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?

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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}

4.86 from 41 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, salt and pepper. 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*
Total Fat 43g 66%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 791mg 33%
Potassium 1129mg 32%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 50.3%
Vitamin C 45.4%
Calcium 16.5%
Iron 15.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Zuppa Toscana
Calories: 606 kcal
Author: Jaclyn
 

183 comments

  • maria: I am Italian and born in Florence (Tuscany). I assure you that nobody in Tuscany cooks this dish, that only the onion is right. Everything else has nothing to do with the real recipe. But why do you give the name Toscano or mariaItaliano to any crap you come to mind? be honest please January 19, 2019 at 2:00am Reply

    • Carolyn Deitsch: Maria, your approach is rude and unnecessary. the author didn’t name the soup Zuppa Toscana, Olive Garden the restaurant created the American version.

      Zuppa toscana, which means “soup in the style of Tuscany”, is, well, a soup that originates in Tuscany. In that sense, it is actually an Italian dish. But the American version of the recipe, as it’s served at Olive Garden, couldn’t be further from its Italian counterpart. Soup in Tuscany is made from kale, beans, zucchini, potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, tomatoes and seasonings, served with toasted bread and rigatino bacon.

      The Olive Garden version is more of a broth, made from sausage, red peppers, onion, bacon, cream, potatoes and kale and, unsurprisingly, is somewhat less healthy than what you’ll find in Italy. If you are lucky enough to find yourself among the rolling hills of Tuscany, don’t expect this soup to be anything like Olive Garden’s. Then count yourself twice lucky.
      Regardless both the American and Italian versions are delicious and I can assure you we are extremely grateful for the Italian influence bestowed to our country. January 20, 2019 at 1:47am Reply

    • Keith: Not all of us are previe to different cultures and although it may not be that perfect itialian dish,we would like to maybe enjoy good food that might be found in that part of the world so just enjoy the recipe and change ingredients to an original one that suits your pallet
      Oh and don’t be a hater it’s very unbecoming!! January 20, 2019 at 5:51am Reply

  • Penni: I just made this for my office and it was a hit. January 7, 2019 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Aaron tena: 2 cups ofHeavy cream works better I’ve made this numerous times it comes out a little thicker and more authentic (option) January 4, 2019 at 6:15pm Reply

  • Jessica Willis: I love this soup 🍜 January 1, 2019 at 11:45pm Reply

  • Sandra: Can you substitute chard for kale December 24, 2018 at 11:52am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes. January 7, 2019 at 11:17pm Reply

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