Loaded with sausage, potatoes and kale, this homemade version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup is sure to become a family favorite.

Zuppa toscana in white bowls next to grilled bread

Welp, it happened.

I got sick the week before Christmas.

I feel like this is every parent’s worst nightmare. You have 86 million things to take care of, go to, wrap, etc, and suddenly you feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck.

Thank goodness for easy meals like this Zuppa Toscana. It’s saving me this week and I couldn’t be more ok with that.

Ingredients for zuppa toscana in prep bowls on a marble surface


I’ve been on a bit of a soup kick lately.

In my opinion, there’s no better way to warm up on a cold, dreary day than with a bowl of homemade soup. Sausage and Lentil Soup, Turkey Noodle Soup, Lasagna Soup…I love them all alongside a slice of buttered Beer Bread or sourdough bread.

And since Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana is a family favorite, I thought I’d try making it from scratch instead of calling in a take-out order. This soup seriously came together quicker than a drive to our local Olive Garden and I didn’t even have to change out of my yoga pants.

Close up view of zuppa toscana simmering in a cast iron dutch oven

And let me tell ya, homemade Zuppa Toscana soup is unbelievably good and tastes pretty much identical to the Olive Garden version.

We enjoyed this recipe so much that I made it twice in three days. The first time I made it with sweet Italian sausage, but I decided to kick things up a notch the on second batch and loaded it with hot Italian sausage, more potatoes, and a heavy sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes.

Being that I’m a lover of all things spicy, the hot Italian sausage version was my favorite, but if you like things a little on the milder side, the original recipe is a total winner.

Zuppa toscana in a cast iron dutch oven on a marble surface


This Zuppa Toscana recipe comes together quickly; it only takes about 30 minutes to cook!

To make this recipe, simply:

  • Cook the sausage in a large Dutch oven
  • Add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes
  • Add potatoes, broth and water; cook until the potatoes are done
  • Add the cream and kale and season to taste
Overhead view of a bowl of zuppa toscana alongside grilled bread

Soups like this are great because you can make them with ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

Since this soup comes together so quickly, it’s a great option for a weeknight dinner when everyone has activities they need to get to. Throw this soup on the stove and everyone can help themselves to a bowl whenever they get home.

Close up of a bowl of zuppa toscana on a marble surface


I don’t typically recommend freezing soups made with a lot of dairy. They can sometimes change in texture or separate when thawed. No thanks.

That said, you could prepare this soup up until the point of adding the cream and the kale. Let it cool, then freeze it in an airtight container.

Zuppa toscana in white bowls on a marble countertop next to spoons and bread

When you’re ready for dinner, just bring the thawed soup to a simmer before adding the cream and kale and cooking for 10-15 minutes as noted in the recipe.

You’ll still cut down on the prep time needed on the day you want to eat your Zuppa Toscana, without sacrificing on texture or flavor!

Two white bowls filled with zuppa toscana on a marble countertop next to grilled bread

Zuppa toscana in white bowls on a marble countertop next to spoons and bread

Zuppa Toscana

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Loaded with sausage, potatoes and kale, this homemade version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup is sure to become a family favorite.


  • 1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 large baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 24 ounces chicken broth
  • 24 ounces water
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 12 ounces heavy cream


  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, brown sausage until cooked through. Add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain excess fat and return pot to the stove.
  2. Add potatoes, chicken broth and water to the sausage mixture. Continue cooking over medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through.
  3. Add heavy cream and kale and continue cooking for an additional 10-15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.


To kick things up a notch, substitute hot italian sausage for the sweet and increase the amount of red pepper flakes. Please note the color of the soup may take on an orange color with this substitution due to the spices in hot sausage.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 494Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 93mgSodium 943mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 5gSugar 7gProtein 20g

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