Traditionally Vegetarian: Easy Pasta & Fagioli Recipe

pasta fagioli recipe no meat-pasta e fagioli without meat (1)

Looking to savor the taste of Italy in a meat-free meal? Our vegetarian pasta e fagioli recipe is here to deliver just that. With hearty beans, savory pasta, and a blend of delicious Italian flavors, this dish is perfect for anyone craving a comforting meal. Get ready to experience the essence of Italian cuisine, without compromising on taste. Let’s get cooking!

While many people are now used to adding meat to their pasta e fagioli, as well as using beef broth, many excellent variations don’t feature it. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. This hearty Italian soup is said to have originated during the Roman Age, and for centuries the lower classes weren’t always able to access meat daily. Therefore, they simply avoided using it except for special occasions. This led to the creation of hundreds of delicious vegetarian recipes. Just think of bruschetta, pasta aglio e olio, caprese salad, pesto pasta, risotto alla milanese, frittata, or even pizza margherita. 

Pasta and beans makes no exception. While there is historical evidence of people adding pork knuckles or sausage, most families probably made it without meat. 

Even without this ingredient, there are endless regional variations, and of course every grandmother has her own favorite technique. 

Now, let me show you mine. 

pasta fagioli recipe no meat-vegetarian pasta fazool ingredients

Let’s Make a Vegetarian Pasta Fazool – What You’ll Need

Understood! Here’s the ingredient section for your vegetarian pasta e fagioli recipe:

Ditalini Pasta: Ditalini pasta is the perfect base for pasta e fagioli, but feel free to use elbow macaroni or any small pasta shape you prefer. Its small size allows it to soak up the flavors of the broth and vegetables, creating a hearty and satisfying dish. If you’re watching your weight, you can use whole wheat pasta 

Garlic: Just one peeled clove of garlic for extra flavor. As always, avoid garlic powder: fresh garlic will ensure the best results!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will grease the pan and coat the vegetables, bringing all the flavors together while adding a hint of fruity aroma. You can also opt for a dab of butter, but I find that oil is better for this recipe. 

Sage Leaves: to flavor the oil at the beginning of the cooking process. Alternatively, you can also use bay leaves.

Carrot, Celery, and Onion: As you may already know, the stir-fried combination of these three fresh vegetables is also called soffritto. These aromatic vegetables provide sweetness, depth, and texture to the dish, enhancing its overall taste.

Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth will infuse your pasta e fagioli with a rich and robust flavor while keeping it vegetarian-friendly. As I was saying, although some of us are used to making pasta e fagioli with beef broth, many variants are made using only veggies. If you are making your own broth, I recommend using the same ingredients you’ll use for the soffritto along with a few cloves. However, store-bought broth will do just fine. 

Canned Cannellini Beans: While traditionally, beans are soaked overnight and boiled for at least an hour, canned borlotti beans offer a convenient alternative for busy cooks. They’re pre-cooked and ready to use, saving time without sacrificing taste or texture. You can use white beans or red kidney beans as well.

Peeled Tomatoes or Tomato Paste: they’ll add a tangy sweetness and vibrant color to our pasta e fagioli. Whether you prefer the chunkiness of whole tomatoes, the concentrated flavor of tomato paste, or even plain tomato sauce, all these options work wonderfully in this dish.

Salt and Pepper: to enhance the flavor of each ingredient.

Parmesan Cheese (Optional): A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor to our dish. For a vegan pasta e fagioli, simply omit the cheese.

Red Pepper Flakes (Optional): if you like your meals spicy, add some red pepper flakes or some chili oil.

As per usual, the exact amounts are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. Now, to the cooking process!

pasta fagioli recipe no meat-pasta fagioli soup


Prepare the Pot: In a large pot, heat some extra virgin olive oil. Rub the peeled garlic against the surface of the pot and sauté it for about 30 seconds along with 3 fresh sage leaves.

Sauté the Vegetables: Add diced carrots, onions, and celery. Sauté for a minute, then remove the garlic and sage and add a ladle of vegetable broth. Let the vegetables stew until the broth has completely evaporated. It should take about 10 minutes.

pasta fagioli recipe no meat-vegetarian pasta e fagioli instructions

Add Tomatoes: When the time has passed, cut the peeled tomatoes into wedges and add them to the pot. Let them soften for 5 minutes, mashing them with a wooden spoon.

pasta fagioli recipe no meat-adding tomatoes

Add Beans and Broth: Add the beans and another ladle of broth. Cook for another 10 minutes.

cooking beans

Cook the Pasta: Add the ditalini and the remaining broth to the pot. Ideally, the broth should reach the surface of the pasta, without going higher. This will ensure that it will be completely absorbed/evaporated around the same time the pasta is al dente. Cook, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add a bit of water to keep the pasta submerged.

cooking vegetarian pasta e fagioli

This cooking method, similar to that used for risotto, helps retain the pasta’s starch, which binds with the fats from the other ingredients to create a creamy texture.

Finish the Dish: Once the pasta is al dente, remove the pot from the heat and move it to a cool place. Add some Parmesan cheese, cover with a lid, and let it rest for five minutes.

Serve: Stir the pasta well and serve with additional Parmesan cheese as desired.

vegetarian pasta e fagioli final look

What’s the Difference Between Pasta Fazool and Minestrone Soup?

Both minestrone and pasta e fagioli are classic Italian soups that use beans and short pasta. They share elements like parmesan rind and savory broth. However, while minestrone is packed with vegetables, pasta e fagioli is a little simpler in the making and is usually made with less broth. If you want to learn more about it, Gianna has written a handy article about the difference between pasta e fagioli and minestrone

Have fun making this vegetarian pasta e fagioli at home. As per usual, I’ll leave you with the recipe card. You can use it as a shopping list and also put it in cooking mode so that your phone doesn’t shut down while your following the instructions. Let me know if you like it, and make it nice! 🙂


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pasta fagioli recipe no meat-pasta e fagioli without meat (1)

Traditionally Vegetarian: Easy Pasta & Fagioli Recipe

  • Author: Mortadella Head
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Enjoy a hearty and flavorful pasta e fagioli without meat! Discover our vegetarian recipe that’s sure to become your new favorite comfort food.



14 oz canned beans

14 oz ditalini pasta

a clove of garlic (peeled)

4 sage leaves

a carrot, a celery stick, and half an onion (finely diced)

4 peeled Roma tomatoes or 2 tbsp tomato paste.

2 cups vegetable broth

A drizzle of olive oil

​Parmesan cheese to taste (optional)*

salt to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat some extra virgin olive oil. Rub the peeled garlic against the pot’s surface and sauté for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add diced carrot, onion, and celery. Sauté for a minute, then add a ladle of vegetable broth and stew until evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add cut peeled tomatoes to the pot, soften for 5 minutes, and mash with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add beans and another ladle of broth. Cook for 10 more minutes.
  5. Add ditalini and the remaining broth to the pot. Ensure broth just covers the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed to keep pasta submerged.
  6. Once pasta is al dente, remove from heat. Add Parmesan cheese, cover, and let rest for five minutes.
  7. Stir well and serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.


*You can replace this with nutritional yeast to make this recipe completely vegan

Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate generated with VeryWellFit’s online calculator. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed. If you need this information for medical reasons please check with your doctor. 

  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 Minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 487
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 677mg
  • Fat: 8.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 88.2g
  • Fiber: 12.8g
  • Protein: 21.9g
  • Cholesterol: 12mg

Keywords: pasta fazool, pasta e fasule, vegan pasta e fagioli, pasta dish, pasta e fagioli soup, pasta soup recipe, bean soup, traditional pasta e fagioli, vegetarian pasta fagioli recipe, authentic pasta e fagioli, hearty soup, traditional Italian soup, canned beans recipes

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