This healthy Pasta Fagioli with Greens is a comforting, stick-to-your-ribs soup that’s satisfying and full of flavor. Made with inexpensive ingredients, this dish is easy to make and may become a new family favorite!
When the cold weather rolls around, I start craving comfort food. Even here in South Florida, the temperature’s been dropping pretty low lately- I actually had to pull out my winter boots last week!
For me, the ultimate comfort food is a piping hot bowl of soup. Spending a lazy Sunday afternoon with my family, cozy and warm indoors while a big pot of hearty soup simmers away on the stove- that’s my happy place!
Why You'll Love This Dish
- Delicious and hearty- the perfect comfort food!
- Made with inexpensive ingredients
- Healthy- full of nutritious ingredients
- Kid-friendly- the whole family will love this dish!
What is Pasta Fagioli?
Pasta fagioli is a classic Italian soup. Meaning “pasta and beans,” it’s a rustic dish with humble, peasant origins made with inexpensive ingredients. It’s a comforting, stick-to-your-ribs dish that’s satisfying and full of flavor!
How to Make Pasta Fagioli
Pasta fagioli is made by simmering ditalini pasta and cannellini beans in a tomato-based broth with fresh herbs. It’s a hearty vegetarian dish that the whole family will love!
To make my healthy pasta fagioli, I like to add some leafy greens. Although they're not a traditional component of the soup, the greens adds depth of flavor, heartiness and a host of nutrients.
Incorporating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits including leafy greens into your diet can help boost your intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It can also lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and some cancers as well as promote a healthy immune system.
Yet unfortunately, most of us don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. How can you incorporate more leafy greens into your diet?
Simple ways to incorporate leafy greens into your diet:
- Pasta- Stir chopped greens into your favorite pasta sauce for a quick boost of nutrients. Try my Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale. You can also make a stuffed pasta dish (like stuffed shells) and add cooked greens to the cheese filling. Or make a pesto with fresh greens like this Fettuccini with Collard Greens Pesto and Grilled Shrimp.
- Stir fry- Make an Asian stir-fry dish with chicken, shrimp or tofu and stir in some greens at the end. Cook them for just a few minutes so that they still have a bite. Try my Shrimp Stir Fry with Noodles.
- Pizza- Have a pizza night and let the whole family add their own toppings. Include plenty of veggies including leafy greens sautéed with garlic.
- Tacos- Try vegetarian tacos for Taco Tuesday. Make a filling with sautéed greens and sweet potatoes. Set up a toppings bar with your favorite toppings like guacamole, salsa, and cheese.
- Smoothies- Blend greens with fresh berries and almond milk for a quick and easy green smoothie. Try my Hydrating Green Smoothie.
- Salads- Try mixing up your salad greens and use kale or turnip greens instead of lettuce.
- Soups- Soups like my Pasta Fagioli are a great way to eat more greens. Stir them into the soup right at the end and simmer for a few minutes until wilted.
This Pasta Fagioli with Greens recipe is part of my Best Fall Soup Recipes Collection.
More Soup Recipes
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Pasta Fagioli with Greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 2 quarts reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cans (15.5 oz) reduced sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups ditalini pasta or other small pasta
- 5 ounces chopped leafy greens like turnip greens, Swiss chard or kale
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus extra for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5–6 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and bay leaf and cook another minute until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth and raise the heat to bring it to a simmer.
- Place about a quarter cup of beans in a bowl and add a little bit of the cooking liquid. Mash them together to form a paste and add it to the pot along with the rest of the whole beans. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for 20 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, uncovered. Stir in the greens and cook another 5 minutes until wilted. Stir in the cheese.
- Taste the soup and season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with extra grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Soup will thicken as it stands.