Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

copycat zuppa toscana recipe

The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 bowls
Yield: 1 pot

There's nothing like a hearty serving of soup, salad, and breadsticks from your favorite Italian-American restaurant chain. A favorite is the Zuppa Toscana, which just means "Tuscan Soup" while this soup isn't actually Tuscan, it is certainly delicious. It's loaded with hearty potatoes, sausage, and bacon. It even has kale, so you can feel a little healthy while eating it too. A true meal in a bowl, it will satisfy even the hungriest eaters.

Serve it with some breadsticks and a salad if you're looking for some sides. This makes for the perfect lunch or dinner on a rainy day.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 8 slices bacon (diced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 large russet potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 bunch kale (chopped)
  • For Serving
  • Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    zuppa toscana ingredients

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

  2. Break up the sausage into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, like a dutch oven. Heat over high, and cook until browned all over and cooked through, stirring occasionally to break up the sausage further if you wish, about 6 to 8 minutes.

    brown Italian sausage

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

  3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage from the pot and set aside, leaving the fat drippings in the pot. Add the diced bacon to the pot and cook over high, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crisped and browned. 

    brown bacon

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

  4. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind. If there is excess grease (use your best judgment), pour off some from the pan.

    Add the onions, salt, and pepper to the bacon grease in the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for two minutes or until the onions are just slightly softened. They will continue to cook in the broth.

    onions sauteed in a pan

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

  5. Add the flour and cook, stirring to coat the onions, for about one minute.

    flour and onion sauteed in a pan

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

  6. Add the chicken stock and stir to incorporate the broth into the onions and flour. Cook over medium heat until just warmed through.

    broth and onions in a pot

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

  7. Return the sausage and bacon to the pot along with the potatoes. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are softened.

    Return the sausage and bacon to the pot and add potatoes

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

  8. Remove the soup from the heat, then stir in the cream and kale. The hot broth will wilt the kale without overcooking it and make it lose its color. Do not overcook. Taste, and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

    zuppa toscana in a pot

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

  9. Serve the soup immediately with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over top (Just like at Olive Garden.) and enjoy.

Make Ahead and Freeze

If you are looking to make this soup ahead and freeze for later, do so before adding the cream and kale. Cream does not always reheat well after freezing.


You can portion it into plastic bags and freeze for up to 3 months. It can also be kept in the refrigerator for three days.

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