Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Copycat Recipe

I used to eat at Olive Garden a lot. I loved their pasta and sauces, and I loved their bread sticks, but mostly I was addicted to their Pasta e Fagioli soup. It was like a drug to me. When my wife became addicted too, it became an expensive habit to support. I decided it was time to figure out how to make this nectar of the Gods for myself.

Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli copycat recipe

Pasta e Fagioli copycat recipe and photo courtesy of Jackalope Test Kitchen.

It was simple to find Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli copycat recipes online. The problem was that none of them tasted like the real thing. Most of them weren’t even close. I was able to spot and discard the ones that were way off the mark just by reading through the ingredients. I combined ingredients and methods from the ones that were close, but it still wasn’t quite there. I made about 20 batches of pasta e fagioli soup before I stumbled upon the right combination.

This is the final result. This Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli copycat recipe has the right combination of herbs, spices, aromatics, and just the right amount of cayenne to trigger what my wife calls “The sniffle factor”, just like the real thing.

From The Spice Rack

  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 11/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 11/2 tsp oregano
  • 11/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup match stick carrots
  • 3-7 cloves(depending on your taste) finely chopped garlic
  • 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 15 oz can red kidney beans
  • 15 oz can great northern beans
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 12 oz can v-8 juice
  • 2 15 oz cans of beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 1/2 pound of ditalini pasta

How To Make Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli

Brown the ground beef about 2/3 of the way. Drain the fat and add garlic,onion, carrot,and celery. Once the veggies go in and the aroma fills your house, you’re going to want to forget about the soup and eat this stuff right out of the pan, but you can resist! Your patience will be rewarded!

Continue cooking until the beef is completely browned and the vegetables are just beginning to soften, then move everything to a stock pot. Thoroughly rinse the red and white beans and add them to the soup with all of the remaining ingredients, except for the pasta. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Now boil your pasta in a separate pot. Do not add the pasta to the soup pot. That will make your broth too starchy. Instead, just spoon some cooked pasta into your soup bowl.

My Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli copycat recipe makes about a gallon of soup that will probably not last as long as you think. It’s hearty and delicious, and it never lasts more than two days in my house.