Zuppa Toscana is a creamy, hearty soup loaded with bacon, sausage, potato and kale. This one pot Zuppa Toscana soup recipe comes together quickly and is so filling and delicious – sure to be a hit with the whole family!
Don’t forget the dinner rolls or crescent rolls to serve alongside this delicious soup!
Back in November of 2011, I shared the recipe for my favorite soup ever, Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup. It went bananas and has since been one of the most popular recipes on my site. It’s a recipe that I make at least once a month and more like once a week during the winter. My whole family loves it and you guys do too!
After numerous requests, I shared a slow cooker Zuppa Toscana recipe in 2014. That version has also been insanely popular and well-loved by my readers.
I am now sharing a one pot version that makes this soup so simple and easy, you’re going to make it more than ever. Instead of baking the bacon and browning the sausage in the oven, everything is done in one pot. I used my new dutch oven that my Dad got me for Christmas! I love how all the drippings from the sausage and bacon add so much flavor to the soup! It’s fantastic!
What To Serve With Zuppa Toscana
This creamy soup recipe is warm and comforting on its own or served as a hearty side dish with dinner. We like to eat it with some sort of homemade bread or roll on the side. Here are some of our favorites:
More Comfort Food Favorites
Chilly weather is our favorite time for comfort food just like this Zuppa Toscana recipe. Here are some more delicious recipes to try:
- Mac and Cheese – extra cheesy, and so delicious! 5 star reviews!
- Tuna Casserole – from scratch sauce makes this classic even better than you remember!
- Crockpot Chili – a must make for the weekend!
- Tater Tot Casserole – a great go-to dinner for busy weeknights!
- Chicken Stir Fry with the most delicious sauce!
- Perfect Pot Roast and Gravy
What You’ll Need
You are going to love how easy this creamy Zuppa Toscana recipe is! As always, you can find a printable recipe card at the end of this post. Now let’s take a look at what you’ll need to have on hand:
- spicy Italian sausage – you can use mild Italian sausage instead but I do love the flavor of the spicy version.
- bacon – Use good quality bacon for the best results.
- onion – I use a yellow onion for this recipe.
- garlic – you can use the pre-minced garlic to save a little time.
- chicken broth – or chicken stock. I like to use the low-sodium version so I can control the salt.
- russet potatoes – these will need to be thinly sliced. Consider using a mandoline for slicing the potatoes – it creates uniformity which allows the potatoes to cook at the same speed and also reduces prep time.
- crushed red pepper flakes – these are optional. Omit if you are hesitant about the heat level.
- chopped kale – I buy the pre-chopped kale a lot just to save time. You can use spinach instead of kale.
- heavy whipping cream – this gets added just before serving and tuns the savory broth into something rich and creamy. Half and half or whole milk are options to use here.
- Parmesan cheese – I love to grate fresh Parmesan cheese right over the top of the soup just before serving.
How To Make Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Brown sausage in a large pot or dutch oven. Remove and set aside.
- Add bacon to pot and cook until crispy.
- Stir in onion and cook until onion is translucent.
- Stir in minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken broth, water, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper if desired.
- Add sliced potatoes and cooked sausage to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until potatoes are tender.
- Add kale to the soup, and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in heavy cream and let heat through.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese on top.
Refrigerator: Let the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup cool to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container. Leftover soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezer: Let the soup cool completely before transferring to a freezer safe airtight container. Good for up to 3 months.
This is probably the most common question I get on this recipe and the answer is yes. If you don’t like kale or it’s not readily available to you, spinach is a great alternative.
A lot of reviewers have stated that the leave the cream out to meet certain dietary requirements. This soup is delicious with or without the cream so that is entirely your preference.
You sure can. Let the soup cool completely before transferring to a freezer safe, airtight container. The soup will be good for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- Make sure you have all of your ingredients chopped and measured out beforehand. This is a basic cooking “must-do,” but one that I must remind myself to do on a consistent basis!
- Every cooktop and range is different. If you feel like something may overcook or not cook enough, feel free to change the heat settings or the timing of something and check for the doneness of the ingredients instead. This is especially important in soup.
- Add extra broth or water when the consistency of the soup is too thick for your liking. I like to keep extra water around because I tend to find some soups too salty and strong, so adding some water is a go-to strategy for me. Much of this is personal preference, so taste your soup often to make sure you like it. On the other hand, if you would like to thicken your soup, make a quick slurry by whisking together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of liquid (broth, water, milk) and then whisking into the soup.
- I use a mandoline for slicing the potatoes. It takes about one minute to have them all perfectly and uniformly sliced.
I add a bit of crushed red pepper flakes to the soup as well as a bit of salt and pepper. Totally optional. The soup already has a lot of salt from the bacon and heat from the spicy Italian sausage so feel free to omit if you’d like.
I know you’re going to go crazy for this one pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup! Less dishes is always a good thing 🙂
More Soup Recipes
- Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
- Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Ham and Cabbage Soup (Instant Pot)
- Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Sausage Kale Soup
How To Make Zuppa Toscana
- 16 ounces spicy Italian sausage
- 8 slices bacon
- ½ large onion diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic minced
- 28 ounces chicken broth low-sodium
- 24 ounces water 3 cups
- 5 russet potatoes medium, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- salt and pepper optional
- 4 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Parmesan cheese
- Brown sausage in a large pot or dutch oven. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.16 ounces spicy Italian sausage
- Cut bacon into small pieces. Add bacon to pot and cook until crispy.8 slices bacon
- Stir in chopped onion. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until onion is translucent.½ large onion
- Stir in minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.2 to 3 cloves garlic
- Add chicken broth and water to the pot. Add crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper if desired.28 ounces chicken broth, 24 ounces water, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
- Add thinly sliced potatoes (I use a mandoline) and the cooked sausage to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.5 russet potatoes
- Continue cooking until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the kale to the soup, and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test for seasoning and season with salt and pepper if needed.4 cups chopped kale
- Stir in the heavy cream and let heat through.1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese on top.Parmesan cheese
Originally published January 22, 2017.
Holy wha!?! I am over the moon about this recipe! I worked at The Olive Garden and had more than my fair share of Zuppa and breadsticks while I was employed… this recipe is OUTSTANDING and I made a double batch to feed nieces, nephews, and in laws along with family of three. I used half hot Italian sausage and half sweet Italian sausage and it is mindblowinging perfect! Thank you so much!♡♡♡♡♡
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
Awww, thank you so much Marci! We just love it!
My family loves this recipe. I’ve never had the soup at Olive Garden so I don’t know how it compares. But it is a fantastic soup and you definitely need to try it.
Thank you so very much for this recipe. It was absolutely wonderful…followed it exactly except for cutting it in half for single person (but still leftovers). I honestly think this was even better than I remember of the one in the restaurant. It was just marvelous and love one pot dishes especially. I just took my time and enjoyed every bite…and the parm on top after dishing it up was great. Tried to leave a pic but couldn’t find a way to, but thanks again 🙂
Susan Kirby-Cohn says
Finally made this recipe last night. Going into fall here and plan to make more soup for those cold nights. I would say that this is even better than Olive Garden’s version!! I ended up making only slight modifications. First I simmered the soup quite a bit longer waiting on company to arrive, still adding the kale and the cream minutes before serving. The only recommendation I would make is to skim some of the fat prior to adding the onions and garlic. Other than that, this is an awesome recipe that I’ll certainly be making again! Thank you.
I have made this soup many time and it is outstanding! Thank you for a great recipe!
This is OK but to make the flavors shine, cook the meat in water and add it to the broth. This is the Mennonite way.
Angela @BakeItWithLove says
This is my favorite Olive Garden soup and I can’t believe I haven’t made it at home yet! Can’t wait to get a big pot of this simmering!
I am not a soup person but I have made homemade chicken soup, and this recipe Tuscana Soup. It is delicious and I will be making it again soon.
P T Thomas says
I HATE Kale. Can I use Spinach instead?
Kale just tastes too bitter for my tastes, so I usually substitute Spinach.
Hope it will work in this recipe because the rest of the ingredients make it sound delicious!
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
Yep, spinach works great in this recipe!
Exactly like Olive Garden ( maybe even better) I like my soup soupy so I did add a little more chicken broth! Best ever!
Edwin Sim says
I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time in the event that something happens to Olive Garden (God forbid). This has been my long standing favorite every time we go to Olive Garden (especially during the cold winter months). So today I finally took the plunge and was so pleased as it’s almost spot on the same as Olive Garden. Needless to say, it was delicious. Thank you, thank you and Thank You!
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
I appreciate this so much Edwin!
The soup is delicious. However, please be prepared to spend more than 45 minutes listed. I’ve never made it in under an hour and 15 minutes. There’s a lot of prep work