White bean and pasta soup is a cozy soup for a cool day or a quick weekday dinner. You can use white beans that you’ve cooked, canned beans, or leftover beans. Use what’s convenient.
What’s really nice about this bean soup recipe is that it’s versatile. Toss in a handful or two of spinach when you add the pasta. Add cooked rice or quinoa instead of pasta. If you want to make it lower-carb, omit the pasta.
Season it the way you like, using aromatic Italian herbs like you see here, or go Cajun with garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, and a touch of brown sugar.
White Bean and Pasta Soup
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Making homemade soup instead of buying it premade means you don’t have to rely on processed foods as often.
You can use cannellini beans, northern beans, navy and lima beans, and the larger type which are butter beans or Fordhook beans.
Follow my step-by-step guide down below to make your own homemade bean and pasta soup. It’s a forgiving recipe and easy to make with various ingredients. With just 15 minutes total prep and cook time, you can make it most anytime.
What You Need to Make Pasta and White Bean Soup
There is more detail about quantities about the ingredients below but I wanted to spell out the difference in quantity if you are using dried beans or canned beans.
- 4 cups great northern or navy beans, cooked, rinsed, and drained <OR> 2 cans white beans
- Vegetable or mushroom stock (or chicken broth if that’s to your liking)
- Sweet onion
- Minced garlic
- Sea salt and coarse ground black pepper
- Uncooked pasta shells
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
How to Make White Bean and Pasta Soup
- In a large pot, combine beans, broth, onion, garlic, tomatoes, spices, and salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Lower the heat to medium and stir in the pasta. Cook, partially covered, for 7 – 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente’.
Serve a sprinkling of cheese or chopped green onions on top.
Tips for Making
Plan ahead if you want to use dried beans. Rinse dried white beans and soak overnight in a large bowl. Be sure to over the beans with water at least an inch deep.
For me, it’s easiest to cook them in a crockpot. Simply put the soaked beans with remaining water in a slow cooker until they become soft. You may need to add more water. Set them on low all day and then use them for the soup recipe for dinner. You can also set the crockpot on high and cook less time.
To do this even faster, cook dried beans in an Instant Pot. (I have not tried this yet. My husband is the InstaPot chef.)
Garnish with parsley, fresh basil leaves, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning or oregano on top. Add fresh spinach leaves at the end. You can also make white bean soup with pasta and sausage if you aren’t vegetarian. Or drop in some sliced vegan sausage as long as it’s palm oil free. Many “plant based foods” are not.
Other names for this include Italian bean soup and Tuscan white bean soup (when you add spinach).
Can you freeze white bean soup?
Freeze it in sealed containers for up to three months.
How do you store white bean soup?
Store it in the refrigerator in glass jars or covered containers. It will keep for up to five days.
Easy and Delicious
This is a palm oil free soup that you can also make vegan and vegetarian depending the ingredients you use.
With gluten free pasta, it becomes gluten free as well. Just be sure there aren’t mono- & diglycerides in the ingredients as they are typically derived from palm oil. Pasta noodles made from chickpeas or red lentil flour is usually okay. Read labels.
I stopped buying most processed foods because my son has a palm oil allergy and intolerance. Palm oil is common in many types of foods. We’re glad it’s not in canned beans, so we can easily make this soup. We also buy beans in bulk to always have some on hand. It’s an affordable way to fill your pantry with shelf-stable items.
If you make this Italian white bean and pasta recipe, please leave a rating, and let me know how it was in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you and learn new ideas. Love cooking with herbs? Check out this pesto recipe with basil.
White Bean and Pasta Soup
- 4 cups great northern, cannellini, or white navy beans cooked, rinsed, and drained (or 2 cans white beans)
- 6 cups vegetable or mushroom stock or chicken broth if preferred
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 medium tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons basil
- sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup uncooked pasta shells
- 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese freshly grated
- In a large pot, combine beans, broth, onion, garlic, tomatoes, spices, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Lower the heat to medium and stir in the pasta. Cook, partially covered, for 7-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente’.
- Serve a sprinkling of cheese or chopped green onions on top.