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Pasta e Fagioli with Greens | The Recipe ReDux

Pasta e Fagioli with Greens | The Recipe ReDux

Hearty Italian comfort food with an extra nutrition kick: Pasta and Bean Soup with Greens.

Hearty Italian comfort food with an extra nutrition kick: Pasta and Bean Soup with Greens (sprinkled with Nutritional Yeast) @tspbasil

This month’s Recipe ReDux theme:

A New Ingredient for the New Year

Pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try… and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. Are you curious about fish sauce, matcha, teff – or maybe even ugli fruit? Show us how you’re cooking with something new (to you!) in 2016.

So, what’s my new ingredient? (Clearly it’s not pasta, beans or leafy greens – items that are regularly in my kitchen.)

It’s actually nutritional yeast. I’ve been curious about trying it for awhile now -to see what it taste like and learn more about its nutritional benefits.

Rather that come up with some funky out-of-the box recipe, I figured I’d follow the food advice I’ve always given parents when it comes to feeding kids – serve a new food with familiar and well-liked foods.

And pasta is my security blanket 🙂

Hearty Italian comfort food with an extra nutrition kick: Pasta and Bean Soup with Greens (sprinkled with Nutritional Yeast) @tspbasil

I’ve been making a version of pasta bean soup or “Pasta Fah-jule” for many years but ironically I’ve never posted a recipe for it. Probably because it’s one of those recipes that I know by heart and I eyeball the ingredients instead of precisely measuring.

Traditional Pasta e Fagioli gets a nutrition upgrade via @tspbasil #thereciperedux Click To Tweet

It’s also one of those recipes where I use kidney beans one time then pinto beans the next. Dilanti pasta this time then whole wheat elbows another time. It’s truly of those “use what you have on hand” recipes which I’m trying to cook more of in 2016 as way to be mindful about food waste and food dollars.

So onto the point of the post: nutritional yeast.

You can buy it in powder form (I bought Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning at my Whole Foods.) It’s dry yeast fortified with B vitamins including Vitamin B12, which is naturally found in animal foods.

Nutritional yeast is the perfect topper for this vegan Pasta e Fagioli @tspbasil

Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve growth, creating DNA and producing energy in the body and if you are vegetarian or vegan, you need to get it through fortified food or supplements. Nutritional yeast powders (read the label to make sure B12 is an ingredient!) typically are a good source of B12 – the Bragg product provides 40% of the Daily Value needed for adults in one serving (one tablespoon.)

I found it to be meaty tasting in a mushroom flavor way – it’s definitely the definition of the savory taste of umami. And while it didn’t taste like my favorite aged Asiago, it still was a nice flavor enhancer to my bowl of vegan Pasta e Fagioli.

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Hearty Italian comfort food with an extra nutrition kick: Pasta and Bean Soup with Greens (sprinkled with Nutritional Yeast) @tspbasil

Pasta e Fagioli with Greens

  • Yield: Makes 6 (1 cup) servings. 1x


Traditional pasta e fagioli gets a nutrient upgrade with the addition of greens and nutritional yeast powder.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 (15.5 ounces) no-salt added canned beans (like kidney, cannellini, pinto) drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium tomato soup (I use Trader Joe’s)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces uncooked short pasta (like ditalini, tubetti or elbows) – preferable whole grain
  • 3 cups arugula, spinach or baby kale
  • 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast powder


  1. In a large stock pot, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, rosemary and red pepper flakes, saute another 2 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add in beans, tomato soup and broth. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour 2 cups of bean broth into a blender. Puree and add back to pot (this is to thicken the soup.)
  4. Bring to a boil. Add in pasta and lower to a simmer. Cook pasta according to package directions or until cooked through. (NOTE: stir every few minutes so pasta doesn’t stick to the pot. Also you may need to add a few more minutes to recommended cooking time as pasta is cooking with other ingredients.)
  5. Remove from heat and stir in greens. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast powder per bowl (makes approximately six servings.)

In addition to using nutritional yeast, this is the first time I added greens to the soup. As a kid, I DEPLORED when my mom made me take a bite of the escarole in her homemade Italian wedding soup – so much so that I thought I hated that soup for years. (Side note: Sally of Real Mom Nutrition wrote a brilliant post on this very issue recently: Should You Make Your Kids Take “Just One Bite?”)

Hearty Italian comfort food with an extra nutrition kick: Pasta and Bean Soup with Greens (sprinkled with Nutritional Yeast) @tspbasil

So, if the greens in the soup are a turnoff to your kids (or spouse in my case) by all means, leave them out and serve a salad or other veggie with the meal instead.

Hearty Italian comfort food with an extra nutrition kick: Pasta and Bean Soup with Greens (sprinkled with Nutritional Yeast) @tspbasil

As for the nutritional yeast, I’d love to hear if you or anyone if your family has tried it. My 8 year old passed on it this time but next time I’m going to try mixing it into mac & cheese.

Check out all the new ingredients my fellow ReDuxers tried out this month in the thumbnail recipes below:

Sonali- The Foodie Physician

Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Pasta e Fagioli is one of our favorite soups and yours looks AMAZING- so hearty, comforting and flavorful! I love your use of nutritional yeast. So far I've only used it in a vegan cheesy kale chip recipe and I really like it.

Danielle Omar -- Food Confidence RD

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Pasta e Fagioli is my comfort food! YUM! I have never had it with kidney beans or greens, but your version looks delish! I've been using nutritional yeast for 20 years, glad you found it!

Deanna Segrave-Daly

Friday 22nd of January 2016

You are ahead of the curve, girl! How else do you like to use it? Ever use it in sweet recipes like cookies?

Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

Thursday 21st of January 2016

I just bought a bottle of nutritional yeast the other day! Saw it and decided it's high time I try it out. I feel like everyone says it's a great sub for cheese, so I was sort of expecting it to taste like cheese. Now I'm extra curious after reading your review. Guess I'll have to take the same advice you did - try it with something I know I already love!

Deanna Segrave-Daly

Thursday 21st of January 2016

We are on the same food wave length once again. Yes, don't expect it to taste like cheese exactly but it does have a nice umami flavor punch to it - lmk what you use it in!


Thursday 21st of January 2016

I've always been curious about nutritional yeast! Great tip to try something new in a tried & true recipe. Genius!

Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

Thursday 21st of January 2016

Nooch is one of my favorite foods! (Eating it now actually!!) Haha! It goes so well with so many things and I just love the taste!

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