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Olive Garden has to be one of my favorite restaurants. I could eat their endless soup and salad for days! However, eating there every night is not in our budget. Check out this copycat Pasta e Fagioli soup. You won’t be disappointed! It can be prepared in either an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker.



  • 2/3 cup dried white great northern or navy beans
  • 2/3 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped or sliced
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, boiled til tender
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian blend seasoning (OR substitute 1/2 teaspoon each dried basil, dried thyme, and dried oregano)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • fresh basil, cracked black pepper, grated parmesan cheese (for topping)


  1. *Must be completed the night before* Prepare the beans. Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight or 6-8 hours, then drain and rinse.

  2. 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.

    The following instructions are for using an Instant Pot. For slow cooker instructions, check out the recipe notes.

  3. 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.

  4. Switch Instant Pot to the “soup” setting. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, beans, crushed red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and stir to combine.

  5. 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.”

  6. Stir in ditalini pasta, garnish with cracked black pepper, fresh basil, and grated parmesan cheese if desired and serve.

    Slow Cooker Instructions:

    To make this soup in a Slow Cooker, complete step 3 on the stovetop rather than in the slow cooker or IP (saute the meat, onions, and garlic in a pan on the stove over medium heat). Combine ingredients in step 4 in your 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 in step 5. Enjoy!