Zuppa Toscana (better than Olive Garden!)

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Indulge in a bowl of comforting Zuppa Toscana that’s even better than what you can get at Olive Garden. This hearty soup combines the flavors of spicy Italian sausage, creamy potatoes, fresh kale, and a hint of bacon for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Why Make This Recipe

Making Zuppa Toscana at home allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavors to your liking. Plus, it’s a simple and budget-friendly recipe that can feed a crowd or provide leftovers for quick and easy meals throughout the week.

How to Make Zuppa Toscana


  • 1 lb. Italian sausages (spicy for that signature Olive Garden taste)
  • 4-6 russet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. REAL bacon pieces (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 c. kale or Swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp flour


  1. Brown the sausage links in a sauté pan.
  2. Cut the links in half lengthwise and then slice them.
  3. Place the sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes, and onion in a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the ingredients.
  4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours (or low for 5-6 hours) until the potatoes are tender.
  5. 30 minutes before serving, mix the flour into the cream to remove any lumps.
  6. Add the cream and kale to the slow cooker and stir.
  7. Cook on high for an additional 30 minutes until the broth slightly thickens.
  8. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

How to Serve Zuppa Toscana

Serve this hearty soup hot, garnished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread for dipping. It makes a comforting and satisfying meal on its own or as a starter for an Italian-inspired dinner.

How to Store Zuppa Toscana

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

Tips to Make Zuppa Toscana

  • Use spicy Italian sausage for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Feel free to add more vegetables like carrots or celery for added nutrients and texture.
  • Adjust the consistency of the soup by adding more or less cream according to your preference.


For a lighter version, you can use turkey or chicken sausage instead of pork sausage and substitute heavy cream with half-and-half for a lower-fat option.


  1. Can I use frozen kale or spinach instead of fresh? Yes, frozen greens can be used, but fresh greens will provide a better texture and flavor.
  2. How can I make this soup vegetarian? You can swap the sausage for plant-based sausage and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  3. Can I freeze Zuppa Toscana? While it can be frozen, the texture of the soup may change slightly upon reheating.

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