Creamy Zuppa Toscana

Creamy Zuppa Toscana is thick, rich and creamy sauce mixed with chunks of potatoes and spicy sausage all blended together with bacon chunks and kale to make a savory Italian soup. This is a MUST make soup this fall!

Delicious and creamy zuppa toscana that tastes just like it is from the Olive Garden! If you love copycat recipes from your favorite restaurants try these Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat), Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup, The Best Avocado Egg Rolls (Cheesecake Factory Copycat) or Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (Panera Bread Copycat).

zuppa toscana soup

Creamy Zuppa Toscana

I have been a little under the weather lately, so all that sounds good to me is soup and breadsticks.

We have been going to Olive Garden a lot lately.  Their soup, salad, and breadsticks never disappoint.

Zuppa Toscana is creamy and amazing, while hearty and filling.  I love the potatoes in the soup.

The sausage and bacon added to it give it a great flavor.

It is warm, creamy and smooth and it definitely hits the spot every time!

This is as close to the real deal at Olive Garden as it gets and it is absolutely fantastic!

What you need to make Zuppa Toscana

I love the Olive Garden.  It is my restaurant of choice.

Mainly for the soup, salad and breadsticks.

Zuppa Toscana is one of my favorite soups to get there!

I think it is awesome when you can make the same delicious soup at home that tastes straight from the restaurant.

  • Chicken broth: helps add in a rich broth flavor.
  • Heavy cream: makes a heavy, thick base that soaks up the potatoes and adds bold flavoring.
  • Italian Sausage: cook this up and have those thick pieces of savory sausage in every bite.
  • Bacon: who doesn’t love some bacon in their soup!
  • Russet potatoes: tender chunks of potatoes in every bite.
  • Onion: diced up and added for a little crunch on your texture.
  • Garlic cloves: minced with a subtle hint of garlic in the broth.
  • Spinach or Kale: adds color, texture and a great flavoring to the soup.
  • Salt and pepper: just a dash for taste!

cooking sausage on the left side in a pan and cooking bacon on the right side in a pan.

How to make zuppa Toscana

There are a few steps to take to prepare this Zuppa tuscana soup but don’t let that discourage you!

This soup is a tried and true soup that will not let you down.

It is worth every step not only in the aroma you will be smelling in your home but in every warm bite you take.

My favorite part about this soup is all the flavor that goes together.

Even cooking your potatoes in chicken broth brings out the rich flavors in the potatoes.

Enjoy your soup in less than an hour and you will appreciate the few extra steps to get there!

  • Cook your meats: Cook and crumble the bacon. Set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel. Cook the sausage and set aside.
  • Prepare your potatoes: Skin each potato and slice in half and make about 1/4 inch slices. You can slice these into fourths making the potatoes more bite sized.
  • Boil your potatoes: Bring a large pot with the chicken broth to a boil. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until tender.
  • Sauté: While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the onion and garlic until tender and set aside.
  • Combine ingredients together: Once potatoes are tender, add sausage, onion, garlic, and chopped spinach to the pot. Boil for a couple of minutes until the spinach starts to wilt. Reduce heat and add heavy cream.
  • Cook: finish by cooking until heated through and add salt and pepper to taste.

cooking potatoes in a pot with water.

Make Zuppa Toscana in a slow cooker

This soup is so simple to make and comes out tasting like gold!

It doesn’t take long to cook on the stove but for those busy days it is nice to have another option.

Cooking in a slow cooker is just as great as having it on the stove top.

You still prepare your ingredients and then add to the slow cooker to finish while you have a days work.

The great thing about a slow cooker for soups is it allows the flavors to blend so well together and add an extra creamy flavoring while soaking in the warm bowl.

  • Brown your bacon and sausage: Cook and crumble the bacon. Set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel. Cook the sausage and set aside.
  • Prepare your potatoes: Skin each potato and slice in half and make about 1/4 inch slices. You can slice these into fourths making the potatoes more bite sized.
  • Boil your potatoes: Bring a large pot with the chicken broth to a boil. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until tender.
  • Sauté: While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the onion and garlic until tender and set aside.
  • Combine ingredients together: Once potatoes are tender, add sausage, onion and garlic to the slow cooker. Leave out the kale or spinach until the last 30 minutes.
  • Slow cooker: cook on high about 3 to 4 hours or low for about 5 to 6 hours.
  • Last 30 minutes: add in the kale or spinach to your slow cooker.

cooking Zuppa tuscana in a pot on the stove top.

Tips for making Zuppa Toscana

I love Zuppa tosacna just the way it is!

You can’t go wrong with this soup and all the flavoring it has.

This is a tried and true favorite recipe of mine and I have loved it since I went to Olive Garden for the first time.

If you need a few changes here are a few that we have tried in the past. We still keep going back to my original recipe though!

  • Instead of using heavy cream you can use half and half or 1 cup of milk with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch whisked in. The heavy cream gives it the most flavoring though!
  • If you like more vegetables added in try carrots or corn.
  • I have the option of spinach or kale in the ingredients in case you prefer one over the other.
  • Crisp the bacon and then set aside until ready to serve, so that it doesn’t get soggy.
  • To add more spice the Italian sausage can be heated or changed also.
  • Adding in a dash of pepper flakes or other seasonings to change the soup a bit too.

What to serve with Zuppa Toscana

We love Zuppa tuscano by itself most days it is always nice to have a few more options if you are having a dinner party with family and friends.

Switching the soup into a bread bowl or have a side of homemade breadsticks like these 20 Minute Italian Bread Twists or Perfectly Soft and Buttery Rolls are always nice to add with this soup.

A side salad like Strawberry, Apple and Pear Spinach Salad with an Apple Cider Poppyseed Dressing, Bacon Pear Gorgonzola Salad or Autumn Chopped Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing are always a hit!

Storing creamy zuppa Toscana

I don’t think I could ever store Zuppa tuscano soup! haha

I would be sneaking it every day that I knew it is in my refrigerator or freezer.

It is seriously one of my favorite soups that I could eat All. Day. Long!

It is best to make this either the day of or ahead a couple of days.

Freezing is not the best for this soup but can be done with a little extra care.

Enjoy your soup for as many as you can!

  • Making ahead: this soup is great for making ahead. You can make ahead and cook it in the slow cooker or make it ahead and place it in an airtight container to leave in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Leave out the spinach or kale for making ahead so it does whither or ruin your spinach.
  • Refrigerator: prepare and make this soup as instructed. When ready to refrigerate, simply let it cool and place in an airtight container or ziplock bag. I always like to remove the spinach or kale and replace with new ingredients when I reheat. This will last in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  • Freezer: zuppa toscano doesn’t do well in the freezer and will separate when reheating. Just remember to reheat slowly. Again, you will want to remove the kale before freezing. It will have a different taste and sometimes the potatoes become too mushy in the freezer. If you are making ahead and can freeze it that way, just cook up the ingredients and leave out the potatoes and spinach or kale. This will last about 1 month in the freezer.
  • Reheating: it is best to have the soup cooked and refrigerator for the best results; however, if you are freezing the soup, you will want to reheat slowly stirring occasionally so you do not smash your potatoes.

Zuppa Toscana cooking on the stove top

More Soup Recipes

zuppa toscana served in a bowl.

Creamy Zuppa Toscana

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 10 people

Delicious and creamy zuppa toscana that tastes just like it is from the Olive Garden!

Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian, Italian American

Ingredients

  • 3 cans (14 ounces) Chicken broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 1/2 cups kale or chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook and crumble the bacon. Set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel. Cook the sausage and set aside.
  2. Skin each potato and slice in half and make about 1/4 inch slices. You can slice these into fourths making the potatoes more bite sized.
  3. Bring a large pot with the chicken broth to a boil. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until tender.
  4. While the potatoes are boiling, saute the onion and garlic until tender and set aside.
  5. Once potatoes are tender, add sausage, onion, garlic, and chopped spinach to the pot. Boil for a couple of minutes until the spinach starts to wilt. Reduce heat and add heavy cream.
  6. Cook until heated through and add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

Original post November 19, 2013

Updated post September 29, 2019

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Zuppa Toscana
Amount Per Serving
Calories 490 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41g63%
Saturated Fat 19g95%
Cholesterol 115mg38%
Sodium 512mg21%
Potassium 609mg17%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1411IU28%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

Read More Posts by Alyssa

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Categories
Vegetables

Comments

Leave a reply
  1. The recipe I use for Zuppa Toscana also calls for kale, you should add that to your soup, it’s sooooooo good! Also, if you like spicy foods, use spicy Italian sausage and add a teaspoon of hot chili pepper flakes, it really isn’t that spicy, but it adds the perfect amount of flavor.

  2. What a beautiful picture! We love Zuppa Toscana too. I actually made a very similar version of this last week using the crock pot – browned the sausage (I only used 1/2 pound), then put everything but the spinach and cream into the crock pot, cooked on high for 4 hrs, then added the spinach and cream (I used half and half to make it a little lighter) for another 30 min or so. It was great, and even better on the 2nd day.

  3. Soup sounds so comforting when you’re feeling under the weather and hope you feel better soon Alyssa 🙂 This soup looks wonderful, we like Olive Garden too so can’t wait to try making this 🙂

    1. I ENJOY THE ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP VERY
      MUCH WHEN I GO TO OLIVE GARDEN
      I HAVE BE LOOKING FOR THE RECIPE FOR
      SOME TIME NOW .

      THANK YOU SO MUCH

      BILL S

  4. I have also made a similar version. I love it. It is made with Kale not spinach, also. I fold the leaves in half and cut the spine off and then chop the leaves. I also love it with extra potato. The recipe I’ve used calls water and bullion for the broth, and then the cream. Made that way, I have used less water, and cut out the cream, and substited the difference in water and what was called for with the heavy cream amount, with milk instead. Way less calories, and I still loved it just as much. I also like the mild Italian sausage. Isn’t this soup the best?!

    1. kim — your version of this recipe looks so good! Techniqually I don’t think it is Zuppa Toscana anymore…but maybe a delicious creamy vegetable soup. I really want to try your version, too. I love soup!

  5. I used to work for Olive Garden back in the 90’s when they made EVERYTHING from scratch, (most everything is frozen now) and this was my favorite soup to make. I make it for myself now and mines better cuz i use hot sausage and kale instead of spinach cuz it holds its texture better in the soup.

  6. I love this soup also. I jazz it up by adding red peppers and jalapeno’s for color and flavor. I also add celery and leeks. There is so much extra vitamin C that I add about a half tsp of baking soda to keep the milk from curdling when I add the milk. I basically saute everything by adding it by how long it takes to cook, then add the chicken broth and then add the potatoes and cook the potatoes, last the kale cut up in chunks without the spines and then I add the baking soda and then the milk and then cook until the milk is heated up. Then I add flavorings and perhaps some jalapeno cheese. I also cut up fresh sweet corn and add that after the potatoes and before the kale.

  7. I just made this soup for dinner and it was really good. I doubled the recipe except for the cream and sausage and I used kale, red potatoes with the skin on, and I added some fresh basil. This recipe is a keeper. Of course its way better than Olive Gardens.

  8. This recipe is awesome it is much better than Olive Garden. I had an unexpected guest last night for dinner he told my grandson it tasted like Olive Garden’s. My grandson commented it was way better than theirs. I will definitely be fixing it again. Thank you for sharing.

  9. 5 stars
    I added chicken tenders from making the broth, diced; fresh basil, chopped; cheese tortellini; and two generous dashes of chili powder—which really made it perfect! Thanks for the great idea!

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe is one of the best soups I’ve ever had! I pureed part of the soup for even more creaminess and replaced the kale with sauteed baby spinach.

  11. I used the instant pot route but you should have also said to leave the cream out till the very end. It separated and did not look very pretty.

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