This Easy One Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup is comfort food at it’s best! It is budget friendly, hearty, deliciously filling, and full of rich, creamy flavor the whole family can’t resist. They will love this soup!
Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
For as long as I have known him, Zuppa Toscana Soup from Olive Garden has been Nick’s FAVORITE soup.
Since I’m allergic to onions, I’ve never had it. He has always begged me to try and make this at home, but it felt like too big of a challenge to me.
For one, I wasn’t sure how would I ever get it just right, and for two, once I did get it right, he’d hound me to make it ALL.THE.TIME. When the kids were little, it was easier just to pop in and get him an order to go when he wanted some. Once the kids got older and tried it, they too loved it.
The problem is, they LOVE IT, and a small to go order isn’t enough for them. They want at least 2 orders each. At this point, it became too expensive to get it take out, and have enough to fill them up. So, I took on the challenge. I had to play around with the recipe ingredients until I found the right combination that they actually like MORE than what they get from Olive Garden. I call it copycat, because I was trying to copy the restaurant version, even though it may not taste exactly like what they serve.
I hope you’ll give it a try, and let me know what your family thinks!
Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage
What is in Zuppa Toscana?
Zuppa Toscana soup is made from crumbled Italian sausage, onion, flour, 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 don’t need a lot of ingredients to get such a rich flavor!
This post is NOT sponsored or endorsed. You can make this with name brand ground Italian sausage or store brand. I’ve also substituted Jimmy Dean Maple Breakfast Sausage in a pinch, and they enjoyed it even though it gave it a different flavor.
How to make Zuppa Toscana thicker or thinner:
Many people are particular about how they like the broth in their soup. There’s nothing wrong with that, you just have to make some adjustments to get the thickness or thinness you prefer. If you want it thicker, you can add 1 1/2 TBSP of cornstarch and stir it in when you add the cream. Keep adding more until you get the consistency you desire. Likewise, many people like to stir in boxed instant mashed potatoes to thicken soup.
To make it thinner, just add extra broth. You can add water, also, but that may dilute the flavor. Any broth will work, I’ve used whatever I have on hand.
Dice your onion.
Add sausage & diced onion into a large soup pot and crumble as it cooks over medium heat.
Continue cooking until sausage is cooked throughout.
Sprinkle flour over the sausage/onion mixture and stir.
Pour in the entire 32oz carton of Chicken Broth & bring to a boil.
Once your broth is boiling, add the potatoes.
Cook until potatoes are fork tender.
After potatoes are fully cooked, pour in your heavy cream & sprinkle in the kale.
Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve & enjoy!
Tips to use when making Zuppa Toscana:
- Change the heat level by choosing between milder, hotter, or sweet Italian Sausage.
- Add some diced peppers or a dash of red pepper flakes to the finished soup for more heat.
- Too greasy? Strain the grease after browning the sausage.
- Want to make Pork Free Zuppa Toscana? Swap it out for turkey or chicken sausage and turkey bacon.
- Want to make Vegetarian Zuppa Toscana? Swap the meat for mushrooms or used plant based sausages
- Don’t want to peel or chop potatoes? Use a can of diced potatoes or a bag refrigerated diced potatoes. Fresh is best, but these do work in a pinch!
- Want a flavor twist on the potatoes? Use Sweet potatoes!
- Want a lower carb or Keto Zuppa Toscana? Swap the potatoes for chopped cauliflower or peeled radishes.
- Don’t like Kale? Use spinach. Like with potatoes, fresh is best, but frozen will work.
- Too bland? Try adding a TB or 2 of fish sauce, Italian Seasoning, Dried Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, chopped celery, or chopped carrots. You could also sauté the onions in some butter and add in some minced garlic.
- Want it creamier? Add 1/2 block of cream cheese and top it off with some freshly shredded Parmesan
- Want to make it dairy free? Use coconut milk instead of cream.
- Want it bulkier or heartier? Add a large can of white beans or a package of gnocchi.
- I had a reader that added Cajun spices along with corn and shrimp, and her family loved it!
Can Zuppa Toscana be frozen or reheated?
Yes! You can reheat Zuppa Toscana. It makes for amazing leftovers the next day!
We don’t usually have enough left over to freeze, but I had a reader message me that it froze really well for her. As always, be sure to store in a freezer safe container, LABEL CLEARLY with the contents and date, eat within 3 months. I would freeze it before adding the cream and kale. I would reheat on the stovetop and add those once the soup has reached the desired temperature. Let them heat for 5 minutes before serving.
What to serve with Zuppa Toscana:
I normally serve this with THESE BREADSTICKS!
- Side salad
- Caesar Salad
- Italian Bread Bowl to serve the soup in
- A nice, crusty baguette for dipping right into the soup like the Italians do.
- Garlic Bread.
- Oyster crackers
- Stir in some wide egg noodles
- Serve over rice
- 1 pound Johnsonville All Natural Fresh Italian Sweet GROUND Sausage
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 32 oz. chicken stock
- ½ bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Pour Olive Oil into Dutch Oven over Medium Heat
Add in the Ground Sausage and brown, until it’s cooked through
Drain any excess grease. Add the garlic, onions & potatoes, and stir to combine.
Pour in the chicken stock, and cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about an hour, or until the potatoes are soft.
Whisk together the heavy cream and flour until well combined. (It may be lumpy but the lumps disappear once mixed into the soup!)
Pour the flour mixture and add the kale into the soup and increase heat to medium high, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the soup has thickened slightly.
Season according to your taste (a pinch of pepper flakes are delicious in there), and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 691mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g
Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana:
- Follow same steps as above, however instead of simmering the soup for an hour, cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4.
- Once the flour mixture and kale is added, heat on HIGH for another 30 minutes.
Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana:
- Set your Instant Pot to the sauté setting.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil, the Italian sausage, and the diced onion.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess grease.
- Stir in chicken broth and potatoes.
- Select manual setting
- Adjust pressure to high, and set time for 5 minutes.
- When finished cooking, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then a controlled quick release.
- When the pin drops, open the lid.
- Whisk together the flour and heavy cream, add to Instant Pot with kale.
- Stir often and let it heat through, about 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy