Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale come together to make a delicious, hearty soup you can enjoy any night of the week!

Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale come together to make a delicious, hearty soup you can enjoy any night of the week!


I love Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. In fact, I love it so much that I’m going to be sharing three different ways of making it over the weeks ahead. Today’s version is in the Instant Pot. Next week I’ve got a traditional stovetop version. Then, finally, I’ll be sharing a really quick way of making the soup (it’s ready in 15 minutes!).

So, as mentioned, I love this soup and I order it whenever I go to Olive Garden. But I wanted to be able to have it at home too. I started experimenting with the recipe. I had the goal of making it really simple so that I could whip it up in a flash anytime.

For that reason it doesn’t have the full ingredient list of the Olive Garden version, in particular I skipped the bacon. Why? I actually didn’t find that it added that much, or not as much as the effort of having to chop and cook bacon involved.

I also didn’t go with a roux to thicken this soup. The Olive Garden version is actually not very thick and so I decided that just by adding a bit of cream at the end, we get the richness and some body, without having to have the whole step of making a roux and then ensuring that it doesn’t form lumps. Much quicker to not have to do all that!

In the end, you have a soup that tastes a lot like the Olive Garden version, but is ready with minimal hands-on prep, minimal ingredients, and minimal time. It’s a win-win-win!

What is Zuppa Toscana?

Zuppa is the Italian word for soup, and Toscana is the adjective for the region of Italy called Tuscany. So Zuppa Toscana translates as “Tuscan Soup”.

In Italy, Zuppa Toscana is a lightly spicy vegetable soup. In North America, a different version with a thin cream broth and Italian sausage has been made popular by Olive Garden. Both version have kale though, so there is something they have in common!

Why Make Zuppa Toscana in the Instant Pot

I’m going to be sharing a version of this soup made in a pot on the stove soon. I make it both ways so I thought I’d publish both.

Why do I make it on the stove sometimes and in the Instant pot other times? Honestly, it depends on whether my Instant Pot is clean and ready to use! If it is, I usually use the Instant Pot (this is the one I have). Except, sometimes, if I’m going to be in the kitchen anyhow, I like having a pot of soup bubbling on the stove. It’s very comforting. So I’ll go the stove route for that reason too.

Making any soup in the Instant Pot is really quick. It also has both the saute function and the pressure cook function, so you can saute your soup ingredients in the same pot that is going to pressure cook everything, which is really convenient.

For this soup, the sausage is sauteed in the Instant Pot first. Then you add the potatoes and broth before pressure cooking. That means that the meat is already fully cooked. All you’re really doing with the pressure cooking is cooking the potatoes and bringing all the flavors together.

How to Make Zuppa Toscana in the Instant Pot

This is such a quick soup to pull together. The reason is that the sausage gives off so much flavor that you don’t really have to cook things for very long. And, the Instant Pot makes it super quick too!

What you do is to heat a bit of olive oil in your Instant Pot set to the saute function. Take the casings off of your Italian sausage (or use ground Italian sausage meat that was never formed into sausages, if you grocery sells this). Cook it, stirring occasionally to break it up into bits, until cooked through.

Then you add in a chopped onion and let that soften a bit. Next you go in with chopped potatoes, chicken stock, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and garlic powder. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 3 minutes.

After the pressure cooking is done, turn the valve to Venting and let the pressure release. Then add the kale and let it wilt into the soup. Finally, drizzle in some heavy cream, stir and serve!



Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale come together to make a delicious, hearty soup you can enjoy any night of the week!


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lbs. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 lbs. white potatoes (about 6 medium), in ½ inch cubes
  • 8 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 8 cups (packed) torn curly kale, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Set the Instant Pot to Saute on High. Add the olive oil and swirl it around.
  2. Add the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break it apart as it cooks. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and breaking it up more, cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Use a spoon to drain off any excess fat or liquid.
  3. Add the onion. Stir and cook until softened, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes, stock, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir.
  5. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. Make sure the valve is set to Sealing.
  6. When the 3 minutes of pressure cooking is done, turn valve to Venting and allow pressure to release.
  7. Set Instant Pot to saute on high. Stir in kale and simmer for a moment until it wilts.
  8. Turn off Instant Pot. Stir in cream. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired.
Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

5 responses to “Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana”

  1. Jenny says:

    Oops!  I’m so sorry!  I totally missed the kale in the instructions.  This version sounds so easy and delicious.  Thank you!

  2. Jenny says:

    The instructions don’t mention when to add the kale.

  3. Fran McClure says:

    Have you ever tried to freeze it? I’m wondering if the potatoes will get mushy. I was thinking of adding the cream in when reheating.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      The potatoes do break down a bit while cooking which I think is delicious. You can also use farro in place of the potatoes in this recipe, which reheats beautifully. Use 2 cups uncooked farro instead of the potatoes. Then do 6 minutes for the pressure cooking time. And yes, adding the cream when reheating is best.

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