Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup (Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana)

Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup (Copycat Zuppa Toscana Olive Garden Recipe)

I know I have mention before that, along time ago in another life, I worked as a waitress at the Olive Garden. Those were fun times filled with lots of salad, bread sticks, and yummy Zuppa Toscana.  If you never had Zuppa Toscana from the Olive Garden then you are missing out! It is filled with sausage, potatoes, kale, butter, cream, and I am sure other yummy ingredients. It is soooooo good and I used to love sopping it up with breadsticks.  If you haven’t guessed already I was not exactly health conscious back then.

When I first started to prepare this recipe it was not my intention to make a copycat Zuppa Toscana. I originally planned on making a slow cooker sausage and kale soup from the Freezer to Family ecookbook. But I did not have time for a slow cooker recipe so I decided to make it on the stove.  I also wanted to change it up a bit and add potatoes for richness, some milk for creaminess, and I substituted turkey Italian sausage. So I guess you can say the recipe I ended up with was inspired by the Family to Freezer sausage and kale recipe but also resulted in a copycat version of Zuppa Toscana. Works for me.

Anyway, I was blown away when I took a taste of this soup. It is delicious and tasted almost exactly like the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. Honestly, in all the soups I have made I can easily say this is one of my favorites. It is really good. The flavors of the sausage, onion, garlic, and spices are great. I added a ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. This gives it a nice kick. If you are using a hot sausage you might not need it. But if you like it spicy then throw it in. Instead of cream or half and half I decided to just use 1% milk – mostly because that is what I had on hand. It leant the perfect amount of creaminess to this soup.


You will get about 7 servings from this batch. My husband had 2 bowls and I had 1 then I put the rest in 6-ounce mason jar containers for lunches and/or dinners this week. You can freeze them but if you do leave about 1 inch of room to allow for expansion. Then let thaw in the refrigerator and warm up on stove or in microwave.


I hope you give this recipe a taste because it is perfect especially for those of you who are living in a city – like Buffalo – where the winter just won’t quit.

5.0 from 19 reviews
Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup (Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 7
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound of ground turkey Italian sausage (or 6 links casings removed)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, skinned, thickly sliced, and quartered
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 cups chopped kale
  1. Heat olive oil in medium to large soup pot and cook italian sausage until no longer pink. Break apart and crumble as it cooks.
  2. Add to sausage the onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion and garlic start to soften.
  3. Add in potatoes, chicken broth, and milk. Cook until potatoes are soft. About 25 to 30 minutes. Give it a taste then add in the salt.
  4. Stir in the kale and cook for another 15 minutes or until kale is tender. Serve hot.
Make ahead tips

This soup can be made ahead completely then frozen in individual containers. Thaw in refrigerator then warm up on stove or microwave.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/7 of recipe Calories: 316 Fat: 11 Carbohydrates: 34 Fiber: 3 Protein: 20


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  1. Am I missing something on the nutritional info? It doesn’t have calories? I can’t wait to make it, though!

  2. Cecily Olson says:

    Will the potatoes freeze okay with this recipe? I have read that they typically don’t freeze well?
    My husband is dying for me to try this!!

  3. Super recipe Kale is the latest in thing.

  4. rachael morcio says:

    Absolutely delicious!!! Thank you

  5. Roberta Davis says:

    The recipe reads 7 servings, but how much is a serving? Is it a cup, two cups? I want to use the nutrition information but need to know the portion size. Thanks for all you do! Can’t wait to try this.

  6. can we substitute spinach?

  7. So delish. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I made this last night and my hubby and I both love it! There wasn’t any left to freeze. Next time I will double the recipe and have some to freeze. Thank you for the good healthy recipe!

  9. Really great. My boyfriend wanted us to try to make his favorite Olive Garden soup, and I was hoping to find a recipe that used milk instead of cream. This recipe was perfect. We used lean pork sausage instead turkey. Great flavors, loved the texture of the broth.

  10. Very good. I would add note not to worry about exact amounts, etc. I added more broth and only one c 2% milk (all I had). Simmered only five min after kale added because I like it crunchy. Thank you for posting!

  11. YUM! It smells amazing simmering on my stove right now! I added extra red pepper flakes to make it spicy! I can’t wait to try it!

  12. This is the first time making this recipe, easy to follow instructions. I omitted the red pepper flakes and used Tuscan spice blend with sweet Italian sausage. Smells amazing.

  13. Thanks! I’ve still got kale in the raised bed, and a huge bag in the freezer. Everything on hand except the sausage. So, this goes to the top of my list once I finish freezing and canning from the garden. I’m really enjoying your blog!

    • Margaret Schenck says:

      hi this recipe sounds delicious but I’m asking about the kale in your freezer. can kale be frozen fresh is there anything I need to do to it before freezing it I bought the only kale I could find and it was a super large bag and I would like to use only half of it so freezing would be ideal how do you freeze kale Thanks

  14. I absolutely love this recipe! Have made it twice already! But how much is 1/7th of the recipe? A cup? A cup in a half?

  15. This was so good, we spiced it up much more for our taste profile. Definitely a new recipe in our rotation!

  16. I make a very similar recipe only I slice up raw cauliflower, looks like little sliced potatos, and throw them in the pot the last 10 minutes. They keep a firmness and are still yummy the next day.

    Much more than 10 minutes and they add a sweetness to the soup that I dont like.

  17. I made this yesterday and it was delicious! The only thing I changed was the turkey sausage. My grocery store was out and I couldn’t bring myself to buy the regular sausage links (21g of fat per link! YIKES) so I just bought the ground turkey (98% fat free) and it was still good. Thank you sharing, I’ll definitely make it again!

  18. I made this yesterday for my brother who had pancreatic surgery a month ago I substituted omion powder for onions and garlic powder for the garlic and he loved it and wanted the rescipe . It was so good! Thank you for the lighter version of Zuppa Touscana.

  19. Molly Pinon says:

    I made this one for my husband and it was an absolute hit. The recipe was easy to follow and turned out IMO better than Zappa Toscana from Olive Garden – Thank you for posting this one. I will definitely be making this one again.

  20. Absolutely delicious! M new favorite for me. I used hot Italian pork sausage and omitted the red flakes. Magnificent!!!

  21. Could this be made in the crock pot?

  22. I made this tonight for my family and it was a hit. The taste is so close. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  23. Made it tonight, couled not be more pleased! This was delicious, thanks for sharing.

  24. Me and my boyfriend used to both work as servers at the OG and toscana was our absolute favorite!! I never imagined i could make it from home so easily! It was delicious thank you so much for sharing! Best recipe I’ve found online yet!!!

  25. Turned out amazing. Very savory, and you don’t even miss the heavy cream.

  26. Thank you for sharing your story and for all the guidance and recipes that you offer.

    I would like to make a suggestion for recipes, especially soup. I would love to see serving sizes listed in cups (when possible) instead of 7 servings or the like. I find I avoid some recipes when the serving size isn’t a “no brain-er”.

  27. My daughter loves this soup. She keeps going into the kitchen to smell it while it is cooking.

  28. Is the serving size of 1/7 equivalent to 1 cup or?????
    Thank you

  29. Family member made this, and it was Awesome!!!!👍👍👍

  30. What’s the sodium for a serving of this?

  31. Valerie do says:

    So good!!! A go to time and time again.

  32. Ooh, most excellent! We’ll definitely be having this dish again! Used fat free half and half instead of milk since that’s what I happened to have in the fridge and it turned out great!!

  33. Could spinach be substituted for the kale?

  34. Thank you for the recipe. I chose to sub carrots for potatoes and almond milk for 1% milk to meet my personal nutrition goals. It tasted great! Thanks again!

  35. I made this for my BFF…she’s dieting and I’m serving as coach. 🙂 I used spicy Italian sausage and omitted the red pepper flakes, and used 3 teaspoons of Italian seasoning instead of dried thyme, oregano and basil. She loved it and said it tasted better than Olive Garden! Ask anyone who knows me well…I don’t like any type of soup for some reason. Strange…I know LOL (I always order salad at Olive Garden). I, of course, tasted the soup before giving it to my friend and it was so delicious. You broke my “don’t like soup curse”…I plan to make this again for myself next time. Thanks for a great recipe! God bless 🙂

  36. Read so many remarks on this soup can’t wait to try it.

  37. Allan Wirkala says:

    I made this as per your recipe with a few changes. I doubled the amount of kale, halved the spices, and added red pepper flakes. Didn’t use milk as I had some heavy cream and half & half and used them. It was excellent. Will definitely save this recipe and make it a lot in the future.

  38. Has anyone used almond milk?


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