd the herbs…

vegetables and herbsGive it a stir.

add the canned goodsDrain the beans (but not the tomatoes) and add them all to the pot.

frozen green beansAlso add the frozen green beans.

stir the potGive everything a good stir (it’s already gorgeous!).

wacky macDitalini is usually used in Pasta e Fagioli but it was really expensive at my local grocer so I substituted this wacky mac. I thought the colors and shapes would look nice in the dish. Feel free to use any shape.

finished pasta e fagioliAdd the pasta along with 3 cups of water and 2 tsp (or two cubes) of chicken or vegetable bouillon. Place a lid on top and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. Stir it occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Give it a taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Top each serving with cheese.

Pasta e Fagiolipasta e fagioli on bread

Special thanks to René over in Germany for suggesting this super hearty, pasta and bean stew!!

Variations:

- Saute bacon or pancetta in the pot prior to cooking the onions, carrots, celery and garlic.
- Add a cup of white wine after sauteing the onions, carrots, celery and garlic.
- Add fresh or frozen spinach, kale or swiss chard
- Cook the pasta separately and spoon the “bean sauce” over top
- Add two more cups of broth to make this into a soup rather than a thick stew.

15 Comments

  1. penny h says:

    Just found your site and I love it. Soup, or any good one dish meal is my favorite. How bout quinoa in place of pasta…pasta is the best but sometime I relent to the protein and fiber…oh, wait, could also use whole wheat pasta….never mind, just answered my own question! Thanks for the site.

  2. Jordan says:

    I tried this recipe yesterday, and it was so easy to make that it felt effortless. The outcome was delicious and filling without being heavy on the stomach. In the future, I will try incorporating other ingredients like zucchini and yellow pepper.

  3. Craig says:

    I made this tonight for dinner, but my wife was craving a Minestrone soup. All I did was leave out the green beans, added 1 more cup of water and 1 tsp of beef base. Just like a Minestrone soup if you ask me. Thanks!

  4. Amanda W says:

    Ok, this was the best soup I have ever made. Hands down. I didn’t know what to make tonight. When my husband always works late, we do something that incorporates beans because he is not a fan. I had everything to make this, plus added a half zucchini I had in the fridge to use as well as a cup of baby spinach chopped. Otherwise I made it exactly – and it was fantastic!

  5. this is simmering on my stove as we speak….and it smells delish!

  6. Jana – Yep, if you want to use chicken stock, just sub the water for stock and skip the base. I use Better than Bouillon brand chicken base for just about everything. The flavor is great and a jar of it lasts me a long long time (keep it in the refrigerator). Plus, you can use whatever amount you need, unlike cubes.

  7. I just stumbled across your blog and it is amazing! My hubby and I will be living on a very meager budget for a few months while I complete grad school and this will be a huge help!

    Just a quick question…what brand of chicken base do you use? If you didn’t have base, would you suggest subbing chicken stock in the same amount water?

    Thanks!

  8. Anonymous says:

    this is not pasta e fagioli…it’s more a minestrone. pasta e fagioli requires that the beans are cooked until they are almost creamy. there is also not the “whole vegetable” make up that you find in this recipe. to my mind texture is very important for a real pasta e fagioli. yes, there are tons of recipes for this, all a bit different, but there are common factors and this does not really have it. not saying that it isn’t a nice dish…just that it isn’t pasta e fagioli. :-( plus it’s just too expensive to be p e f.

  9. Just cooked this– it’s really good! I enjoyed it with a nice glass of red wine and am now feeling pleasantly stuffed and lazy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am wondering about the chicken base, how much do we put in?

  11. YAY, glad you enjoyed it. It really is very easy to do, a classic Italian winter dish and there are indeed tons of variations (from the pasta shape to the seasoning or several ingredients) and literally every Italian cook is going to claim their version is the real deal. :D

    It did indeed start out as a peasant meal, much like Pizza but depending out the ingredients you can make it super expensive but I usually go for the basic version similar to Beth’s which is just absolutely wonderful, quick and healthy.

    Best regards and merci for the shout-out – René :)

  12. WOOPS! I just forgot to change that part from the template :P It’s $8.12 … and the mistake will be fixed in a moment. Thanks for pointing it out :D

  13. I’m confused. Your ingredient list says the total is $4.50, but the summary says $8.12. Where’s the difference?

  14. making right now! thanks for a great quick and healthy dinner idea!

  15. This looks very good. I was thinking that I should do a couple of vegetarian nights at home — this looks perfect!

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