This Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup is a super quick and simple copycat recipe with rich, creamy flavor you can’t resist!
If you’re like me and can’t get enough soup, then you should definitely give this Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup a try, right before you test out my Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli Soup and Sausage and White Bean Soup.
You may have noticed I have a thing for Olive Garden soups. I know I’m not alone! What’s not to love though? There’s a reason they are so popular — they’re so flavorful and delicious. They seem to have some kind of “secret ingredient” that makes you come back again and again for that one-of-a-kind soup you can only get there. Right?
Well, I maybe not. Sure, there’s something to be said for the going-out-to-eat experience overall. And the not cooking thing. But, sometimes you can’t make it to a restaurant or it’s not in your budget, or your baby just barfed all over you and restaurants generally frown on bringing sick kids to restaurants.
However, it’s not completely true that you can’t enjoy a recreation of a restaurant dish in the comfort of home — and probably for about half the cost. Whole websites have been created that are solely devoted to mimicking restaurant meals, after all. So when I set out to create one of my favorites — this Zuppa Toscana Soup — I did it with determination and I did it with you in mind: You, the one who cleans up the puke, who manages the bank account, who works two jobs and just wants a delicious bowl of soup in front of them at the end of the day. And, guys, I think I kinda nailed it.
WHAT IS ZUPPA TOSCANA?
So, “zuppa” means soup in Italian. “Toscana” refers to the Tuscany region of Italy. Therefore, “Zuppa Toscana” translates to “Tuscan soup” or “Tuscan-style soup.” Traditionally, this soup is made with lots of veggies, beans, potatoes, olive oil, spices, Italian bacon, and Tuscan bread (it kind of reminds me of a minestrone).
The American version though adds Italian sausage and bacon, garlic, and heavy cream in addition to the potatoes and kale. While the American version might be a little on the heavier side, this soup eats like a meal, believe me!
IS ZUPPA TOSCANA HEALTHY?
For starters, Zuppa Toscana doesn’t have any grains or glutens in it, which is a plus if you are gluten free. It also contains a hearty helping of kale and potatoes, onions and garlic, all of which provide essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs every day. And chicken broth is good for your hair, skin, and nails and your immune system.
I admit though, that the sausage, butter, and heavy cream are not so great for you. They do provide protein and calcium, but also a lot of saturated fat. You could work around this by substituting a leaner Italian meat sausage, like chicken or turkey. You can also halve the butter and use fat free half-and-half or a plant-based cream or milk (like coconut), though this soup won’t be as thick and rich if you choose to do so, but it will still be yummy.
CAN YOU FREEZE ZUPPA TOSCANA?
Yes, you can freeze this soup if you have any leftovers, but I would eat it within two to three weeks. The kale will be browning and the potatoes might be a little off-color, but it will taste just fine. I wouldn’t leave it in the freezer for too long though, because when it warms up, the potatoes will be mushy and I just feel like this soup is meant to be enjoyed pretty close to the time you made it.
WHAT SIDE DISHES CAN YOU SERVE WITH ZUPPA TOSCANA?
To me, this soup is a meal in and of itself. However, it also goes great with the following sides:
- A nice, crusty baguette (with or without butter) for dipping right into the soup like the Italians do.
- A simple side salad works well or this Tomato Cucumber Salad rounds out the Mediterranean meal.
- Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus complements this dish nicely, if you want a little extra nutrition from a veggie side.
- Rolls, either homemade or the kind you find in the freezer aisle make a nice, carby accompaniment.
- Oyster crackers — my husband eats them by the half box full, no joke. For better or worse, it’s his thing!
What people are saying about this Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
“I have made this soup many times and it’s always a winner. Better homemade & a lot less expensive than ordering it at Olive Garden” – Lucile
“Just made it for the second time. I love it and My extended family LOVES it too. this time I made almost double the recipe because they are sure to ask for bowls to go. I added brown sugar bacon and the whole bunch of kale.” – Norma
“This is an awesome recipe. So delicious! I cut some of the fat by using half n half vs the full cream. I also use mild & hot sausages as my hubby doesn’t like too hot. Thanks for this posting!” – Christine
Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
- 1 pound spicy Italian ground sausage - use mild for kid-friendly
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ white onion - diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 4-5 yellow potatoes - cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 teaspoons salt - or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 cups chopped kale
- chopped bacon or bacon bits and grated parmesan cheese for topping - optional
- In a large pot saute sausage 5-6 minutes until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer sausage to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pot, add butter and saute onions over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute until fragrant.
- Add chicken broth, water, potatoes, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are tender. Stir in kale, and heavy cream. Add sausage. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve garnished with grated parmesan cheese and/or bacon if desired.
this is now a family favorite!!
Do you have to peel the potatoes before using?
I don’t peel them, just wash them. But feel free to peel them if you prefer 🙂
Do you use the sausage fat and the butter
Delicious! My kids even loved it 7 & 3!
That’s wonderful! I’m so glad they loved it. It can be so hard getting young kids to eat what you cook
It’s delicious but had to substitute half and half for heavy whip. Seems heavy whip is hard to find lately. It is thinner than I remember from Olive Garden so I may add a thickener next time.