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Pasta e fagioli is a classic Italian soup that’s perfect for a cozy night in. It has beans, pancetta, garlic, and plenty of veggies to make it an incredibly flavorful rustic soup!

You might also like my Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli or Crockpot Pasta e Fagioli Soup.

pasta e fagioli soup in a bowl on a marble surface

What is pasta e fagioli?

Pasta and beans! This classic Italian soup started as a “peasant” dish with inexpensive ingredients, and it’s definitely stood the test of time because it’s just so tasty! You might be familiar with the Olive Garden version of pasta e fagioli, but this one is closer to a traditional rendition of the soup since it has pancetta.

Aside from being totally delicious, this soup is relatively healthy. There’s not a ridiculous quantity of pancetta in here, just enough that you know it’s there! It’s hearty and filling and perfect for winter temperatures.

What is pancetta?

  • Pancetta is a salty Italian bacon made from pork belly. It’s cured through salting and brining, and then it’s dried instead of being smoked, which differs from the North American bacon you’re used to.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Pancetta – you can substitute normal bacon or even prosciutto if you wish. I buy pre-diced pancetta from the deli section of my local grocery store, but you can definitely cut it into cubes yourself if you buy a chunk of it.
  • Onion, carrots, and celery – this is the backbone of any good soup to enhance flavor!
  • Garlic – infuses even more savory flavor into the broth
  • Tomatoes – we’re using a can of diced tomatoes, but you can used crushed if you prefer
  • Italian seasoning – a blend of several dried herbs that comes in one convenient jar
  • Chicken broth – gives a lot of flavor to the soup. You can also use chicken stock.
  • Beans – we’re using cans of both red kidney beans and cannellini beans (white kidney beans). You could swap for navy beans too.
  • Pasta – ditalini is the usual variety you see in this soup, but any small shape will be fine
ingredients for pasta e fagioli on a marble surface

How to make pasta e fagioli soup

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

frying pancetta, carrots, celery, and onion in a soup pot for pasta e fagioli

Start by sautéing the pancetta in a large pot until crispy. Prep the carrots, onion, and celery while it’s frying, and then add them to the pot. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

adding diced tomatoes and broth to a soup pot

Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning, and cook until the liquid has reduced. Pour in the chicken broth and the beans, then bring the soup to a boil.

adding uncooked pasta to pasta e fagioli soup pot

Once it’s boiling, add in the pasta, then simmer until the pasta is al dente. Season as needed, keeping in mind the pancetta is salty already. Enjoy!

Pro tip

  • The secret to making this soup really flavorful is the step where we add the tomatoes and reduce the liquid. It really concentrates the flavors and is well worth the extra 10 minutes or so that it takes!

What to serve with this soup

Leftovers and storage

  • Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in a covered container.
  • The pasta will likely soak up a lot of broth, so add a splash of chicken broth when reheating over a low heat.
  • If you think you’ll have a large amount of leftovers or you’re planning to freeze it, I recommend boiling the pasta separately and adding it to the soup when serving it since pasta doesn’t hold up well in the freezer.
close-up of a ladle in a pot of soup

Did you make this pasta e fagioli recipe? Questions? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

close-up of a ladle in a pot of soup
5 from 5 votes

Easy Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e fagioli is a classic Italian soup that's perfect for a cozy night in. It has beans, pancetta, garlic, and plenty of veggies to make it an incredibly flavorful rustic soup!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 (4.4 ounce) package diced pancetta
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 4 sticks celery chopped
  • 3 medium carrots chopped or sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (28 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1 (15 fluid ounce) can red kidney beans drained
  • 1 (15 fluid ounce) can cannellini beans drained
  • 1 cup pasta (ditalini or macaroni)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Shaved parmesan cheese optional, for serving


  • Add the pancetta to a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté until it starts to get crispy. I like to prep the other veggies while doing this step.
  • Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Stir in the garlic, followed by the diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Be sure to scrape up the brown bits. Let it bubble until the liquid is noticeably reduced (stir occasionally) to help concentrate the flavor. This should take 8-10 minutes or so.
  • Add the chicken broth and beans to the pot. Increase the heat to high. Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta.
  • Reduce the heat to a rapid simmer and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is nice and tender. I suggest stirring every few minutes so the pasta doesn't stick the bottom of the pot.
  • Season soup with salt & pepper as needed (the soup should be fairly salty already). This soup is delicious served with some shaved parmesan! 


  • The pasta in these types of soup tends to soak up the broth, so you may want to add more broth/stock when reheating leftovers. If the soup is too thick for you once the pasta has finished cooking, thin it out with more chicken broth if desired.
  • You don’t have to be exact with the pancetta measurements… anything in the ballpark works (packaging sizes vary from place to place).
  • Use low-sodium chicken broth if sensitive to salt. 
  • Want to kick the flavor up even more? Throw in a parmesan rind when cooking this soup.
  • Try the Instant Pot version of this recipe if you wish.


Calories: 355kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 1127mg, Potassium: 1119mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 5384IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 125mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on January 2, 2019. It’s been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!

Hi! I’m Natasha.

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5 from 5 votes

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  1. Xandzma says:

    I have leftover pork kebabs. Can I use that instead of pancetta?

    1. Natasha says:

      If you like. I can’t say I’ve tried that, though.

  2. Mary says:

    Love this soup! It’s a family favorite around here! Would it freeze well?

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      Hi Mary! Thrilled it’s a favorite in your home. 🙂 Please see the “Storage and Leftovers” section of the blog post.

  3. Mandi Bailey says:

    5 stars
    Just made this for dinner, it was delicious!!! Very flavorful and hearty!

    1. Natasha says:

      Fantastic!! Thanks for your 5-star review, Mandi! 😀

  4. Dawn Duffy says:

    5 stars
    this recipe was easy & delicious! my entire family loved it, which is not an easy feat! this will definitely be on my go-to recipe list.

    1. Natasha says:

      Well that’s so nice to hear, Dawn!!

  5. Gina says:

    5 stars
    I made this for the first time tonight and it was a massive hit! So easy, but so much flavor! My husband said he could eat it EVERY WEEK, and my son went back for seconds before I even finished my bowl. Will add it to the list!

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww I’m so happy to hear that!! Thanks so much for letting me know, Gina! 🙂

  6. Apryl says:

    5 stars
    This was super easy and delicious! I could only find a 4oz package of pancetta, but will add a little more next time for extra flavor.

    Does anyone have a breakdown of the nutrition facts for the recipe?

    1. Natasha says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment. I just updated the nutrition info for you (keep in mind it’s an estimate and if you need it for health reasons you should weigh the actual ingredients you’re using) – I’m slowly going back and doing nutrition info for select older recipes. 🙂

  7. Lily says:

    5 stars
    This was perfect for my picky toddler. He of course weeded through all the veggies and beans but loved the super flavorful broth and pasta. Such a relief to get him to eat something besides mac and cheese and hot dogs! Thank you! -ps He also loved the stuffed pepper soup, which is on frequent rotation in our house.

    1. Natasha says:

      I am so happy to hear that, Lily! Haha sounds like a victory to me! So glad the stuffed pepper soup is a hit as well! 🙂

  8. Roxanne Langley says:

    The easiest and a great Pasta Fagioli recipe. Made it over the weekend and everyone really enjoyed it. Add a load of crusty toasted bread and your set.

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! So happy you liked it! 🙂

  9. Kristen says:

    How do you recommend making this in the slow cooker? Looking forward to this!!!

      1. Kristen says:

        Great!!! Can’t wait to try. So glad I found your site!

        1. Natasha says:


  10. Jeff the Chef says:

    What a beautiful soup. I have to admit that tomato-based soups aren’t my thing, but there’s so much more than tomato going on here that I’d tempted to try it. No doubt if it were on a menu, I’d order it.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m the same way, actually. I definitely enjoyed the leftovers of this one, though. Was good after holiday indulgence haha. Thanks Jeff!