Zuppa Toscana simply means, made in the “Tuscan style!” This delicious and easy recipe for Zuppa Toscana soup is a hearty and healthier version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. Loaded with chunky potatoes, savory Italian sausage and bits of swiss chard or kale in a light chicken broth.
The whole family will love this delicious copycat Olive Garden soup, oh and it’s ready in 30 minutes or less!
Zuppa Toscana a Hearty, Rich Italian Soup
Oh sure, you’ve had this at Olive Garden™ and I’m not trying to steal their thunder, but did you know you can recreate this delicious, creamy, one pot soup right in your own home, in under 30 minutes!?! And I guarantee it’ll taste better, alas I cannot guarantee bottomless bread sticks. Sorry!
KETO, LOW CARB, GLUTEN FREE ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP!
This amazing and simple soup is Keto friendly, low carb, copycat Olive Garden™ Zuppa Toscana will become a family favorite and it’s naturally GLUTEN FREE!
And the green bits throughout? Traditionally kale is used, but I prefer red swiss chard. Swiss Chard is a lovely, green tossed in for its vibrancy and durability, AND it happens to be loaded with good-for-you nutrients and since it’s not overpowering, I toss in big handfuls, chopped small!
How to Make Easy Zuppa Toscana
- Grab a medium soup pot and heat to medium-hot; brown and crumble the Italian sausage; mild or hot, your choice, I used mild, because I’m a spice wimp.
PRO COOKY TIP | I like bulk sausage for this soup and I love Boulder Sausage since it’s gluten-free, nitrate and nitrite free, preservative free, and it’s delicious! But occasionally our store is out of bulk sausage, so I buy the links and remove the casings. Both work fine. I have also made this with Chicken Italian Sausage.
- Remove the browned sausage to a plate, set aside. Toss in chopped bacon and cook until crisp, remove with slotted spoon to a plate with a paper towel to drain, set aside.
- Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil if the sausage was lean; saute onions until translucent & light brown, about 5-8 minutes. Add in garlic in the last-minute or so of browning the onions.
- Return sausage to the pot and pour in chicken broth, you can add the bacon now too, but I prefer my bacon crispy not soft and rubbery, so I toss it on top of the soup when serving.
I used my homemade chicken broth (read the end of the beef broth recipe and you’ll see adjustments for chicken broth), give it a good stir.
- Start with one quart (4 cups) of broth, then as you add your veggies you can add more broth if needed, I typically extend our soups a little further by adding an extra quart of broth, you may need to adjust your seasonings to compensate for the increased liquid.
- Add in diced potatoes, cover and bring to simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife or fork. About 10-15 minutes.
- Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon of salt and couple grinds of pepper. Simmer a few additional minutes.
- Reduce heat to low/simmer and place in your chopped chard or kale as well as your cream. If freezing, leave cream and chard out adding when you reheat.
- Return to simmer and serve immediately. Garnish each bowl with crisp bacon bits if desired.
How to chop Chard or Kale
- Rinse your chard/kale leaves and pat dry.
- Run a sharp knife up and down the “spine” of the leaf on either side, releasing the tender leafy part from the bitter, tough spine.
- Don’t worry about the “veins” so much, they are tender, but that hard (red in this case) spine that runs through the middle, toss it out.
- Chop leafy portions into desired size for your soup.
Soup recipes like Zuppa Toscana are perfect any time of the year, but I especially love them on a chilly fall or winter day; when a heavy meal is too much, but you still want a hearty meal.
A soup will nourish my family and it doesn’t hurt that it comes together in one pot (YAY!) in 30 minutes or less! Double yippee-skippy!
Can I freeze Zuppa Toscana?
Yes! And it doubles beautifully as well, follow these simple steps for the best frozen Zuppa!
- If possible, do not add greens or cream, if not, see below.
- Cool completely!
- Pour into container or gallon freezer baggie, removing as much air as possible, freeze flat.
- Thaw in refrigerator overnight, reheat until simmering and add in chopped chard/kale and cream.
- If you forget or have leftovers you want to freeze with the cream and greens, it will be fine, you may have a little separation of the cream when reheating, just stir well.
MORE TASTY HIDDEN VEGGIE SOUPS
Try these other tasty soups with disguised veggies, that are family favorites! Black Bean Soup, Easy Tortilla Soup and my Broccoli Cheese Soup. These soups are kid-friendly, nutrient packed, and easy to make!
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Zuppa Toscana Soup
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- 14-16 oz Italian Sausage mild or hot if links, remove casings
- 2 large russet potatoes washed, diced (skins on or off, your preference)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2-4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1-2 quarts chicken broth or stock
- salt to taste 1-1 ½ teaspoons
- couple grinds of fresh black pepper
- 2 cups heaping swiss chard or kale, spine and course parts removed, leafy portions chopped small
- ¼-1/2 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup bacon chopped (or sub. ¼ cup real bacon bits, cooked)
- Garnish with fresh grated or shaved parmesan optional
- Grab a medium soup pot and heat to medium-hot; brown and crumble Italian sausage; mild or hot.
- Remove the browned, crumbled sausage to a plate, set aside. Toss in your chopped bacon and cook until crisp, remove with slotted spoon to a plate with a paper towel to drain, reserve.
- Dump in your chopped onion, if the sausage is lean, then simply add a little olive oil before sauteeing your onions. Saute onions until translucent & a caramel brown, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add in your garlic in the last minute or so of browning the onions.
- Return your sausage to the pot, you can add the bacon now too, but I prefer my bacon crispy not soft and rubbery, so I toss it on top of the soup when serving. Give it a good stir.
- Start with one quart of chicken broth, then as you add your veggies you can add more broth if needed, I typically extend our soups a little further by adding an additional quart of broth, adjust seasonings to compensate for the increased liquid.
- Add in your diced potatoes, cover and bring to simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife or fork. About 10-15 minutes.
- Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon of each. Simmer a few minutes longer.
- Reduce heat to low/simmer and toss in your chopped chard or kale as well as your cream*. See blog post for tips on chopping chard/kale.
- Return to simmer and serve immediately. Garnish each bowl with crisp bacon bits and shaved parmesan, if desired.
- Serve with a crisp salad, a good loaf of Italian bread slathered with butter and enjoy!