Zuppa Toscana Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)



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This easy, one-pot Zuppa Toscana soup is a copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s popular soup. Made with Italian sausage, kale and coconut cream, this soup is dairy-free, hearty and so comforting!

If you’re looking for a comforting soup recipe to make this winter you have to make this Zuppa Toscana soup!

I had never actually had Zuppa Toscana soup before, but Maria, one of EBF’s team members is a huge fan of the Olive Garden version and suggested we try our hand at a copycat recipe. And after making it myself I can see why this soup is so popular. It’s creamy, comforting and SO dang flavorful! I can’t wait for you to try this version, which I made dairy-free with coconut cream instead of heavy cream. Enjoy!

A large pot of zuppa toscana soup.

Why You’ll Love Zuppa Toscana Soup

  • Dairy-free – The popular Olive Garden recipe is made with heavy cream, but I used coconut cream instead to make this soup dairy-free.
  • Comforting – It’s hearty, creamy and so comforting. Perfect for those chilly winter days!
  • Flavorful – This soup is jam-packed with flavor thanks to the Italian sausage and seasonings.
A white bowl with zuppa toscana soup on a plate.

What is Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana soup is a traditional Italian soup that translates to “Tuscan soup.” It’s known known for its simplicity and the use of fresh, local ingredients. Traditionally, it includes kale, cannellini beans, potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, zucchini, olive oil and stale Tuscan bread.

The soup was popularized in the United States thanks to Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup. The American version is a bit heavier than the classic Italian version made with Italian sausage, bacon and heavy cream, in addition to kale and potatoes.

Ingredients measured out to make Zuppa Toscana: coconut cream, onion, Italian seasoning, potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, Italian sausage, chicken broth, kale and red pepper.

Ingredients Needed

  • olive oil – to sauté the onions and garlic, bringing out their natural sweetness and adding a base flavor to the soup.
  • yellow onion – adds a subtle sweetness and texture. It’s the backbone of many great dishes, including this soup. Peel and chop the onion before adding to the soup.
  • garlic cloves – adds a delicious savory flavor to this soup.
  • italian sausage – the star of the show! I prefer sweet Italian sausage, but you can use hot if you prefer some spice! If you don’t want pork, swap it with Italian chicken or turkey sausage instead for a lighter option.
  • potatoes – gold or russet potatoes chopped into half-inch chunks are ideal. They add heartiness and soak up all the delicious flavors of the soup.
  • italian seasoning – a blend of herbs like oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme and marjoram to give this soup that classic Italian taste.
  • salt – to enhance all the other flavors in the soup. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it away!
  • black pepper – for a bit of spice and complexity. Season to taste!
  • red pepper flakes – this is optional, so feel free to adjust to your liking for heat.
  • chicken broth – the liquid base of your soup. You can use regular chicken broth or chicken bone broth for extra nutrients. You can also use vegetable broth if that’s what you have on hand. I suggest using low-sodium broth so you can control the level of salt in your soup.
  • coconut cream – this is what makes the soup so creamy without using dairy. And trust me, you can’t taste the coconut! You can use either canned coconut milk or coconut cream, depending on what you can find. If you’re not a fan of coconut, you can use regular heavy cream or half-and-half too. Just add it slowly and taste as you go!
  • kale – de-stemmed and chopped, adding color, texture and nutrients to this soup. I used curly green kale, but you can use lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale).
  • cooked bacon – this is optional, for a crispy, salty topping. I actually preferred the soup without the bacon topping and thought it had plenty of flavor, but feel free to add the bacon if desired.
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese – another optional topping, for a bit of cheesy goodness. Use dairy-free parmesan if needed.

How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup

This Zuppa Toscana soup recipe is pretty straightforward and easy to make! Just follow the recipe below and you’ll have a delicious and comforting soup ready in about 45 minutes!

Step 1: Sauté the onions, garlic and salt in olive oil over medium heat. Then add the sausage, Italian seasoning, black pepper and red pepper flakes and cook for about 10 minutes, until sausage is browned and cooked through.

Photo of sautéed onion in a pot. Photo of Italian sausage added to the pot.

Step 2: Add the potatoes, broth and coconut cream and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Photo of cooked Italian sausage and onion in a pot with seasonings being added. Photo beside is of the pot with potatoes, broth and coconut cream added.

Step 3: Stir in the kale and simmer for about 5 minutes, until kale is wilted. Serve hot, topped with optional bacon and parmesan, if desired.

Photo of Zuppa Toscana in a pot. Beside is a photo of two bowls of soup topped with parm and bacon.

How to Make The Best Zuppa Toscana Soup

  • The type of sausage you use can really change the flavor profile of this soup. Want it a bit spicier? Go for hot Italian sausage. Prefer something milder? Sweet or mild Italian sausage is the move. And if you’re wanting something lighter, Italian chicken or turkey sausage is a great alternative.
  • Russet potatoes are great for a heartier texture, but if you’re after a slightly sweeter and creamier bite, go for gold potatoes.
  • Let the soup simmer for around 30 minutes! The longer it simmers the longer the starches in the potatoes have to break down, making the soup creamier and thicker.
  • Don’t skip the step of de-stemming your kale. Those stems can be tough and chewy, and removing them makes for a much more pleasant eating experience.
Zuppa toscana soup in a white bowl with a spoon and a roll of bread inside the soup.

What to Serve With Zuppa Toscana

This soup is a filling meal on its own thanks to the protein and veggies, but if you want to serve it with some sides here are some ideas:

  • Bread: Serve your soup with a side of fresh bread like sourdough or breadsticks. The combination of warm soup and crusty bread is a classic and comforting choice.
  • Side salad: Serve your soup with a simple side salad of mixed greens, dressed with a light vinaigrette. This balances the heartiness of the soup. My spinach salad or kale salad would be great options.
  • Roasted vegetables: For a healthy and easy side, serve this soup with some roasted veggies like roasted broccoli or roasted asparagus.
A serving spoon with a small portion of zuppa toscana soup over a large pot of the soup.

How to Store Leftovers

In the fridge: After cooling, transfer the soup to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The flavors actually develop more over time, making it a great option for meal prep!

In the freezer: Zuppa Toscana soup is best eaten fresh or within a few days, but you can freeze this soup if you want. Just a note that the potatoes might become grainy and mushy after thawing. To freeze, store in an airtight freezer-safe container for 1 month. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove.


Can I make this soup in advance?

Absolutely! It actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together.

Is this recipe kid-friendly?

It sure is! If your kids are sensitive to spice, just reduce or eliminate the red pepper flakes and make sure to use sweet Italian sausage.

Can I make this soup in the slow cooker?

I haven’t tried making this soup in the slow cooker, but I imagine it would work just fine! I would saute the onions, garlic, sausage and seasonings in a skillet first, then transfer to a slow cooker. Add the potatoes, broth and coconut cream and cook on high for about 3-4 hours. Add the kale in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

More Soup Recipes

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4.84 from 6 votes

Zuppa Toscana Soup

This easy, one-pot Zuppa Toscana soup is a copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s popular soup. Made with Italian sausage, kale and coconut cream, this soup is dairy-free, hearty and so comforting!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound sweet/mild or hot Italian sausage, or Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups gold potatoes or russet potatoes, chopped in half then in 1/2 in chunks – about 4-5 medium potatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken bone broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut cream, or coconut milk
  • 4 cups curly kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • Cooked bacon, for topping (optional)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


  • Add oil to a dutch oven or large pot and heat over medium heat. Once hot add onion and salt and sauté for 6-7 minutes until fragrant and translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes.
    Diced onion in a large pot.
  • Add sausage, Italian seasoning, black pepper and red pepper flakes and cook for about 10 minutes until sausage is cooked through and browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
    Ground italian sausage added to the sauteed onions in a pot.
  • Add potatoes, broth and coconut cream. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 25-30 minutes until potatoes break down slightly and are fork-tender.
    Heavy cream added to the zuppa toscana soup in a large pot.
  • Add kale and simmer for about 5 more minutes until kale is wilted.
    Zuppa toscana soup in a large pot.
  • Serve hot topped with bacon and Parmesan, if desired.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 928mg | Potassium: 491mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Zuppa Toscana Soup
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely love your recipes!! They are the Bomb!! You have really helped me eat right and even lose some weight. I have food allergies and I also have nerve issues due to my Spinal Stenosis. I recently had lower back surgery in November, I’m still in recovery. My nutritionist loves your recipes too!! I have shared them with her!! She has put me on a strict nature foods diet to help my nerves against inflammation and to help me lose some weight. I’m gluten free,soy free,sugar free and dairy free!! So..your recipes have really helped me a lot!! They are all so yummy too!! Keep them coming!! I will be a fan of yours forever!!
    Thank you,
    Kolette Abel❤️😄

    1. Aw this is amazing, Kolette. I am so glad you found my site and are loving my recipes. Thank you for sharing your review + star rating, it means so much to me! ❤️

  2. We are vegetarian here — do you think we could use soy chorizo for the sausage? Or would we be better with Italian sausage links sliced up? Planning to use veggie broth too. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ashlee – Oh, I bet either would be delicious. I think the chorizo might add a little more spice. I haven’t tried it with either so I am not sure which would be better. Let me know which one you try and how it turns out. Enjoy!

    1. Great! I am so glad you loved this soup and it turned out great for you. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I truly appreciate it!

  3. 5 stars
    I just made this for lunch- so good! I made a few changes: we don’t eat meat so I subbed white beans for the sausage, used cream instead of coconut cream, and added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice at the end. I also used an immersion blender before adding the kale to blend a portion of the soup to give the broth a creamer texture (which you probably shouldn’t do if there is sausage in there, haha!). I remember eating the Olive Garden version as a kid and this is such a great recreation- even with the couple changes I made. Thanks for another delish recipe. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    1. YUM! This sounds amazing, Caitlin. I am so glad this recipe turned out great for you and you were able to adjust it to meet your preferences. Thank you for sharing your review & star rating, I truly appreciate it!

  4. 5 stars
    I’m not sure how I found you but I am thrilled that I did. I’ve never had the Olive Garden version but I made this over the weekend and it was phenomenal. I used Italian chicken sausage. It was even better the next day. Thanks for the awesome recipes. Can’t wait to try more of them!

    1. WOO! I am so glad you found this recipe and are loving it, Leslie. Thank you so much for sharing your review & star rating, I truly appreciate it!

  5. 5 stars
    I love your “dupe” recipes, and this one was no different! This soup tastes so good and even better the next day.

    1. WOO! Thanks so much for giving this one a try, Meg. I am so glad you are loving it. I appreciate your review + star rating, means so much to me!