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.

Ingredients for Zuppa Toscana Soup from Overhead

Ingredients & Substitutions

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. 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). Here is how:

  1. 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.
  2. After removing the stem, use the chef’s knife to chop up the leaves into smaller pieces. Simply stack the kale leaves and chop!
  3. 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.
  4. 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

What To Serve With Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat}

Here are some ideas to serve with the rich and savory zuppa toscana soup:

Zuppa Toscana Soup in a Pot on a Cutting Board

How to Store Zuppa Toscana Soup

Store leftovers of zuppa toscana soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. First, let it cool to room temperature. 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 7 votes

Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat}

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


  • 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 1 ¾ pounds) Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups fresh kale leaves, chopped and stems removed (packed)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan, for garnish


  • To 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).
  • 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 minute.
  • 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
    Made this tonight subbing sausage for ground turkey and it was delightful!! Would maybe thicken it next time by browning the meat with a touch of flour but really not necessary if you don’t mind broth soup. Thanks for putting this recipe together, we will be making it again!

  2. My wife and I make your different recipes all the time.
    It keeps up from eating the same ole thing every week. Thank you so much for posting them.

  3. Dear Amanda,
    Thank you for your amazing recipes and the honorable way you make your living, which also benefits others so richly! Your work honors the traditions of homemakers and country cooks, and your modern touch reflects a mix of old and new. Well done! 🙂

    Best wishes,

  4. 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.

  5. 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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