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Favorite Italian Restaurant Pasta Fagioli Made Skinny

You’ll love, love, love this rich, hearty, fiber packed soup! Perfect to make this week. It tastes very similar to the pasta e fagioli at Olive Garden.  It’s one of the lowest-fat items on the Olive Garden menu, with 2.5 of fat per serving.  My recipe actually contains more calories than theirs does because I’ve added more beans and veggies.  The skinny for 1 cup of soup, 156 calories, 2 grams fat, 6 grams of fiber and 4 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.  So flavorful, this recipe makes a TON of soup to stock your freezer with.  It’s great as a first course or make the serving size 1½ to 2 cups and it becomes a very filling main-course soup. You’ll want to add this satisfying dish to your soup repertoire.  It’s a keeper for sure!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Favorite Italian Restaurant Pasta Fagioli Made Skinny

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey, see shopping tip

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 cups onions, chopped

4 carrots, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (28oz) can tomatoes, diced

1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (16 oz) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (16 oz) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained

3 (10oz) cans reduced-sodium beef broth

1 (24 oz) jar marinara or pasta sauce, I used Prego’s Heart Smart pasta sauce

½ cup water

1 zucchini, chopped

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

6 ounces whole wheat penne pasta

Grated Parmesan cheese to top each bowl with, optional


1. Brown beef in a large nonstick soup pot. Drain in a colander in sink.

2. In the same pot, heat olive oil.  Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir often.

3. Add drained beef back to pot.  Stir in canned tomatoes, beans, beef broth, pasta sauce, zucchini, water, Italian seasonings and pepper.

4. Bring soup up to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for 50 minutes.

5. Add pasta to soup.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes longer until pasta is ready.  If you like a thinner soup, just add another ½ cup water or so.

6. Ladle soup into a small bowl or cup.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired

7. This soup freezes great!

Makes 20 cups (each serving, 1 cup)

Healthy Benefits

Beans are loaded with protein and fiber. They actually contain a wider variety of healthy nutrients than most foods.  These include calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, folate, and alpha-linolenic acid.

Just by browning the beef and draining the fat before adding it to the soup, you’ll cut way down on the fat.  It’s a simple prep tip that makes browning any type of meat healthier.

Shopping Tips

Look for the leanest ground beef in your supermarket.  I bought mine at Trader Joe’s.

Storage Tip

Freeze leftover soup in pint size containers.  Stores like Smart and Final sell deli style plastic containers that are perfect to freeze in.  They’re very reasonably priced.

Weight Watchers
(old points) 2

Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 4

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup skinny pasta fagioli
156 calories, 2g fat, 12g protein, 25g carbs, 6g fiber, 438mg sodium, 6g sugar

FAT FACTS: for 1 serving Olive Gardens Pasta E. Fagioli
130 calories, 2.5g fat, 17g carbs, 6g fiber, 680g sodium, 6g sugar

Find more delicious recipes on Nancy Fox’s website, Skinny Kitchen

Nancy Fox

Nancy Fox is no stranger to the food industry. She founded Mrs. Beasley's, a gift-basket company featuring baskets full of decadent baked goods. It became the "hot" gift to give among the Hollywood community. 
Nancy later opened 2 low fat restaurants called Nancy’s Healthy Kitchen. Her line of reduced-fat cookies were featured on "Oprah's Favorites" gift show. Continuing her passion for cooking and baking Nancy created a recipe website called Skinny Kitchen. Each week she shares skinny recipes, cooking and kitchen tips, food finds and the healthy benefits of many recipes. There’s also nutritional facts and Weight Watchers POINTS on each recipe.

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