This one-pot zuppa toscana soup has a creamy broth loaded with sausage, potatoes, and kale. It’s the Olive Garden copycat recipe we’ve all been anticipating and craving!
What is Zuppa Toscana Soup?
Zuppa toscana is a creamy soup made with kale, potatoes, a variety of aromatic veggies, Italian sausage, and frequently topped with cheese and crispy bacon bits. The name literally translates to “Tuscan soup”, as it is said to have originated in Tuscany, Italy. However, the original “Tuscany soup” differs slightly in its ingredients and taste (often featuring beans and other veggies).
In comparison, our copycat zuppa toscana soup is more like Olive Garden’s version. It’s full of savory meaty flavor, creamy broth, and nutritious kale — Mmmmm!
Zuppa Toscana Video
How To Make Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Zuppa toscana is an all-time favorite soup when you need to feed a large crowd. It’s easy, flavorful, and fast to whip up. Prep all the vegetables before starting and you’ll be surprised how fast the soup will be ready.
- Cook the sausage: Over medium-high heat, add the sausage to a large pot or dutch oven. Break the meat into small pieces as it cooks.
- Sauté the veggies: Finely dice the yellow onion, then add it into the pot. After a minute, press in the garlic cloves and sauté until the onions are tender.
- Pour in the broth: Pour in the water and broth. Lower the heat to low and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes.
- Prep the potatoes and kale: Clean the potatoes, then slice or dice them into bite-sized pieces, along with the kale. Set aside.
- Drop in the potatoes: Add the potatoes to the pot, and simmer until they are tender.
- Add the cream and kale: Pour in the heavy cream and stir to combine. Bring the pot to a boil, then add in the kale. Cover the pot with a lid and turn off the heat.
- Serve: Serve the soup hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or bacon bits. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Tips & Tricks
Aside from following the recipe card instructions, take heed to these four tips and tricks to make the best tasting Olive Garden Toscana Soup copycat.
- Use beef bouillon: Even though zuppa is made with Italian sausage, add even more flavor with Better Than Bouillon Beef Base. It adds a deeper flavor compared to chicken broth and is super versatile!
- Opt for Italian sausage: The best (and most convenient) sausage to use for this soup is ground Italian pork sausage. It’s typically pre-seasoned with fennel, garlic, and herbs, making your life a bit easier.
- Choose waxy potatoes: For potatoes that are less likely to fall apart, opt for waxy potatoes or starchy Russet potatoes.
- Add some heat: For a spicier soup, add in crushed red pepper flakes or substitute the meat with spicy Italian sausage.
- Throw in bacon bits: If you’re a bacon lover, fry up small bacon bits in the pot in the beginning. Once crispy, remove the bacon and set aside. Leave the bacon grease in the pot to cook with the Italian sausage.
- Remove the kale stems: For the best texture, remove the kale leaves from the tough main stems. Otherwise, you may have more crunch in your soup than you want.
Serving the Olive Garden Toscana Soup
There is little better than the joy of sopping up delicious soup broth with a good hunk of bread. For the perfect side to go with this zuppa toscana soup recipe, make these amazing garlic knots, easy focaccia bread, cheesy bread, or French bread. If you want extra decadence, make an Alfredo sauce for dipping the garlic knots. Or, if you’re watching your carb intake, opt for cheesy zucchini breadsticks instead.
Just like the never-ending soup and salad deal, it’s a great idea to serve a bowl of salad with your zuppa. A classic garden salad is great, or go a bit fancier with quinoa kale salad (a great way to use up any extra kale!) or berry spinach salad.
Storing & Reheating Olive Garden Toscana Soup
Zuppa toscana is a great meal prep recipe. Double or triple the recipe and have it on hand throughout the week. The kicker? Zuppa toscana gets richer in flavor as it stands in the fridge.
- Refrigerator: Store the soup for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Reheating: Reheat the soup in a small or medium saucepan over medium heat on the stove. Or, zap it in the microwave until warm.
Hot tip: Even though zuppa gets better with time in the fridge, it doesn’t do well in the freezer. As a general rule of thumb, soups made with cream and potatoes tend to not freeze great. The cream separates and changes the texture of the broth, while the potatoes turn mushy when thawed.
More Olive Garden Copycat Recipes
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup — Potato dumplings mixed into a creamy soup
- Minestrone Soup — Tomato-based broth with veggies and pasta
- Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo — Alfredo white sauce mixed in with pasta and shrimp
- Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo — Cheesy sliced mushrooms and chicken strips
- 1 lb Italian sausage medium spice
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 qts water
- 2 tbsp Beef Better Than Bullion
- 3 large potatoes
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 bunch fresh kale
- Preheat a pot on medium-high heat. Add sausage to the pot, breaking the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.
- Dice an onion, then add to the pot with sausage. Press garlic cloves into the mixture. Cook until onions are tender.
- Carefully add water and Beef Better Than Bouillon to the sausage and onions mixture. Turn the heat down to low and let everything simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Peel the potatoes and slice into medium sized pieces and set aside. Chop kale into bite-size pieces, set aside.
- Add potatoes to the pot and simmer until potatoes are tender. Then add the whipping cream, and bring it to a boil. Add in chopped kale. Cover pot with a lid and turn off the heat.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese and optionally garnish with bacon bits.