Pasta E Fagioli with Tempeh, Protein Rich Hearty Soup

Pasta E Fagioli is a traditional Italian soup made with cannelloni beans (also called white kidney beans or Fagioli beans) or with any small sized pastas in a mild tomato base with meat. I made a vegan version by replacing the meat with tempeh and by adding more ingredients that are typically not found in this hearty dish.

What about the protein? This recipe has total 54 grams of protein just from tempeh, cannellini beans, and great Northern beans. That is nearly 11-13 grams of protein per serving from 3 main ingredients.

While my version is inspired by this authentic Italian dish, this recipe is unique and rest assured, is equally filling and delicious, if not more so.

Have a one big bowl of this soup with your favorite piece of bread and I promise that your tummy and your taste buds will be thoroughly satisfied. The best part is that it is so easy to make that anyone do it!

So what is Tempeh? This Indonesian plant-based protein source is made with fermented soybeans and contains 31 grams of protein in just 1 cup. The texture is very firm & dry and the taste is strong and nutty. But don’t let that scare you if you have not tried it yet. It is way more nutritious than Tofu because of the fermentation process. I personally like tofu more but Tempeh goes much better in this recipe.

If you are skeptical about trying Tempeh for the first time, the best option is to add it to curry or soup. That way its strong flavor can be toned down. This trick works great in general when trying out any new ingredients for the first time and if you decide that you like it, you’d add more fun options to your diet.

So, make sure to add tempeh to your next grocery list. It is easily available in most of the grocery stores. You can also make it without, but why skip on more protein & flavors? Now that you’ve got more than one reason to make vegan pasta E fagioli, let me know how you like it!

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Prep Time 10 minutes, Cook time 20 minutes (Instapot)

Servings: 5-6

Cuisine: Italian


Fresh Veggies: Going into the chopper so cut them into big chunks, except spinach.

≈ 1 small white Onion

≈ 7 cloves peeled Garlic- keep whole

≈ 8-9 Roma Tomatoes or use 2 cups crushed tomatoes from cans

≈ Carrots – 10-12 Baby carrots or 2 medium carrots

≈ Celery sticks – about 2 stalks

≈ Spinach – At least 1 ½ cup

Other Ingredients:

≈ 1 15.oz can of cooked Cannellini (White Kidney) beans -rinsed & dried

≈ 1 15.oz can of cooked Great Northern beans – rinsed & dried

≈ 5 cups vegetable broth

≈ ½ to ¾ cup small shell, ditalini, elbow, or any small sized pasta – uncooked

≈ 1 cup of Tempeh – Remove the packaging, pop it in the microwave for 25 seconds, keep aside 1 cup and freeze the rest for a later use.

≈ 1 tbs paprika

≈ ½ cup marinara sauce

≈ ½ tbs each: dried rosemary & red pepper flakes

≈ 1 tbs paprika

≈ 2 tbs of Italian seasoning

≈ 2 tbs of olive oil – recommended, but use canola or vegetable oil if you don’t have it

≈ black pepper & salt, to taste


1. Using Chopper chop the following:

» Chop Onions and garlic. Remove keep aside.

» Chop tomato chunks and keep aside

» Chop celery and carrots together. Keep aside

2. Cooking :


1) Press Instapot Sauté and add olive oil.

2) As oil heats up, add chopped onions and garlic. Once it turns little brown, add chopped celery & carrots.

3) Add Italian seasonings, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, and black pepper

4) Add chopped tomatoes, beans, marinara sauce, pastas.

5) Add salt, paprika and mix well

6) Add vegetable broth and Tempeh. Stir to combine.

7) Press pressure cook, keep on High, and reduce the temperature to 20 minutes.

8) Manually release the pressure. Add chopped spinach and mix lightly.

9) It’s done! Dig in while it’s still hot!


1) Get a large soup pot. Add Olive Oil on a medium heat. Follow the steps from 2 to 7 from the above method.

2) Cover halfway and cook for 15 minutes on medium high. Add Spinach, mix lightly and you are done! Dig in while it’s still hot!

Enjoy it with a piece of crusty bread or a slice of pizza. Tempeh tastes like another type of flat beans in this soup. It absorbs all the flavors and you can’t tell it’s there! What better way to sneak Protein into your kids’ meal?


1)Add more vegetable broth if you rather have thinner consistency soup. I like mine chunky.

2)Leftovers? Pasta absorbs liquid quickly and you may need to add more broth the next day before heating up the soup.

3)Freeze? If you are planning on freezing it, I recommend cooking pasta separately. Soup base & cooked pastas can be stored for up to 2 months in separate containers.

4)For serving frozen: mix the base and pasta in a bowl, microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until heated well. Cook it on a stove-top for 10 -15 minutes, Bring it to boil.

5)Make it Gluten Free by using GF pasta and Tempeh. Many brands are already GF, just check the labels.

Try it out and add more plant-based protein in your routine. Until the next post – Eat more Plants!

Did you try this recipe?
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