Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
Back in November of 2011, I shared the recipe for my favorite soup ever, Olive Gardens Zuppa Toscana soup. It went bananas and has since been one of the most popular recipes on my site. Its a recipe that I make at least once a month and more like once a week during the winter. My whole family loves it and you guys do too!
After numerous requests, I shared a slow cooker version of the soup in 2014. That version has also been insanely popular and well-loved by my readers.
Here we are in 2017, and I am now sharing a one pot version that makes this soup so simple and easy, youre going to make it more than ever. Instead of baking the bacon and browning the sausage in the oven, everything is done in one pot. I used my new dutch oven that my Dad got me for Christmas! I love how all the drippings from the sausage and bacon add so much flavor to the soup! Its fantastic!
I also doubled the amount of kale. For some reason, my boys think this is the best part of the soup Who am I to argue? I love buying the pre-chopped kale to make things easy. I also use a mandoline for slicing the potatoes. It takes about one minute to have them all perfectly and uniformly sliced.
I add a bit of crushed red pepper flakes to the soup as well as a bit of salt and pepper. Totally optional. The soup already has a lot of salt from the bacon and heat from the spicy Italian sausage so feel free to omit if youd like.
Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
If you’re like most fans of the Olive Garden, you probably see the soups as glorified dipping sauce for their unreal breadsticks. But if you’ve taken a second to really savor their Garden Zuppa Toscana, you can see just how much love and flavor they put into this hearty soup. Like some of our favorite other comfort foods like Fettuccine Alfredo and Chicken Parm, this soup will have you feeling like you’re getting a big hug from your nonna.
The meaty savoriness from the bacon and sausage and the fresh, crisp taste of the veggies combine together to make a dish you can make a meal out of it.
Tried your hand at making this amazing copycat? Let us know how it came out in the comments below.
freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe:
We love re-creating restaurant quality soups at home like our popular Clam Chowder Recipe. My sister Tanya taught me how to make this Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana and it has been a family and reader favorite since we first published it in 2010. We have since made it heartier and more flavorful. The classic just got better!
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How To Make Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana Soup
Now that you have your ingredients chopped and prepared, it is time to start making this zuppa toscana soup recipe in your Instant Pot.
Cooks Tip: Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any of the bits or pieces that are stuck. This will help prevent a Burn error notice on your Instant Pot.
Three Reasons Why Copycat Recipes Are Awesome:
1. To purchase the actual item at the restaurant costs your childs future tuition and your entire collection of Indiana Jones paraphernalia.
2. Often, the copycat version is better for you, and you feel it instantly no gut bombs.
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Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup with spicy Italian sausage, bacon, fresh kale, and russet potatoes in a rich and creamy broth is gluten free, packed full of protein, and bursting with delicious flavor.
Even better than the restaurant version, this copycat Zuppa Toscana soup is made in one pot, easy to prepare, and is always a family favorite.
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 youve ever been to Olive Garden!
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More Homemade Soup Recipes
Soups can provide a wonderful variety to the standard lunch menus at home. Over winter break when the kids are home and we start to get a little cabin fever, its nice to change things up with a new recipe especially one you can make in a big batch and freeze for later.
- One of our favorite go-tos is my rich and creamy Tomato Basil Soup. If you can find fresh basil, this savory soup just sings or you can use dry basil. Its fast, its simple, and its always a hit. I promise you will not be disappointed!
- Looking for the easiest soup that is also quick? Try my Taco Soup. It uses five canned goods you probably already have right in your pantry.
- I also love this Cheddar Corn Chowder recipe. It is another thick and hearty soup, using potatoes, corn, cheddar cheese and topped with bacon.
- Probably one of my most favorite soups is Wild Rice and Tomato Soup. With vegetables and rice, this savory soup is the perfect lunch for cooler fall weather.
- Looking for even more soup ideas? I make all these soup recipes all winter long.
Got a recipe to share? Leave a comment!
What People Are Saying About This Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
I have made this soup many times and its always a winner. Better homemade & a lot less expensive than ordering it at Olive Garden Lucile
Just made it for the second time. I love it and My extended family LOVES it too. this time I made almost double the recipe because they are sure to ask for bowls to go. I added brown sugar bacon and the whole bunch of kale. Norma
This is an awesome recipe. So delicious! I cut some of the fat by using half n half vs the full cream. I also use mild & hot sausages as my hubby doesnt like too hot. Thanks for this posting! Christine
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One Reason Why Copycat Recipes Can Suck:
1. When they dont actually taste like the original, you feel like shoving a pie in the face of the person who originally created the recipe. And by pie, I dont mean the kind that is yummy. I mean the other kind you know made of animal excrement.
Well, in this copycat recipe I literally cannot tell the difference between it and the Olive Garden original. Its glorious. You avoid that one pesky negative to copycat recipes, and you can appreciate ALL the benefits. I would just recommend at least having some barrier between your hot soup and your body if you choose not to wear pants.
Dont go out tonight. Dont wear pants. Do make this soup. Enjoy life.-Zach
What To Serve With Zuppa Toscana
Packed with bacon, Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale, this hearty Italian soup is a meal in itself! Its great for easy weeknight dinners and delicious enough to meal prep for the week. The only thing we eat with Zuppa Toscana are breadsticks, slices of French bread or even muffuletta bread if we have some on hand.
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What Is Zuppa Toscana Soup
Zuppa Toscana literally means Soup in the style of Tuscany . Its a soup made with Italian sausages, potatoes, chicken broth, veggies and spices. Of course, we add some heavy cream to it as well, to make it extra creamy and some kale to make it even better for you. Dont worry though, the kale doesnt affect the taste for the worseit totally enhances the wonderful flavors!
For us, we dont do spice well, since we still have little kids living at home who dont like spicy foods. I always buy the mild Italian sausage links and take off the skins and fry them up in my skillet that way. I cut them up once they start getting cooked and just put chunks of the chopped up sausage links in our soup.
Tips On How To Make Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup At Home:
- Start by sauteeing onion, garlic, and sausage. Browning not only cooks the sausage but also brings out the flavor. When making homemade soup, it is important to develop flavors along the way.
- Use a hearty potato. I tend to use russet potatoes because they stand up against the heat and won’t become soggy. No soggy potatoes! We are going for soft, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes. I leave the skin on the potatoes, cut the potato lengthwise, then cut into thin slices.
- Add the cooked, crispy bacon at the end. I have seen many recipes where the bacon is added at the beginning. I prefer to add it at the end so it stays a little more crispy. I also reserve some bacon for garnish. It just looks pretty and everyone gets excited to see bacon front and center. Feel free to add a few more slices of bacon if you love it.
- Cut the kale into small pieces. Kids may be afraid of green things, such as kale. I found that if I cut it into very small bite-size pieces, kids hardly even noticed it. I tell them to focus on the bacon, people!
- Add heavy cream and parmesan cheese at the end and cook just until simmered. This is what brings it all together and gives the soup and rich, creamy texture.
- 3/4cupParmesan Cheese
- Saltto taste)
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What Goes In This Soup
You dont need much at all to make this Zuppa Toscana soup recipe, which is surprising since it contains so much flavour.
- Browned, crumbled Italian sausage provides all of the seasoning.
- Crisped bacon gives you a mouthwatering flavour and texture.
- 1/4-inch sliced potatoes cook down into the broth to create a thick and chunky soup that goes so well with the spice coming through. Hearty and satisfying.
- Fennel and chili flakes provide a little something extra.
- Kale provides delicious texture in every bite.
- Heavy cream adds an irresistible richness to the broth.
How To Make This Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
Zuppa Toscana is actually really easy to make, and its all done in one pot!
Start with some onions, garlic, and Italian sausage. I like to use mild sausage and adjust the heat with red pepper flakes, but feel free to use hot sausage Heres how I drain my sausage: line a bowl with foil, tilt the pot to the side, and use a ladle to spoon out the grease.
Use a food processor to slice all the potatoes, they cut it to the perfect size. You can just use a knife if you dont have it one. Add it to the pot after the broth and cook til tender.
Chop or tear your kale into bite size pieces. Make sure you cut out all the thick ribbing, nobody wants to chew through a thick stem. Use 1 big bunch of kale, or about 5 cups.
Youre going to feel so trendy and healthy adding all these magical superpower greens to your soup. Be sure to use your Kale yeah! tote bag today.
Except then you cancel out the kale magic by adding a pint of cream. No regrets. Yolo people.
Heres an original photo from when I posted this back in 2011:
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What Makes Italian Sausage Italian
Sausage is the star of this soup, so it needs to be the highest quality Italian sausage you can find. Make sure to select Italian sausages for this recipe because it has an entirely different flavor profile than other types of sausage, such as Andouille or Chorizo.
Italian sausages combine finely ground pork, pork fat, and seasonings inside a natural casing. The main seasonings which give them their unique flavor are fennel and anise.
Unlike other varieties of sausages, Italian sausages are always raw and never smoked or precooked. You will need to make sure to cook them thoroughly before serving.
Dont be confused about the labeling on the package. You will often see Italian sausages labeled as mild,sweet, or hot in the supermarket.
Mild and sweet sausages are two different words companies use to describe exactly the same ingredients.
The word hot indicates that red pepper flakes are part of the pork mixture. The spiciness of hot Italian sausages varies by brand.
For this recipe, hot or sweet Italian sausages work, so choose whichever one you usually enjoy. You can also make Italian Sausage and season it to your liking.
Olive Garden Soup Tips
Make it Keto use radishes in place of the potatoes!
Mild Sausage can be utilized vs hot sausage. Just add a bit more red pepper flakes to heat it up a bit.
* Dont cut corners. Make sure to use high quality chicken broth or else the end result will suffer. Cant find any at the store? Make your own using our Instant Pot Bone Broth Recipe.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Zuppa Toscana:
Is Zuppa Toscana Healthy?
You can find the nutritional value for this Zuppa Toscana recipe in the printable recipe card below.
Is Zuppa Toscana Gluten Free?
Yes, this recipe for Zuppa Toscana is gluten-free.
Is Zuppa Toscana Low Carb?
One serving of this zuppa contains 14g of carbs. You can reduce the carbs by substituting cooked cauliflower for the potatoes.
Can you Freeze Zuppa Toscana
Yes, I freeze zuppa toscana all the time. The texture of the potatoes may change once frozen.
Can you make Zuppa Toscana with Half and Half?
Yes, you can substitute all or a portion of the heavy cream in this zuppa toscana recipe for half and half or regular milk. Your soup wont be quite as rich, but it will still be delicious.
Soups on! Or, maybe I should say Zuppas on!
And remember to let me know what you think of this zuppa recipe!
In your opinion, is it as good as Olive Gardens Zuppa Toscana, or is it even better?
What Side Dishes Can You Serve With Zuppa Toscana
To me, this soup is a meal in and of itself. However, it also goes great with the following sides:
- A nice, crusty baguette for dipping right into the soup like the Italians do.
- A simple side salad works well or this Tomato Cucumber Salad rounds out the Mediterranean meal.
- Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus complements this dish nicely, if you want a little extra nutrition from a veggie side.
- Rolls, either homemade or the kind you find in the freezer aisle make a nice, carby accompaniment.
- Oyster crackers my husband eats them by the half box full, no joke. For better or worse, its his thing!
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How To Store Soup
You can store leftovers of this soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Its 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.
Whats In Zuppa Toscana Soup
First, I want to clear something up. Even though zuppa toscana soup translates to Tuscan soup, its not a traditionally Tuscan soup. Olive Garden named this soup and made it incredibly popular all across the United States!
Zuppa toscana soup is made from crumbled Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale, chicken broth and cream. The combination is soul-warming and absolutely mouthwatering. What I love most about this copycat soup is that you dont need a lot of ingredients to get such a rich flavor!
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