Free: Healthy 5-Ingredient Meals EbookGet It Now
Olive Garden was my favorite restaurant when my husband and I first met, so I love experimenting with homemade copycat versions of their dishes — like this copycat Zuppa Toscana soup recipe! This easy soup recipe (which translates to “Tuscan soup”) is creamy, hearty, and on the table fast. I love pairing it with chicken marsala for a restaurant-style meal right at home!
Why You’ll Love This Zuppa Toscana Recipe
- Hearty and creamy
- Bursting with Italian flavors
- Simple pantry ingredients
- Ready in 30 minutes
- Naturally gluten-free
- Copycat recipe that tastes like Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best Zuppa Toscana ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – Used for sauteing. You can swap with avocado oil or butter if you like.
- Ground Italian Sausage – Any pork sausage will work, or use ground turkey with Italian seasoning for a lighter option.
- Onion – This Zuppa Toscana recipe uses a white onion. Yellow onion, red onion, or shallots would work as well.
- Garlic – Use fresh minced garlic for the best flavor, or use 1 tablespoon of jarred minced garlic for convenience.
- Potatoes – Choose starchy Russet potatoes for the best consistency. Alternatively, Yukon Gold or red potatoes work. For a less starchy option, use rutabaga instead.
- Cooked Bacon – I usually cook bacon in the oven, but you could also cook it on the stovetop (right in the Dutch oven before cooking the sausage), make bacon in the air fryer, or even microwave bacon.
- Chicken Broth – I prefer reduced sodium chicken broth, but you can also use regular or even make homemade chicken broth or bone broth for deeper flavor and nutrition.
- Heavy Cream – For a lighter soup, use half and half in place of the cream. For a dairy free option, use full-fat coconut cream or coconut milk (though the flavor will change).
- Kale – I used curly kale, but you can also opt for Lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale), or even spinach or Swiss chard.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
VARIATION: Make it spicy!
For an extra kick, choose spicy Italian sausage and/or add crushed red pepper flakes.
How To Make Zuppa Toscana
This section shows how to make Zuppa Toscana soup, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute. In a large Dutch oven, cook sausage and onions until the sausage is browned. Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant.
TIP: Drain if needed.
A high quality sausage may be leaner and not need draining. If you find your sausage renders a lot of fat, drain the cooked sausage before the next step.
- Simmer. Add the potatoes, cooked bacon, and chicken broth. Bring the zuppa toscana to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Stir. Add the cream and kale. Stir until the kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, top with more bacon crumbles when serving.
- Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: You can pre-chop the onions, peel and dice the potatoes (store submerged in cold water), and de-stem and chop the kale in advance. Store in the fridge until ready to make the soup.
- Reheat: Warm gently on the stovetop over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
- Freeze: Allow Zuppa Toscana to cool completely. Pour into an airtight freezer-safe container or zip lock bag (leave space for expansion), and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What To Serve With Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Salad – Make a simple side salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light lemon vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast, or a simple chicken Caesar salad. For a heartier option, try an Italian-inspired antipasto salad.
- Classic Combo – Plate Olive Garden’s most popular soup with a side of your favorite breadsticks (or cheesy cauliflower breadsticks) and a salad (see above) for a classic soup, salad, and breadsticks meal.
- Italian Meal – Make chicken marsala or creamy Tuscan chicken with your favorite noodles (I like spaghetti squash). For more veggie-packed options, try eggplant rollatini or zucchini lasagna.
- Toppings – Don’t forget the finishing touches! A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, some crispy bacon bits, or a dollop of sour cream takes this soup to a whole new level of yum.
More Copycat Soup Recipes
Don’t stop with this one… try these other restaurant-worthy soup recipes:
Tools For This Recipe
- Dutch Oven – I love this heavy duty pot for browning meat and veggies, and simmering hearty soups like this Zuppa Toscana.
Zuppa Toscana Soup (30 Min!)
Savor this easy Zuppa Toscana soup recipe with Italian sausage, potatoes, & kale. It's a creamy, soul-warming dish you can make in 30 minutes!
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and onions. Saute for 8-10 minutes, breaking the sausage apart with a spatula, until the sausage is browned. Drain if needed and return to the pot.
Stir in garlic. Saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add potatoes, cooked bacon, and chicken broth.
Bring the zuppa toscana to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Add cream and kale. Stir for about 1 minute, until the kale is wilted.
Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, top with more bacon crumbles when serving.
Did You Like It?
Leave a rating to help other readers (this also helps me continue to provide free recipes on my site), or get the recipe sent to your inbox.
Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂