Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

5 from 31 votes

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Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is a delicious copycat restaurant recipe! Sausage and bacon with potatoes and kale in an easy creamy soup. Glute free. A very popular hearty recipe perfect for fall, winter, and cold weather.
Close up of the soup

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana tastes just like the restaurant original! A creamy soup filled with hot Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale.

Close up of the soup

Why You Will Love This Recipe

This Olive Garden Tuscan Soup copycat is so incredibly simple to make and tastes just like what you can get in the restaurant!

Packed with crispy bacon, tender potatoes, spicy sausage, and curly kale in a creamy broth.

I made this homemade version of zuppa toscana a touch thicker (less broth) because I like thicker soups, but add more stock as desired to make the creamy broth as thin or thick as you want!

I LOVE a good homemade copycat restaurant recipe to enjoy some of my favorite dishes without having to go out and it makes great comfort food. And one of my favorite things to serve up on a cold night! Find more restaurant copycat recipes here and specifically copycat Olive Garden recipes here!

This sausage potato soup is one of the most popular on the Olive Garden menu.

It is a hearty soup but not as hearty or heavy as a chowder or cheese soup, which makes it the perfect balance! 

A spoon with a big scoop of Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana above the bowl


Find full recipe instructions and ingredient quantities in the recipe card below.

Here is what you need to make this recipe:

Ground Italian Sausage – spicy Italian sausage is great for added flavor and a little kick! Sweet Italian Sausage is also a great option.

Russet Potatoes

Kale – this is classic in Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup but you could also use spinach if preferred or desired. Spinach will have less texture.


Red Pepper Flakes

Onion (yellow or white)


Chicken Stock – or chicken broth

Heavy Cream

Bowls of Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana served

Instruction Overview

Making the Zuppa Toscana soup only takes 45 minutes and it holds over very well. I like to use a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.

First cook the sausage, then the bacon, garlic, and onion. No need for olive oil as we will use the bacon grease to cook the aromatics and add additional pork flavor.

It seems like a lot of onion at first, but you really do not notice it being onion heavy when you eat it.

Then add the chicken stock, get it boiling, and add the potatoes to cook. Finish it off by adding the cream, cooked sausage, and kale. That is it! 

Now how soft or firm you should make the kale in this Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is definitely a personal preference.

I am big on texture in food in general, and love the kale to be more on the firm or crispy side to contrast the soft potatoes and creamy soup.

For firm kale, only cook for a brief period of time or add to your bowl when serving. For softer kale, cook it longer in the soup until it wilts. 

Serve up the hot soup with some crusty bread like our No Knead Rustic Rosemary Bread and parmesan cheese! If desired, reserve some of the cooked bacon to sprinkle on top for some extra crunch.

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana in a white bowl from the top view


What does Zuppa Toscana mean in Italian?

It means “Tuscan Soup”

Is Zuppa Toscana really Italian?

Yes and no.
It is based off of an Italian soup called Minestra di Pane (Bread Soup) but has some extra ingredients. It also includes bread, beans, tomato, celery, and carrot.

Does Zuppa Toscana have meat?

Yes. It uses sausage and bacon.

What kind of wine goes with Zuppa Toscana?

I like to pair it with something acidic like a Sauvignon Blanc (my fave!) as the crispness cuts through the richness of the soup.

A hand holding a bowl of Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Modifications and Substitutions

Sausage – Use any heat preference. Italian hot sausage is best as it has added flavors, and is what the restaurant uses, but plain ground sausage is fine too. Want a different option? Try ground turkey, turkey sausage, or even ground beef!

Potatoes – Russet is the standard here, but gold would also be fine. Red potatoes tend to have more of a different flavor, but would still work.

Heavy Cream – Whole milk would work as well, but I would add a couple tablespoons of butter with it to help keep some of the richness you are missing. If you use a lighter milk like 2%, it is going to feel watery. Need to use a light milk? Add butter or cream cheese to balance it.

Onion – It might seem like a lot of onion, but you will not notice it as it cooks down. You can also substitute some chopped onion for onion powder if desired (1 Tablespoon of onion powder for 1 cup of chopped onions).

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana in a white bowl, closer up

Kim’s Tips

This zuppa toscana soup recipe freezes really well! Up to you if you add the kale before freezing or add it fresh, based on how soft or firm you want it. The potatoes might break down more if freezing, so I would cut them a little thicker.

Leave the skins on the potatoes to help them stay intact when cooking. If you do want to peel them, cut them larger or thicker so they are less likely to fall apart and disintegrate.

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana in white bowls surrounded by kale
Pin of Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana up close with title

More Olive Garden Copycat Recipes

Copycat Olive Garden

Copycat recipes from Olive Garden to enjoy at home!

Close up of the soup

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is a delicious copycat restaurant recipe! Sausage and bacon with potatoes and kale in an easy creamy soup. Glute free. A very popular hearty recipe perfect for fall, winter, and cold weather.
5 from 31 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Gluten Free, Pork
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 497kcal



  • Heat a large soup pot over medium heat.
  • Add the sausage and cook until cooked through, breaking up as it cooks, approximately 5 minutes.
    1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • Remove sausage from pot and set aside.
  • Put the pot back on medium heat. Add the bacon, onion, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
    2 pieces bacon, 2 cups diced yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat.
    8 cups chicken stock
  • When boiling, add the potato slices. Reduce heat to medium.
    1.5 pounds russet potatoes
  • Cook on a simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are just tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Add the cream, cooked sausage, and kale to the soup. Stir and simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt or pepper as needed.
    1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup kale, salt


Cook the soup with the kale for as long as you desire based on how soft or firm you want the kale. When reheated, the kale wilts more, so you can always add kale to each serving as desired to keep it crunchy.
Make this soup spicier by using a spicier Italian sausage or using more red pepper flakes.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 817mg | Potassium: 887mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1318IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg
By on April 27th, 2020

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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28 thoughts on “Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana”

  1. 5 stars
    I tried it! It came out great !! I added garlic and onion powder and a few dashes of red pepper flakes. My family truly enjoyed this soup!!

  2. 5 stars
    Love it! ❤️ Going to make it again for sure. Huge hit with the entire family including the kids. (I personally didn’t add the red pepper flakes until I served my kids bowls because my daughter is not a fan of any spice at all.) A thin soup but I’m sure you could add flour to thicken but the consistency didn’t bother me at all, I loved it.

    • So glad you love it! Yes you could definitely add a Tablespoon or two of flour, I would do that after you cook the sausage and mix it in before adding the liquids. Or you can use 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon cornstarch the same way.

  3. 5 stars
    This soup was delicious. I did add a total of 5 cloves of garlic and 2 pounds of potatoes. The pepper flakes really made this soup. We will definitely make it again.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this soap today and substituted cauliflower for the potatoes and it turned out fantastic. We love the original recipe but need to cut the carbs down a bit.


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