This hugely popular Zuppa Toscana is an Italian-inspired soup made with sausage, potatoes, kale, bacon and cream. 

I could eat this zuppa toscana soup every day of the week, not joke. If you asked me my other favorites, i’d say: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup,  Corn Chowder and Spicy Chicken Soup.

A bowl of Zuppa Toscana soup made with potatoes, bacon, sausage and kale.

We can thank the American restaurant Olive Garden for the namesake of this Zuppa Toscana, which translates to “Tuscan Soup”. As usual, the homemade version is fantastic, healthier than what you’d find at a restaurant, and seriously EASY to make!

Ingredients in Zuppa Toscana:

The ingredients needed to make Zuppa Toscana.
Ground Italian sausage, potatoes, bacon, onion, kale, garlic, chicken broth, heavy cream, salt and pepper.

How to make Zuppa Toscana:

  1. Brown sausage: Cook and stir it until it’s nice and brown and crumbled into pieces.
  2. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, and chopped potato to the pot. Add chicken broth and water.
  3. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Finish it off: add some cream, cooked bacon, and chopped kale. Season it to your liking with some salt and pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (if you like a little bit of heat).
Four process photos for making Zuppa Toscana soup.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead: The entire soup can be made 1-3 days ahead of time, stored in the fridge.

To freeze: make the soup according to instructions but don’t add the cream, and don’t cook the potatoes until tender. Allow soup to cool, then store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and rewarm on the stove. Stir in cream and cook until potatoes are tender.

Consider trying one of these classic soup recipes:

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Recipe

A bowl of Zuppa Toscana soup made with potatoes, bacon, sausage and kale.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins
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Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound hot ground Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 large russet or gold potatoes peeled, quartered, and then chopped in ¼ inch slices
  • 5 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cups water
  • 3 cups chopped kale (ribs/stems removed)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste, if desired

Instructions
 

  • Brown ground sausage into small pieces in a large soup pot of medium high heat. Remove some of the grease.
  • Add chopped onions, garlic, and potatoes and sauté for a few minutes. Pour in chicken broth and water and allow mixture to come to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Stir in the bacon, chopped kale, and cream. Season with salt and pepper and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Cook for 2-3 more minutes or until warmed through.

Video

Notes

Kale: you could also use spinach.
Slow Cooker: Sauté ground sausage, onion, garlic and potatoes in a pan, then add to the slow cooker with water and broth. Cook on LOW for 5 hours or HIGH for 3, or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream and season to taste.
Instant Pot: Use the Instant Pot to sauté the sausage, onion, garlic and potatoes on sauté setting. Turn pot off and add water and broth. Cook on High pressure for 4 minutes, with a 10 minute natural release. Stir in kale and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make Ahead Instructions: The entire soup can be made 1-3 days ahead of time, stored in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: To freeze Zuppa Toscana, make the soup according to instructions but don’t add the cream, and don’t cook the potatoes until tender. Allow soup to cool, then store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and rewarm on the stove. Stir in cream and cook until potatoes are tender.

Nutrition

Calories: 564kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 17gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 1283mgPotassium: 875mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3930IUVitamin C: 58.8mgCalcium: 118mgIron: 2.4mg

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Recipe adapted from Food.com.

I originally shared this recipe October 2017. Updated September 2020 with additional tips, process photos and a video.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Made this today for a gathering. This soup was delicious. I used spinach and all liked the soup. I will make again.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this the other night. It was delicious and easy. Shared with my neighbors… She said the flavorings were “perfectly balanced”. I agree!

  3. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! I made it exactly as the recipe said and it was great. I have never been a fan of Kale but love it in this. Thank you for all your meal plans. All your recipes are amazing!

    1. Thank you so much Trish–I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the meal plans! Thanks for following TBFS <3

    2. 5 stars
      Hey Lauren! Thank you so much for this recipe it’s so yummy ,quick & easy!And my husband absolutely loved this soup!

  4. I found you today and have spent the past hour looking at recipes. I am SO excited to start making them! I have a toddler and am pregnant so fast, easy dinners are a must. I think you may have just revolutionized my cooking!

    1. Thanks so much Lauren! I’m so happy you found my site, and it seems like we have a lot in common already 🙂 ;my name is also Lauren, I have three littles and am expecting in April. Fast and easy dinners are essential! I’d love to hear what you try!

  5. Made this soup tonight, exactly as directed but with baby spinach in place of the kale. So perfectly delicious! Will definitely be repeating this one!

  6. 4 stars
    We tried this soup last night and weren’t huge fans but it wasn’t bad! I think you definitely have to be a big soup fan for this one. This recipe makes a TON of soup though! Definitely a great option if you’re feeding a lot of people. Since my husband and I didn’t really like it and only had a serving each I brought the rest of the pot in to work in a crockpot and it didn’t last long there! Everyone I work with thought it was great!

    If I was to make this again, I would probably do less potato, half and half instead of cream, and omit the kale/spinach entirely in favor of a side salad.

    With all that being said, this is pretty spot on for an Olive Garden copycat!

  7. Turned out really yummy! I like this soup a little more creamy so I’ll probably add more heavy cream and less chicken broth next time.

  8. 5 stars
    I made this soup last year and it was a huge hit with the family. My grandmother requested me to make it today for her birthday dinner/gift. So delicious!

  9. 5 stars
    I make this all the time! It’s one of the first soups I go to when the weather gets cold. I will also change it up between kale and spinach, just depends on what I’m in the mood for.

  10. 5 stars
    Second time making it. Great soup for a cool rainy or fall day! Thanks for a great soup recipe. I will definitely be making this again.

  11. 5 stars
    Delicious! This may be my favorite recipe of yours so far. It has so much flavor. My husband and I couldn’t stop eating it!

  12. 5 stars
    This is very delicious! I was a little worried about the Kale, but it softens and is delicious.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious!

    I substituted sage breakfast sausage for the hot Italian sausage and collard greens for the kale. (I forgot to buy the former, and I can’t tolerate kale.) That was the first time I used collard greens, and it won’t be the last. They were a tasty addition to this soup.

    I completely forgot to add garlic into the soup, but it turned out delicious anyway! We added some additional spices into our own dishes after serving, and everyone got to customize it their own way.

  14. 5 stars
    SO DELICIOUS and easy to put together! We didn’t have red pepper to add at the end, but the heat from the hot Italian sausage was perfect for my whole family to enjoy. I also did not have low-sodium chicken broth and we did not notice it to be too salty. This is a perfect dish to serve with an evening with friends and family for the taste and it looks so pretty. I’m bummed I forgot to make your homemade breadsticks. I will do that next time! Thank you so much.

  15. 5 stars
    I make it several times a year. Always a big success. Even with “I’m eating-out-every-day because life is too short for boring home food” crowd.