This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see our affiliate policy.
A delicious and hearty Pasta and Bean Soup! Spend 10 minutes building your flavors up front, then let the slow cooker do the rest of the work.
There are very few “dump and pour” slow cooker recipes that I can get excited about. Somehow no matter what you dumped and poured, they all end up tasting the same.
In this Pasta and Bean Soup recipe, though, you can spend 10 minutes creating and layering flavors on the stovetop before transferring everything to your crockpot.
You’ll wind up with a DELICIOUS soup that didn’t take too much extra effort. Just enough to make the soup actually worth eating!
Warning: Crazy Culinary terms coming at you.
Start with a matignon – that is, mirepoix with bacon. (Mirepoix is 50% onions, 25% carrots, and 25% celery). It’s a winning combination to start off your awesome soup.
My entire adult life, I’ve seen recipes that start with onions, celery, carrots, and sometimes bacon. I didn’t realize until now, being in culinary school, that this is “a thing.” It’s a formula for building great flavors.
Good job, culinary minds of the past!
Stir in some garlic, then add lots of broth, your beans, some extra dried peas for thickness, and a bay leaf. So easy! Bring it to a boil to give the slow cooker a leg up on handling those beans.
3 to 4 hours later (on HIGH), stir in some noodles for extra chew. Devour!
Slow Cooker Pasta and Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 slices bacon chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 celery rib chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dried pinto beans soaked overnight (see note 1)
- ½ cup dried split peas rinsed and sorted
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup cavatappi pasta or other small pasta such as rotini or rigatoni
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add bacon, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in broth, beans, peas, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil; pour into slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or LOW 7 to 8 hours.
- Add pasta to slower cooker. Cover and cook about 10 minutes longer, until pasta is tender. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pinto beans: To soak the beans overnight, place in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak at least 8 hours. Drain well and discard soaking liquid. To quick-soak the beans, cover beans with cold water in a 2-quarter saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain well and discard soaking liquid.
Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through these links.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.