Bring the taste of Italy home with this creamy and delicious Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup. The whole family loves this soup!
Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Zuppa Toscana broadly translates to “Tuscan Soup”. It is most famous for being served at Olive Garden, but over the years has become more popular all over.
It’s most commonly made from kale, zucchini, cannellini beans, potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, tomato pulp, extra virgin olive oil, salt, powdered chili, toasted Tuscan bread, and rigatino (Italian bacon).
Today’s soup recipe does include sausage, kale, potatoes and bacon, which are some of my favorite ingredients. You can easily add some of the other items like celery and carrots, based on what you like but we thought this was perfect as is.
Although I’m sure everyone has their version of this recipe, this recipe is definitely one to try. You can always head down to Olive Garden and try their version or you can use this recipe to make it at home.
Either way, it’s a soup that should be tried and enjoyed!!
How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup
Believe it or not, this soup actually comes together really quickly!
After you’ve prepared all the ingredients (chopped the kale, cooked and crumbled the bacon, and cut the potatoes), it only takes about 25 minutes to cook the soup!
BROWN. In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the sausage with the minced garlic and set aside.
SIMMER + SERVE. Add the water, chicken broth, chicken base, and potatoes into a large pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale and heavy cream, and cook an additional 5-7 minutes.
Serve warm and ENJOY.
Make it in the Crock Pot
You can adjust the steps to make this soup in the slow cooker.
- Brown the sausage in a pan. Drain any excess grease and add the sausage to the crock pot.
- Then, add the stock, water and potatoes to the crockpot.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low heat for 6-8 hours.
- Stir in the cream and kale and cook for 5 more minutes. Add seasoning and serve with parmesan cheese.
Tips + FAQ
Here are some ingredient tips to keep in mind:
- Potatoes: You should slice all of the potatoes to be the same size so that it cooks evenly. You might even try using a mandolin to get even slices without having to make much of an effort.
- Kale: When you’re chopping the kale you don’t want to include the stem or spine of the leafy greens. It is not desirable because it is tough and doesn’t cook as well. People also recommend cutting the kale and then washing it. This method removes more of that bitter taste.
- If kale is not your style you can use spinach instead, it won’t have as strong a flavor.
- Bacon: You can either buy fully cooked bacon and crumble it that way or cook the bacon in the oven with our recipe here.
- Sausage: You can adjust the heat in the soup either using mild sausage or a spicy sausage.
- More Spice: You can sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes for more heat.
How to store? Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.
How to make this soup ahead of time? To make this soup ahead of time and FREEZE complete steps 1-3 as written. Add ingredients suggested in step 4 except for the kale and cream. Allow the soup to cool before storing in a freezer safe container.
How to reheat? Reheat on the stovetop then add the kale and cream. Simmer for another 5-6 minutes before serving with garnish.
How to freeze? FREEZE leftovers, but the texture will be a bit off due to the cream. The best way to incorporate the cream into the soup is to reheat it slowly on low heat.
for more favorite soups, check out:
- Cheesy Chicken Parmesan Soup
- Lasagna Soup
- Italian Tortellini Soup
- Beef & Tomato Macaroni Soup
- Wild Rice Soup
Zuppa Toscana Recipe
- 6-7 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 16 oz Jimmy Dean Italian Sausage
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 32 oz chicken stock (or broth)
- 6-7 cups water
- 4 medium potatoes russet, peeled and cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 2 cups kale leaves chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- garlic salt with parsley flakes
- pepper to taste
- shaved Parmesan cheese optional topping
- In a large pot, cook bacon until crisp, then remove bacon out onto a paper-towel lined plate and reserve a few tablespoons of the grease.
- Add sauce and garlic to the pot and cook until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add water and stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add kale, sausage, most of the bacon, whipping cream and salt and pepper and cook an additional 6-8 minutes.
- Top with reserved bacon and shaved Parmesan if desired.