Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe (Olive Garden Copycat)
This Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe is just one of many popular copycat Olive Garden recipes! Savory Italian flavor, hearty potatoes, and plenty of cream come together for the perfect creamy Italian soup.
For those of you who have tasted and fallen in love with the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup, this is the recipe for you!
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Updated November 2017: There are a few other versions I have made that originated from this recipe. Last year, I made this Paleo Zuppa Toscana recipe that uses coconut milk instead of whipping cream. It worked really well, and my picky husband loved it.
Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
I find that this Zuppa Toscana soup recipe tastes just like the restaurant version! It is known at our house as “The Olive Garden Soup”.
What’s so fantastic about this Italian soup is the flavor, yet there’s no added seasoning.
This copycat Olive Garden soup is a recipe I make often. Sometimes I swap ingredients to try something new, but most of the time I stay pretty darn close to this recipe.
Why You’ll Love this Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Authentic – Tastes just like the original Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup from the comfort of your own home.
- Customizable – Recipe variations are available for this Zuppa Toscana soup to suit your needs and tastes.
- Fast – Unlike many homemade soup recipes, this soup doesn’t need to simmer all day. It’s on the table in 1.5 hours!
TBK’s Pro Tip: The longer you simmer this zuppa toscana copycat, the better it tastes. Like all soups, this recipe tastes AMAZING the next day (that’s if there are any leftovers).
How to Make Zuppa Toscana
This recipe is such a comfort in the winter and fall months. My family is always asking for “The Olive Garden Soup.” I make it so often that I no longer need to read the recipe. It’s engraved in my brain — and those are the best kind of recipes!
Fry up the hot Italian sausage, drain the fat, and set it aside once it’s cooked through. Be sure it’s broken into bite-sized crumbles for easy spooning.
Make Soup Stock
In a large stock pot, add the diced onions, potatoes, chicken broth, and water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil before reducing heat to medium high. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Add the cooked hot Italian sausage to the pot and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add the kale, simmering for another 10-20 minutes. The longer you allow the kale to cook, the softer and less bitter it will taste. Make sure you don’t add the stems to the soup.
Add Cream and Season
Bring the simmer down to a lower heat and add your cream and red pepper flakes. Heat through, usually about 10 minutes, and serve warm. Enjoy!
Variations of this Italian Soup
Originally this classic soup recipe had bacon, but after making it almost every month, I didn’t notice a difference in taste with or without bacon. So to keep the caloric content down a bit I made it without.
If you love bacon, feel free to add it back in but I don’t find it makes a difference.
If you don’t like kale, try spinach or swiss chard. That being said, I find you don’t “taste” the kale, and its heartiness makes this recipe work.
If you find the kale too tough, simmer double the time I suggested in the recipe card below.
That’s the amazing thing about homemade soups! You can always play around with the recipe and see what works best for your family. I have deviated away from the original recipe many times.
Zuppa Toscana Soup in the CrockPot
If you’re short on time in the afternoons to let a soup simmer, you can fry up the hot Italian sausage and bacon, toss everything in the slow cooker, and put together a Crockpot Zuppa Toscana.
Making Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup in the Instant Pot would be similar to the slow cooker. Saute the sausage, drain, then add the ingredients and hit the soup button (or cook on Manual for 10 minutes).
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this one of the most popular copycat Olive Garden recipes?
Zuppa Toscana is one of the most popular copycat Olive Garden recipes for a couple of reasons! First, it’s their most popular soup served in-house, with leagues of fans. Second, it’s easier to make than many at-home pasta recipes and requires ingredients that most people are comfortable working with. All of this makes for a super approachable copycat recipe that’s very popular!
What do you serve with Zuppa Toscana?
Bread is a popular soup side dish, no matter the recipe! You can serve Zuppa Toscana with garlic bread, breadsticks, or bread rolls. “Soup and Salad” is also a popular combo, so an easy side salad is a classic combination as well. For something a little different, you could serve your soup with a side of veggies such as sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, or even potato wedges!
More Hearty Soup Recipes
You may also love these soup recipes.
Baked Zuppa Toscana A married twist of Zuppa Toscana and French onion soup. You HAVE to try this.
Creamy Turkey Soup in Bread Bowls
Gluten Free Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup
What’s your favorite soup recipe? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe)
- Stock pot
- 1 lb ground hot Italian sausage casings removed
- 2 large russet baking potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 onion onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups kale torn by hand.
- 2 cans chicken broth canned soup is the key
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream.
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- Fry up the hot Italian sausage, drain the fat and set it aside when done
- In a large stock pot, add your onions, potatoes, garlic, chicken broth, and water. Cover and bring it to a boil, and then reduce to medium heat. Cook until potatoes are done, about 30 minutes
- Add the cooked hot Italian sausage to the pot and let it boil for ten minutes. Then add the kale and simmer for another ten minutes. Make sure you don't add the stems to the soup. Personally, I don't like the texture and I find the taste is bitter. *Updated February 12, 2014: I have found the kale to still be a little too crunchy so I simmer for twenty minutes*
- Bring the simmer down to a lower heat and add your cream and red pepper flakes. Heat through, about 10 more minutes
- Serve warm and enjoy!
21 Day Fix Container CountsThe full recipe has: 6 green, 8 red, 4 yellow, 4 blue. Per 1 cup serving: 2/3 green, 3/4 red, 1/3 yellow, 1/3 blue. Cream isn’t technically 21 Day Fix approved, but if it’s something you love and want to have every so often, I don’t believe in deprivation. I believe in living your life so I made it fit for this recipe.
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This sounds like the perfect recipe for a cold winter day.
I made it because it was snowing and couldn’t deal with it haha. It was perfect.
That looks delicious! We love the Olive Garden food but don’t live close to a location. We’ll have to try this!
It’s amazing, give it a try!
I LOVE The Olive Garden! I wish it was back around here, but I stop in whenever I cross the border. This recipe looks and sounds delicious!
I love it too! Unfortunately the nearest one is a 14 hour drive 🙁
I used to LOVE LOVE the Olive Garden when they had one in Toronto and I always try to find one when we travel. I will definitely be bookmarking this. Have to figure out how to use up all the kale we bought!
Oh my goodness, it has been a decade since I have been to the Olive Garden. We don’t have one local. But this recipe looks like a winner. I love soup, will be coming back to make this for sure! Thanks!
I’m 14 hours away from the nearest one now. I miss it!
Soups and sandwiches are my weaknesses on a rainy afternoon. I’ve never had Toscana but am super excited to try it. It looks delicious!!
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MMM! I love Olive Garden Soups!! This one is a fav of mine. I will have to work this into our fall menus for sure. Thanks for posting!
I’ve never even been to Olive Garden but I am definitely craving for that soup right now because it looks and sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing!
when is the heavy cream added
Just before serving. Enough to heat through, but I’ve also added it a good 1/2 hour before.
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I made this soup last night and it was amazing!! My co-worker loves to try the food I cook at home, but she doesn’t eat pork. Is there a substitution for the sausage that would have similarly amazing results?
I have seen hot italian chicken sausage or turkey at Costco and some grocery stores, maybe that would work?
I didn’t even know hot Italian chicken sausage existed! Thank you, I’ll keep an eye out for it.
I’ve made this 3 times so far, once following the recipe, once with chicken sausage, and now once doubled (it just went too fast!). Relatively cheap ingredients too 🙂 Wasn’t a big fan of kale before, but with this soup, I can’t get enough! This is a permanent entry in my recipe box.
Yes! It does go fast, I always meant to double and freeze it but forget haha.
I can’t freeze it, everybody always wants a taste. Even doubled, just last night, it’s nearly gone already!
That’s what I like to hear 🙂
I cannot wait to make this. Thank you for aharing this. I have a question…does it need to be heavy cream or can I use evaporated milk?
I’m not sure Danielle. In all honesty I have never cooked with evaporated milk before. You can just use regular milk, I’ve done that.
I have a pot on the stove right now and I can’t wait for dinner! I added the kale just after I combined the potatoes and onions because I’ve cooked kale enough ( greens and beans junkie) to know it takes longer to cook than sliced potatoes. As I suspected the broth turned slightly green. Do you think I’ll have a shamrock shake colored soup after I add the cream?
I have never had that happen to me before. You could, but pfftt it’s just festive then 😉
Yummy looks and sounds delish , i love soup , always looking for something new to make thanks for sharing 🙂
I love this soup at Olive Garden! I can’t wait to try making it at home. Thanks for the recipe.
Enjoy! It’s my hubby’s fav!
I’ve never heard of this before but it looks delicious and I like the ingredients
Yeah, we used to to Olive Garden to get this, but it’s so expensive now to eat out (with a bigger family). Thus, we just make it at home. We love recipe too, but we use Chef Jeffrey’s — which is good too. His is more complicated than yours, but I think we will try yours. We do it in the Instant Pot which really infuses flavor, so you might try that too (one day). We never used pepper flakes, but we might copy that from yours.
My family loved this soup!!! Thanks
That’s great to hear! So glad you liked it 🙂