This super delicious Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscana recipe is loaded with large chunks of Italian sausage and potatoes, swimming in a creamy and spicy beef broth, and garnished with crispy and salty bacon. This is the best soup for cold winter nights!
Why you'll love this recipe
Zuppa Toscana soup is an Olive Garden-inspired copycat recipe. This one-pot, creamy Zuppa Toscana soup is loaded with Italian sausage, kale, garlic, potatoes, and bacon. Pair all of that with a side of crusty bread, perfetto. This soup takes less than an hour to make and will warm you up in no time at all. It's the ultimate soup for chilly nights and blustery days!
What is it?
Zuppa Toscana translates to "Tuscan Soup" or "Tuscan-style Soup". Beyond the ingredients listed below, Tuscan soup can also include white beans, cheese, and tomatoes.
I'm not sure if anyone knows whether this soup is Italian, or if it was made up by Olive Garden. Either way, this soup is nothing short of delicious!
This sausage and potato soup consists of only 9 simple ingredients:
- Sausage, mild or Italian
- Red pepper flakes
- Beef or chicken broth/stock
- Heavy whipping cream
Fry the bacon. Start by cutting the bacon into strips using a good, sharp pair of kitchen shears. Fry the bacon until it’s crispy and then remove it from the pan and set aside. Reserve about ¼ cup of the bacon grease for cooking the sausage in the next step.
Slice the potatoes. Wash and peel the potatoes. When thinly slicing them, alternate thicknesses. Make some of the slices really thin and make some of them about ¼ of an inch thick. By doing this, the really thin slices will completely boil down and help thicken up the soup!
Cook the sausage with red pepper flakes. In a large stockpot or dutch oven, add the sausage, red pepper flakes, and bacon grease, and cook until browned. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
Add the potatoes and kale. Add the beef broth/stock to the sausage and onion mixture and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the thinly sliced potatoes and the roughly chopped kale. Boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
Serve it with bacon and bread! Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the heavy whipping cream. Serve with crusty bread (we love baguette!) and garnish with bacon!
This Olive Garden soup is soup-er easy to customize! Add in one or two cans of white beans, leave out the kale, or garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. The choice is yours!
The red pepper flakes can also be left out for a less spicy and kid-friendly version.
Tips & tricks
Try different types of broth or stock. For this recipe, I like to use beef broth because it has a bolder and stronger taste. You could also substitute chicken stock, vegetable broth, or even make it from scratch.
Use mild, hot, or Italian sausage. I've even substituted hamburger meat in a pinch.
Try Zuppa Toscana with spinach. I'm not the biggest fan of kale, but it's just so darn good in this soup! Every time I make this recipe, I add more and more kale. It seems like my husband and I still fight over it- there's just never enough! In this recipe, spinach can be substituted for kale. Add it in at the same time as the cream and allow it to cook for a few minutes.
- 6-Quart Dutch Oven. This dutch oven is the perfect size for Zuppa Toscana. I use it for so many recipes like Garlic Butter Green Beans and Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. Dutch ovens really can be used for just about everything!
- Soup Bowls. You can't have fancy soup without fancy bowls!
Storing and reheating
Refrigerator: Store this soup in the fridge for up to four days.
Reheat: Portion out your soup and reheat it on the stove or microwave until heated through.
More spicy dishes
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
- ¾ lb bacon
- 1 lb sausage mild or Italian
- ½ large white onion diced
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 10 c beef broth or stock*
- 5 Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch kale roughly chopped and stems removed
- 1 c heavy whipping cream
- Cut bacon into strips and fry in a large stockpot until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Discard all but half of the bacon grease (about ¼ cup left in the pan).
- Add the sausage and red pepper flakes and cook until browned. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft.
- Add the beef broth to the sausage and onion mixture and bring to a boil.
- Add the potatoes and kale. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in heavy cream.
- Serve and garnish with bacon.
The nutritional information provided is only an estimate. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
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