This copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup promises to bring the beloved restaurant flavor right to your home kitchen. The soup features a hearty combination of ground Italian sausage, tender potatoes, and nutritious kale in a creamy and flavorful broth. The recipe begins by cooking and crumbling the sausage, ensuring its juiciness by using medium heat. The aromatic base is created with sautéed onions, garlic, hot sauce, soy sauce, and a medley of seasonings, enhancing the overall taste profile.

A key step involves adding flour to form a roux, contributing to the soup’s creamy consistency. The gradual incorporation of chicken broth and heavy cream provides a luscious texture to the broth. The addition of sliced russet potatoes adds a satisfying element to the soup, becoming nearly fork-tender as they simmer. The inclusion of kale towards the end adds a burst of color and nutritional value to the dish.

For those who prefer a hands-off approach, the recipe offers a convenient slow cooker method. The use of hot Italian sausage and specific flavor enhancers such as mustard powder and hot sauce ensures an authentic taste reminiscent of Olive Garden’s classic offering. Finally, the soup is served hot, garnished with optional toppings like red pepper flakes, grated Parmesan, and chopped bacon, allowing you to customize each bowl according to your preferences. Whether enjoyed on a chilly evening or shared with family and friends, this Zuppa Toscana Soup is a comforting and satisfying culinary experience that captures the essence of Italian-American cuisine.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

It is so easy to make Olive Garden’s classic Zuppa Toscana Soup at home! This incredible copycat recipe is even better than the restaurant version and can be made on the stove top or in the crock pot!

Prep Time15minutes mins

Cook Time45minutes mins

Total Time1hour hr

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American, Italian

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 537kcal

Author: Stephanie


  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage hot or mild
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce can sub Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 small russet potatoes about 1 lb.
  • 3 cups kale roughly chopped


  • 1 teaspoon EACH: mustard powder, dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: dried oregano, dried basil
  • 1 Pinch of red pepper flakes optional

For Serving

  • Grated Parmesan
  • Roughly Chopped Bacon


  • Cook and crumble the sausage in a large soup pot over medium heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings and set the sausage aside. (1 additional tbsp. butter can be used if you don’t have drippings.)
  • Add the drippings and butter to the soup pot and add the onions. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, hot sauce, soy sauce, and seasonings and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add the flour and stir continuously for 2 minutes, until the raw flour smell is gone.
  • Add the chicken broth in small splashes, stirring continuously. Add the heavy cream in the same manner. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Clean the potatoes and pat them dry. Cut them in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4-inch slices. Add the the potatoes to the soup along with the cooked sausage.
  • Simmer for 10 more minutes, or until the potatoes are nearly fork tender. Stir in the kale and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with red pepper flakes, grated Parmesan, and/or chopped bacon. Serve!


Pro Tips:

  • Flavor Enhancers: The mustard powder, hot sauce, and soy sauce are flavor enhancers and can’t be tasted outright in this recipe. The hot sauce doesn’t make this soup hot/spicy. I usually use Frank’s hot sauce.
  • Sausage: Hot Italian Sausage is typically used in Zuppa Toscana, but mild Italian works if you are heat averse. My personal preference is Jimmy Dean Original Pork Sausage.
  • The sausage in this recipe is cooked over medium heat as opposed to medium-high, this keeps it extra juicy and gives you enough drippings to make the roux, which also adds a lot of flavor.
  • Cheese Garnish: I like to garnish bowls of this soup with freshly grated Belgioioso Parmesan cheese.
  • Spinach can be used instead of kale if preferred or needed.
  • Be sure to pair this with my crusty, airy, No Knead Bread for dipping!

Slow Cooker Method:

  • Note: Flour is not used for the slow cooker method.
  • Follow steps 1 & 2 as outlined in stove top method. Transfer everything to the Crock Pot except for the heavy cream, potatoes, and kale.
  • Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4.
  • Add the potatoes during the last 45 minutes. Cook until fork tender but not overcooked.
  • Flip heat to low, if not it’s not already. Slowly stir in the heavy cream, followed by the kale. Let it heat through for 5 minutes, then serve!


  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Cream based sauces don’t reheat exactly back to their original consistency after being frozen/reheated, but this one comes close. Be sure not to overcook the potatoes if you plan on freezing.

Nutritional information is an estimate and is per serving. There are 6 servings in this recipe.


Calories: 537kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1402mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4003IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 3mg