Easy and tasty Instant Pot Pasta E Fagioli Soup is full of comforting, savory flavors and ingredients — like garlic, Italian sausage and seasonings plus veggies and two kinds of beans — that will warm you all season long.
If you love Olive Garden recipes, you’ve gotta try my Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup, Olive Garden Breadsticks, and Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup.Well, it’s safe to say I’m on a soup rampage. Fall came in a hurry this year, bringing with it all the crisp and chilly weather that makes me crave soup like crazy. And really I’m okay with that because a soup like Pasta E Fagioli that’s this tasty and this easy to make is my kind of meal!
This Pasta E Fagioli features two kinds of beans, which you may already know are part of the pulses family. Pulses are completely delicious, protein-packed (hoorah!), and one-hundred-percent sustainable. It’s a win-win-win all around when you’re working pulses into your daily diet.
These days I am looking for any way I can to sneak more protein into my kids’ diets in particular because my twin toddlers are picky, picky, picky and I can hardly get them to eat typical proteins like meat. Luckily, they’ve started warming up to soup and I’m praising heaven for that since I often slip pulses, including split peas, lentils, chickpeas, and beans, into our soups at home.
But this soup in particular? It’s one of our favorites! It’s packed with savory Italian flavors and has the most amazing consistency: It’s the perfect balance between brothy soup and chili.
If that wasn’t tantalizing enough, this hearty soup is also a cinch to whip up in your Instant Pot (or slow cooker if you prefer – see more info on that below!) and will make your weeknight dinner routine a breeze.
I hope you give this easy recipe a try and that you enjoy this savory instant pot pasta e fagioli soup as much as we do!
HOW DO YOU MAKE PASTA E FAGIOLI SOUP?
The combination of Italian seasonings, garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes really make the flavors of this dish stand out. My family took a vote and we say it’s better than restaurant versions, plus cooking it in the Instant Pot means we can have our favorite soup that much faster!
Before you put the beans in the Instant Pot, you’ll need to soak them a bit by covering them with cold water and letting them soak the night before (or at least 6-8 hours). Then, after they have soaked, you should drain and rinse that water, add them to a large stock pot, and cover with fresh water. Bring them to a boil, then reduce heat and let them simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and cooked all the way through. Drain again.
Set your Instant Pot to “saute” and add the Italian sausage and onions and saute those together for 3-5 minutes or until the sausage is browned. Add the garlic and cook that with the sausage and onions for about 1-2 minutes longer.
Switch the Instant Pot setting to “soup” and add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, beans, and Italian seasonings and give it a good stir to combine.
Lock the lid in place and seal the pressure release or the valve to seal, depending on your make and model. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. All the pot to manually release for 3-4 minutes, then turn the release valve all the way to “quick release” the rest of the steam.
Final step: Stir in the cooked ditalini pasta, garnish with cracked black pepper, fresh basil, and grated parmesan cheese if desired and serve!
HOW DO YOU MAKE PASTA E FAGIOLI SOUP IN THE SLOW COOKER?
If you’d prefer to make this in the slow cooker, you’ll want to still go ahead and soak and cook the beans as instructed.
Then, instead of sauteing the first few ingredients in the Instant Pot, instead do this on the stovetop. (So that would be all of step 4 on the stove.)
Then, add all of the ingredients listed in step 4 into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours. Stir in pasta at the end before serving as instructed in step 5.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PASTA E FAGIOLI AND MINESTRONE?
These two soups are very similar, but minestrone has a lot more veggies in it (what kinds of veggies varies). The name “pasta e fagioli” translates to “pasta and beans,” and so this soup’s two main components are just that, with all the other ingredients simply there for accompaniment.
Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- ⅔ cup dried white great northern or navy beans - *see notes
- ⅔ cup dried red kidney beans - *see notes
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage - (mild or spicy)
- ½ yellow or white onion - diced
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes - (not drained)
- 2 celery ribs - chopped
- ½ cup carrots - chopped or sliced
- 1 cup ditalini pasta - boiled til tender
- 1 teaspoon salt - or to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian blend seasoning - (OR substitute ½ teaspoon each dried basil, dried thyme, and dried oregano)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- fresh basil, cracked black pepper, grated parmesan cheese (for topping)
- First prepare the beans. Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight or 6-8 hours, then drain and rinse.
- Combine beans in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally until beans are tender and cooked through. Drain beans. *The following instructions are for using an Instant Pot. For slow cooker instructions, check out the recipe notes.
- Preheat your instant pot using the “saute” setting, then add Italian sausage, and onions and saute for 3-5 minutes until sausage is browned. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer until fragrant.
- Switch instant pot to the "soup" setting. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, beans and Italian seasoning and stir to combine.
- Lock the lid in place and set the pressure release to “sealing”. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pot to sit for 3-4 minutes and then turn the release valve for a “quick release.”
- Stir in ditalini pasta, garnish with cracked black pepper, fresh basil, and grated parmesan cheese if desired and serve.
This post is in partnership with USA Pulses & Pulse Canada.
You don’t mention when to add the beans. I noticed one person commented that they cooked the soup for 6 minutes, then added beans, then pressure cooked the additional time. I’m making this tonight. Please clarify. Also, I’m using dried great northern beans, but canned red kidney beans. Any different instructions? thanks!
Just saw all the above notes about the beans. Sorry I didn’t read them first. Looking forward to trying this recipe, as my husband loves it when we go to Olive Garden. I;m new to the instant pot and enjoy tryig new recipes! thanks for sharing.
Glad you got your question answered. I hope that you love this recipe as much as I do! Enjoy 🙂
This was amazing! My family and I just got done eating it. It was a Hit! Tasted just like Olive Garden.
So happy to hear that both you and your family loved it!
If I need to make this quickly or if I forgot to soak the beans the night before, can I use the Instant pot in place of the soaking?
You would be better off to skip the bean soaking and use canned beans, drained and rinsed.
So the pasta fagIoli recipe does mention when to add the beans. I assume after cooking in a pot of water they get put into the instant pot with the rest of the ingredients or did i miss thAt
Hi Bill- Sorry for the confusion! The beans go in with the chicken broth in step 5, OR for beans that are more firm, you can add them in the last step with the pasta.
Just bought an Instapot. It is the small one as there are ony the two of us. Do these recipes require the large one?
You should be fine with either size!