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Meatless Monday: Turn pasta e fagioli into a hearty 30-minute casserole

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Baked pasta e fagioli is a cheesy twist on the traditional Italian soup

You might know this favorite Italian restaurant dish better as a hearty soup, but I've gone and baked it up for a cheesy and hearty main dish. You'll love digging in and coming out with a forkful of pasta, beans, veggies, seasonings and cheese.

Baked pasta e fagioli is a cheesy twist on the traditional Italian soup

Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) is an Italian classic you might be familiar with. Normally it’s served as a hearty soup, but I thought baking it would bring a fun twist to your main dish.

Baked pasta e fagioli is a cheesy twist on the traditional Italian soup

This is a perfect Meatless Monday meal: It’s definitely filling, full of flavor, and you’ll really like that it’s easy to make. If you’d like an added veggie for this dish, add about 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves to the mixture while it’s on the stove during the last several minutes of cooking time.

Baked pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) recipe

This classic Italian soup gets baked to perfection for a tasty twist. This meal is light yet filling and easy to make.

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes


  • 8 ounces uncooked small penne pasta
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced white onion
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 red bell pepper, membrane and seeds removed, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking dish with the nonstick cooking spray, and set it aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. When done, drain it, but reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Set the pasta aside, and keep it warm.
  3. As the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot and bell pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the beans, vegetable broth and the reserved pasta water. Then add the salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and rosemary.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, and add the pasta to it. Cook for a few minutes on high heat, tossing to combine.
  6. Remove from the heat, and add 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and the parsley to the mixture. Stir to combine, then transfer to the baking dish. Cover the top of the mixture with the breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crunchy.
  8. Remove from the oven, and allow the mixture to cool slightly before serving, garnished with the extra parsley.

meatless monday

More Meatless Monday recipes

Orzo salad with broccoli, chickpeas and feta
Crabless cakes with lightened-up rémoulade
Cold noodle and bok choy salad with zesty sesame dressing

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