Zuppa Toscana

By Maria Lichty

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Quick Summary

If you love Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup, you will love this homemade version. It is made in one-pot and loaded with Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, garlic, and kale. Creamy, satisfying, and delicious!

zuppa toscana soup in bowls with crusty bread.

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The Olive Garden restaurant made Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan soup) extremely popular. It is a creamy soup made with Italian sausage, bacon, tender potatoes, garlic, and kale. It is rich, hearty, and flavorful. No wonder it is so popular.

Well, good news, you don’t have to go to the Olive Garden to enjoy this soup. You can make it at home, from scratch! And I think our homemade version is even BETTER.

All of the ingredients are cooked in ONE pot, one pot meals really are the best! The soup has a rich and creamy broth and is loaded with chunks of sausage, bacon, and potatoes. The kale adds a nice touch of green and I like to add Parmesan cheese at the end for an extra boost of flavor.

Enjoy the soup for lunch or an easy weeknight dinner. Serve with crusty bread and a simple salad. Cozy, comforting, and always a crowd-pleaser!

zuppa toscana ingredients in bowls.

Ingredients

  • Bacon– for best results, use thick cut bacon. It adds a smoky, salty flavor to to the soup.
  • Italian sausage– we use mild ground Italian sausage. If you want a spicy soup, you can use hot Italian sausage.
  • Onion– diced.
  • Garlic– minced.
  • Chicken broth– use your favorite brand. Vegetable broth will also work.
  • Russet potatoes– peeled and chopped into 1/4″ thick pieces. You will need about 3 cups. Red potatoes will also work.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes– a dash for a little heat.
  • Heavy cream– to make the soup rich and creamy. Half and half will work too.
  • Kale– chop up the kale and remove the ribs. Spinach will also work.
  • Parmesan cheese– for extra flavor!
bacon cooking in white pot with wooden spoon to make zuppa toscana.

How to Make Zuppa Toscana

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon pieces over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until crispy. Stir occasionally so the bacon doesn’t stick or burn. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Italian sausage cooking in white pot with wooden spoon.
  • Add the Italian sausage to the pot and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
onion cooking in large white pot with wooden spoon to make zuppa toscana.
  • Add the onion to the pot and cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
potatoes cooking in broth in large white pot to make zuppa toscana.
  • Add the broth, potatoes, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
stirring sausage and bacon into zuppa toscana soup in large white pot.
  • Add the cooked bacon and sausage to the pot.
heavy cream and kale being added to zuppa toscana soup in large white pot.
  • Stir in the heavy cream, kale, and Parmesan cheese. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
zuppa toscana soup in large white pot with wooden spoon.

Serving Suggestions

This soup is very filling and can be a complete meal on it’s own, but if you want to add a few sides, here are some ideas.

How to Store & Freeze

  • To store leftover soup, place the cooled soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
  • To freeze the soup, make the soup according to the recipe, but under cook the potatoes a little and don’t add the cream. Let the soup cool completely and place in a freezer container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Place in a pot and heat over medium low on the stove. Add the cream to the soup and stir.
  • If you have leftover soup that you want to freeze and already added the cream, you can still freeze it, but the cream might separate a little bit after thawing and the potatoes might be a little mushy.
zuppa toscana soup in bowl with spoon and crusty bread.

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Zuppa Toscana

If you love Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup, you will love this homemade version. It is made in one-pot and loaded with Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, and kale. Creamy, satisfying, and delicious!
4.70 from 30 votes

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon pieces over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until crispy. Stir occasionally so the bacon doesn’t stick or burn. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the Italian sausage to the pot and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the onion to the pot and cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the broth, potatoes, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Add the cooked bacon and sausage to the pot. Stir in the heavy cream, kale, and Parmesan cheese. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 443kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 1103mg, Potassium: 648mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2147IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 124mg, Iron: 2mg
Keywords kale, potatoes, sausage

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. If you’d like to try a REAL tuscan soup (and it’s vegetable one, no sausage, they don’t do that in tuscany. Trust me, I lived there for 5 loooong years) google ribollita. Absolutely fabulous!

  2. It’s kind of funny seeing the title written the way it is because two words are repeated.

    “Zuppa Toscana Soup”:

    ‘Zuppa Toscana’ is Italian for “Tuscany Soup” and then you added on the word “Soup” so it reads “Tuscany Soup Soup.” It would have been better if you just left it at “Zuppa Toscana.”

    1. 5 stars
      Really? Its a common mistake. Fantastic recipe, who cares if there is a little typo. Go eat a cookie. 🙂

    2. Hi Lori,
      I’m so glad you are fluent in Italian otherwise you wouldn’t notice the repeated word in the recipe. Just a suggestion, for the ones (like me) that doesn’t speak Italian it’s nice to understand this is a soup also its helpful when searching recipes.

      Emily,
      This soup is excellent! adding “soup” to the title didn’t get any flavor away from the recipe. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. I just made a big pot of this soup! It came out excellent… my husband likes it even more than I do. We like to shake a ton of pepper on top before eating it and that makes this soup taste even better.

  4. Just made your soup, it was fantastic! thank you for the recipe =) just a warning to others – stay away from rainbow chard as a substitute for the kale… we ended up with strawberry milk-colored soup!

  5. Yesterday was our first chilly day in Texas this fall. Soup sounded like the perfect Sunday night dinner. I made this last night…it was soooooo good and flavorful!! Even my kids gobbled it up! Plenty for leftovers tonight! Surely, one of our favorites!! Mmmm, if you are a soupie like me, you MUST try this recipe. Definitely restaurant quality!

  6. I made this for dinner last night and I must say it got a big thumbs up from everyone. I used Italian chicken sausage (I had some in the freezer). It was my first time cooking with kale and it was very easy to prepare and use. I will be looking from some other recipes with kale. We also had the Mexican rice bowls this week. Thanks for two great recipes.

  7. I wonder how the kale would keep in a soup like this. Would I need to keep it separate until I am ready to reheat it or just leave it in there. Just seems like it would eventually get soggy like spinach does.

  8. I love this soup I omit the chicken and use beef base and sprinkle pepper bacon crumle on top with a pich of shredded parmasesan

  9. I’ve made your version several times – it’s soooo much better than even the original. I also Love that I can make it spicier or add spinach instead of kale if that’s what I have…. And it’s even better the next day or two!!

  10. I made this soup before I ever had it at Olive Garden. Then I went to Olive Garden and had it there. I have to say that this version is so much better!

  11. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

  12. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe so much! It has been a family favorite for a few years now!!! I like to add extra kale because it tastes so dang good! 1,000,000 stars from me!!!

  13. I made this almost exactly by the directions, which is unusual for me, and it turned out incredible. I wasn’t sure what size “large russet potatoes” were, because some potatoes today are gigantic, so I used 5 of the larger potatoes out of a bag of Russets. I also used chicken broth for all 10 cups of liquid. A little salt and cracked black pepper, and we had a hit! I will definitely keep this and make it again!
    Thank you

  14. 5 stars
    I don’t remember if I ever left a comment back in 2012 when I found your recipe on Pinterest, but I am now. I have been making this soup off and on over the last decade. When I was younger and married my ex in laws always took us here, that was my order, this soup and salad. I haven’t been in over a decade as I have food allergies and have been cooking at home since I discovered them. This soup is perfect and satisfies my craving for it. My daughter asks for soup every winter. I’m making it now and wanted to make sure I rated it. Thanks again. Love it.

  15. Thank you for another fantastic article. Where else could anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.

  16. I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to reach my goals. I definitely liked reading everything that is written on your website.Keep the stories coming. I liked it!

  17. 5 stars
    Great soup! Never had the one at Olive Garden but really enjoyed this one. Easy and flavorful. I had ground pork so I seasoned with Italian seasoning and sage. Used spinach instead of kale. Definitely will make again.

  18. Wonderful hearty soup! We had a snow week and it was the perfect thing to have after being outside in the cold.

    I couldn’t get kale last week so I used savoy cabbage which was a good substitute, in case anyone was wondering.

  19. 4 stars
    This was a delicious soup, but a little salty for me. I’m glad I tasted the broth before adding the salt listed in the ingredients. I used chicken Italian sausage, and I think that, with the bacon and cheese, had enough salt. I’ll make it again, modifying the broth as well (using low sodium) and adding a little more vegetables.

  20. Together with every thing that seems to be building inside this subject material, your points of view are very refreshing. Nonetheless, I beg your pardon, but I can not subscribe to your entire idea, all be it exhilarating none the less. It looks to everyone that your comments are actually not completely rationalized and in actuality you are yourself not really thoroughly confident of your point. In any event I did appreciate reading through it.

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