Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana just like you'd get at Olive Garden. This homemade soup is completely irresistible.

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

So Spring has supposedly sprung, right? Well, if you live in Ohio that is so not the case. In fact, it was snowing here this weekend. And I’m not talking a little flurry here and there, I’m talking snow globe snow for hours that actually accumulated. I will say that although 20-degree temperatures are not my fave in late March, the cold weather is helping our new yard turn back into an ice skating rink as opposed to a mud pit. Gotta look on the bright side, right?

In my opinion, there’s no better way to warm up on a cold, dreary day than with a bowl of homemade soup. 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. And let me tell ya, homemade Zuppa Toscana soup is unbelievably good and tastes pretty much identical to the Olive Garden version.

Zuppa Toscana Recipe Picture on My Baking Addiction

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 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.

This delicious homemade Zuppa Toscana can be served as the start to dinner, like it is at Olive Garden, but it also makes a complete meal. Just add a yummy Tomato and Mozzarella Salad and some easy Beer Bread and you’re set!

Zuppa Toscana

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


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.

My Baking Addiction adapted from food.com

25 Responses to “Zuppa Toscana”

  1. Medha @ Whisk & Shout — March 30, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    This looks lovely! Love the crushed red pepper :)


  2. Natalie (Paper & Birch) — March 30, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    It’s not as cold here in Vancouver, but I’ve been on a complete soup kick lately, so I’m definitely going to be making this! We don’t really have Olive Garden here, but all my American friends rave about it, so it’s gotta be good! Thanks for sharing Jamie – Hope ya thaw out soon :) :)


    • Jamie — April 1, 2015 at 10:52 am

      It’s definitely worth the hype, Natalie! So hearty and comforting and the kale totally makes it healthy, right?

  3. Tori@Gringalicious.com — March 31, 2015 at 6:56 am

    This soups looks delish!


    • Jamie — April 1, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Tori!

  4. Heather - Butter&Burlap — March 31, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Oh no! Still getting snow?! That’s such a bummer! We’re in full Spring mode down south and my allergies are also in full swing. I have to say I’ve never tried this soup from Olive Garden but I hear it’s all the rage! This looks like such a great recipe, I can’t wait to try it! Does it freeze well? (I’m all about loving my freezer right now)!


    • Jamie — April 1, 2015 at 10:51 am

      I honestly have never tried to freeze this soup, but I am thinking it would be just fine. Enjoy – its definitely worth the hype!

  5. Cookbook Queen — March 31, 2015 at 10:48 am

    That is so crazy. It’s nearly 80 degrees here today!! This soup is one of my favorites — yours looks way better than the one at the Olive Garden :)


    • Jamie — April 1, 2015 at 10:50 am

      80?!?! I wish, it’s a whopping 36 here right now. I can’t wait for spring weather to actually arrive. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Ria — March 31, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    What would be a good substitute for sausage altogether?


    • Jamie — April 1, 2015 at 10:49 am

      You could try ground beef, but the flavor profile will be quite different. I hope this helps.

  7. Amy — April 12, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I bet this would be good with the italian (hot or mild) turkey sausage my grocery store has. Including cutting the fat down. Is heavy cream the 35% (aka whipping cream)?


    • Jamie — April 15, 2015 at 9:52 am

      The Italian turkey sausage sounds like a great addition. Heavy cream is the same as whipping cream. I hope this helps.


    • Susan — June 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      I used half and half and just sampled it…it’s perfect. I TOTALLY forgot bacon, but I’ve got a load of Italian Sausage in it..there is a bit of fat on the surface and I’m going to skim that off (right after I take a picture!)…this soup is fattening and there isn’t much way around that, but as a “splurge”, it’s well worth it…it’s like a really good macaroni and cheese…you don’t eat it every day or even every week, but when you do, it’s just plain MEMORABLE!

    • Jamie — June 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by.


  8. Sarahjane — April 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I’m from the UK and don’t know Olive Garden at all, I have just made this soup (with spicy Italian Sausage) and it is yummy!


    • Jamie — April 24, 2015 at 9:18 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup! Thanks for stopping by.


  9. Cece Kitson — June 4, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I tried this recipe out last night and this is wonderful! You could not get any closer to the Olive Garden recipe! It was super simple and easy and man is it delicious! Thanks for the recipe. Love your blog!


    • Jamie — June 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      I’m so glad the recipe worked for you. Thanks for dropping by to let me know.


  10. Meredith — January 10, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    if you use Jimmy Dean hot Italian sausage then you get the kick without having to add the red pepper flakes.


    • Jamie — January 11, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Hi, Meredith! That sounds fantastic! I’m definitely trying that next time!

  11. Susan S — January 31, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    I make this soup a lot, a little differently than your recipe but still pretty much the same. I use Caldo chicken bouillon cubes and then don’t add any salt or pepper. I have used milk, half and half and cream, all work wonderfully. I also brown the onions with the sausage, but dice and boil the potatoes (skin on) then add the sausage and onions to the potatoes, add kale and boil a little longer, adding the cream or milk in the last 15 mins or so of cooking. It’s my family’s favorite soup and I have frozen it with no problems. Just make sure you heat it very slowly, even during cooking or the cream will curdle. 


    • Jamie — February 1, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks so much for the tips, Susan! Love the freezer idea! :)

  12. Laura — September 22, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Hi, I was curious what the nutrition facts on the Zuppa Toscana? Watching my calories and fats, so it would be nice to know what they actually are. Thanks.


    • Jamie — September 25, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Hi, Laura! I’m not sure what the nutrition is exactly, but you can use this calorie counter. I hope this helps!

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