It’s officially spring, but we got snow and more snow! When life gives you snow, break out the instant pot (or crock pot) and make SOUP!  No snow day is complete without a heaping bowl of Pasta E Fagioli or as we like to say, “Macaroni and Beans”; somehow that just doesn’t have the same ring to it!  Okay, let me try again, “Pasta E Fagioli”, better, huh?  Now let’s talk taste and flavor…once you’ve tried this soup, you won’t need the snow excuse to make some.  It works well as a main course; we have no trouble gobbling it down by the bowlful. Try it with a salad and crusty bread and you have a complete meal.  As the weather warms up, it makes a great appetizer…the perfect start to any dinner. It’s a seriously incredible soup and will take you through every single season. Shout out to my friend, Leah, and her Italian heritage for giving me the inspiration to try my hands (and the instant pot) with this Italian soup.

Pasta E Fagioli Soup (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)

An excellent, no-fuss Italian soup simmered to perfection and packed full of fresh veggies and  Italian sausage. 

Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed mild or spicy
  • ½ yellow or white onion diced
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes not drained
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup macaroni or ditalini pasta
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 15 ounce can dried white great northern or navy beans
  • 1 15 ounce can dried red kidney beans
  • grated parmesan cheese (for topping)


Instant Pot

  1. Press the "saute" function on the instant pot, then add the Italian sausage, and onions and saute for 5 minutes until sausage is browned. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer until fragrant. Remove the sausage and onions and set aside. 

  2. Add olive oil and saute the carrots and onion until slightly tender about 3 minutes. 

  3. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, celery, carrots, macaroni, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and stir to combine. Return the sausage to the pot. 

  4. Lock the lid in place and adjust the pressure release to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Turn the release valve for a "quick release" allowing steam to vent for about 4 minutes.

  5. Stir in the beans and leave on warm for 5 minutes. Serve with grated parmesan cheese if desired and serve.

Slow Cooker

  1. In a large skillet, saute sausage, onions, and garlic on the stove top until sausage has browned.

  2. Add sausage to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients to the pot (except for pasta), cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 4-6 hours. 

  3. Before serving cook pasta on stove according to instructions. 

  4. Stir the pasta into the soup, and serve and garnish with parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

If you do not want to use canned beans, cook dried beans ahead of time in the instant pot.  Simply, rinse the beans and pick out any undesirables; add the beans to the Instant Pot,  cover beans with water; lock the lid and select the "bean/chili" button. 

Be sure to put the pasta in last and on top. it does not need to be submerged in the liquid. The high-pressure steam will force its way into the pasta and cook it. but by placing it on top, you ensure that you won't have any pasta sticking to the bottom. 

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