Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup is creamy, packed with potatoes, sausage, kale and bacon! The perfect quick and cozy meal.
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Recipe
The Olive Garden restaurant is famous for their Italian dishes. From soups, pastas, salads to all different varieties of chicken cutlets and classic Italian dishes. I have always been of a fan of their Zuppa Toscana soup.
Fall and winter is perfect for a warm bowl of soup, but I could have Zuppa Toscana even on the hottest summer day, it is that delicious. This soup is hearty and fancy enough for holiday entertaining, get togethers and even an appetizer for game days!
What is Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana?
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is a creamy soup with potatoes, sausage, bacon and kale. Zuppa, means soup in Italian, and Toscana refers to the Tuscan region of Italy. This soup translates to Tuscan Soup (or Tuscan-Style Soup).
This famous soup is so popular because it has so many different flavors that pair perfectly together – Italian sausage, creamy potatoes, crisp salty bacon and tender kale. The broth is rich and creamy! Olive Gardens Breadsticks are the perfect accompaniment to dip in this soup.
What to Serve with Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
I love a soup, salad and breadsticks dinner. This soup pairs perfectly with my copycat Olive Garden breadsticks and salad. You can also serve this as a side for chicken cutlets, pasta, or salad.
- Olive Garden Salad and Dressing
- Olive Garden Breadsticks
- Chicken Romano
- Chicken Marsala
- Olive Garden Chicken Scampi
- Strawberry Panzanella Salad
What is in Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana?
- Sausage – Italian sausage if perfect for this soup. You can use, mild (or sweet) or hot sausage. You can even buy sausage meat (i.e. without the casing) from the meat counter of your grocery store to save a step on prep for this recipe.
- Bacon – adds a salty flavor to the soup and makes it a bit heartier… and who doesn’t love bacon?
- Kale – a classic ingredient in Tuscan cooking. Even if you don’t like kale salads, you will love kale in a soup. It becomes incredibly tender when cooked and adds nutrients to the soup. You could also swap the kale for spinach if you prefer.
- Potatoes – I love potatoes in soup! They are creamy, hearty and help thicken soups.
- Chicken Broth – you can use store bought, homemade or even a bone broth for added nutrients. For a vegetarian soup you can use vegetable broth and swap the sausage and bacon for vegetarian friendly alternatives.
- Cream – for the best results use heavy cream. It creates the best rich and creamy texture. However, for a healthier recipe you can use table cream, half and half or milk.
- Water – the potatoes are added into the soup raw and are boiled in the soup. Extra water is added into the broth so that the potatoes can properly cook.
- Onion and Garlic – aromatics that are sautéed as part of the base of the soup.
- Parmesan Cheese – if you have ever been to Olive Garden you know they are famous for their generous portions of parmesan cheese. There is some cheese in the broth and even more for garnish!
- Chili Flakes, optional – this is optional but it adds a nice pop or red color throughout the soup and adds a bit of spice.
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
1 In a large pot or Dutch oven on medium high heat, add the chopped bacon. Sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Spoon out the excess oil, leaving about 1 tbsp in the pot.
2 Remove the casings from the sausage and add them to the pot. Use a spatula to break up the sausage into bite sized pieces. Sauté until cooked through, about 5 – 7 minutes. Transfer the cooked sausage to the paper towel lined plate.
3 Add the diced onion to the pot and sauté until translucent. Add in the minced garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. If using, add in the chili flakes.
4 Add in the broth, water, and diced potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
5 Add the chopped kale, cooked sausage, parmesan cheese and half of the cooked bacon.
6 Reduce heat to medium low, stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
7 Serve the soup garnished with the remaining cooked bacon and additional parmesan. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
- Sausage – I like using mild (or sweet) Italian sausage, this is also what Olive Garden uses. If you prefer a bit of spice you can use hot Italian sausage, or a combination of hot and mild. When browning the sausage be sure to use your spatula to break up the sausage into bite sized pieces.
- Broth – when making the soup broth a combination of chicken broth and water is used. The extra water is to allow for the potatoes to be boiled and cooked in the soup. If you use all chicken broth it will be too overpowering so use a combination of broth and water. For the best results and creamy texture use heavy cream, or for a healthier option use half and half.
- Kale – don’t worry about the kale if you are not a fan of kale salads. Once the kale is simmered in the soup it absorbs all the flavor of the broth and becomes incredibly tender. If you prefer, you can use spinach instead of kale.
FAQs Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Reheat stove top in a pot on medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in a microwave safe bowl for about 2 minutes.
Store the soup in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days (adjust accordingly as per the best before date of each ingredient used).
Since the broth has cream it will separate when frozen and thawed. If you would like to freeze the soup as a make ahead freezer meal, you can prepare the soup following the recipe as usual but do not add the cream. Thaw the soup in the fridge overnight and reheat stove top. Just before serving add in the cream.
Yes! This soup is even better made in advance as the flavors develop overnight. Follow the recipe as usual and store in the fridge overnight. Reheat stove top or in the microwave. You can also freeze the soup by following the recipe as usual but do not add the cream. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then add in the cream and reheat stovetop.
For a vegetarian soup swap the sausage and bacon for a vegan sausage and bacon, or a mix of Portobello mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
For a vegan soup swap the sausage and bacon for a vegan sausage and bacon, or a mix of Portobello mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. Swap the cream for a vegan cream alterative (such as full fat oat milk). Swap the parmesan cheese for a vegan cheese or nutritional yeast. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
This soup is naturally gluten free (be sure to check the label of the store bought sausage to ensure it is gluten free).
For a dairy free recipe use a dairy free cream alternative such as full fat oat milk and a dairy free parmesan cheese.
Looking for More Delicious Soups?
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe
- 4 Italian sausage, mild or hot, casings removed, approximately 2 cups
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 6 cups water
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ inch pieces
- 1 tsp chili flakes, optional
- 4 cups kale, chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tbsp parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese
- Crumbled bacon
- In a large pot or Dutch oven on medium high heat, add the chopped bacon. Sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Spoon out the excess oil, leaving about 1 tbsp in the pot.
- Remove the casings from the sausage and add them to the pot. Use a spatula to break up the sausage into bite sized pieces. Sauté until cooked through, about 5 – 7 minutes. Transfer the cooked sausage to the paper towel lined plate.
- Add the diced onion to the pot and sauté until translucent. Add in the minced garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. If using, add in the chili flakes.
- Add in the broth, water, and diced potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Add the chopped kale, cooked sausage, parmesan cheese and half of the cooked bacon.
- Reduce heat to medium low, stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Serve the soup garnished with the remaining cooked bacon and additional parmesan. Enjoy!