pasta e fagioli: an Olive Garden copykat recipe

he house is quiet but the whirring of the dishwasher.   You’d never know that just an hour earlier, the house was full of activity; laughter, conversation, and the hushed whispers of cousins sharing secrets.  

Got a hungry crowd?  This hearty soup will satisfy their appetites!  Pasta e Fagioli recipe: Mrs. Hines' Class

At one point in the evening,  I confided in my dad, “I love these get togethers.”

“Family is what it’s all about,” he answered.


Got a hungry crowd?  This hearty soup will satisfy their appetites!  Pasta e Fagioli recipe: Mrs. Hines' Class

That is why I started the tradition of a Fall Family Potluck.

We decided on an italian themed  meal this year.  Mom said that she thought it was the best menu we’ve ever had.   It was definitely good.  Very good.


Got a hungry crowd?  This hearty soup will satisfy their appetites!  Pasta e Fagioli recipe: Mrs. Hines' Class

Mom brought lasagna,  one sister brought spaghetti for the kids and the other sister brought chicken penne.    I provided the soup, salad, and bread.   

Got a hungry crowd?  This hearty soup will satisfy their appetites!  Pasta e Fagioli recipe: Mrs. Hines' Class

The soup is a copykat recipe of Olive Garden’s pasta e fagioli.

Got a hungry crowd?  This hearty soup will satisfy their appetites!  Pasta e Fagioli recipe: Mrs. Hines' Class

There’s always so much leftover food.   We’ll be having soup and salad for dinner again tomorrow night, but I’m not complaining.  A night off from cooking is always welcome.

pasta e fagioli

Serves 9 quarts
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Serve Hot
Region Italian
Website CopyKat
This savor soup is perfect for a cool night. Invite your friends and family because there is lots to share!


  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2lb ground beef
  • 12oz onion (chopped)
  • 14oz carrots (slivered)
  • 14oz celery (diced)
  • 48oz tomatoes (canned, diced)
  • 2 cups cooked red kidney beans
  • 2 cups cooked white kidney beans (also called cannellini)
  • 88oz beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 5 teaspoons parsley (fresh, chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon tobasco sauce
  • 48oz spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu)
  • 8oz dry pasta (I used wheat free fusilli)


The recipe makes 9 qts.  Just cut the recipe in 1/2 for smaller crowds.


Step 1
saute beef in oil in 10 quart pot until beef starts to brown
Step 2
add onion, carrots and celery and tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes
Step 3
drain and rinse beans and add to the pot
Step 4
add beef stock, oregano, pepper, tabasco, spaghetti sauce and noodles
Step 5
simmer until celery, carrots are tender

My heart is filled to overflowing, and my stomach feels like it’s about to pop.   The only thing that would have made the evening better is if my brother and his family and my two younger sisters could have been here tonight.

p.s.  My parents loved the dresser makeover.  Dad said it was hardly recognizable and looked like an antique.  Mom said it was beautiful and a one of a kind piece. 

See you in class,

mrs hines sig

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After 17 years in an elementary classroom, Mrs. Hines retired from teaching to pursue her passions: decorating, writing and homemaking. While her formal education is in teaching, she discovered her talent for design at a young age and is a self-taught decorator. Mrs. Hines' DIY spirit has earned her appearances on the show Deals which airs on the Live Well Network. She continues to teach and inspire on her popular Lifestyle blog, Mrs. Hines' Class. Blogging allows Mrs. Hines to hone her natural skills as a writer and has led to the launch of The Write Touch, an online editorial service. Homemaking is Mrs. Hines' first love. So, when she isn't decorating or writing, you can find her at home watching television with Mr. Hines or trying to keep up with her teenaged daughter.

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  1. I love this post for so many reason starting with the whir of the dishwasher. That’s one of my favorite sounds. (freak flag!)
    I’m grocery shopping this morning and will be buying these ingredients.
    Thank you once again, Mrs Hines.


  2. That is one of my favorite sounds too…it’s so comforting. I hope you love the soup!!

  3. I love making soup. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Look delicious!

  4. We are doing an italian feast for Christmas here at our house this year. I’m going to show this recipe to my husband. :) Sounds delicious.

  5. We just finished eating it for dinner again tonight, and it was do good…maybe even better the second time around. The soup loses a good bit of liquid when you store it, so I added more beef stock to reheat heat it.

  6. I love that y’all are doing something a little different for the holidays! If you try the soup, you won’t be disappointed.

  7. This looks great! I have a question I have been wondering about for a while. I eat gluten free and I see you added wheat free pasta to this soup. In my experience, if I cook GF pasta just a tad too long, it turns to mush. How did yours do in the soup (I assume it was heating for a while) and in the leftovers, was it mushy? I have tried all types of gluten free pasta and it is the one thing in cooking gluten free that I continue to be frustrated by! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  8. The men in my family love this soup…so thank you very much for the recipe! I’ll be halving it for sure! ;)

  9. Oh yum, yum and more yum – thanks for the recipe!

  10. Great question, Gretchen. There’s a brand of GF pasta at Walmart that I have the most luck with…it’s called Heartland. Other stores may carry it but I haven’t looked for it anywhere else.

    I’d say the noodles were soft, but not mushy. I’d think that you could add the noodles in a little later to avoid them becoming mushy…maybe for the last 15 or 20 minutes..

  11. total yum :) and you’re most welcome. I hope you enjoy it!

  12. If they love it, then I think they’ll be very happy with this copykat version.

  13. Yay! Thank you for the pasta suggestion! This will be dinner tonight (and for a few meals later)!

  14. LOL..definitely makes a lot of food. I’ve never tried freezing it..wonder how that would work.

    Thankfully we were feeding a large crowd some of who also took some home with them. We ate it again last night for dinner (so good leftover… I added more beef stock to it when reheating because it had absorbed a lot of the liquid) But got to send what was still leftover home with a friend who had joined us for dinner last night.

    I’ll be anxious to hear how y’all like it!

  15. We just finished dinner – everyone loved this and the Heartland pasta you recommended worked beautifully. I halved the recipe and added in a bit more beef broth. Recently I have been making a pot of soup every week so we can eat the leftovers for lunches and as a snack after leaf raking! Thanks again!

  16. What a fantastic idea! Looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time. The soup looks delicious. I’m not a total vegetarian, but I don’t eat much meat, especially red meat. This soup would even be delicious without the ground beef and just the beans!

  17. We did have a good time… and I think you’re right that the soup would taste just as good with no meat. Let me know if you try it.

  18. That’s what I love to hear! I’m so glad y’all enjoyed it and am glad to know that the pasta worked out well for you.

  19. This looks amazing!! Family coming together is the best :) XO

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