This Zuppa Toscana recipe is a hearty soup loaded with Italian sausage, bacon, kale and potatoes. A copy of the Olive Garden favorite that tastes even better when you make it at home!
Whenever I go to Olive Garden, I have to order the Zuppa Toscana soup. I just love all the savory, smoky and spicy flavors! This homemade version is even better than what you’d get at your local Olive Garden, and it couldn’t be any easier to make.
How do you make zuppa toscana?
The first step is to cook diced bacon until it’s crispy and browned. Remove the bacon from the pan, then cook Italian sausage and onions until browned and cooked through. Add garlic, sliced potatoes, chicken broth and seasonings, then let the soup simmer until the potatoes are tender. Finish the soup by adding in some cream and fresh kale. Top the soup with the reserved bacon and a sprinkle of parsley, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect soup
- This recipe calls for hot Italian sausage, but you can use mild sausage if you prefer a little less heat. I used pork sausage, but turkey or chicken sausage will also work just fine.
- Kale is traditionally used in this soup, but you can substitute a different green such as spinach or escarole if you prefer the flavor.
- While the potatoes in this dish are traditionally sliced before being added to the pot, you can cube your potatoes if you like. To save a little time, try using a bag of frozen cubed potatoes. If you go this route, you won’t need to simmer your soup for as long, reduce the time to 10 minutes.
- Serve this soup as an appetizer, or as a main course with fresh bread and a green salad on the side.
Crock Pot directions
This recipe can be adapted to work in your slow cooker. Cook the sausage, onions and garlic, then place them in the crock pot with all the remaining ingredients except for the kale, bacon, parsley and heavy cream. Cook the soup on low for 4 hours. Stir in the cream and the kale and cook the soup for 5 more minutes or until the kale is wilted. Top the soup with bacon and parsley and then serve it.
How long does zuppa toscana last in the fridge?
Zuppa Toscana contains cream, so you want to eat it within 3 days of it going into the refrigerator.
Can you freeze zuppa toscana?
You can freeze Zuppa Toscana. Serve it within 2 months of being frozen. You can freeze a pot of the soup in an airtight container or freeze individual servings. To reheat the soup, simply thaw it in a refrigerator and put the thawed soup in a pot over medium heat until it is warmed through.
Skip your local Olive Garden and try making this soup at home instead! It’s packed full of savory flavors and is always a big hit with family and friends.
More delicious soup recipes
- 4 slices bacon diced
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage casings removed
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3/4 pound Russet potatoes thinly sliced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 bunch kale stems removed, leaves torn into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Place the bacon in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is browned and crispy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from the pot and reserve for later use. Drain most of the grease from the pan, leaving about 2 teaspoons in the pot.
- Add the sausage to the pot and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the sausage is browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess grease.
- Add the potatoes, chicken broth, and salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Stir in the cream and kale. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until kale is wilted.
- Top the soup with reserved bacon and chopped parsley, then serve.