Vegan Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta Fazool)


Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with a bowl of vegan pasta e fagioli. This Italian pasta and white bean soup is loaded with clean but delicious flavor from rosemary and tomatoes, and it makes the perfect meal by itself or with a hunk of grilled Italian bread.

Vegan pasta fagioli in a large dutch oven with vegan parmesan, oregano and a soup ladle.Vegan pasta fagioli in a large dutch oven with vegan parmesan, oregano and a soup ladle.

Pasta e fagioli, which simply translates from Italian to “pasta and beans,” is a stunningly simple dish that’s also stunningly flavorful. And stunningly hearty.

Also stunning is the fact that you can create all this magical flavor with mostly pantry ingredients, much like those other stunning pastas, (vegan) pasta puttanesca and (vegan) penne alla vodka.

I especially love vegan pasta fazool or pasta e fasule, as it’s also called, in the winter, when the temperatures dip and there’s nothing better than getting your palms around a hot bowl of vegan soup.

There’s so much to love here, with the creamy, buttery beans, the al dente pasta, the aromatic rosemary, the sweet-tangy plum tomatoes, the spicy garlic and red pepper flakes, and all of the flavor from a soffrito of carrots, celery and onions.

Make this pasta the next time you are in need of some warmth and comfort. You will certainly come away feeling better for it and who knows? You might even begin to belt out “That’s amore!” in your best Dean Martin voice.

Table of Contents

Why you will love this recipe

  • It is soothing and full of clean, delicious flavors. This soup is not just packed with good-for-you protein and carbs from the pasta and beans, it is also loaded with flavorful veggies, like onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Together, these ingredients create a marvelous alchemy that will make you fall in love.
  • It is an easy pasta soup to make. I love easy recipes and pasta fagioli is nothing if not easy. It comes together in one pot (unless you use a food processor to chop the veggies fine, like I did). And all it needs are a few simple pantry ingredients.
  • It is soy-free, nut-free and you can make it gluten-free. Just make it with gluten-free pasta if you are gf.
  • The beans and veggies add loads of nutrition. There’s no dearth of protein and fiber in this recipe. You can make it with wholegrain pasta for a healthier version, and always be sure to cook the pasta al dente.

Vegan pasta e fagioli in black bowl with spoon.Vegan pasta e fagioli in black bowl with spoon.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic. Use tons of it, I do, because it adds amazing flavor to this soup.
  • Soffrito vegetables: carrots, celery and onions. This forms the flavor base for this minimalist soup.
  • White beans. You can use canned beans or cook them from scratch, but you want them tender when you add them to the pasta fagioli soup. Cannellini beans, navy beans and great northern beans will all work for this recipe.
  • Herbs: Rosemary and oregano. You can use fresh herbs, but they can be too expensive to buy in winter and using dried herbs gives you great flavor as well. I also toss in a bay leaf when I cook the beans. If you use canned beans, add a bay leaf to the pot along with the other herbs.
  • Red pepper flakes or crushed pepperoncino. You can skip this and add freshly ground black pepper for heat, but I like the little kick from the red pepper flakes.
  • Canned plum tomatoes. The tomatoes are a major flavoring ingredient here so use a good quality canned plum tomato. Try and stay away from diced tomatoes and pureed tomatoes, unless that’s all you have.
  • Mushroom stock. Many pasta e fagioli recipes include meat or at least a ham hock added to the pot for flavor. We are meatless here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want that amazing umami — mushroom stock will add that to your vegan soup. If you don’t have mushroom stock, use a good vegetable broth.
  • Ditalini pasta. This small, thimble-shaped pasta is traditionally used in pasta e fagioli. You can substitute with any small pasta shape, including orzo or elbows.
  • Vegan parmesan cheese. For garnish, before serving.

Variations

  • If you are serving this to someone who wants meat at every meal, or if you want more plant-based protein, you can also add 14 oz of a meatless beef substitute or vegan sausage to the pot. If you do, saute it for a couple of minutes before adding the beans.
  • If you don’t have white beans or don’t want to use them, you can use pinto beans, black beans or red kidney beans instead.
  • If you want more greens in the soup, add 5 oz of roughly chopped spinach, chard or kale to the pot before adding the beans.
  • You don’t need a garnish of fresh herbs in this pantry-based soup, but if you have some parsley on hand add it at the end for a bit of fresh flavor.

How to make vegan pasta e fagioli

Garlic sauteing in olive oil in pot with wooden spatula.Garlic sauteing in olive oil in pot with wooden spatula.

  1. Heat EVOO in large pot or Dutch oven along with the crushed garlic. Saute until the garlic begins to turn a light golden.

Sofrito added to oil in pot with wooden spoon.Sofrito added to oil in pot with wooden spoon.

2. Add the soffrito veggies to the pot–carrots, onions and celery. Add some salt and ground black pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium low heat or until the soffrito has cooked down but is not browned. Stir frequently to avoid sticking. Cooking the veggies this way will help them melt into the soup, thickening it and adding lots of flavor.

Herbs and pepperoncino added to oil and soffrito veggies in pot.Herbs and pepperoncino added to oil and soffrito veggies in pot.

3. Add the rosemary, oregano and red pepper flakes to the pot along with the bay leaf, if using, and mix in.

Beans added to pot with sofrito veggies.Beans added to pot with sofrito veggies.

4. Add the beans to the pot and mix.

Tomatoes added to pot with beans.Tomatoes added to pot with beans.

5. Crush the tomatoes with your fingers, then stir them in.

Tomatoes cooking with herbs in Dutch oven pot.Tomatoes cooking with herbs in Dutch oven pot.

6. Add four cups of hot mushroom stock or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat.

Ditalini pasta added to tomato and stock in soup.Ditalini pasta added to tomato and stock in soup.

7. Stir in the cooked pasta and mix well.

Beans and tomatoes cooking in stock.Beans and tomatoes cooking in stock.

8. Continue cooking the soup for another two minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Turn off heat and serve hot or warm.

Vegan pasta fazool soup in a dutch oven.Vegan pasta fazool soup in a dutch oven.

Recipe FAQs

How soupy should this soup be?

The starches in the beans and pasta do thicken up this soup quite a bit. But add four cups of stock at the beginning and add more later if you want the dish to be soupier but only after adding in the beans. Always add hot stock or broth to the pot so you don’t temporarily stop the cooking process.

Can I make this soup ahead?

You can make this vegan pasta e fagioli a day or two ahead, but it will thicken as it stands. Thin out with stock and reheat before serving.

What should I serve with pasta fagioli?

I eat the pasta fagioli by itself but if you want to add a little extra oomph serve with a piece of crusty grilled bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a clove of garlic. You can also serve a leafy salad on the side, like this Vegan Caesar Salad.

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: You can store the pasta fagioli for up to three days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container or freezer safe container for up to three months.
  • Reheat: Thaw the soup, preferably in the fridge overnight, and reheat over the stovetop or in the microwave. Thin out with stock as necessary.

More vegan soup recipes

A bowl of vegan pasta fagioli or pasta fazool soup.A bowl of vegan pasta fagioli or pasta fazool soup.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review and a star rating below, or tag us on Instagram! Thanks!

Vegan pasta e fagioli in Dutch oven with soup ladle.Vegan pasta e fagioli in Dutch oven with soup ladle.

Vegan Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta Fazool)

Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with a bowl of vegan pasta e fagioli. This Italian pasta and white bean soup is loaded with clean but delicious flavor from rosemary and tomatoes, and it makes the perfect meal by itself or with a hunk of grilled Italian bread.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Review Recipe

Course: Soup/Entree

Cuisine: Italian

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 387kcal

Author: Vaishali · Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes

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Instructions

  • Rough-chop the onions, carrots and celery and place them in a food processor. Pulse until chopped fine. You can also mince the veggies by hand, but the food processor just makes it quicker. Mincing the veggies fine will help them melt into the soup as they cook, adding body and flavor to the soup.

  • Cook the pasta until a couple of minutes short of al dente. Drain, rinse under running water, and set aside.

  • Heat EVOO in large pot or Dutch oven along with the crushed garlic. Saute until the garlic begins to turn a light golden.

  • Add the soffrito veggies to the pot–carrots, onions and celery. Add some salt and ground black pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium low heat or until the soffrito has cooked down but has not browned. 

  • Add the rosemary, oregano and red pepper flakes to the pot and mix in.

  • Add the beans to the pot followed by the tomatoes. Mix.

  • Add four cups of hot mushroom stock or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat.

  • Stir in the cooked pasta and mix well.

  • Continue cooking the soup for another two minutes, check seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Turn off heat and serve hot or warm. Garnish soup bowls with vegan parmesan and, if you want, a drizzle of EVOO.

Recipe notes

  • Always cook the pasta before you add it to the rest of the soup. Some cooks add dry pasta to the soup and let it cook in the liquid. But pasta lets out a lot of starch and this can make the soup taste gummy and starchy. Instead cook the pasta separately and turn off the heat a couple of minutes before it reaches that perfect al dente texture. Add it to the soup and the pasta will continue to cook for a couple more minutes without giving out as much starch. This is especially important if you use gluten-free pasta, which is very starchy.
  • The starches in the beans and pasta do thicken up this soup quite a bit. But add four cups of stock at the beginning and add more later if you want the dish to be soupier but only after adding in the beans.
  • Always add hot stock or broth to the pot so you don’t temporarily stop the cooking process. Keep a pot of stock simmering next to the soup pot or warm the stock in the microwave.
  • You can make this vegan pasta e fagioli a day or two ahead, but it will thicken as it stands. Thin out with stock and reheat before serving.
  • I love the pasta fagioli by itself but if you want to add a little extra oomph serve with a piece of crusty grilled bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a clove of garlic. You can also serve a leafy salad on the side.

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: You can store the pasta fagioli for up to three days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container or freezer safe container for up to three months.
  • Reheat: Thaw the soup, preferably in the fridge overnight, and reheat over the stovetop or in the microwave. Thin out with stock as necessary.

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Potassium: 956mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2286IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 6mg

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