Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup pumps up the flavor with Italian sausage and ground beef and switches pasta for low-carb zucchini noodles! The small amount of beans doesn’t add many carbs, but to make an even lower-carb version, skip the beans and use a bit more zucchini.

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Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup finished soup in bowl with Parmesan garnish

It’s soup weather in Utah, so I’ve been making soup in the Instant Pot, in the slow cooker, and on the stove! Every winter I love making soup, and since I already have hundreds of soup recipes on the blog, more often than not a new soup recipe has been inspired by an earlier favorite.

This Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup is a lower-carb version of the Slow Cooker Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup that I’ve made many times. I switched it up by adding both ground beef and turkey Italian sausage and replacing the pasta in the soup with chopped zucchini noodles, which cut down the carbs quite a bit.

I also cut down the fagioli (beans) to just one can, and if you check the nutritional information you may be surprised that this is quite low in net carbs. I did use 1/2 cup of carrots for color, but you could eliminate carrots and beans and use more zucchini if you want an even lower-carb version of this tasty soup. 

What ingredients do you need?

What makes this soup extra flavorful?

Using ground fennel (affiliate link) and Parmesan rind are two things I used to make the flavor outstanding in this soup, and I urge you to use ground fennel when you season the vegetables, and also to add a few chunks of Parmesan rind to the soup when it cooks if you have those ingredients. But even if you don’t have either of those, if you like the flavors in soup like this with tomatoes, Italian sausage, ground beef, garlic, and a touch of spicy, I bet you’ll love this new soup!

Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup process shots collage

How to Make Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick pan; then cook the Italian sausage and ground beef until it’s nicely browned, breaking it apart with a turner as it cooks. Or you can use a potato masher (affiliate link) to break the meat apart, which is what I do!
  2. While the meat cooks, chop the onion and carrots (if using.)
  3. When meat is browned, add it to the slow cooker and lightly saute onions and carrot in the same pan for about 3 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and all the seasonings and cook 1-2 minutes more. Put the vegetable mixture into the slow cooker.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, rinse and drain the beans (if using).
  5. If you’re lucky enough to have some Parmesan rind saved in the freezer, chop up some of that.
  6. Add the drained beans, petite dice tomatoes, beef stock and Parmesan rind (if using),  to the soup and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or slightly longer if your slow cooker cooks a bit cooler.
  7. When the soup has cooked for nearly 3 hours, use your preferred method to make zucchini noodles and then coarsely chop the noodles until you have 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini (or more if you’re omitting beans and/or carrots).
  8. Add the zucchini to the soup and cook 30-45 minutes more (or a bit longer if you want the zucchini to be really soft.
  9. When the soup is done, stir in 2 T balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and fresh-ground pepper.
  10. I love this soup with Parmesan cheese added at the table; your choice on that!

Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup thumbnail image of finished soup with Parmesan on top

More Tasty Soup with Zucchini Noodles:

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup
Yield: 8 servings

Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes

Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup has so much flavor from Italian sausage and ground beef, plus ground fennel and Parmesan rind added while the soup simmers!


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 links turkey Italian sausage (see notes)
  • 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • one medium onion chopped small
  • 1 T minced garlic (we used garlic from a jar)
  • 1 tsp. Italian Herb Blend
  • 1 tsp. Spike Seasoning
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • one 15 oz. can small red beans, rinsed in a colander and drained (see notes)
  • 8 cups beef broth (see notes)
  • two 14.5 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes
  • a few pieces of chopped Parmesan rind if you have them
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini noodles (see notes)
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan (or in the Ninja Cooker), add the ground beef and Italian sausage and cook over medium-high heat until it’s nicely browned, breaking apart with a turner or potato masher (affiliate link) while it cooks.
  2. When it’s browned well, put the meat into the slow cooker.
  3. Add the other teaspoon of oil to the frying pan, add the carrots and onions, and cook about 3 minutes.
  4. Then add the minced garlic, Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), ground fennel, and red pepper flakes and cook about 2 minutes more.
  5. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker.
  6. Add the beef stock or broth, petite diced tomatoes, and drained beans to the slow cooker, with some pieces of Parmesan rind if you’re lucky enough to have some.
  7. Cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. (The Ninja cooks a little hot, so you might need a little more than 3 hours if you’re using a different slow cooker.)
  8. When the soup has cooked about 3 hours, make zucchini noodles using the method you prefer.
  9. Then coarsely chop the noodles until you have 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini (or more if you are omitting the beans or carrots.)
  10. Add zucchini to the soup and cook 30-45 minutes more, or until the zucchini is done to your liking.
  11. Remove the Parmesan rind if it hasn’t all dissolved.
  12. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season soup to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. (Taste before salting if you use the Parmesan, because it’s a bit salty.)
  13. Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan to add at the table if desired.


The three links of turkey Italian sausage I used was 12 ounces of sausage; if you want to use the whole package just add about 1/2 cup more beef stock. I used  homemade beef stock for this recipe, but if you use canned beef broth just use four 15 oz. cans. See my post on how to make zucchini noodles if you need help with that.

If you want to make a lower-carb version of this recipe just skip the beans and carrots and add about another cup of zucchini noodles.

I used my Six-Quart Ninja Cooker (affiliate link) to make this soup, but any 5-6 quart slow cooker will work. If you’re using the Ninja Cooker, you can saute the meat and vegetables right in the slow cooker.

Recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Slow Cooker Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 1412mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 25g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Carrots aren’t recommended for Phase One on the South Beach Diet, so if you want to eat this Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup for Phase One you should probably omit the carrots (although truthfully I wouldn’t lose sleep over 1/2 cup carrots in 8 servings of soup.) If you want the lowest-carb version of this soup, omit the beans and carrots and use more zucchini as described above.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click here for more Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

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