Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

I bet you have finished a bowl of the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup and wondered if you could make this soup. You can make your Zuppa Toscana taste just like the Olive Gardens soup recipe. Potatoes, Italian sausage, kale, onions, bacon, and cream make for a delicious and hearty soup. You don’t have to get a babysitter, or even leave your house to have soup just like Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana.
sausage and potato soup


Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: Soup
  • Prep time:15 minutes
  • Cook time:40 minutes
  • Serves: 8
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Make this classic sausage, potato, and kale soup at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage links
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits (1/2 can)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale or Swiss chard
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the sausages in a baking pan and roast for about 30 minutes, until cooked through. Drain on paper towels and cut into slices.

Place the potatoes, onions, chicken broth, water, and garlic in a pot and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add the sausage, bacon, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low. Add kale, the cream, and more water, if necessary. Heat thoroughly and serve.

Print Recipe

Additional Notes You may wish to add about 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds to this for an extra taste. The fennel seeds are often an ingredient used in the Italian sausage, and they make a nice extra touch. I love to make this soup up as a main dish during the week because this is one soup you don’t have to simmer for hours to have that all-day-slow-cooked flavor.Some people like to add red pepper flakes to this recipe. I personally don’t like to make anything too hot, because I want everyone to be able to enjoy it. Often Italian sausage already has red pepper flakes as one of its ingredients, so it depends on how your soup is shaping up to what you may want to add here.The quart of water may be omitted; it depends if you like a soup that is more thinned out or not, I personally like a soup that is thick and hearty. Many viewers have suggested if you want to make this soup low carb, you can use cauliflower instead of potatoes, and they have had excellent results. Maybe you have a suggestion or two for additions you may like when you prepare your own version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. You can find more copycat recipes that taste like the Olive Garden Recipes at CopyKat.com, the web's most popular destination for copycat restaurant recipes.

  • BAMF

    I am trying to eat healthier and I remembered that this recipe was pretty low in calories, but just to take it a step further, I substituted Greek yogurt for the cream and omitted the bacon. I would recommend mixing at the end. Add stock to the yogurt and whisk, then add to the soup.

    • stephaniemanley

      Did the yogurt break down with the heat?

  • Lori

    We do not include the bacon and switch 1/2 and 1/2 for the heavy cream. We also use Chicken Base instead of boulillon to omit any added sugar. We add the kale to individual bowls as we eat to keep the cripsness. We also use a few more spuds than what they call for. Super yummy

  • Quelady

    This recipe is fantastic! I added some fennel seeds! and my family enjoyed it!

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      I am glad you liked this recipe.

  • Denise D. Coy

    I made this recipe today cuz Im a huge fan of this Olive Garden soup, and it was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the recipe, very simple and easy to make and it tastes just like the restaurant. The only change I made was to use only 1 can of chicken broth, and then 1 can of water! =) Thank you for posting this Stephanie! Im gonna try the Chicken Gnocchi tomorrow!

  • Slagathor

    It’s better without the cream, this isn’t a soup that’s very worthy of cream.

  • analee chan

    what is the alternative if you dont have heavy whip cream?

    • stephaniemanley

      Canned evaporated milk may work well.

  • Debster

    For a time saver – instead of baking the sausage, I place them on a microwave safe plate, piercing both sides. Cover with paper towel and microwave in high 6 minutes. Turn. Replace with new paper towel and microwave another 6 minutes.

    • stephaniemanley

      Great tip on the microwave.

  • Katrina Ballesteros

    Does this recipe freeze well?

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      It freezes ok, I personally don’t like how the kale comes out after it is frozen.

    • stephaniemanley

      I think it freezes ok, but I am personally not wild about frozen food.

  • busybonds

    sitting in heaven as i write!! this soup is the best thank you for sharing it was easy to make affordable and delicious all at once !! It tastes just like olive garden’s and i can now satisfy my craving at anytime thanks to you . My son and husband are lovin it as well. Thanks for MAKING ME ROCK THE KITCHEN TODAY :0)

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      I am so happy this worked out well for you. There is nothing like getting validation from your family. It makes all of the difference in the world when they love your cooking.

  • bruce

    A waitress ( OG) told me that their chefs add a lot of butter. When you order the at OG, notice the yellow sheen in the soup.

  • kaylaGray

    can you use anything in place of chicken broth?

  • Vincent Holbrook

    My wife made this soup. I love Zuppa at Olive Garden and this recipe is a true COPY CAT. Love this soup. My brothers family was over and they all loved it, even the three year old. Thanks for the recipe

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      I am happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Rich Shewmaker

    I love this recipe. I do have a couple of suggestions. First, use real bacon. Freeze two bacon strips, then use kitchen scissors to cut them into 1/4″ pieces. Cook the bacon until crisp in the pot, and remove it, and set aside, then pour off all but one tablespoon of the fat. Saute the onion until soft, then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Remove the onion and garlic and add to the bacon bits. remove the skins from the Italian sausage, and crumble the meat into the pot. Saute until softened but not yet browned. Remove sausage and add to bacon/onion/garlic, leaving behind as much of the fat in the pan as possible. Pour off the fat, and return ingredients to pot. Add potatoes (I peel mine before dicing), Kale (I remove the stringy ribs before chopping) , and one quart of half-and-half. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

  • Sherry Burroughs

    Just made this recipe for dinner. I didn’t change anything. All that was missing was the bread sticks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/SophieGarza Sophia Bustos Garza

    Delicious! And so easy to make. Great for a chilly day!

  • fifi_66

    im trying ground turkey in mine to cut out fat and keep the red pepper flakes for a low fat soup

  • http://www.facebook.com/deedee.holliscollins Dee Dee Hollis-Collins

    Whats the different between chicken broth and chicken stock?

    • Stephanie Manley

      Let’s see broth is tasty on its own, stock is basically water that has been cooked with meat and vegetables, and isn’t intended for eating without additional steps. I call for broth, if you are using stock, I would be sure to adjust for proper seasoning.

  • Kispench

    Video ingredients & written recipe ingredients do not match. Video uses red pepper (not in written recipe) and also video does NOT use water (as listed in written recipe).

    • Stephanie Manley

      Let’s see, I added a little red pepper because the sausage didn’t have enough by looking at it. I should have noted that. My editor cut out the water that was added, why ? I don’t know.

      • Jeanetta

        Stephanie, have you ever made this soup the night before???? If so, is it just as good?

  • Alma S

    Made this today! Delicious and exactly like the OG soup but cheaper lol. I used hot Italian sausage and it tastes even better. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • Megs

    I like to boil the potatoes separately (in a different batch of water) drain them and add them to the soup later. That makes it more creamy, and less starchy. If you like it thicker, though – as some others are saying, cook them in the broth.
    ALSO. This makes a great slow cooker recipe. Throw everything in in the morning (except for the kale and cream) and let it cook. Throw the kale and cream in a few minutes before serving and voila.

  • Megs

    I like to boil the potatoes separately (in a different batch of water) drain them and add them to the soup later. That makes it more creamy, and less starchy. If you like it thicker, though – as some others are saying, cook them in the broth.
    ALSO. This makes a great slow cooker recipe. Throw everything in in the morning (except for the kale and cream) and let it cook. Throw the kale and cream in a few minutes before serving and voila.

  • Anne Nero

    What about freezing some? Is that Okay to do?

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      You could give it a try. I have never personally frozen it. I rarely have enough left over to freeze.

  • Pperkins

    This is an awesome soup! I’m diabetic, so I can’t have too many carbs, so I add some cauliflower and put in less potatoes, and I add carrots. It’s awesome! :D And we do use the Spinach instead of Kale.

  • liv

    How do you get the recipes?

  • Mamabear0525

    That’s funny cnsdigital2, my friend is a manager at OG and this is exactly the recipe! LOL The only thing missing is crushed red pepper flakes!

  • Sally

    If you live near a Trader Joe’s then try using their sweet Italian style chicken sausage. I also add extra potatoes and kale. We absolutely LOVE this soup when we make it!!!

    I didn’t like Olive Gardens version ;)

  • Lfoster1743

    Excellent soup

  • Amanda C

    The copycat recipe I have also calls for 1.5 tsp crushed red pepper flakes – gives it just a touch of spicy, which I love. And I think it tastes JUST like the originial

    • Anonymous

      Keep in mind much of the sausage comes with red pepper flakes in it already, make sure you don’t add too much extra heat.

  • Betty

    I made this soup for my family and they loved it. Thank you so very much! You were very right about the whipping cream and reheating. Even though I’m still very young, I know a good recipe when i see one. I give it five stars. ;)

  • RicklWright

    Why not use Hot Italian sausage, and leave out the red pepper flakes? Isn’t that about the same thing?

    • Anonymous

      I like being able to control the amount of heat, by using the red pepper flakes I feel like I can do that better.

    • Anonymous

      I like being able to control the amount of heat, by using the red pepper flakes I feel like I can do that better.

    • PMM

      If I make it for folks who like spicy, I do exactly as you suggest, but many times we have folks who are not into hot and spicy, so the “sweet” Italian sausage and passing around the red pepper works better. We don’t want anyone who passes on the soup, because it is too spicy for them!

  • Daugherty87

    Your soup looks better than OG’s. I love lots of kale.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000723378389 Tamara Sanford

    Can you use a lactose free milk instead of the heavy cream? I have a couple of family members that have the heavy cream.

    • Anonymous

      I am sure you can give it a try. I have not tried the recipe this way.

    • http://twitter.com/GairdinDawn Dawn

      You could try experimenting with soy. You can get soy milk and reduce in a sauce pan so that it thickens and becomes the consistency of cream. Just be sure to get plain and unsweetened.

  • Fred

    Wow! forget the soup. The cook is beautiful!

  • Pinkkat72

    Perfect recipe however, DO NOT add any water to it!!

  • Kim

    I made this soup yesterday and my husband absolutely loved it! He had to stop at bowl #2 even though he said he wanted more! The recipe was soooo simple to follow. The only difference when I made it was that I used spinach in place of the kale (I couldn’t find any in my small town). Otherwise, perfect!

  • Sad Souper

    I’ve made this soup before and absolutely LOVED it.

    Made it tonight, and it tasted like watered down milk. :-( Extremely disappointed and don’t know what the heck I did wrong! :(

    • Anonymous

      I am sorry this didn’t work well for you tonight. Did you use milk? Did you substitute ingredients?

  • DianeWente

    Loved the soup however we use baby spinach in place of the stronger chard/kale. It is a gentler taste! Our daughter-in-law in Italy fixed it for us and we have been making it ever since then. Somerset, IN

    • Jodie

      I was actually looking for this soup, because I heard it was a way to add kale into my diet, LOL!!! But with that, I understand not wanting such a strong taste. What if you mixed half baby spinach, half kale? That way the benefits of kale are still there; just not so much strong taste. (Does anyone agree? I haven’t tried this yet.)

      • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

        So you can do what you prefer, but the kale will hold up better in the heat if you want to reheat it.

    • Jodie

      I was actually looking for this soup, because I heard it was a way to add kale into my diet, LOL!!! But with that, I understand not wanting such a strong taste. What if you mixed half baby spinach, half kale? That way the benefits of kale are still there; just not so much strong taste. (Does anyone agree? I haven’t tried this yet.)

  • DianeWente

    Loved the soup however we use baby spinach in place of the stronger chard/kale. It is a gentler taste! Our daughter-in-law in Italy fixed it for us and we have been making it ever since then. Somerset, IN

  • Jamie

    You can freeze this soup. I freeze in individual servings for my parents and have them add the cream and kale (or not) when they reheat it. Putting the cream in before you freeze will cause the texture to change and it will separate.

  • Jeffery Karen

    Inside information: OG browns the sausage with red pepper. It’s a fact!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Chapman/1510748071 Heather Chapman

    I omitted the bacon, changed the chicken broth to vegetable broth, and used Morningstar’s Italian Sausage to make this vegetarian style – and it still tasted just like the soup at olive garden! It was so good, thank you so much!

  • Raraqueen91

    I use Goya pork flavoring packets instead of cream, leave out the bacon, and use red potatoes instead of russets and it tastes just as good with less calories.

  • Reglindis Eckhardt

    I loved the soup in the restaurant and from this recipe. I really find the thumbnail pics a help too.

  • JessShivers

    This is a great recipe, my husband asks me to make it all the time now! The only thing I do differently is instead of baking the sausage I remove the casing and brown it in a skillet, it gives it more of a ground beef texture, more like what I’ve seen at Olive Garden.

  • http://craftyladyrecipes.com CherylK

    This is one of my favorite soups! So thrilled to have found this recipe of yours…I’ll be making it the very next cool day that we have. (And in Minnesota, that could be tomorrow – ha!)

  • Cheryl Robinson

    This soup is excellent; I still use bacon because that was the original recipe I found years ago on Copycat. I am always amazed that people say they want a specific recipe because they love it – BUT, look for ways to change it or substitute ingredients.

    • Stephanie Manley

      I have found that recipes change from time to time at a restaurant. Sometimes food costs are the reason. Sometimes restaurants want to reduce the costs on their dishes and may remove or substitute ingredients over time.

  • Jenn

    So, I am attempting to make this for the first time but with a few changes…half and half and turkey sausage to make it healthier and adding then making some without the kale for my husband…wish me luck, i’ll let u know how it turns out!

  • kristie

    where can i find kale or swiss chard

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      You can find this in most grocery stores in the produce department.

  • Melissa R Wheeler

    As I mentioned on your FB Page YOU have WON my Heart! This is my all time favorite dish! Thanks for what you are sharing with us!

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      I feel so honored!

  • Server

    sausage, sliced potatoes and kale
    cream, bacon, onions, garlic and crushed red pepper.
    Straight from the OG product hand book :)