This Copycat Zuppa Toscana Recipe tastes just like the popular soup from the Olive Garden! Made with chicken broth, heavy cream, spicy Italian sausage, tender potatoes, and fresh kale, this great recipe for Tuscan soup will become a new family favorite!
I don’t remember the first time I had Zuppa Toscana. All is know is that it was the most flavorful, delicious soup I’d ever had.
I was dying to get my hands on the copycat recipe so I could make this delicious, creamy soup at home.
This recipe calls for heavy whipping cream, which I don’t often have. But when I do, you can be sure that this soup is on the menu!
What does Zuppa Toscana Mean?
The literal translation is “Tuscan Soup” (presumably from Tuscany in Italy). However, the soup is called Minestra di Pane in Italy (which means “Bread Soup.”)
The traditional soup in Italy is prepared with different ingredients and is poured over a piece of bread.
The recipe in this post is a Copycat Olive Garden Recipe.
Ingredients for Zuppa Toscana
- Italian sausage (you can use hot Italian sausage or mild Italian sausage)
- Garlic cloves
- White or yellow onion
- Yukon Gold potatoes or Russet potatoes
- Chicken stock
- Fresh kale or baby spinach (the restaurant version uses kale, but I’ve used baby spinach in this recipe)
- Heavy whipping cream
Note: Sometimes I have difficulty finding spicy Italian sausage. If this is the case for you as well, you can just get regular sausage and add red pepper flakes to the soup to taste.
How to Make Zuppa Toscana
First, I slice my onions and my potatoes. Using a mandoline slicer is the easiest way to do this. This helps you slice quickly and evenly.
My favorite is the OXO Good Grips Large Adjustable Handheld Mandoline Slicer. (Affiliate link).
I slice my onion with the mandoline, and then use a knife to chop the slices into small pieces.
Then I slice my potatoes using the widest setting on the mandoline. It’s your choice whether or not to peel your potatoes before slicing.
Now that I’ve got those prepped, I’ll start cooking my Italian sausage in a large stock pot over medium-high heat on the stove.
Once there is no pink left in the meat, I drain the fat. You can do this by removing the sausage with a slotted spoon and then pouring the fat into an empty aluminum can, or in a bowl (non-plastic). Then once the fat has cooled and solidified, you can throw it in the trash.
To get rid of even more fat, I actually pour the cooked sausage into a strainer in the sink and immediately rinse it with hot water. (Sometimes I’ll remove the excess grease from the pan using a paper towel or napkins beforehand so that less grease goes down the drain).
I know rinsing the meat with water may seem strange, but it’s how my mom rinsed hamburger meat while I was growing up, and it really does help get rid of the majority of the fat. (When you place the meat back into the pot, any excess water quickly evaporates off.)
With the little bit of grease left in the pot after removing the sausage, add your chopped onions and saute for about five minutes until they start to soften and brown slightly.
Then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add the chicken stock, sliced potatoes, water, and cooked sausage.
Simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes become tender.
Then just add the kale or baby spinach and your heavy whipping cream, and simmer for about five more minutes. (You can add as much kale or spinach as you want. Often when I reheat this soup, I’ll add more fresh kale and spinach for added texture and nutrition).
Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with cooked, chopped bacon.
Have more questions about Zuppa Toscana? Be sure to scroll past the recipe for all the answers!
This recipe adapted from Zuppa Toscana Recipe (a la Olive Garden) by Gimme Some Oven.
What to Serve with Zuppa Toscana
Serve with some crusty bread, or Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks!
- 1 pound Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about three cloves)
- Half a medium-sized white or yellow onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, washed and thinly sliced (peeling is optional)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chopped fresh kale, or 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half)
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare your onions and potatoes by chopping and slicing them. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook your Italian sausage, breaking it up into small pieces, until no pink remains. Drain the grease. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.
- Add the chopped onions to the pot and saute with the remaining grease from the sausage. Cook for about five minutes until the onion begins to soften and turn brown slightly.
- Add the chopped garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock, sliced potatoes, water, and cooked sausage. Simmer for 10-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the chopped kale or baby spinach and the heavy cream. Simmer for five minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a sprinkling of chopped bacon.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 498Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 814mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 22g
Can you freeze Zuppa Toscana?
You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The potatoes may become grainy as they thaw, and the soup will definitely separate. However, reheating it should solve the separation problem.
Also, additional moisture will be added to the soup as the water is expelled from the potatoes and kale/spinach as it freezes. This may dilute the flavor of the soup.
Is Zuppa Toscana gluten-free?
Yes, it is! There is no pasta or other wheat products in this soup.
Is Zuppa Toscana healthy?
Although it does have some healthy ingredients, such as potatoes and kale or spinach, I would not classify this soup as “healthy” due to the large amount of fat it contains from the heavy whipping cream.
Can you make Zuppa Toscana without heavy cream?
Yes. You can use half and half, or milk in place of the heavy whipping cream. The soup just won’t be quite as creamy.
Can you make Zuppa Toscana dairy free?
You can use coconut milk in place of the dairy. The flavor will definitely be a little different, but still delicious.
Pick your favorite to pin!