Olive Garden Soup Copycat – Make the restaurant favorite at home!
Rich and Creamy – The cream makes the soup deliciously rich.
One-Pot Recipe – Make the entire recipe in a large dutch oven for easy clean up.
Ingredients For Zuppa Toscana Soup
Bacon – This is optional and used as a garnish and to add more flavor to the soup base.
Ground Spicy Italian Sausage – You can find this in the refrigerated pork section, already ground and ready to go. You can also buy sausages and remove them from the casing, but that’s a little more work.
Yellow Onion – The yellow onion is a little sweeter than other options, but any variety will work.
Garlic – Fresh is best, but you can use the minced garlic in a jar.
Spices – Red Pepper Flakes, Salt, and Pepper.
Chicken Broth – I always purchase a low-sodium broth so I can better control the salt level.
Russet Potatoes – These hold their shape better than other types of potatoes, and are the ones used in the restaurant soup.
Heavy Cream – To make the broth nice and creamy.
Kale – You’ll remove the leaves from the stems and give it a rough chop.
Fresh Parmesan Cheese – Optional for a garnish.
How To Make Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
This is a visual overview of the steps to make this recipe. Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.
Easy to make in one pot and ready in only 45 minutes!
Cook Bacon – Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat and cook the diced bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and drain most of the grease from the pot (leave about a tablespoon).
Cook Sausage – In the same pot with the bacon grease, cook and crumble the sausage until no longer pink. Transfer to a second paper towel-lined plate.
Add Onions and Garlic – Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or two then add the red pepper flakes. Add the flour and stir to combine then cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Add Broth and Potatoes – Pour in the chicken broth and water, then add the potatoes. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high and cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. If it begins to boil too hard, reduce the heat.
Add Remaining Ingredients – When the potatoes are almost tender, add the heavy cream, sausage, and kale to the soup and bring to a boil until the kale is slightly wilted.
Serve and Enjoy – Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve, garnish with crispy bacon and fresh grated parmesan.
Why is it called Zuppa Toscana?
The soup is called Zuppa Toscana because it means ‘Tuscan Soup’ in Italian. The classic Italian version has veggies, beans, potatoes, Italian bacon, and bread.
Is the soup spicy?
Using Hot Italian Sausage gives the soup a spicy kick but you can swap in a mild Italian sausage if you don’t like spice.
Can you make this soup in the slow cooker?
Yes! Start by cooking the bacon, sausage, onions, and garlic as written. Then transfer to a crockpot and add the broth and potatoes. Cook on Low for 4-5 hours or until the potatoes are almost tender. Add in the kale and heavy cream and cook until the kale is wilted.
Storage and Reheating
Storage – Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. But the texture is best the day that it’s made due to the cream and potatoes.
Reheating – For best results, reheat leftovers on the stove over low heat while stirring occasionally until warm.
Use the Bacon Fat – Make sure to leave some of the bacon grease in the pot. It adds great flavor!
Don’t Overcook the Potatoes – You want the potatoes to be just almost tender when you add the cream, kale, and sausage so the potatoes don’t get overcooked and mushy.
Heat a 5-quart dutch oven or soup pot oven medium-high heat and add diced bacon. Cook until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess grease. Spoon out and discard most of the grease, leaving behind about a tablespoon.
Crumble sausage into the pot and cook until sausage is no longer pink. Transfer to another paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Add diced onion to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened; about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Add red pepper flakes and flour to the pot. Stir to combine with the onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the chicken broth and water, then add the potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high and cook for about 13-15 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. If it begins to boil to hard, reduce the heat.
When the potatoes are nearly done, add the heavy cream, sausage and kale to the pot and bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes, or until kale is slightly wilted.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and serve, garnish with crispy bacon and fresh grated parmesan.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.