Leftover Italian Meat Pasta and Beans

Saturday, April 2, 2016
Leftover Italian Meat Pasta and Beans is the perfect way to use up the leftover sauce!

Sunday was always pasta day and mom made enough to feed an army, so most of the time we had a house full and most of it would be gone.

Whenever we had leftover sauce, meatballs, and sausage she repurposed them many ways whether it was a submarine sandwich or a great new comfort bowl of this pasta and beans we loved it.

Honestly, half the time we have no idea she didn't start from scratch and made a new meal, she always seemed to doctored things up to taste like a whole new meal!

Even though we love our meatball covered sandwiches or sliced meatballs on a pizza, pasta Fagioli in Sunday Sauce is comforting and the perfect Italian meal using up those leftovers.

Not an American goulash by any stretch of the imagination but mom certainly knew how to stretch the budget and save time and money nothing ever went to waste, at least not in the 1960s those days were tough economic times.

When you grow up struggling to feed a large family, you learn quickly and improvise.

This was a family favorite for sure. Here are tips and suggestions below on using leftovers deliciously!

Family Values

Mom was the best at utilizing leftovers.

I looked forward to her Turkey covered sandwiches, pork with rice and chicken baked and leftovers for salads.

It really instilled values on how important it was not to waste food.

We grew up being very thankful and I have also passed that on to my children who understand the importance of never throwing away food.

Some Tips:

  • If you would like to make this dish in the future and not the same week, freeze the sauce and meatballs.
  • Add peppers to the sauce to create a different flavor
  • Whole tomatoes chopped
  • Any kinds of leftover meats can be used see suggestions below
  • Keep canned beans any kind you like on hand even Chickpeas if you like them.
  • Make extra meatballs and sausage in the sauce when preparing for this dish.
  • Fresh basil added gives this a great flavor.
  • Greens like escarole or spinach make another great addition to this dish.
  • You can use jarred sauce and frozen meatballs if you don't want to make this from scratch.
  • Add your favorite red wine for additional flavor.

Beans and Meat to Use

You can use any kind of beans, white, black or red.

This recipe is basic and adaptable to any leftover meat you have.

The recipe is a quick way to stretch your budget and make another meal out of whatever you have in the refrigerator.

Other meat to consider would be leftover pork chops, leftover steak, hamburgers, even leftover hotdogs cut into small bite-size pieces that can go in this pot of beans and pasta.

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Leftover Italian Meat  Pasta and Beans

Leftover Italian Meat Pasta and Beans

Yield: 8
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 25 M
This is an economical meal made with leftover meatballs and sausage. A traditional way to repurpose leftovers from a Sunday Sauce meal. Just by adding beans and using the sauce with a different pasta you have a whole other new meal.


  • 2 cans cannellini beans rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked ditalini drained
  • around 4 to 5 meatballs crushed 4 pieces of sausage cut up into pieces or more (you can use any kind of bite-size leftover meats)
  • 1/2 cup red wine optional or water can be used
  • leftoverTraditional Sunday Italian Sauce with meat
  • grated cheese to sprinkle on top
  • red pepper flakes


How to cook Leftover Italian Meat Pasta and Beans

  1. Boil pasta to package instructions al dente drain and set aside.
  2. Crushed the meat in a bowl and chop the sausage links into small chunks. Add the wine, around 3 cups sauce and meat with rinsed beans to a saucepan.
  3. Heat all together.
  4. Stir in cooked pasta.
  5. Serve with grated cheese on top and red pepper flakes.
  6. Great with garlic bread!
depression food, sauce beans and pasta, meat, pasta and beans, casseroles, one pan meals, Italian goulash, pasta fagioli, re-purposing leftovers
pasta, sauce, meatballs, meat
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Try Some Other Favorite Recipes

Sloppy Joe Italian Style
Italian Style Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Upstate New York Mushroom Stew


  1. Dear Claudia, I have been using my left-over sauce all week as well. I think it tastes better each day!! This looks delicious!!
    Have a beautiful weekend. xoxo Catherine

  2. Actually the meat sauce tastes even better on the 2nd day! This looks droolworthy, Claudia.


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