Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat} is a creamy soup made with ground sausage, red pepper flakes, bacon, onions, potatoes, and kale. If you love homemade soups, be sure to try my Sausage Tortellini Soup.

Zuppa Toscana Soup in a Bowl with Another Bowl Nearby

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana translates to Tuscan Soup. It was made famous by the restaurant, Olive Garden. It is a creamy soup that is both flavorful and comforting, especially on a cool, crisp day. Making your own homemade Zuppa Toscana guarantees that each bowl is full of all the ingredients you expect in the soup. Pair a cup or bowl of soup with my garlic breadsticks to really make you feel like you are at Olive Garden but in the comfort of your own home.

Ingredients for Zuppa Toscana Soup from Overhead

Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat} Ingredients

Meat: I used mild ground sausage in this recipe. The red pepper flakes I added give the soup a little kick. You could leave those out or use spicy sausage for even more of a kick. Turkey sausage would also be a good substitute.

Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes are a good choice for soups. The waxy potatoes have thinner skin and are lower in starch which helps them hold up more in soups.

Kale: Kale is a vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family. Even if you don’t like kale, I still think you will like this soup. I will let you know how to prepare it next.

How to Prep Kale

Once you buy kale, it’s pretty easy to prep it for your recipes. In fact, kale is one of the only vegetables that you can wash and cut up to 3 days ahead of using it (plus, it’s packed with nutrients). To get started, first, remove the stems. To do this, fold the kale in half along the stem. Use a chef’s knife to cut the kale along the stem to remove it. You could also use a leaf stripper if you have one.

After removing the stem, use the chef’s knife to chop up the leaves into smaller pieces. Simply stack the kale leaves and chop! Finally, rinse the vegetable under cold water. Waiting to wash kale after cutting it will help lessen the bitter taste you might associate with it. If you are not using the kale right away, store it in a paper towel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Adding Cream to Zuppa Toscana Soup

How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat}

To make this creamy Zuppa Toscana soup, first, in a large Dutch oven (or heavy bottom pot), cook the ground sausage with red pepper flakes until the sausage is browned. Next, drain most of the grease from the pot, keeping about a tablespoon of grease in the pot. Transfer the cooked sausage to a bowl and cover the bowl to keep warm.

To the same pot you cooked the sausage, add the chopped bacon. Cook it until it is crispy. Again, drain most of the grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot. Add the cooked bacon to the bowl of sausage, covering it again to keep warm. Then, cook the onions and garlic.

After the onions and garlic are cooked, add the chicken broth, cooked sausage, and cooked bacon to the pot. Stir to combine and increase the heat to high, bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook them for about 15 minutes, or until fork-tender.

Finally, reduce the heat to medium and add the heavy cream and chopped kale. Simmer the soup for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, topped with grated parmesan cheese. Add a side of dinner rolls and a wedge salad to make this a complete meal.

Zuppa Toscana Soup in a Pot on a Cutting Board

How to Store Soup

You can store leftovers of this soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s a great soup for weekly meal prep. To make it last even longer, you can also freeze this soup. To freeze the soup, let it cool completely. Then, store the soup in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Be sure to label and date the container.

Bowl of Zuppa Toscana Soup from Overhead

More Soups

5 from 2 votes

Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat}

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Zuppa Toscana Soup is a copycat of Olive Garden's soup made with ground sausage, red pepper flakes, bacon, onions, potatoes, and kale.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth
  • 4-6 medium (about 1¾ pounds) Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced to a ¼-inch thickness
  • cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups fresh kale leaves, chopped and stems removed (packed)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan, for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add sausage and red pepper flakes. Cook until the sausage is browned, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, and stir occasionally (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Drain most of the grease from the pot (leaving about 1 tablespoon) and transfer the cooked sausage to a bowl. Cover to keep warm.
  • To the same pot, add the bacon and cook until crisp (about 10-15 minutes). Drain most of the grease from the pot, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Transfer the cooked bacon to the bowl of sausage. Cover to keep warm.
  • To the same pot, add the onions and cook until translucent (about 5-8 minutes).
  • Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute, or until fragrant.
  • Add the chicken broth, cooked sausage, and cooked bacon to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add potatoes and cook until fork tender (about 15 minutes).
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add in heavy cream and kale. Simmer until softened (about 5 minutes).
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, topped with grated parmesan cheese for garnish.

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Reader Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I make this soup a lit. I’ve changed the recipe some. For my adult family I use hot Italian sausagend I substitute spinach for kale. I also add a can of canelli (sp?) beans. It is a favorite. I’ve also changed it up with chorizo instead of sausage and make a southwestern style soup. I add other ingredients to this one, Luke black beans, corn and serv with a Mexican style cheese and sourcream, tortillachips and cilantro tro.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this this evening and it was delicious!! I bought kale already cut up; it saved time and hassle, not too many stems. I left out the pepper flakes, we’re not big on spicy.

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