Pasta e Fagioli

Total Time
1 hr
15 min
45 min
This hearty pasta-and-bean soup its a favorite at Italian restaurants. It's hearty and delicious enough to eat on its own as a whole meal. It's comfort food at its finest and wonderful to serve when the weather starts to get chilly. Using canned diced tomatoes and canned beans makes this recipe super-weeknight-friendly. Any small shell type of pasta will work, but we love making this with dilatini, so track some down if you can. It all comes together in one big saucepan—even the pasta is cooked in it too—so cleanup is a cinch. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how stress-free it can be to get a dinner for six on the table.


Canola oil

1 Tbsp

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, chopped

Uncooked carrot(s)

1 medium, chopped

Uncooked celery

1 rib(s), medium, chopped


2 medium clove(s), minced

Uncooked 90% lean ground beef

½ pound(s)

Italian seasoning

1 tsp

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz

Canned tomato paste

2 Tbsp

Reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 cup(s)

Uncooked whole wheat pasta

1½ oz, about 1/2 cup elbow shape

Canned great northern beans

15½ oz, rinsed and drained

Grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

½ tsp, freshly ground


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the carrots and celery start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Italian seasoning; cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are softened and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the broth and pasta; increase the heat to medium-high to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the pasta is tender and the soup thickens slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the beans and heat though. Remove from the heat, then sprinkle with the cheese, salt, and pepper. Yields generous 1 cup per serving.


After tasting this hearty pasta-and-bean soup at an Italian restaurant, Melanie, who has lost 49 pounds on the program, was inspired to make a Weight Watchers version at home.