Copycat Zuppa Toscana

published Dec 18, 2021
Zuppa Toscana Recipe

This zuppa toscana recipe outdoes the popular Olive Garden menu item.


Makes11 cups

Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan soup) made with kale, potatoes, onion, and garlic then served topped with cheese, in a pot with a spoon
Credit: Laura Rege

If you crave Olive Garden’s zuppa toscana, you need to make this recipe. It hits the spot in just the same way, and it might even be better because you have a big ol’ pot to yourself. Plus, coming in at just 10 ingredients, it’s an easy copycat recipe that isn’t a labor of love.

Creamy with just a touch of heat and spice from hot Italian sausage, this potato and kale studded soup is rich and satisfying. Make a big batch to stock up your freezer, serve it to family, or enjoy leftovers throughout the week. Just don’t forget to serve it with breadsticks

How to Make Your Zuppa Toscana Even Better than Olive Garden

Amp up the flavor! A dash of white wine vinegar perks up the soup by cutting through the creaminess without taking away from it. We also like to add in more pepper flakes and fresh herbs. 

Credit: Laura Rege

Is Zuppa Toscana Spicy?

This zuppa toscana recipe is ever-so-slightly spicy from the Italian sausage and crushed red pepper flakes, but can easily be prepared for the spice-averse — just use sweet Italian sausage in place of hot and skip the red pepper flakes. On the other hand, feel free to amp it up with more pepper flakes for the spice-lovers. 

Zuppa Toscana Recipe

This zuppa toscana recipe outdoes the popular Olive Garden menu item.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes 11 cups

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 4 slices

    bacon (about 4 ounces)

  • 1

    small yellow onion

  • 3 large cloves


  • 1 pound

    uncooked spicy Italian sausage

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    russet potatoes (about 3 medium)

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth

  • 3 cups


  • 1 bunch

    curly leaf kale (about 8 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon

    white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Finely chop 4 slices bacon. Finely chop 1 small yellow onion (about 1 cup) and mince 2 large garlic cloves. Remove and discard casings from 1 pound spicy Italian sausage if needed.

  2. Place the bacon in a large pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off and discard the bacon fat in the pot.

  3. Return the pot to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the onion, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and light golden, about 1 minute. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, slice 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes crosswise into 1/8 inch-thick rounds.

  4. Add 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth, 3 cups water, and the potatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just tender, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the stems of 1 bunch curly kale. Discard the stems and tear the leaves into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 packed cups).

  5. Add the kale to the soup and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Add1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Serve topped with the bacon.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: For less heat, use sweet rather than spicy Italian sausage. For more heat, double the amount of red pepper flakes.

Storage: Leftover soup can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.