Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat Recipe}

11.02.2018

Zuppa Toscana Soup is one of my most popular soup recipes, have you tried it yet? It’s packed with slices of tender russet potatoes, flavorful Italian sausage and bacon, fresh kale and a rich and creamy broth. So much comforting flavor in one bowl of soup!

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana Soup that’s Even Better than Olive Garden’s!

This soup is a regular in my home, it’s one of my families favorites! I love that it’s so easy to make and it has such an incredible flavor thanks to those hearty bits of sausage.

This recipe is inspired by the Zuppa Toscana Soup at Olive Garden but when you make it fresh at home it’s that much better (plus my version seems to be less brothier meaning you get more potatoes, bacon, kale and sausage). Plus it’s made with love right?

Then you can complete the meal by making your own homemade breadsticks and serving with a side salad with Italian Dressing.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Recipe

  • Olive oil
  • Italian Sausage (remove from casings if bought as links)
  • Bacon
  • Yellow onion
  • Low-sodium chicken broth and water
  • Russet potatoes
  • Granulated sugar
  • Half and half
  • Kale
  • Fennel seeds (optional)
  • Romano cheese (optional)

Ingredients needed to make zuppa toscana shown here.

How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup

  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into 1-inch pieces and add to saucepan.
  •  Cook sausage, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Drain sausage onto a plate or baking dish lined with paper towels, set sausage aside.

Showing how to brown Italian sausage in a large pot for zuppa toscana soup.

  •  Add diced bacon to saucepan, return to heat and saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add diced onions and saute mixture until bacon is cooked through and onions are translucent, about 3 – 5 minutes longer.

Showing how to saute bacon and onion in a large pot for zuppa toscana soup.

  •  Add chicken broth and water.

Pour chicken broth into mixture in pot for zuppa toscana.

  • Add in sliced potatoes, sugar, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring soup just to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in cooked sausage.
  • Cover saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are nearly tender, about 10 – 15 minutes.

Adding thinly sliced potatoes to mixture in a large pot for zuppa toscana.

  • Add in kale then simmer until potatoes are soft and kale is tender, about 5 – 10 minutes longer.

Adding kale to zuppa toscana soup in pot.

  • Stir in half and half and warm through. Use a spoon or ladle to remove excess fat from top of soup if desired. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese if desired.

Pouring half and half into zuppa toscana soup in pot.

What is Half and Half and is There a Substitute?

A question I get asked a lot is “what is half and half?” Half and half is basically a mixture of half milk and half cream (maybe just little more milk than cream). So for a good substitute simply use 1 cup low-fat milk and 1 cup cream.

Finished zuppa toscana soup in pot.

Add this soup to the menu this week! Trust me, it’s a recipe you don’t want to miss out on. You’ll be loving every bite.

More Soup Recipes You Might Like

Zuppa Toscana soup in a white single serve bowl set over a red plate.

 

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Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat Recipe}

4.84 from 43 votes

This is one of the tastiest, most comforting soups on a chilly day! It's packed with slices of tender russet potatoes, salty Italian sausage and bacon, fresh kale and a rich and creamy broth. Everyone will want more!

Servings: 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (casings removed if necessary)
  • 4 oz bacon (about 4 slices), diced into small pieces*
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed then sliced into halves, halves diced into 1/6-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups packed chopped kale
  • Finely shredded Romano cheese for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into 1-inch pieces and add to saucepan.

  2. Cook sausage, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Drain sausage onto a plate or baking dish lined with paper towels, set sausage aside. 

  3. Add diced bacon to saucepan, return to heat and saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced onions and saute mixture until bacon is cooked through and onions are translucent, about 3 - 5 minutes longer.

  4. Add chicken broth, water, sliced potatoes, sugar, fennel seeds, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring soup just to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in cooked sausage. 

  5. Cover saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are nearly tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. 
  6. Add in kale then simmer until potatoes are soft and kale is tender, about 5 - 10 minutes longer. 
  7. Stir in half and half and warm through. Use a spoon or ladle to remove excess fat from top of soup if desired. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.

Recipe Notes

  • Work to cut potatoes into even size slices so they finish cooking at the same time.
  • If desired you can use turkey sausage here as well.
  • I added some extra cooked bacon to the top as well, mostly for pictures purposes though just so you can see that there is bacon in this soup. It doesn't really need it though...but I'll never turn down a little extra bacon.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat Recipe}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 606 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Fat 43g66%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 791mg34%
Potassium 1129mg32%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 2515IU50%
Vitamin C 37.5mg45%
Calcium 165mg17%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Zuppa Toscana
Calories: 606 kcal
Author: Jaclyn
 

197 comments

  • DEBORAH WERNER: Love this soup – it made a big batch and it get even better the next few days. August 21, 2019 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Julie Thompson: I would like to know the AMOUNT (CUPS/OUNCES…) per serving. I am making for friend with sodium restrictions.
    Thank you. Great recipe. May 10, 2019 at 11:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I wrote it down then forgot to add it to the recipe. Next time I make it I’ll try to remember to measure but you may want to make it before then so the easiest way to measure is to use a large liquid measuring cup and measure out as you pour into containers or bowls. And keep in mind as mentioned in the nutrition disclaimer when salt is listed “to taste” you’ll need to also include what you add into the sodium amount. May 10, 2019 at 9:30pm Reply

  • NL: How would you do this in a crockpot? March 26, 2019 at 2:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would cook the sausage and bacon/onion first. I’d dice potatoes into chunks instead then I’d cook on low heat maybe 4 – 5 hours. Then add cream and kale and let wilt. May 4, 2019 at 9:32am Reply

  • Michelle: this soup has really great flavor, i’ll definitely be making it again. instead of adding water, I used more stock for more flavor. I might peel the potatoes next time and dice them because the skin just landed up coming off while boiling, leaving me with long strands, a little awkward ;) but overall – delicious! thanks for the recipe. February 17, 2019 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Rita: I want to make this for someone who is gluten free. I assume the sausage would have some sort of filler. What could I substitute and still have the flavor? February 5, 2019 at 6:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d check this list and as always check the labels to make sure that’s still current
      https://urbantastebud.com/gluten-free-sausage/
      It seems like it will be sliced sausage you’ll have to use but that would still be delicious. February 8, 2019 at 9:05am Reply

  • Elizabeth lacqua: I left bacon out….because that’s all you will taste. Bacon has a very strong distinct flavor. I used baby spinach instead of kale and added a can of cannolini beans. Delicious. February 4, 2019 at 8:28pm Reply

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