Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat)

This Zuppa Toscana soup recipe (inspired by The Olive Garden) is quick and easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and SO comforting and delicious!

Learn how to make this favorite Olive Garden soup on the stovetop or in the slow cooker! This Zuppa Toscana recipe is super easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and full of the most delicious zesty, creamy flavors. So grab some Italian sausage, kale, potatoes, bacon, Parmesan, and garlic, and make it happen! Crock-pot instructions also included.

Somehow, in all my 27 long years of life, I was never introduced to The Olive Garden’s famous “Zuppa Toscana” soup — until this week.

One of my good friends lives right by the OG, and suggested we pop over for their unlimited soup/salad lunch on our day off.  And then she insisted — as I was about to order the minestrone — that I try the creamy zuppa instead.  I actually really like a good minestrone, but decided to take her word for it. And oh my goodness, I’m so glad I did.

This soup is the best!!!  

(And dare I say, a wee bit dangerous on the “unlimited” menu, ha.)

Seriously, I couldn’t get enough of it.  So of course I had to come home and try making a batch for myself.  Turns out, it’s incredibly easy to make at home, easy to lighten up a wee bit (I used half and half instead of traditional heavy cream, and also added in extra kale), and it’s SO comforting and delicious.  You’ve gotta try it.

My original recipe photo from 2010. :)

Learn how to make this favorite Olive Garden soup on the stovetop or in the slow cooker! This Zuppa Toscana recipe is super easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and full of the most delicious zesty, creamy flavors. So grab some Italian sausage, kale, potatoes, bacon, Parmesan, and garlic, and make it happen! Crock-pot instructions also included.

Learn how to make this favorite Olive Garden soup on the stovetop or in the slow cooker! This Zuppa Toscana recipe is super easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and full of the most delicious zesty, creamy flavors. So grab some Italian sausage, kale, potatoes, bacon, Parmesan, and garlic, and make it happen! Crock-pot instructions also included.

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Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat)

This Zuppa Toscana recipe (inspired by the classic dish at The Olive Garden) is easy to make, full of the most delicious zesty Italian flavors, and it’s so cozy and comforting!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage (I recommend spicy)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half)
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 6 pieces bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions:

  1. Brown sausage in a large stock pot over medium-high heat, breaking the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.  Remove from heat, reserve 1 tablespoon grease for later, then drain and discard the remaining grease.  (I actually like to briefly rinse my cooked sausage in a strainer to remove the excess grease.)  Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the reserved tablespoon of grease (or 1 tablespoon olive oil) over medium-high heat.  Add onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Add the potatoes, chicken stock, water, and cooked sausage, and continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Stir in the kale and cream, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve warm, garnished with the bacon bits.

Slow Cooker Version:

  1. Brown sausage in a large stock pot over medium-high heat, breaking the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.  Remove from heat, reserve 1 tablespoon grease for later, then drain and discard the remaining grease.  (I actually like to briefly rinse my cooked sausage in a strainer to remove the excess grease.)  Set aside.
  2. Add sausage, garlic, onion, potatoes, chicken stock and water to a small slow cooker, and stir to combine.  Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or on high heat for 3-4 hours, until the potatoes are tender.  Stir in the kale and cream, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve warm, garnished with the bacon bits.
All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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42 comments on “Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat)”

  1. I try to avoid Olive Garden because I am a sucker for their breadsticks, but I LOVE soup- this recipe looks amazing so I will definitely be making it soon! thanks for sharing!

  2. Love OG but have never had this. Looks like a good way to warm up when the weather’s cold and blustery like it is today!

  3. I have been seeing recipes just like this all over food blogs lately! I’m thinking I’m gonna have to try some pretty soon!

  4. I am a die-hard Olive Garden fan! And you can’t beat the price on their soup/salad combo. But like you, I’ve never tried this–I don’t think I’ll wait till I go to OG again, I will use your recipe–thanks :-)

  5. I love this soup and it is one of my all time faves. The eat better america website has a great version of this soup that has been healthified. I have made it many times and it is even better the next day. :) Here is the link to the recipe:

    http://www.eatbetteramerica.com/recipes/special-occasions/healthified-italian-sausage-soup.aspx

    Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

  6. Wow this looks amazing. I might have to try this as an alternative to my usual chicken and veggie soup!

  7. I made this last night for dinner – yum! My husband and I loved it and are looking forward to leftovers tonight! Really, really good!

  8. Love this soup at OG! It’s the first thing I go for when I’m there. :) I’ve tried a copycat recipe, but I’m definitely going to give your version a try. Thank you!

  9. great recipe!!!!! usually i like turning tasty looking and savory recipes like this into vegan versions so i think i can do this.
    Either way, thanks for posting this (:

  10. Looks like perfect tummy-warming soup to take the edge off this windy Winter we’re having – yum!

  11. This is my favorite soup and Olive Garden and this recipe is spot on! Thanks so much for sharing; I’m going to be making this a lot!

  12. Just made this for my little family tonight and it was a big hit! Even my boys who are usually skeptics of soup gave this a thumbs up and asked for more.

  13. Oh my goodness!!! Seriously loved this recipe!! I have been looking for this for a long time and I picked your recipe. I could not get enough of it!! I will be making it again tonight and my neighbors are already asking if I can bring them some too. Thanks for the recipe ;)

  14. Do you think this recipe would freeze well? I’m thinking of making this for a soup swap!

  15. Made this tonight and it was WONDERFUL!!

  16. how well will this keep in the fridge and with heating up
    carole
    gram122@comcast.net

  17. can I use moustard leaf instead of the kale? will it taste good too? thanks!

  18. How many servings would you say this recipe yields? trying to decide whether or not to double!

  19. I made this today and it was sooooO delicious!!! Wow this recipe is excellent! Thank you for sharing. Its just like Olive Garden. Super yummy.

    Thank you

  20. you nailed it. yum

  21. This is delicious. I used spinach instead of the kale. Great spicy flavor. I’ll definitely make this again. I love your site; you have so many recipes I need to try!

  22. Pingback: zuppa toscana // sausage, kale, and potato soup « CHiEATS

  23. proud maging pinoy tong gagong toh ahh..! pero galing? nmn sya ^^….. visit http://goo.gl/HNBgn to watch pinoy tv shows

  24. I’m going to make this for a soup exchange so I’m curious how much this yields? I need to make 8 qts. Thanks!

  25. Has anyone made this in the crock-pot? I’m thinking about doing it for tomorrow’s dinner and was looking for some tips! Thanks!

  26. I like the recipe a lot and can’t wait to make it due to it being my wife’s favorite soup. I have one web site that I use for all my recipes because they allow you to save your recipes. I added your recipe to my recipe box and mentioned the original author (You) and included a link. I had to do it in the comments section due to the web site not allowing me to add a link within the recipe itself. I hope that this is ok, if you do not agree then let me know and I will remove it. Here is the link: http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63578430/zuppa-toscana-og/detail.aspx

  27. for 1 you DO not cook the sausage in a skillet. you take the casings off put sausages on a cookie sheet.. flatten out the sausages cook at 350 degrees in the oven till done. usually about 15 minutes. let cool slightly then roughly chop it up. also some of the potatoes are taken out of the boiling liquid and pureed and added back to the soup. and in the actual recipe yukon gold are NOT NOT used. i made this compared to my ACTUAL recipe and my entire party goers thought yours was absolute crap. just sayin..

    • Wow – rude much? Everyone has different tastes, likes and dislikes. I, for one, think this recipe is better than Olive Garden with the following adjustments – double the amount of chicken broth, water and cream and use red potatoes. But hey, I am grateful for the baseline recipe. Steve – learn some diplomacy.

  28. I made this tonight – had to make a few adjustments. I used twice the amount of chicken broth, water and cream as was called for and about 2 lbs of red potatoes – it was AMAZING!

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  30. I made this twice with a few changes (I used the grease from browning the meat to cook the onions and twice as many garlic cloves plus i added more meat and bacon than called for. I cooked the meat and bacon together). The first time I made it, it was for guests the next day. My hubby liked it so much that he had 3 or 4 bowls the night I made it. The next day I barely got any because everyone loved it so much. Oh yeah, I didn’t even add the cream at all. Hubby was in it before I added it and loved it like that. Yummy soup!

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  33. I went to olive garden last week and the chef came over to our table. He told me that he dices red peppers very small and he removes the sausage from the casing and he boils it to removes
    the fat than he uses the fat from the chopped bacon to sauté the
    peppers,onions,garlic etc. at home I used half and half. It came
    out FANTASTIC.

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  39. Hi there! About to make this delicious soup for the 4th or 5th time.. and wanting to keep it for lunches for my husband and I. Do you think it will keep well leftover, and what would be the best way? 

    Thanks! 

    • Hi Rebekah — we’re so glad you enjoy the recipe! This holds up just fine for leftovers (just reheat gently on the stove for best results).