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No-Chop Italian Pasta and Bean Stew

For a healthy, delicious meal that’s easy on painful hands, try this super simple pasta and bean stew made with prepared ingredients.


50 minutes
About 50 minutes to cook

 280 cal
280 calories per serving*

Serves 6
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Cooking for yourself lets you control how healthy your meals are, but chopping, stirring and standing can be painful and exhausting. This version of the classic Italian pasta e fagiole uses healthy, premade ingredients for a hearty and delicious stew that’s much less work than the traditional recipe.

This dish requires a large pot, but very few prep tools.

Nutrition information (per serving)*: Total Fat (12.4g); Carbohydrates (32g); Sodium (487mg); Sugar (7g); Fiber (9g); Cholesterol (16mg); Protein (14g)


1 tsp. olive oil

5 ounces prechopped pancetta or bacon

2 cups prechopped onion

2 tsp. garlic paste

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ – 1 tsp. chili flakes

8 ounces pre-sliced mushrooms

1 quart low-sodium chicken broth

15-ounce can diced tomatoes

15-ounce can tomato sauce

8-ounce bag frozen kale or spinach

½ cup dried orzo pasta

15-ounce can low-sodium or unsalted white beans


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add pancetta or bacon and onions. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 10 minutes, until pancetta begins to crisp and the onion starts to brown.
  2. Stir in garlic paste, dried oregano and chili flakes.
  3. Add mushrooms, chicken broth, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in kale or spinach and orzo. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add white beans (with juices), season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread and grated Parmesan cheese.

Ingredient Tips & Benefits

  • A mix of chopped onion, celery and carrots may be substituted for the onions.
  • Cannellini beans are rich in fiber, which may help lower C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation. It also is high in folate, iron, magnesium and potassium, which are known for heart and immune system benefits.
  • Jarred, minced garlic or fresh garlic may be used instead of the paste, but paste may be easier to measure and work with.

*Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided is approximate and based on USDA measurements. Actual amounts may vary based on exact ingredients used, how they are prepared and serving size.

*Photo Credit: Mia Yakel