Leftover Pasta and Bean Soup

A Satisfying Way to Use Leftovers: Leftover Pasta and Bean Soup

If you find yourself with leftover pasta and beans, don’t let them go to waste – transform them into a hearty and comforting leftover pasta and bean soup. View the recipe below!

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Leftover Pasta and Bean Soup

Leftover Pasta and Bean Soup

In my family, this leftover pasta and bean soup is a beloved tradition. It's a testament to the art of home cooking, where nothing goes to waste, and every ingredient plays a crucial role in creating a delicious meal. This soup is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, combining the tender pasta with the creamy beans, all simmered in a rich and aromatic broth.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 cups leftover cooked pasta (any variety)
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (a lesser-known spice that adds depth)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Fresh greenery for garnish (optional)


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables become tender and aromatic, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the dried thyme and bay leaf, and stir for another minute to release their flavors.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth, and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Add the leftover pasta and cannellini beans to the pot. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes until the pasta is heated through and slightly softened.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and greenery (if used) for an extra layer of flavor.


Cooking Tips for the Best Results:

  1. Use any pasta variety you have on hand, but smaller shapes like ditalini or orzo work especially well in this soup.
  2. Don’t rush the sautéing step. Let the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery cook until they develop a sweet aroma and turn slightly translucent.
  3. Feel free to customize your soup with additional vegetables or herbs you have available, like spinach or rosemary.
  4. To make this soup heartier, add some cooked sausage slices or shredded chicken.
  5. For a touch of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on your individual serving.

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FAQs about the Leftover Pasta and Bean Soup Recipe

Can I use canned beans instead of leftovers?

Absolutely, canned beans work perfectly in this recipe. Simply substitute them for the leftover beans and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes, this soup freezes well. Just let it cool completely, portion it into airtight containers, and freeze for up to three months.

Can I use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth?

Yes, you can use chicken broth if you prefer. It will add a different layer of flavor to the soup.

What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of water or broth to prevent it from becoming too thick.

Can I make this soup ahead of time?

Absolutely, this soup actually tastes better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld. Just reheat it before serving.

Related Recipes and Culinary Articles

Read more here for additional info about leftover pasta. Also, I recommend other interesting articles related to this topic, including articles on Leftover Pasta Primavera, Leftover Pasta Frittata, Leftover Spaghetti Salad, Leftover Spaghetti Casserole, Bacon and Leftover Pasta Casserole, Cheesy Leftover Pasta Bake, Leftover Pasta Stir-Fry, Leftover Pasta with Pesto Sauce, Leftover Creamy Alfredo Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and more.

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