The iconic zuppa toscana soup from Olive Garden remade to taste exactly like the restaurant favorite. Most reviews would say this is even better! Tender bites of russet potatoes, sausage and kale all swirled together in a creamy and savory broth.
Close your eyes, you won't taste a difference! And you definitely need to try this creamy chicken gnocchi soup.
This recipe was first published on July 26, 2017.
This olive garden zuppa toscana soup copycat recipe is the best, ever, in the entire world. I know, I really set high standards for this one. But it's the truth! The reviews speak for themselves, everyone loves this recipe.
If you've never had zuppa toscana soup then you are in for a real treat. It's a potato soup made with ground italian sausage and kale in a savory and creamy broth.
It doesn't seem that special until you taste it, then you'll understand. It's so good!
The original does have bacon in it, which I don't put in this recipe, it's a preference so if you do like bacon you can definitely add it in.
What Is Zuppa Toscana Soup?
Zuppa toscana is a soup that Olive Garden made popular.
It's a potato based soup, with crumbled italian sausage, kale, chicken broth and cream base with fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese on top.
It's the perfect soup on a cold day because it's hearty and comforting. The sausage gives it a little punch of heat which is a nice surprise in the slightly creamy broth.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I would always want this from Olive Garden, all the time! I started making my own homemade version so I could have it whenever I wanted.
I love that this version is packed with three times as much potato, kale and sausage. The beauty of a homemade recipe, you make it your own!
What's In Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat?
The ingredient list is pretty basic for this soup. But it all comes together to be magically, bowl licking, amazing. Please refer to the recipe card for the full list of ingredient amounts and instructions.
- mild Italian sausage - a little bit spicy, this gives the soup tons of flavor
- russet potatoes - a basic and hearty potato, it holds up well to boiling, leave the potato skins on to help keep them from falling apart
- kale - because kale is so sturdy it's the perfect vegetable for this soup, it gives it the perfect earthy flavor and you don't need a ton of kale, but if you want it to be more healthy than go to town
- onion - fresh chopped onions gives so much flavor to this soup
- garlic - for flavor, you can hand mince the garlic but I prefer to use a garlic press
- chicken broth - the base for the broth
- heavy cream - it doesn't call for a lot of cream, but it's necessary for that creamy broth texture and flavor
- parmigiano reggiano - you will not regret grabbing a block of this at the grocery store, it's a little pricy but it goes a long way and the flavor is way better than anything from a plastic container, plus a tip is to save the rind and at it to your favorite red sauce while it simmers for even more flavor
- salt - for flavor
- pepper - for flavor
- olive oil - for sautéing the onion and garlic
Zuppa Toscana FAQ's
Here is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions I get about zuppa toscana.
You can try substituting ground turkey and adding some extra seasonings to it that you would typically find in Italian sausage. Like fennel, oregano and paprika. Keep in mind ground turkey is very lean though.
When I first started making this copycat recipe for my family, I omitted the bacon because my husband doesn't like bacon. This was so many years ago, before I even had a blog. So I kept the recipe as is, how I make it for my family. You can totally add bacon if you want.
There is no flour in this recipe.
You could but I would caution against it. As a pre-warning, reheating after freezing won't have the same texture as the first time you made it. The potatoes tend to break apart more and the soup has a gritty texture because of it.
Rub it between your fingers, it takes away the chewiness.
How To Make Zuppa Toscana Soup
A helpful visual on just how easy it is to make zuppa toscana soup. Make sure to watch the video too!
Start by browning the italian sausage and drain off any grease. Wipe out the pan then add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute this until transluscent. Add in your cut potatoes, sausage, chicken broth, salt and pepper.
Turn the heat up so it starts boiling then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add in the kale and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
Turn the heat all the way off and add in the cream. Taste it and see if it needs any more salt.
More Easy Soup Recipes
- 30 Minute Broccoli Cheddar Soup - so creamy and delicious with chunks of broccoli
- Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup - this may look a bit familiar, another knockoff of an Olive Garden soup, not exact but similar
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup – made with egg noodles and all the classic chicken noodle soup ingredients like carrots, celery and onions
- Loaded Baked Potato Chowder – it’s like taking a bite out of an actual loaded up baked potato
- Lasagna Tortellini Soup – if you love lasagna then you will love this soup
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo – served with rice, this comforting gumbo is a family favorite recipe
- Creamy Tomato Red Pepper Tortellini Soup – a little spicy
- Tender Pot Roast French Onion Soup – pot roast, onions and tons of ooey gooey cheese
- Easy Tomato Basil Soup – a classic tomato soup recipe
- Freezer Friendly Chicken Tortilla Soup – this soup freezes like a dream for those nights you just don’t want to cook
- Minestrone Soup
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat
Tender bites of russet potatoes, sausage and kale all together in a creamy and savory broth.
- 1 pkg mild Italian sausage
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large stalks of kale, about 3 cups, stalk removed, rough chopped and massaged (see note * below)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed clean
- 64 oz of chicken broth
- 1 tsp salt + more to taste
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ C. heavy cream
- parmigiano reggiano (for topping after serving)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat, add the sausage and cook until no longer pink. Drain the sausage on a plate lined with paper towels and wipe out any remaining grease in the pan.
- Turn the heat down to med/low. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic and saute 3-4 minutes.
- Slice the potatoes ¼ inch thick, cut these rounds into quarters. Rinse the potatoes with water. To the pot add the potatoes, sausage, chicken broth, kale, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. The potatoes should be al dente not mushy. Once the soup is done, stir in the heavy cream.
- Serve into bowls with parmigiano reggiano cheese on top (just like at Olive Garden!) .
Massage your kale to help take away the chewiness and bitterness. (Thanks Ruth!) My mother-in-law once told me I should massage my kale, I think for better flavor or texture reasons, I can't remember but by golly I massage it every time now. (Update: I have a direct quote from my MIL "It takes away that tough chewiness and makes it a little sweeter, less bitter").
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 1312mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g
This information comes from online calculators. Although moderncrumb.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
One package of Italian sausage? What size or how much?
Hi, just the regular standard size 16 oz.
How do I massage kale?
Hi Bradia, you just rub between your fingers and it helps get rid of some of the chewiness
Amazingly simple to make delicious. I added a big chunk of parmesan rind and let it stew throughout. Adds another dimension of flavour. On our Top 10 Favourite Soups list.
Thanks Joe! The parmesan rind really makes soup delicious, good call!
Just made this tonight for the family. They all loved it! For the heavy cream I used Ripple Half-and-Half since finding dairy free heavy cream is pretty difficult. Turned out wonderful on a chilly evening!
Thanks Matt!! 🙂
Pricella K. Santos
I made this a week ago and it turned out really good. I used cracked black pepper and added garlic and onion powder to the meat as it cooked. I did omit the heavy cream because I didn’t remove the natural oils and flavor from the Italian sausage. (Added more flavor I believe). I did add a squeeze of lemon to my bowl and shredded Parmesan. I will be making this again. Very fuss free and relaxing to make. Thank you for the recipe!
Thank you for such a wonderful, detailed review Pricella. I am so happy to hear it was enjoyed and easy to make! 🙂
I just made this soup for the first time and it’s absolutely amazing...and my new favorite! Thank you for the recipe!
How many servings or people does this make?
Hi Liz, I don't offer servings since everyones serving size is relative. But easily 4 people, with refills and leftovers. Hope that helps!
Just made this tonight and my son and husband slurped it right up!!!! My husband had 3 helpings!!!! Definitely massage the kale with a little olive oil......I’ve made this recipe before and skipped that step. Won’t ever do that again! Definitely made the kale softer and sweeter. Thank you!!!
This recipe nailed it! I'd been wanting to make this for a while. I used hot breakfast sausage, massaged the kale and probably added another half cup of heavy cream. It was excellent! 🙂
Thank you Amanda!
Taste delicious! Only thing is that it it's too watery. I expected it to be more thick! I followed the instructions as is.
Hi, Yalitza, thanks for trying the recipe! This is a soup recipe, you may want to look for a chowder recipe if you are looking for something thick 🙂
For thicker soup, cook your potatoes longer, they will break down a bit into the soup, thickening it... Or another idea I’ve used before take a cup of your potatoes out of the soup and mash them with a little bit of butter and milk or cream… Until they are of a creamy consistency put them back in the soup and stir to fully incorporate them this adds a wonderful thickness without adding any more liquid.
Is it bad to say I might’ve had 3rd’s?!?
Very amazing! We had ours with a salad and you guessed it Olive Garden dressing!
hahaha, no not at all! I always refill my bowl too a few times 🙂 -Tara
Always a family favorite. We also top ours off with a little extra crispy bacon. I always do a separate second batch for my vegetarian daughter and it’s just as good!
Thanks so much Amber! I'm glad your daughter is also able to enjoy the soup as well 🙂
We are watching carbs, so I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes. I also calculated calories - 128 calories per cup. Delicious
Thanks for sharing your substitute! Glad you were able to tweak it to fit your families needs SuzAnne 🙂
I was looking for something different and remembered how much my fiancé and I love this soup from Olive Garden. This recipe made it amazing and I think it tastes better! We will be making more often for sure.
Thank you so much Sheyanne! I'm so glad it turned out amazing for you both! It's nice to be able to make it at home and have extras 🙂
One of my families favorite soups, thanks for the great recipe!