I could never pronounce it but always loved pasta fagioli (pronounced fah jol), Fagioli in Italian means beans, in case you didn’t know. I just started learning Italian on Duo Lingo and am really enjoying my grandparents’ native language. I wish I could say this was their recipe but I never met them.

But, on to the soup! My mother used to make this on cold winter days in Youngstown, Ohio. What I love about this dish is that I always have the ingredients on hand. Wintertime means comfort food- AKA soup. I’m usually stocked up on celery, onions, carrots and of course, canned beans this time of year. You can use cannellini, Great Northern or Navy beans for the soup.

In addition to the veggies, pasta fagioli also has tomato sauce and a generous helping of paprika, which gives it that savory taste and beautiful color. If you’ve got any kale or spinach in your fridge, feel free to chop it up and add it to the soup! This adds more vitamin C, beta-carotene and potassium to the recipe.

From a nutritional standpoint, you can’t beat this recipe! It boasts 10 grams of protein and 9 grams of dietary fiber per serving with under 250 calories. The soup is also a good source of potassium. It’s filling but doesn’t leave you feeling “heavy” as the fat in the recipe is from olive oil and a smattering of cheese if you add some. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 white or yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 (15 ounce) can low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 (15 ounce) can Great Northern or Navy beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup whole wheat ditalini or elbow pasta

Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and sautee for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the paprika and oregano and toss to coat the vegetables.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth and beans and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta to the pot and cook on low-medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
  5. Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Makes 6 servings. Nutrition information per serving: 237 calories, 6 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 10 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 832 mg sodium


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