Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup (Copycat)

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup is a fan favorite hearty soup with kale, potatoes, sausage, cream and bacon.

Soups are a hands down favorite of this site including our crazy popular Cabbage Soup, Beef Stew and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat
 Zuppa Toscana Soup

History of Tuscan Cuisine

Zuppa Toscana soup is an Italian dish that has its origins in the region of Tuscany – of which it takes its namesake. Compared to Sicilian cuisine, which makes greater use of olives and red wine vinaigrette, Tuscan cuisine takes full advantage of its rolling hills and fertile landscapes by using more meats and root vegetables.

Zuppa Toscana is an Italian dish from Tuscany that makes use of olives, Italian sausage, red pepper flakes, chicken broth, and more! In fact, you might have heard of this if you’ve ever been to Olive Garden! 

What to Serve with Zuppa Toscana Soup:

For a complete Italian dinner try adding some Garlic Bread and serve it with my copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s Italian Salad Dressing. Garnish your soup with Parmesan cheese or my homemade Parmesan Crisps.

What is Zuppa Toscana Soup?

Zuppa Toscana is essentially a cream-based potato soup recipe, complemented by black pepper or red pepper (depending on taste), browned pork sausage, and leafy greens (we use kale, some people use spinach). We recommend making this hearty soup with a slow cooker, but to keep one of our favorite soups completely accessible to everyone, we’ve altered the recipe for it by replacing the crock pot or instant pot with a large pot set to medium heat.

This change of how to cook has the effect of speeding up the total cook time of the meal. However, it gives a slightly longer prep time when compared to the normal “dump everything in” way to cook in a slow cooker. Look further to see this amazing recipe with a total cook time of fewer than thirty minutes!

Sausage and Kale Zuppa Toscana Soup

Healthy Options Are Available!

If you’re concerned about reducing saturated fat, there are alternative options to consider! You can replace the bacon fat with unsaturated fat olive oil when you’re softening the onion and garlic.

Use paper towels to absorb the residual fat from the bacon strips for additional effect. Heavy cream can also be replaced with half and half in a pinch! Italian cuisine tends to be quite salty, even in styles that are more agriculturally diverse, like Tuscany’s. Use low-sodium chicken broth to lower the salt even further.

You can also reduce the amount of sausage and bacon and increase the amount of kale. I wouldn’t remove the sausage and bacon altogether as this would change the flavor of the soup alogether.

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup

Brown the bacon and sausage and remove from the pan, then add the onion, garlic, broth, potatoes and sausage to your slow cooker on low for 6 hours. Add the kale and heavy cream and cook for 2 additional hours on low.

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Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup is a fan favorite hearty soup with kale, potatoes, sausage, cream and bacon.
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound Italian sausage , mild
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 pound bacon , chopped
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes , peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch fresh kale , tough stems removed

Instructions

  • Add the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes to a large dutch oven on medium high heat and cook until well browned. Once that's done, remove the sausage from the pot and discard the fat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, then add in the bacon. Cook until slightly crispy, then remove the bacon - however, you should leave the fat this time around. Add in the onions and garlic, and cook them for 5-7 minutes until softened.
  • Finally, add the chicken broth, bacon, potatoes, and kale - bringing the ingredients to a boil. Once the broth reaches a rolling boil, continue to simmer the soup, leaving the pot uncovered for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add the sausage and heavy cream, stir together, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 1054mg | Potassium: 818mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 17.4mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2.1mg
Keyword: Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana Soup

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Made this on a whim and didn’t have any kale on hand, so I used Swiss chard instead. Also didn’t have bacon but I did have bacon grease and some smoked paprika! Turned out soooo good. I made it for my little sister bc she just got her second dose of the vaccine and she was feeling crappy – she’s very lactose intolerant so I used a little unsweetened coconut milk in place of the heavy cream and it turned out perfect! (Even tho I’m not the biggest fan of coconut) Will definitely be adding this to my list of soups to eat when I’m feeling down!

  2. Fantastic! My family loved it! This is the 3rd recipe I’ve made from your site & they have all turned out great! Per your recommendations above I used half & half, used reduced sodium chicken broth, used paper towels to absorb the fat for the bacon & the Italian sausage & drained the bacon fat from the pan & eyeballed about 1 tablespoon of it to saute the onion & garlic, still had lots of flavor. It’s a keeper for my meat eating family! Thank you!

  3. Super delicious. Only thing I would point out is a little typo (I think) in Step 1. It says, “bacon Italian sausage”. I don’t think “bacon” is supposed to be included there, as you add it in Step 2. Nevertheless, two thumbs up. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  4. This soup outstanding! Slightly better than Olive Garden, perhaps because the ingredients are fresh?

    Thank you, Zuppa Toscana is one of our favorites at Olive Garden!

  5. This is just like eating at Olive garden and it is the Best potato soup I have ever had

  6. Zuppa Toscana is absolutely delicious! I had to substitute Colombian corizo for I italian sausage and spinach for kale but it was a total winner and I will definitely make it again.

  7. Thank you CHEF for your time and interest in this recipe. I absolutely love to indulge in soul satisfying soups. This was my family’s Christmas meal. After a hardy breakfast and sneaking snacking on mountains of cookies, cake’s, homemade candies and pies… This was PERFECT with a salad, good bread and dessert… just enough

  8. Wanna make this soup, but can I use spinach vs the kale (not a fan). I realize the spinach would go in last minute. Recipe sounds amazing ??

  9. This soup is favorite of all time, Iade it with hot sausage and omitted the red pepper flakes. Wonderful soup!

  10. This zuppa toscana looks SO COMFORTING! I have been craving a soup like this for a long time and I just got a bunch of fresh kale from the farmers market! I think it’s meant to be!

  11. I have not tried this soup from Olive Garden, but it looks wonderful. I prefer the homemade version anyway ?

  12. Ooh! Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana is so tasty! This looks spot on (and quite easy). I’m a sucker for pretty much any Tuscan-inspired soup!

      1. Hi Sabrina, I have all the ingredients ready to make this soup in the slow cooker as you say it’s recommended but the recipe is for stovetop only. What changes should I make? Thanks…

        1. Sorry…I just now saw the changes for slow cook version. Don’t know how I missed it.
          I’ve tried many of your recipes and have not been disappointed yet. Keep up the good work.
          June

          1. I’m so glad you found it and are loving the recipes. I hope this one lives up to your expectation as well. Enjoy!