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Easy Gnocchi Zuppa Toscana

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This easy Zuppa Toscana recipe, inspired by the Olive Garden version, uses store-bought gnocchi as a shortcut to bring this creamy sausage and kale soup together in just 30 minutes.

Easy Zuppa Toscana Soup with Gnocchi

Raise your hand if you grew up loving the Olive Garden’s famous zuppa toscana! Well if you happen to have a nostalgic craving for this cozy soup, but are perhaps a bit pressed for time, here is my shortcut version that I honestly love just as much. ♡

It’s made with store-bought potato gnocchi that only take a few minutes to cook to pillowy perfection, saving us the step of having to dice and boil the traditional pound of potatoes. And when combined with the classic combination of zesty Italian sausage, creamy garlic broth, and loads of fresh kale, this delicious soup tastes as cozy and comforting as ever. Plus it can be ready to go in just 30 minutes using just 7 main ingredients!

Feel free, of course, to customize this recipe by adding in any extra veggies, tomatoes, beans, bacon, or other add-ins that happen to sound good. And if you prefer to make this soup vegetarian, we often make ours nowadays using plant-based Italian sausage (either sliced or ground) which works just as well. I recommend serving it with a simple arugula salad and maybe a quick batch of roasted veggies on the side. And especially on chilly nights, a warm bowl of this zuppa is sure to warm you right up.

Let’s make a quick batch together!

Zuppa Toscana Ingredients

Easy Zuppa Toscana Ingredients

Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need for this Olive Garden-inspired zuppa toscana recipe:

  • Italian sausage: This serves as the primary seasoning for this soup, so be sure to choose a good-quality Italian sausage that you love! I’m partial to spicy Italian sausage in this recipe, although you’re welcome to go with sweet or mild Italian sausage if you prefer. And while ground sausage is definitely easiest to work with here, sliced sausage works well too.
  • Gnocchi: We’re going to save time by adding a package of store-bought gnocchi to the soup, which only take a few minutes to cook. If you are making this recipe gluten-free, be sure to look for certified gluten-free gnocchi. (Or if you feel like going the extra mile, you can make my favorite homemade gnocchi.)
  • Onion and garlic: These will serve as our base aromatics for the soup. Feel free to add more garlic if you prefer!
  • Chicken stock: Again, since we are using so few ingredients here, I recommend purchasing whichever good-quality chicken or vegetable stock you love best.
  • Greens: I typically add a few large handfuls of chopped fresh kale to this soup. But baby spinach or collard greens would also be delicious options.
  • Heavy cream: I typically add around 1 cup of cream to this recipe, but feel free to use more or less if you prefer.
  • Salt and pepper: Don’t forget to also season the soup as needed with fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
  • Roasted red peppers (optional): My original version of this recipe also added in a small jar of roasted red peppers, drained and diced. I don’t always keep roasted red peppers stocked in my pantry, and have found this soup to be plenty flavorful without them. But feel free to add in a jar if you’d like!
  • Toppings (optional): And finally, feel free to garnish the soup with any extra toppings that you love best! I often love adding on some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, plus perhaps some crumbled bacon or chopped fresh basil if we happen to have them on hand.

Step by step photos showing how to make zuppa toscana

Zuppa Toscana Recipe Variations

Here are a few other recipe variations that you’re welcome to try:

  • Add tomatoes: This soup is also wonderful with some diced tomatoes (I recommend fire-roasted) mixed in.
  • Add veggies: Add in any of your favorite soup-friendly veggies (such as carrots, cauliflower, peas, red bell pepper, zucchini, etc) that you would like.
  • Add beans: Add in a can of Great Northern white beans (rinsed and drained) if you would like to add in some extra protein.
  • Make it vegan: Use plant-based Italian sausage and your preferred plain non-dairy milk or cashew cream in place of the cream.
  • Make it spicier: I love adding spicy Italian sausage to this soup to give it some heat. But feel free to add in some crushed red pepper flakes to kick things up another notch.

Easy Gnocchi Zuppa Toscana in Pot

More Cozy Soup Recipes

Looking for more Italian-inspired cozy soup recipes to try? Here are a few of our faves:

Easy Zuppa Toscana with Gnocchi in Bowl

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Easy Zuppa Toscana Soup with Gnocchi

Easy Gnocchi Zuppa Toscana

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x

Description

This easy Zuppa Toscana recipe, inspired by the Olive Garden version, uses store-bought gnocchi as a shortcut to bring this creamy sausage and kale soup together in just 30 minutes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage (I recommend spicy)
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (1-pound) package gnocchi
  • 2 to 3 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • optional toppings: freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, crumbled crispy bacon, chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Cook the sausage, onions and garlic. Add the sausage and onions to a large stockpot. Cook for 8-10 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break up the sausage as it cooks, until the sausage is browned and the onion has softened. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Simmer. Add chicken stock and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Add the gnocchi, kale, heavy cream, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the surface of the soup.
  3. Season. Taste and season the soup with salt and black pepper as needed.
  4. Serve. Serve warm, sprinkled with any of your desired toppings, and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe edit: This recipe was edited slightly in 2022 to add onions. The original recipe also included 1 small jar of roasted red peppers (drained and diced), which you are welcome to add in with the chicken stock if you would like!

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215 comments on “Easy Gnocchi Zuppa Toscana”

  1. looks so delicious! Ive included this fab soup in my roundup of global winter soups. :) https://casawatkinsliving.com/2018/01/7-hearty-winter-soups-around-globe/

  2. Fantastic soup! I feel like a true pro when I make this for others!!! Quick question, how would I convert this recipe to the Instant Pot??

  3. Tasted great and super easy. Couldn’t find hot sausage so I added a shake of red pepper as suggested and it was perfect.

  4. I am obsessed with this soup! Its so easy to make and delicious. Kids love it too!!!

  5. Can you freeze the leftovers?

  6. Do you have the nutritional information for this recipe?

  7. This was sooo good and super easy!! Family loved it…..Thanks for posting!

  8. We’ve make this recipe often- it’s definitely in our top five favorite soups list! We sub vegetarian Italian sausage and veggie broth to make it veggie friendly, and it comes out amazing every time!! If you use the vegetarian sausage, I definitely recommend roughly chopping it before hand, because it’s near impossible to do with a spoon in the pan :) Thank you for such a fantastic, simple recipe!

  9. Delicious and easy to make! You can substitute and change up meats and such to (I have used regular susage and turkey burger also). I will eventually have to try substituting the gnocchi for cauliflower sometime ?? it’s getting close to fall in exciting for eating soup again.

  10. I’ve been using this recipe for years at this point. It is so delicious and comforting. You must try it. Thank you Ali!

    • This is a family favorite and a great soup for company. Total crowd pleaser. I don’t change anything.

  11. I used ground turkey instead of sausage for a leaner meat and used my own seasoning(cayenne, basil, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper). This soup is so good and so easy! Minimal clean up! Will make it again :)

  12. I made this Dairy free with coconut milk instead of heavy cream and it was just as delicious as the original (I had previously made it with cream)! Love this easy soup recipe.

  13. I’ve made this soup a few times for the past few years. Always delish! I sometimes put spinach instead of kale and add a few extra veggies. A great “meal” soup!

    • I loved your post and I want to try this soup. I’m currently making your tortellini sausage soup. I have made so many of your recipes and they always turn out so good. I also go shopping at Delallos probably twice a month since it’s 10 minutes from my house. They have the best produce around. Don’t even get me started on the olive bar!!! Keep up the great recipes.

  14. I’ve made this soup several times and everyone always raves about it! The broth is the best. And I love that it’s only 7 ingredients , super easy to throw together on a weeknight. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  15. I have been making this soup for over a year and love it. We have recently started doing more low carb and make it with cauliflower in place of the gnocchi. Still really good!

  16. Really enjoyed it!

  17. Great flavor…easy to make… family favorite ?

  18. I accidentally bought spicy Italian sausage. Can I use it or should I go get hot?

  19. Best soup ever. That’s all and I make lots of soup. Only change is adding extra broth. Everyone I’ve made it for raves about it. Simple and delicious.

  20. I made this delicious looking recipe with Morning Star Farms Chorizo Crumbles (vegan) and some hot pepper flakes for spice. The perfect vegetarian substitute for a delicious recipe.

  21. Simple to make and has great flavor. A definite keeper.

  22. This is my favourite soup recipe. Thank you!!

  23. It looks like a great recipe, but I’m one of those “hot” averse people. Oral cancer and radiation left me totally unable to accept spicy foods. I don’t even use black pepper anymore. Heat is something that each person can add tableside but not something that can be removed. I also have chewing and swallowing issues so depend on creamy foods. Sadly, my taste buds also died, so I can’t taste anything, but I have to eat. I’ve lost about half my body weight and been told not to lose anymore. So even though I mainly cook for my family, if it’s something I can actually swallow, I have to flavor it so it doesn’t burn my mouth – – which the radiologist told me would always now react as new skin. Don’t feel sorry for me. I don’t. I got to live afterall (Many don’t!), and that’s no small thing.

  24. Excellent! This had some heat, & is very flavorful. Not many many ingredients, simple. Definitely a keeper. Next time for fun, will cut hot sausage in half, add 1/2# raw sm shrimp, & 1/2 cup kernel sweet corn…cant wait!

  25. This is my new favorite meal to make! Absolutely delicious and super easy to make!

  26. Omg so delicious! I modified to make this more vegan and gluten free by using light life Italian sausage , vegan unsweetened creamer And gluten free gnocchi. It is soooo good!!! Could you suggest how I could use plain potatoes instead of the gnocchi? Would I add them at the tome I would add gnocchi? All of the recipes I have tried form your blog are truly delicious and easy to make. Thank you so much!!

  27. I’ve made this soup for the past 2 years and it is one of our family favorites that gets requested a lot. Thank you for the recipe! This soup is delicious!!!

  28. made this last night for a large family halloween party – it was a hit! Two of my sisters in law wanted the recipe immediately. thanks for making me look so good! :)

  29. Eating this right now as I type! Its so tasty and satisfying yet doesn’t feel unhealthy. This is going to be added to my dinner rotations for sure!

  30. Great recipe. Daughter said it was equivalent to Restaurant zuppa toscana. Only , I didnt have Italian sausage so I made do with Turkey and added lots of Italian seasoning. Used red peppers on serving as others didnt want “spicy” taste. Willdo again with spicy Italian sausage.

  31. Would you give us the nutrition info for this? Im counting carbs .

    • I love this soup! I am not a huge fan of potatoes in my soup so this is perfect for me! I am trying it tonight again but with spinach. Hopefully it turns out!

  32. I love this! I am not a huge fan of actual potatoes in soup and this is perfect with the gnocchi!

  33. This is such an amazing flavorful soup! My family was shocked how simple it was and everyone really enjoyed it.

  34. This is now our “go to” recipe for soup! Originally made it for Christmas Eve – the doubled recipe fed 12 (some went for seconds) and even allowed a little leftover at the end. It was so popular, I was asked to make it for New Year’s Eve and again tonight (Jan. 10). You’d think we’d be tired of it by now, but it’s so so tasty and warm during the winter! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  35. I made this and absolutely loved it!! What is the nutritional info for this recipe?

  36. This is my go-to comfort/ easy dinner/ delicious snack/ impress someone kinda recipe. I have used it and passed around to friends for YEARS because it is that good. I thought I’d finally show it the love it deserves by leaving a comment here. It is one of my all-time favorites, and I plan to pass it down to my children

  37. I never rate recipes. We made this subbing milk/butter exchange for cream (as I didn’t have any on hand) and it was amazing! Honestly I can’t wait to eat leftovers tomorrow. So easy it’s added to our rotation. Thank you!

  38. I never write reviews but this was too easy and too good …I had to share! Absolutely delicious ! I would not change a thing . Easy, hearty, delicious !

  39. I always use your recipe. Everyone loves it. I use Jimmy Dean sausage, because I just always have it on hand. This time I used frozen kale ( long story ) and found I prefer fresh. Thank you so much. This has become a staple in our house hold and a couple others I know.

  40. Do we need the heavy cream…Can we substitute with parmason cheese or other vegan cheese?

  41. This is such a go-to! We come back to this recipe again and again. It is wonderful in its simplicity and so delicious!

  42. Excellent!

  43. This was honestly the best tasting soup I’ve ever made, and I cook constantly! Thank you so much for such an easy and delicious recipe. I am a huge fan of Olive Garden’s Zupa Toscana and this one beats it without a second thought, seriously. I’ll be making this again and again and again, it’s so darn impressive.

  44. I’ve made your recipe dozens of times over the past few years and it always is excellent! Just curious… Would this freeze OK?? I’m asking because of the cream in it…

  45. So good! Especially given how easy it is to put together.
    We used light coconut milk instead of cream and it was still great

  46. Have been making this for years and everyone loves it. I tried some substitutions to make it “skinny” and it was so good I wanted to share. I subbed in hot chicken sausage and cauliflower gnocchi and skipped the cream. No one missed the extra calories. Give it a try! Thank you.

  47. Def a fav in our house. I like that it is open to interpretation and what I have on hand.
    Sometimes potatoes instead of gnocchi. Sometimes spinach instead of kale. Sometimes fire-roasted tomatoes or fresh oven roasted red peppers. Only trouble is I never have any left-overs :)

  48. Wonderful winter soup!!

  49. I made this soup last night and it was AMAZING! I only changed 1 thing and that’s because i didn’t have the sausage. I used Aidells Chicken Sausage fir substitute. The 2nd day flavors was even better!!!! I’m excited to have found a new favorite soup!!!! I wish i knew the nutrition facts though.

  50. This soup has become the favorite of our whole extended family, I even have a nephew that requests it for his birthday dinner every year! Thank you for an amazing recipe!