Freezer Meal Recipes: Olive Garden Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Recipe
We love a good Olive Garden copycat recipe!
I actually made a few different copycat recipes for the Pasta e Fagioli soup before I chose this one as my favorite. One of my neighbors/friends used to work at Olive Garden and this is the recipe she uses too. I’m not saying it is the Olive Garden recipe, but I do think it is a pretty good copycat! Either way it is a great soup recipe!
Like many soup recipes, it is easy and quick to throw it all together, freezes well, and it is nice for feeding a large crowd too. The only ingredient that I don’t regularly have on hand is the V-8 juice. No problem though, it is easy to find at any grocery store. Find coupons.
I recently learned about some cool shortcut techniques for chopping onions and how to julienne carrots.
How to Dice an Onion
- Cut the onion in half through the root and stem ends.
- Peel the onion.
- Place one half cut-side-down on a cutting board.
- Make fan-shaped cuts around the dome of the onion from the stem end to the root end, without cutting through the root end.
- Then slice across the cuts and you have diced onion!
Of course, you can also peel and chop the onion into quarters, removing the stem and root ends, and place the pieces in a food processor. Then pulse a few times until the onion pieces reach the desired size. More dirty dishes though!
How to Julienne Carrots
- Peel the carrot.
- Slice the carrot at a sharp angle, making elongated oval discs.
- Stack three or four of the ovals on top of one another.
- Cut through the stack creating matchstick carrot pieces, or julienne.
The ground beef is browned, the veggies are chopped, the seasonings are measured, and the cans are opened!
Add the chopped veggies and minced garlic to the pot and saute for about 10 minutes.
Then dump in all of the other ingredients, except the pasta, and let it simmer for an hour. Before the soup is done simmering, cook the ditali pasta according to the package instructions.
Stir in the drained, cooked pasta, let it all simmer a few more minutes and the soup is done! Enjoy for dinner and freeze the leftovers! Of if you are going to freeze it right away, I would skip the last few minutes of simmering and just let it cool.
To help give you an idea of the amount of soup in one batch, my red Dutch oven in the picture is 6.5 quarts. For my family of 2 adults and 3 small children, this recipe makes two entrees. So, I would make one batch to get two possible freezer meals.
See More Copycat Recipes!
This recipe is slightly adapted from TopSecretRecipes.com.
Thanks for sharing Peter Hertzmann’s methods on cutting onions and carrots, Food Gal!
Learn more about Freezer Meal Cooking:
- Benefits of making freezer meals
- Freezer Meal Recipes
- How to start a Freezer Meal Group
- How to Shop for Freezer Meal Recipes
- How to Prepare Freezer Meals
- What Foods Don’t Freeze Well