Is pasta e fagioli vegan?
This version is, and traditionally always has been, at least in my family. I’m seeing several versions on the web using pork meat, but according to my ancestors, this dish is not only vegetarian, but also vegan.
What is pasta e fagioli?
Vegetarian pasta e fagioli (or vegan) uses a light tomato broth, traditionally combined with white kidney beans or pinto beans, plus some ditali pasta. I like to add some red kidney beans to the mix as well for nice pops of colour.
Either way, the beans are the star of the show in this classic Italian recipe, using more beans than pasta.
Traditionally, this dish started as a peasant dish because it uses inexpensive ingredients. This version has a bit more oomph with a little white wine to sauté the veggies. The flavour balance is absolutely incredible and I know you’re going to love this one!
How to make pasta e fagioli
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
This easy, one pot vegetarian pasta e fagioli recipe is very simple to make.
Start by gathering all your ingredients. Then chop up your veggies.
Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots to a large sauce pot or deep skillet, along with a tablespoon or two of water.
Sauté until your veggies are softened, about 5 minutes. Then, pour in the wine and continue to sauté until it is mostly absorbed, which will take about 4-5 minutes.
The alcohol content will cook out, however, if you still wish to avoid it, you may skip this step entirely.
Next, add all the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT the pasta. (The pasta is only added in the last 10 minutes of cooking.)
Mix well, secure with a lid and let that simmer for about 20 minutes. The broth will reduce slightly, but just make sure you keep the lid on, to prevent it from reducing too much.
Now add your pasta to the soup and give it a stir. Return the lid to the pot, leaving it slightly askew to let some steam escape and cook for another 10 minutes.
The pasta should be al dente, and not overcooked, so start checking on it around the 8 minute mark.
Your pasta e fagioli is ready when the pasta is slightly tender. Remove from the heat immediately as the pasta will continue to cook and absorb the broth even once removed from the heat.
Then serve with some fresh parsley or vegan parmesan cheese and enjoy.
Can you make pasta e fagioli in the Instant Pot?
Yes! I’m happy to report that I’ve made the dish both ways, on stove top and in the Instant Pot. Both ways taste great!
Just sauté the veggies in the Instant Pot, instead of on stove top. Next, add the white wine, if using, and sauté until absorbed.
Then add all remaining ingredients, plus 1 additional cup of broth and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Once complete, quick release and serve immediately.
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
You make this ahead of time, in one of two ways. Fully prepare and cook your broth but don’t add the pasta. The pasta will absorb much of the broth if left in your soup for too long. So, if you’ve already made the broth ahead, when you’re reheating it on the stove, add the pasta 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve.
Alternatively, you may cook the pasta separately from the soup, then mix it in just before serving to prevent the pasta from overcooking.
How long does it keep?
This dish is best eaten when freshly made. As the soup sits, the pasta will continue to absorb the tomato broth. Although it still tastes great, it will go from soup to stew as it sits.
If you do have leftovers, you may store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and add a little extra broth when reheating to make up for the absorption.
If you want to freeze this one, keep the pasta out for now, and freeze the soup portion. When ready to serve, cook your pasta and mix it in.
I do not recommend freezing this mixed together, since the pasta will get very soggy. I also don’t love the texture of frozen and thawed pasta, so it’s best eaten freshly made.
More favourite Italian recipes
- Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms with Italian Style Risotto
- Pasta Aglio e Olio (Pasta w/ Garlic & Oil)
- Sneaky Zucchini Meatballs
- Italian Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Sauce
- Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
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- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 large carrots peeled & chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 19 oz can red kidney beans drained & rinsed
- 19 oz can white kidney beans drained & rinsed
- 1 cup tomato sauce or crushed canned tomatoes
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp crushed fresh basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1.5 cup ditali or ditalini pasta
- Add the onion, carrot and celery to a deep skillet, or sauce pot with a tablespoon or two of water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and continue to sauté until the wine is mostly absorbed by the vegetables. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the pasta to your pot, mix well and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Then add the pasta, give it a stir and continue cooking with the lid on, but slightly askew for another 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Do not overcook.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves and serve.
Instant Pot Directions
- Set your pot to sauté and add the onion, carrot and celery with a tablespoon or two of water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Then add the wine and continue to sauté until the wine is mostly absorbed by the vegetables. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients plus 1 extra cup of broth (7 cups total, instead of 6) and mix well. Close your lid, setting the valve to the sealing position. Set the pot to high pressure for 4 minutes (it will take about 10-15 minutes to reach pressure) and quick release once complete.
- Remove the lid as soon as you're able to do so to prevent the pasta from overcooking. Remove and discard the bay leaves and serve.