Italian Sausage, potatoes, bacon, and fresh kale come together in one pot to make the most popular Italian Olive Garden Soup called Zuppa Toscana! Make it right at home for an Easy Lunch or Dinner to feed a crowd and enjoy this Zuppa Toscana Copycat that came straight from Olive Garden!
Zuppa Toscana is one of our favorite soup recipes! It’s best served with our Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe! Craving another soup from Olive Garden? Try my other favorite Pasta Fagioli Soup (also from Olive Garden.)
Zuppa Toscana is an Italian soup that simply means Tuscan Soup. Today it’s known as the poplar Olive Garden soup that is made in the kitchen at an Olive Garden Restaurant. Chefs will make this soup early in the morning in a large batch and serve it throughout the day for unlimited lovers! Yes, they have soup and salad for an unlimited rate so you can eat all the breadsticks, salad, or soup you want!
Zuppa Toscana Recipe:
My brother-in-law actually worked at the Olive Garden Restaurant years ago. He started off as a Busser/host employee working his way to a server, and eventually helping line cooks with prep cooking including the salad bar. Years later he came home with the written recipe for the Zuppa Toscana Soup that was shared by the head chef! The recipe was in bulk and my mother-in-law ended up converting it to make a family-sized serving of this Italian soup!
Search no more folks this is the ONLY way I make Zuppa Toscana Soup (for years), it’s simply the BEST! This easy one-pot dinner is great for serving leftovers for lunch the next day (if you get any) and has the perfect kick without being too spicy! Our children even love this soup! Warning: refills are likely to occur so ladle BIG!
What is Zuppa Toscana?
Zuppa Toscana is an Italian soup that simply means Tuscan Soup. In Italian Zuppa means soup. Classic Zuppa Toscana soup is made with additional veggies like tomatoes, zucchini, and celery and served with white beans and Tuscan Bread. However, today Zuppa Toscana is recognized as the popular menu soup from the Italian Restaurant called Olive Garden.
Is it Gluten-Free?
Yes! The soup is made in a creamy broth with potatoes (skins on), Italian Sausage, Fresh kale, and bacon!
- water- this recipe calls for water and bullion. If you wish to add chicken broth or stock simply swap out 1 liter of water (4 cups) for chicken stock and skip the bullion powder.
- Golden potatoes- leave the skins on!
- mild sausages- ground sausage is hard to come by so I like to remove the casings from 2 1/2 sausage links and use it as ground sausage without casings.
- 6 slices of bacon- use cooked and chopped bacon or diced ham. Ham is faster to slice but if your like me and pre-cook your bacon for freezer oven-baked bacon then use it!
- onion- dice one onion.
- garlic- crush two garlic cloves.
- chicken bouillon- omit chicken bouillon powder (or better than bouillon chicken base) if using chicken stock. Please salt to taste if using store-bought chicken broth. You can also use chicken bouillon cubes.
- salt- seasons the soup.
- cayenne pepper- adds a nice kick to Zuppa Toscana without using Hot Sausage.
- heavy cream- gives Zuppa its signature creamy white look.
- kale- use one bunch of chopped fresh or frozen kale.
Can I Make Vegan Zuppa Toscana?
To Make Vegan Zuppa Toscana: Simply use Vegan sausage and Bacon bits with a heavy alternative such as almond milk.
How To Make Zuppa Toscana Like Olive Garden?
Here are 3 easy steps to make this Italian Soup:
- In a 4-quart pot, sauté the onion, Italian sausage, bacon, and crushed garlic for 7 minutes.
- Add the water, salt, and chicken bullion powder. Stir in the diced potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25 minutes.
- Next, stir in the cream, chopped kale, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
Before serving, freshly grate Parmesan Reggiani Cheese over each bowl of freshly ladled soup.
Russet or Golden Potatoes?
Olive Garden uses Russet potatoes for Zuppa. However, golden potatoes work just as well.
Can I Use Frozen Kale?
Kale freezes very well so defiantly pull it out of the freezer for soups like this!
To Freeze Kale: wash and pat dry your kale. Strip the kale leaves off of the stem and chop coarsely with a knife. You can also tear off the kale leaves. Place into a freezer bag and freeze. One bunch of kale is typically used for one recipe.
How to store Zuppa Toscana?
Keep up to 4 days in the fridge.
Bacon or Ham?
Since bacon and ham are both cured and made from pork the two different meats can easily be swapped out for each other. If I have ham or Canadian bacon I’ll use it instead. Since I almost always try to keep a stash of my oven-baked freezer bacon I can use that too.
Each ladle of soup is equivalent to 8 oz per serving. My soup ladle is big!
- Skip the extra pots and make them in One-Pot!
- Use ham or bacon!
- Leave the skins on the potatoes. Olive Garden does and it makes it easy to prep!
- Got a lot of Kale? Freeze it and use it for making soup later!
How To Make Zuppa Toscana (Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial:)
Zuppa Toscana Recipe (Olive Garden Copycat)
- 4-quart pot
- wooden spoon
- 1 onion diced
- 10 oz mild sausage (2 1/2 sausage links casings removed)
- 6 slices pre-cooked bacon (chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 12 cups water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
- 6 potatoes, chopped (skins on and washed)
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 bunch kale (leaves stripped and chopped)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
How to make Zuppa Toscana:
- In a large pot; saute the onion, sausage, bacon, and garlic for 7 minutes.
- Add the water, salt, and chicken bouillon powder: bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Stir in the cream, kale, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and turn the soup off.
- Garnish soup with freshly grated parmesan cheese before serving!
- Sausage: If using Hot Italian Sausage omit the Cayenne Pepper. Italian sausage can come ground or in sausage links. Remove casings if using links.
- Bacon or Ham can be used. If using ham simply chop 6 slices of Canadian or off-the-bone ham. I also like to keep a stash of my oven-baked freezer bacon for recipes like these.
- Chicken Broth: can be used. Swap out 1 liter of water for chicken broth and skip the bouillon powder. Adjust the salt to taste.