Zuppa Toscana Soup is a lightened- up version of the classic Olive Garden kale soup using poultry sausage and then filled with creamy russet potatoes and hearty kale. This Olive Garden copycat recipe is perfect for a rainy fall day!
I know I have mentioned this before but, a long time ago (in another life), I worked as a waitress at the Olive Garden. Those were fun times filled with lots of salad, breadsticks, and yummy Zuppa Toscana.
If you never tried the Zuppa Toscana soup from the Olive Garden, then you’re missing out! It is filled with Italian 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 wasn’t exactly health conscious back then.
How I Created This Healthy Version Of An Olive Garden Classic!
When I first started to prepare this recipe, it was not my intention to make a copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. I originally planned on making a slow cooker sausage and kale soup I found in one of my cookbooks. But, I didn’t 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 Italian chicken sausage. And that, my friends, is how this delicious lightened-up Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe was born.
Anyway, I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I was blown away when I took a taste of this Zuppa Toscana. It’s delicious and tasted almost exactly like the Olive Gardens!
Frequently Asked Questions About Zuppa Toscana
Before I jump into this recipe, I want to go over some questions…
Does Zuppa Toscana have meat in it?
Yes, it does. It typically comes with sausage but you can always omit it or sub it out for a plant-based sausage if you would like to make this soup option vegetarian.
How many servings do you get from this soup?
You will get about 7 servings from this batch of Zuppa Toscana soup. We had 2 bowls then I put the rest in 16-ounce mason jar containers for lunches and/or dinners this week.
Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
Alright, let’s get to this recipe! Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make homemade sausage and kale soup:
- Olive oil
- Ground turkey or Italian chicken sausage
- Garlic cloves
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
- Crushed red pepper
- Dried thyme
- Russet potatoes
- Chicken broth
- 1% milk
- Chopped kale
Note: Grab the exact measurements for all of these ingredients in the recipe card below 😉
How To Make Potato, Sausage, And Kale Soup
Honestly, in all the soups, I’ve made I can easily say this is one of my favorites. It’s really good!
The flavors of the sausage, onion, garlic, and spices are great.
I started out by heating up some olive oil in a medium to large soup pot and cooked the Italian sausage until it was no longer pink. The sausage will break apart and crumble as it cooks.
To the pot, add the onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme.
Cook that for 5 minutes or until the onion and garlic start to soften.
Add in potatoes, chicken broth, and milk and cook until potatoes are soft, for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Give it a taste and then add in the salt.
Stir in the kale and cook for another 15 minutes or until the kale is tender.
Serve hot and enjoy!
- I added a ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes as this gives it a nice kick. If you’re 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 added the perfect amount of creaminess to this soup.
How To Store And Make-Ahead Zuppa Toscana Recipe
This soup can be made ahead completely then frozen in individual containers. Thaw the container out in the refrigerator and then warm it up on the stove or microwave.
Tip: When you freeze the soup, make sure to leave about 1 inch of room to allow for expansion.
I hope you give this Zuppa Toscana 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.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
If you are looking for a couple of more healthy and delicious soup recipes, take a look at this list:
- Cheeseburger Soup (Stove-Top and Slow Cooker)
- Stovetop Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Low Carb Pizza Soup
- Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
- Healthy Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound of ground turkey (or poultry) 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
- Heat olive oil in medium to large soup pot and cook italian sausage until no longer pink. Break apart and crumble as it cooks.
- Add to sausage the onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion and garlic start to soften.
- 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.
- Stir in the kale and cook for another 15 minutes or until kale is tender. Serve hot.
This soup can be made ahead completely then frozen in individual containers. Thaw in refrigerator then warm up on stove or microwave.