Olive Garden Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Instant Pot tastes even better than the restaurant version. It’s a delicious & healthy freezer friendly Instant Pot soup filled with beans, pasta, tomatoes, Italian sausage and amazing seasoning. You can make it under 30 minutes! Don’t miss the tips & recipe video.
Pasta Fagioli Instant Pot
Todays Instant Pot Pasta Fagioli is not the authentic Italian version which is a thin soup containing only beans, pasta and no veggies or meat. That’s what you get back in Italy!
However, todays recipe is the copycat version of what you get in the American restaurant Olive Garden – it contains meat, two kinds of beans, veggies, lots of tomato & an amazing seasoning. You’ll enjoy this economical, hearty & scrumptious soup throughout the year. A great freezer friendly soup to feed a large family.
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Sausage: Italian Pork sausage mild or spicy works best for todays recipe. You can also use 1:1 ground beef and Italian sausage. We made it with Mild ground Pork Italian sausage.
- Beans: Kidney beans and great Northern Beans are two protein packed legumes that makes a hefty Pasta e Fagioli soup. If you do not like Kidney beans much you can also sub it with garbanzo beans. We used canned beans.
- Veggies: Celery & carrot.
- Aromatics: Onion & garlic.
- Pasta: Small bite size pasta like Ditalini works best for Pasta e Fagioli.
- Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes (with basil, oregano & garlic), tomato sauce and tomato paste. You can also use regular canned diced tomatoes.
- Chicken Stock: I used better than bouillon cubes dissolved in hot water. For a more complex and deep flavor you can also sub the chicken stock with beef stock.
- Seasoning: Paprika, Oregano, Italian Seasoning, black pepper powder, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire Sauce.
- Olive Oil.
- Garnish: Chopped fresh parsley, crushed black pepper, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese. I skipped the parmesan cheese.
Pro Tip: Vegetarians skip the sausage from the recipe and make a vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup for a hearty meal.
Tips & Tricks
- Brown the Sausage: Browning the meat will add tons of great flavor to the soup. You can either discard the extra fat or use it.
- Beans: Canned beans drained and rinsed is what will make the recipe proceed fast. Use dark kidney beans and great Northern Beans for an outstanding protein and flavor boost. You can also use garbanzo beans in place of kidney or white beans.
- Seasoning: A great blend of seasoning is what make the Pasta e Fagioli Soup taste even better than Olive Garden’s soup. Use all the ingredients, you can however, skip the red pepper flakes if you are heat intolerant.
- Pasta e Fagioli consistency: You can control the consistency of the soup by slightly increasing of decreasing the amount of stock. Todays recipe has a medium consistency.
- Freeze the soup: If you want to freeze the Pasta Fagioli soup do skip the pasta and add some cooked pasta while re-heating the soup. The pasts absorbs a lot of liquid and inflates and turns mushy when allowed to sit for a long time in the soup.
- Serve it fast: For best soup texture & flavor serve the soup immediately because the pasta turns mushy in the pasta pretty fast.
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Brown the Sausage
Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE function and keep it on HIGH heat setting. Add olive oil and saute the ground pork Italian sausage until nicely browned.
You may discard the excess fat or use it to make the soup. The sausage I used did not release a lot of excess fat.
Step #2 Saute Aromatics & veggies
Once the sausage is nicely browned add the chopped onion & garlic & saute for about 1 minute. Than, add the carrot & the celery and saute for another minute.
Pour in the stock and de-glaze the pot very well scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. There should not be any food particles stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will help prevent the BURN error.
Add all the seasonings and give everything a quick stir.
Step #3 Pressure Cook Pasta e Fagioli
Now, add the rest of the ingredients like the tomatoes, pasta and the beans. Give eveything in the pot a quick stir. Cancel the SAUTE function and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 4 minutes followed by a quick pressure release.
Open the lid carefully, stir the Pasta e Fagioli soup, check for seasoning, add more salt and crushed black pepper if you feel like adding.
You can also control the consistency of the soup at this point, add more stock if you prefer a thinner soup.
Step #4 Garnish & serve
Serve the Instant Pot Pasta Fagioli immediately otherwise, the pasta will absorb a lot of liquid and turn mushy the longer it sits in the soup.
Garnish the soup with grated parmesan cheese, crushed black pepper, chopped fresh parsley and drizzles of extra virgin olive oil. Dig in 😀
Can you freeze Pasta e Fagioli?
Yes, you can freeze Pasta e Fagioli for upto 3 months. Leave out the pasta, use air tight freezer safe containers and leave enough space between the lid and the soup because soups expands when frozen.
Add some cooked pasta later while re-heating the thawed soup. If you freeze the Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli along with the pasta in it than the pasta will completely turn mushy.
What goes with Pasta Fagioli?
Serve Pasta e Fagioli with the following:
- Cheesy Garlic Bread.
- Bread Sticks.
- A light crisp salad.
- Lightly toasted sour dough bread.
- Regular crusty bread.
Olive Garden Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Instant Pot – FAQs
You can keep pasta from over cooking in soup by not cooking the pasta in the soup. Cook the pasta separately and keep the pasta and the soup separate. Mix the pasta while serving the soup.
Small Macaroni pasta, small shell pasta are similar to ditalini.
The difference between Minestrone and Pasta e Fagioli is that Minestrone contains a lot of vegetables while an authentic Italian Pasta e Fagioli is only beans and pasta cooked in a light thin tomato broth. Todays recipe contains a few veggies but not a lot like Minestrone.
Olive Garden Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Instant PotPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 1 pound Italian Ground Pork Sausage (**Use mild or spicy. You can use 1:1 ground beef : Sausage. 16 oz/454 g.)
- 15 oz Great Northern Beans (**Drained & rinsed. 439 g / 1 can.)
- 15 oz Kidney Beans (**Drained & rinsed. 439 g / 1 can.)
- 14 oz Diced Tomatoes (**with juices. I used Diced tomatoes with basil, oregano & garlic. 1 can / 411 g.)
- 8 oz tomato sauce (**226 g / 1 can.)
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste (**diluted in about 4 tbsp water.)
- 1 cup onion (**roughly chopped. Use yellow or white onion.)
- 1.5 tbsp garlic (**minced)
- 3/4 cup carrot (**roughly cubed)
- 3/4 cup celery (**roughly chopped. About 2 sticks.)
- 1 cup Ditalini Pasta (**you can use small elbow or shell pasta. Use 3/4 cups in that case.)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt (to taste) (**use according to taste.)
- 6 cups chicken stock (**Use 7-7.5 cups for thinner soup. I used 4 better than bouillon cubes diluted in hot water.)
- Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE & set it on HIGH heat. Add oil. When the oil becomes hot gently release the ground meat and saute the meat until nicely browned. Stir frequently with a spatula.
- Once, the meat is well browned add the chopped onion & garlic and saute for about a minute.
- Now, throw in the chopped carrots and celery and give everything a good stir. Saute for another minute.
- Pour Stock. De-glaze the pot very well scraping the sides & the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will loosen any stuck food particles and prevent the BURN error.
- Next, add all the seasonings like paprika, oregano, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes & salt. Give eveything in the pot a good stir.
- Add the tomatoes, canned beans (rinsed and drained), pasta. Give eveything in the pot a very good mix.
- CANCEL the SAUTE function. Close the lid of the Instant Pot. Seal the Valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 4 minutes. The pressure will take some time to build because it’s a large quantity soup.
- Once, the Pressure cooking cycle is over the Instant Pot will begin to beep. Immediately perform a quick pressure release (QPR) by manually moving the valve from the SEALING to the VENTING position. Open the lid carefully.
- The amazing wholesome Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli is ready. You need to serve the soup almost immediately because the longer the pasta sits in the soup the more it get’s over cooked & turn mushy.
- Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley, crushed black pepper, grated parmesan and drizzles of extra virgin olive oil. Dig in!
- IMPORTANT: Serve the soup immediately as the Pasta tends to absorb a lot of liquid, get over cooked and turn mushy the longer it sits in the soup.
- Ground meat: We chose Ground Italian Mild pork sausage. You an also use ground beef and pork sausage in the 1:1 ratio. You can also make the soup with only ground beef.
- Best Pasta: We vote for Ditalini. However, you can use small elbow or shell pasta. In that case use no more than 3/4 cups. 1/2 cup or 3/4 cups would be a good choice for todays soup.
- How to store the soup in the fridge? If you plan to store it in fridge I would skip cooking the pasta in the soup. Because the pasta will absorb a lot of liquid the longer it sits in the soup & turn mushy! Cook the pasta separately & mix in the soup bowl while serving only if you plan to store the soup in the fridge.
- Storing Tips: For storing or freezing the Pasta e Fagioli soup I would recommend that you leave out the Pasta and add some cooked pasta later to the soup while re-heating it. The pasta will completely mush up if you freeze or store the soup along with it. The soup will also become drier as the pasta continues absorbing liquid.
- Seasonings: Play around with the bunch of seasonings and add more or add less according to your liking.
- Basil: You can add some dried basil in the soup especially if you add regular canned diced tomatoes. I skipped adding basil because the canned diced tomatoes had basil.
- Extra flavor: I would highly recommend using canned diced tomatoes with basil, oregano & garlic. It would almost instantly face lift the soup. Avoid using regular canned diced tomatoes. You can sub the chicken stock with beef stock.
- The Pasta e Fagioli consistency: Todays soup has a medium consistency, it’s not super thin nor very thick. If you prefer thinner soups add 7 or 7.5 cups stock.
- Heat intolerant: Skip the red pepper flakes.
- Hate Kidney Beans? Sun them with a can of garbanzo beans. We love these creamy, nutty beans so much. Yum!