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.
Want to live on the edge? 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!
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 ho hum 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 crave 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.
- 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.
- Is there a substitute for the Italian sausage? 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.
- Why isn’t there any bacon in this recipe? 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.
- How many calories are in this soup? Since I’m not a registered dietician I don’t provide nutritional information on any recipes.
- Is zuppa toscana soup gluten free? There is no flour in this recipe.
- Can I freeze zuppa toscana soup? 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.
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!
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
- 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
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 C. heavy cream
- parmigiano reggiano
- Heat a large pot over medium heat, add the sausage and cook until no longer pink
- Drain the sausage on a plate lined with some paper towels and wipe out the pan so there isn't any grease left in it
- Turn the heat on the pot down to med/low
- Add the olive oil, onion and garlic
- Saute until transluscent
- Slice the potatoes on the thickest setting using a mandolin (1/4 inch), cut these rounds into quarters or halves
- Place all the cut potatoes into a bowl of water and rinse until the water runs clear to remove excess starch
- Add the potatoes, sausage, chicken broth, salt and pepper to the pot
- Turn the heat up to high until it reaches a boil
- Now turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes
- Add in the kale and cook for 5 minutes
- Turn the heat off, let it cool slightly so it's not scalding hot anymore and stir in the 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: 221Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 1323mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g
This information comes from online calculators. Although moderncrumb.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Make sure to follow the Modern Crumb Board on Pinterest for lots of yummy meal inspiration! And subscribe to the newsletter, below, to get updates when new recipes post.
Recipe originally published on July 26, 2017. Recipe has remained the same.