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!
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage (I recommend spicy)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
- 1.5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
- 5 to 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 to 3 cups chopped fresh kale
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 6 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Cook sausage in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, breaking the sausage into small pieces as it cooks. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a separate plate, reserving 1 tablespoon grease in the stockpot for later*, and discarding the excess grease. (I actually like to briefly rinse my cooked sausage in a strainer to remove even more excess grease.) Set aside.
- Add onions to the stockpot (with the grease), and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, chicken stock, 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. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm, garnished with the bacon bits.
Slow Cooker Version:
- Cook sausage in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, breaking the sausage into small pieces as it cooks. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a separate plate. (I actually like to briefly rinse my cooked sausage in a strainer to remove even more excess grease.) Set aside.
- Add cooked sausage, garlic, onion, potatoes, and chicken stock to a 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. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm, garnished with the bacon bits.
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Version:
- Press the “Sauté” button on your Instant Pot. Add the Italian sausage, and sauté until browned and cooked through, breaking the sausage into small pieces as it cooks. Press “Cancel” on the Instant Pot. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a separate plate, and drain and discard the excess grease in the Instant Pot. (I actually like to briefly rinse my cooked sausage in a strainer to remove even more excess grease.)
- Add cooked sausage, garlic, onion, potatoes, and chicken stock to the bowl of the Instant Pot, and stir to combine.
- Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 10 minutes. Cook. Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped. Remove the lid.
- Stir in the kale and cream, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm, garnished with the bacon bits.
*Stovetop Version: If you would rather not sauté the onions in the grease, you can sub in 1 tablespoon olive oil instead.
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!
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!
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!
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 :-)
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:
Try it, you won’t be disappointed.
Wow this looks amazing. I might have to try this as an alternative to my usual chicken and veggie soup!
I made this last night for dinner – yum! My husband and I loved it and are looking forward to leftovers tonight! Really, really good!
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!
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 (:
Looks like perfect tummy-warming soup to take the edge off this windy Winter we’re having – yum!
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!
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.
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 ;)
Do you think this recipe would freeze well? I’m thinking of making this for a soup swap!
Made this tonight and it was WONDERFUL!!
how well will this keep in the fridge and with heating up
can I use moustard leaf instead of the kale? will it taste good too? thanks!
How many servings would you say this recipe yields? trying to decide whether or not to double!
I triple it !!!!! my family loves it
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.
you nailed it. yum
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!
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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!
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!
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: https://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63578430/zuppa-toscana-og/detail.aspx
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.
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!
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!
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
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?
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).
Did you find kale in Barcelona? We have a home south of Barcelona we visit a couple of times a year and I’ve been looking for kale the last few times we visited and none of the markets had heard of it. I read on line that kale is not typically available in Spain so I was wondering if that hasn’t recently changed?
Thanks for the recipe!
Hello, I am one of your followers in Instagram, I want to thank you for sharing delicious recipe ?
Thanks, Melanie! :)
Soup came out so delicious! Very simple, super tasty, easy prep. Also chilled and warmed up beautifully. I plan to make it again soon! I just didn’t add the bacon. I did notice another recipe, on another site, similar to this called for flour or cornstarch to be added- would that make the soup more thick?
I just made this tonight.
This recipe for is going in the “Constant Rotation” file! I really think your recipe might be better than OGs! It was simple and quick and I could taste the fresh flavors of good chicken broth, crunchy kale, tender potatoes (I used russets. Wonderful) and spicy sausage. Even better, I didn’t need to over season this the way OG does and my soup had body since I used the heavy cream I had leftover from New Years.
Thank you so much for this. I made the Beef Stroganoff soup last week and thought that was excellent, but this is in an entirely different category!
Love! I make it with hot Turkey sausage, to lessen the fat content a bit. Texture is a little different but tastes the same. One of my husband’s favorite meals!
I’ve been using this recipe for years, and I absolutely love it! Thank you!
Yep this was better than I imagined. I love this Olive Garden soup so much! I did more than a pound of sausage to make it a little more hearty and omitted bacon because I don’t love bacon. I could’ve definitely done more than 2 cups of kale since I did extra sausage but all in all this was seriously so delicious and easy to make.
This soup is yummy, I will make it again & again.
Delicious! Made this recipe and I loved it.
Such an easy recipe to follow, loved the suggestion of rinsing the sausage. My family devoured it! ❤️❤️
I did the stovetop version. The soup turned out great but I felt it was missing something. I sauteed some halved sweet grape tomatoes (about 3/4 cup) in olive oil until the skins started to come off. And then added it to the prepared soup. It really made the soup pop with color and flavor.
Was a hit with the family!!! Only thing missing is the Olive Garden breadsticks. After realizing how cheap and easy this is to make will definitely be a new regular on the menu in my home!!!
Cooked via the slow cooker and did the following:
– Didn’t drain or rinse the sausage as I like it really brown, and there wasn’t a lot of grease leftover. I also wanted the flavor.
– Omitted the bacon since it was just a garnish.
– Used heavy cream, but think I will use half-and-half in the future.
– Used baby Dutch yellow potatoes since I couldn’t find Yukon gold.
– Used low sodium chicken stock (I’m afraid things will get too salty!) but may use regular in the future.
– Used more than 2 cups of kale. Recipe didn’t state whether or not to cut off the stems but I did.
I ended up having to add at least (rough estimate) of 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 of pepper, and maybe 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of season salt to add flavor. I also added around 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes because I do like things spicy! Brought this for lunch at work and really liked that the kale was still crunchy!
Thanks for the estimations in salt and pepper. I understand why recipes are marked to taste but it’s nice to know where to start. Mine is in the instant pot right now! I added 1/4 t chipotle chili pepper because we like some spice too. ☺️
Is it possible to cut this recipe in half? I’m wondering if you need to modify the time for the Instant Pot.
Excited to try this!
It’s was yummy and flavorful. Was not very creamy more soupy/watery. Any suggestions to what I may have done wrong, welcomed. I plan to make again.
This soup isn’t really a creamy soup. Evebthough it has cream in it, at OG it’s still a brothy soup.
The best soup I ever made!
I see bacon on the ingredients but not in the recipe.. where does the bacon come into play? Thank you!!
I was a little confused, too, but at the end it says to just sprinkle on top as a garnish — it looks like the recipe just forgot to include the part where you cook it. :) I fry mine, but I’ve heard baking it is a good alternative also!
Cook the bacon separately and top your souo with it. I’ve made it and left it out before and it was still delicious!
You sprinkle it on top after the soup is done when serving it.
recipe calls for “cooked & crumbled” bacon…it’s a garnish, not a component of the recipe.
I made this recipe after a friend recommended it. I made it without bacon and used Beyond Meat Spicy Italian sausage instead of traditional sausage. I also swapped vegetable broth for chicken broth. It was incredible!! And my husband asked me to make it again!!
Oh Kristie I’m going to try it your way too.
So easy, So delicious!!! Shared with friends and everyone went back for seconds. I did add another cup of water and an additional 1/2 cup of half/half. This is my all time favorite soup from Olive Garden. Love that I can now make!! Happy Holidays.
Please help… Made this tonight. What’s the best way to thicken it, even though it’s done?
The bacon is a garnish
This is soooo good!! And easy!!
So happy I tried this!!! It was so easy and absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I have tried making a similar recipe and the soup was so greasy:( Thank you for the suggestion of rinsing the sausage a little… made such a difference!! Really good!!