Recipes

Postpartum Meals Series: Pasta Fagioli

written by: Lo Mansfield, MSN, RN

Raise your hand if you think food is a love language?! 🙋🏼‍♀️ Big hands up from me over here – I literally love others through food all of the time. Of course, I love taking food to postpartum mamas, especially a huge pot of what I like to call “comfort soup.” This soup, a quick side caesar salad, and a batch of my fav lactation cookies is truly one of my favorite ways to bless a new mama.

This soup is one of my favorite recipes. I love it the most in the darker, winter months when the days feel so short and those nights can feel so thick and deep. For those sunnier, warmer days and seasons, my chop-chop salad is my go to for new mamas, so take a peek at that recipe too. Bonus points if you make a mama the soup and the salad. It’s a postpartum win-win.

What to eat after giving birth

Did you know that some cultures believe certain types of foods are better than others during the postpartum period? For the Chinese, there is an emphasis on balancing the yin and the yang. In the postpartum period, the body is consider to be in the yin state – or a “cooling” state. To bring balance back to the body, they believe one should be eating yang – or warming – foods. Soups and stews are a great way to fulfill that “warming” need, they are usually easily digestible, and they are often stacked with the veggies and proteins that are so needed for healing and breastfeeding.

Overall, you want to focus on packing in proteins and anti-inflammation foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains – and I think this soup does all of this so, so well!

labor nurse and pelvis advertising birth courses

Now, let’s get you to the recipe ⬇️

PASTA FAGIOLI

Source: My Mama’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 ½ Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cans of kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained
  • 32 oz beef broth
  • 32 oz spaghetti sauce (can be home made or jarred)
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 8 oz Ditalini pasta (small elbows also work)
  • Parmesean cheese rinds*

Directions

  1. On the stovetop, brown ground beef with carrots, onions, and minced garlic.
  2. Add ground beef mixture and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the dry pasta into a large crock pot.
  3. Stir all together well and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Thirty minutes before you’re ready to eat, boil water and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and set aside.
  5. Portion out soup into your bowls.
  6. Add the desired amount of noodles to each bowl of soup, top with parmesan, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Cheese Rinds: If you think about it, freeze your Parmesan cheese rinds when you get to the end of a block! When you are making a soup like this, throw those rinds in the pot and let them infuse all kinds of flavor. I leave them in while the soup is in the crockpot, and then toss them out when the cook time is done.
  • Storing Leftovers in Refrigerator: I’d suggest keeping the noodles separate and just adding them to each individual serving when you reheat. If you choose to mix it all together the noodles will soak up all of the broth and just fall apart – and you’ll be left with some nasty, mushy pasta concoction. If the soup seems too thick when you are reheating, you can always add more broth too.
  • Freezing Leftovers: This soup freezes really well! I just portion out into individual freezer containers, place a scoop of pasta on top (but don’t stir it in), and then freeze.

If you are taking this to a postpartum mama, I would suggest following the second recipe note and keeping the noodles and the soup separate and allowing mama and her family to portion as they’re ready to. Don’t forget to bring some parmesan cheese for topping, a simple side caesar, and some fresh, crusty bread!

Try this, let me know what you think, and/or any modifications you’ve made! I think there are a lot of ways to get creative with this recipe. xx – Lo

pasta fagioli soup prepared for serving

More resources (and freebies!) for you to take a peek at:

A note: This post may include affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission (thank you)! Rest assured, this comes at no additional cost to you. You can read TLM’s full disclosure here.


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About the Author

Lo Mansfield MSN, RNC-OB, is a specialty-certified registered nurse in obstetrics, postpartum, and fetal monitoring who is passionate about families understanding their integral role in their own stories. She is the owner of The Labor Mama and creator of the The Labor Mama online courses. She is also a mama of three, a University of Washington graduate (Go Dawgs), and is currently an expat in Haarlem, Netherlands. 

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