Zuppa Toscana Soup (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe)

Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup is everything you could possibly want on a chilly day!

Creamy, savory, and hearty, this soup tastes like it came right out of nonna’s kitchen. 

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Homemade Creamy Zuppa Toscana Soup with Italian Sausage, Kale, Beans and Potatoes

Olive Garden has a reputation for making super comforting soups. 

But you don’t need to head to the restaurant to enjoy this scrumptious bowl!

All you need is this copycat recipe. From the creamy broth to the ratios, it tastes like the real thing.

So if you’re in the mood for comfort food, put on a pot of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup. It doesn’t disappoint.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Olive Garden has an incredible lineup of soups. Gnocchi soup, minestrone, and pasta e fagioli are a few favorites. 

But the best is hands down Zuppa Toscana. 

A bowl of this soup is like a big hug from an Italian grandma. It’s soul-warming! 

Take a bite, and you’ll feel like you’re dining in the Italian countryside of Tuscany. 

It’s a rustic blend of Italian sausage, thick bacon, potatoes, and kale in a super creamy broth.

Each savory spoonful is chunky, meaty, and decadent. 

You have many options when it comes to types of sausage.

To make it taste like the chain restaurant version, you need sweet Italian sausage. 

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And don’t forget the thick-cut bacon!

Potatoes give it more substance and kale adds some much needed greens. 

A pinch of red pepper chili flakes, white wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to season it perfectly. 

Hearty ingredients like this are sure to warm you inside out on a chilly day. And you don’t even need to leave the house. 

For the full dine-in experience, pair it with breadsticks and a side salad copycat recipe. It’s the Olive Garden way.

What is Zuppa Toscana?

In Italian, zuppa translates to “soup” and Toscana refers to “Tuscany.” Put the two together, and you have Tuscan soup. 

Tuscany is a region in Italy with a charming countryside setting.

They have many incredible traditional foods, like pan Toscano and panzanella. 

Zuppa Toscana, though, is one for the books!

Hearty and bold, the savory flavors make it a fantastic addition to winter meals. 

The classic version includes cannellini beans, Italian bacon, carrots, celery, potatoes, olive oil, spices, and Tuscan bread. 

Olive Garden’s version is a little bit different. It’s a lot richer and meatier. 

Yet, it’s equally delectable, nonetheless!

Zuppa Toscana Soup Ingredients - Italian Sausage, Bacon, Potatoes, Garlic, Onion, Chicken Broth, Kale and Heavy Cream


  • Sweet Italian sausage. This is what makes it taste like Olive Garden’s version. However, if you want spicier soup, go with spicy Italian sausage instead. 
  • Bacon. Thick bacon holds up well to the creamy broth. 
  • Potatoes. Waxy new potatoes hold their shape well, making them one of the best types of potato for soup. Red and purple work, too. You can use Russet, but they may fall apart a bit.
  • Garlic. You only need a few cloves. With the same ratio, you can also use storage-bought minced garlic instead.
  • Onion. Yellow is the best. You can use white as well.
  • Chicken broth. It gives the broth flavor without being overly bold like beef. 
  • Heavy cream. The higher fat content makes it super creamy. For a skinny version, use milk. 
  • Red pepper chili flakes. You need just a pinch. But I won’t stop you from kicking it up a notch!
  • Salt and pepper. The soup would taste off without these two basic seasonings.
  • Kale. Nutrient-dense kale is the main veggie component. If you don’t have kale, spinach will do.
  • White wine vinegar. A splash of this acid will help cut through all the rich cream and fat. 
Bowl of Warm Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup with Sausage, Bacon and Vegetables

How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup

  1. Cook the bacon. Using a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. 
  2. Brown the sausage. Cook the sausage in the leftover bacon grease until browned. Set it aside with the bacon.
  3. Saute the onions. Add the onions to the pot. Cook them until they begin to tender. About 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and potatoes. Add the garlic and potatoes to the onions. Cook for about 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant. 
  5. Season with red pepper chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Season the root veggies and give them a good stir.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth. Pour the chicken broth over the veggie mixture and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. The potatoes should be tender. 
  7. Add the kale, heavy cream, and meat. Stir in the kale, heavy cream, bacon, and sausage. Simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  8. Season with white vinegar. Stir in the white wine vinegar and serve. Enjoy it with Tuscan bread or a garnish of parmesan cheese. 
Bowl of Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup with Kale, Sausage and Bacon

Tips for the Best Soup

  • Make it spicy! For a spicy version, add red pepper chili flakes or use spicy Italian sausage. Or add both.
  • Use Italian bacon like pancetta. It’s an Italian soup after all. 
  • Give it a nutrient boost with veggies and celery. 
  • Lighten up the broth with part milk and part half-n-half instead of cream.
  • Skip the dairy entirely and use full-fat canned coconut milk.
  • Try it with dried Italian herbs for a flavor boost. 
  • Cut down on the grease by wiping the pot after cooking the meat. Then use extra virgin olive oil instead. It has a cleaner flavor and it’s a healthy fat. 
  • For a more keto-friendly version, skip the potatoes and use cauliflower. 
  • Chop everything into similar sized pieces for the perfect bite!

How to Store

Did you find you made too much soup? Not a problem. 

Store the leftovers in the fridge and eat them within 3 days.

Let it cool down first. Then pour it into an air-tight container. 

This helps prevent spillage and maintains the optimum storage life. 

You could try to freeze the soup, but I don’t recommend it. The creamy broth and the fats tend to separate. 

So when you reheat it, the consistency won’t be the same. 

However, if you do want to freeze it, follow the same packaging steps as the fridge.

Divide it into individual servings if you have a lot. 

Be sure to label the containers to avoid playing the “what is this” freezer game. 

I recommend eating it within one month, but no more than three months.

Despite which route you take, reheat it up slowly. You don’t want the cream to burn.

The microwave or stovetop methods both work.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

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