Zuppa Toscana

Bring Olive Garden home with this delicious Zuppa Toscana – a creamy soup with Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale!

You know how Olive Garden has those amazing all-you-can-eat soups? My favorite is the Zuppa Toscana. I swear I eat three bowls of it every time!

My favorite thing to do is to take one of the spicy, vinegary pepperoncini peppers from the salad and kind of squeeze it into the zuppa, then drop it in and stir it around. It gives the soup some tang and heat.

It must be clear how much I love this soup if I have a special way to eat it, right? I love it so much that I’ve come up with a version to make at home.

For this recipe, I’ve tried my best to keep the number of ingredients, and the amount of time and fussing to make it, really down, while getting it to taste as much like Olive Garden’s as possible. I make this soup a lot and getting it to a point where I can whip it up in a flash was important to me.

This Zuppa Toscana is made on the stove, the traditional way. It’s all done in one pot, so clean up is quick. However, I also have an Instant Pot version of this soup that I already shared on this site. That ones even quicker. AND, I have a hybrid version that I’ll be sharing soon where you actually use two pots but get it made even quicker. That speed is because you cook the sausage in one skillet while the potatoes are simmering in a separate pot, instead of this version where you cook the sausage first and then add the other ingredients to that.

It just depends on if you want to have multiple things cooking at once or if you’d rather do it all in one.

What is Zuppa Toscana?

Zuppa is Italian for soup and Toscana refers to the region of Italy called Tuscany. So it translates as “Tuscan Soup”.

Traditionally in Italy, Zuppa Toscana was more of 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!

How to Make Zuppa Toscana

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 simmer things for long.

What you do is to heat a bit of olive oil in your soup pot. 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. Bring it to a simmer. Then add the kale and let it wilt into the soup. Finally, drizzle in some heavy cream, stir, and serve!



Zuppa Toscana

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


Bring Olive Garden home with this delicious Zuppa Toscana – a creamy soup with Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale!


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lbs. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 lbs. white potatoes (about 6 medium), in 1/2-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. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  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 5-7 minutes. Use a spoon to drain off any excess fat or liquid.
  3. Add the onion. Stir and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes, stock, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir.
  5. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are softened, 7-10 minutes.
  7. Stir in kale and simmer for a moment until it wilts.
  8. Remove from heat. Stir in cream. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired.