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Zuppa Toscana: the mouthwatering copycat recipe for a tasty Olive Garden dish

Total time: 45 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Anyone who has ever been to Olive Garden knows just how delicious their zuppa Toscana is. The good news? It's easy to make homemade zuppa Toscana that tastes even better than what you'd get at Olive Garden!

Copycat zuppa Toscana is rich, hearty, and packed with delicious ingredients like kale or spinach, Italian sausage, bacon, and potatoes.

It's creamy, thick, and perfect for chilly winter nights as a light bite or a fantastic appetizer. Serve it with plenty of crusty bread so you can mop up every last drop!

What is Zuppa Toscana?

The Italian expression Zuppa Toscana means “Tuscan soup” in English. This Olive Garden copycat version is a little different from the traditional Tuscan soup that you'd find in Tuscany.

The original Italian version is packed with beans, vegetables, Tuscan bread, and Italian bacon, and is not as rich and creamy as the North American Olive Garden version.


Zuppa Toscana Copycat Ingredients

To make the best homemade zuppa Toscana, you'll need hearty ingredients like bacon, sausage, and potatoes. Use spicy Italian sausage for your soup – it'll give it the best flavor.

Kale adds a bright veggie flavor, but you can also use baby spinach leaves.

Onions and loads of garlic give the soup a phenomenal tasty.

Heavy cream adds a rich texture, and of course, you'll need some good-quality chicken stock to make the bulk of the soup.

How to Make Zuppa Toscana

Ready to make the best copycat zuppa Toscana? Start by browning the bacon in a Dutch oven, then scooping it out onto a paper towel, and draining off excess grease. Cook the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces as it sautées. Remove the sausage to drain on a towel. Cook the onions until soft, then mix in the garlic and sauté until it becomes fragrant. Stir in the broth and water and let the soup come to a boil.

Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook them until they turn nice and tender about 13 to 15 minutes. Mix in the kale or spinach and sausage. Bring the soup to a simmer, then add in the cream cook until heated through. Season with your zuppa Toscana generously with salt and pepper, then garnish with parmesan cheese and bacon and enjoy!


Is Zuppa Toscana Healthy?

Zuppa Toscana had healthy ingredients like kale and garlic. It's free from grain and gluten. For a dairy-free version, leave out the cream and use unsweetened coconut milk in its place.

Tips for the Best Copycat Zuppa Toscana

If your soup isn't quite as thick as you'd like, you can try cooking it down a little longer or mix in some flour or a water-cornstarch slurry.

You can make copycat zuppa Toscana in an Instant Pot. After adding in the potatoes, secure the lid and set your Instant Pot to high for 5 minutes, followed by a quick release. Add in the kale, sausage, and cream, season, and enjoy.

You can easily make this delicious soup low carb and keto-friendly by swapping out the potatoes for cauliflower.

For an even heartier soup, you can add noodles or pasta.

You can use pancetta or ham instead of bacon.

For a less spicy soup, use mild or sweet Italian sausage instead of spicy sausage.


What to Serve with Zuppa Toscana

Serve your copycat zuppa Toscana as a starter with pasta dishes, stews, risotto, or casseroles.

You can also pair your zuppa Toscana with green salad, sautéed or roasted veggies, and crusty fresh bread or homemade dinner rolls to make a complete meal.

How to Store Homemade Zuppa Toscana

Let the soup cool slightly then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Reheat the soup gently but thoroughly before serving it again.

Can You Freeze Zuppa Toscana?

Absolutely! Freeze your zuppa Toscana in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

For best results, freeze the soup before you add the cream. Heavy cream doesn't freeze well, so it's best to add it to the soup once you've thawed and reheated it.

bacon, chopped
6 oz
spicy Italian sausage
1 lb
medium onion, finely diced
large garlic cloves, minced
Chicken broth
4 cups
6 cups
medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
kale bundle, leaves stripped and chopped, or baby spinach, leaves
Whipping cream
1 cup
Salt and black pepper to taste
parmesan cheese, for garnish


Sauté the bacon in a Dutch oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned.

Take it out and let it drain on a paper towel. Remove extra grease, leaving 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the Dutch oven.

Add the sausage into the Dutch oven.

Sauté the sausage for 5 minutes until cooked through.

Set on a paper towel to drain.

Sauté the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic.

Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pour in the broth and water. Bring the liquid to a boil.

Add the potatoes. Cook until tender, about 13 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the sausage.

Add in the kale or spinach. Bring the soup to a simmer.

Stir in the cream and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, then garnish with parmesan cheese and bacon.

Serve and enjoy!


Use low sodium chicken broth or stock if you want a less salty soup.

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