Enjoy a bowl of pure comfort with this Zuppa Toscana recipe! Every spoonful is loaded with spicy Italian sausage, smoky bacon, tender gnocchi, and fresh kale cooked in a rich, creamy broth.
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe
Another day, another soup recipe, but Zuppa Toscana, or Tuscan Soup, is one of the tastiest, creamiest, most comforting soups ever. If you are craving a bowl of hearty and savory goodness, it’s time to dig into this bowl, where Italian traditions meet homestyle comfort. If you’ve got a soft spot for Olive Garden’s iconic Zuppa Toscana, brace yourself – this homemade rendition takes that love to a whole new level! Every bite is packed with the richness of Italian sausage, the crunch of bacon, and the soft, pillowy gnocchi, all mixed in a creamy broth.
Why You Will Love This Soup Recipe
- Quick and Easy: In just 30 minutes, you’ll be ladling out bowls of this comforting soup.
- Gnocchi Over Potatoes: We use gnocchi in this recipe, not your usual potatoes. No peeling, no dicing – toss in the gnocchi and make this beloved soup even quicker and more convenient.
- Versatile: Whether it’s a cozy family dinner or holiday gathering, it’s always a crowd-pleaser.
- Tons of Flavor & Texture: Italian sausage and bacon mingle with gnocchi and kale in a creamy, savory broth.
Ingredients For Zuppa Toscana
- Olive Oil: For sautéing.
- Bacon: Adds a crispy, smoky depth to the soup’s base.
- Yellow Onion & Garlic
- Italian Sausage: Adds spice and richness.
- Chicken Broth
- Potato Gnocchi: Soft, fluffy bites that add texture and heartiness.
- Chopped Kale: Adds a green crunch.
- Heavy Cream: Gives the soup its creamy consistency.
- Parmesan Cheese: A finishing touch that adds a salty, cheesy punch.
How To Make Zuppa Toscana
Simple and easy to make, the soup comes together in about 30 minutes with only a handful of ingredients.
- Start with the Base: Get that olive oil sizzling in a large pot over medium-high heat. Toss in your bacon and onions, giving them a good stir until the onions are soft.
- Amp Up the Flavor: Next, hit the mix with garlic, then add in the Italian sausage. Break it apart with a spoon and cook it up until it’s nicely browned.
- Get It All in the Pot: Pour in the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Bring the whole mix to a rolling boil, then dial back the heat to let it simmer.
- Gnocchi and Greens: Toss in the gnocchi and kale.
- Creamy Goodness: Pour in the heavy cream and stir everything together. Let it cook for a couple more minutes, then take it off the heat.
- Taste Test: Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning until it’s just right for your palate.
- Serve: Spoon it out into bowls, sprinkle a generous helping of Parmesan on top if you’re feeling cheesy, and dig in!
Tips And Variations
- Cream Options: If heavy cream is too rich, substitute it with half-and-half or even whole milk for a lighter touch.
- Gnocchi Cooking Tip: Be cautious not to overcook the gnocchi; they should be soft but not mushy.
- Veggie Swap: If kale isn’t your thing, spinach makes a great alternative.
- Sausage Choices: Try different types of sausage. Spicy for a kick, or mild for a toned-down flavor, even turkey sausage for a leaner option.
- Cheese Please: Grated Asiago or Pecorino Romano can be used instead of Parmesan for a different cheesy touch.
- Freezing: Avoid freezing the soup with the cream to prevent separation. Freeze the base, and add the cream when reheating.
Pair this cozy soup with a slice of No Knead Skillet Olive Bread or a serving of No-Rise Slow Cooker Basil Pesto Bread. Add a side of Apples and Bacon Salad, Broccoli Apple Salad, or Green Beans and Egg Salad for a touch of freshness!
- Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
- Creamy soups do not freeze well – the heavy cream will separate once the soup is thawed, leading to a grainy texture soup. However, if you don’t mind that, then pour the soup into large freezer bags, seal the bag, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve it again, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat the soup over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
More Soup Recipes
- Creamy Tortellini Soup
- Italian Sausage Soup with Kale and Beans
- Lighter Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Minestrone Soup
- Smoked Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
Zuppa Toscana Recipe
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound Italian Sausage, hot or mild, casings removed
- 6 to 8 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound potato gnocchi
- 2 cups packed chopped kale
- ½ cup heavy cream
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving, optional
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or a soup pot set over medium-high heat.
- Add in the diced bacon and diced onions; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Add garlic and continue to cook for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
- Stir in the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink, about 5 more minutes.
- Add chicken broth, salt, and pepper; bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in gnocchi and kale. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the heavy cream and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat; taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and serve.
- Sausage: Opt for mild Italian sausage for a subtler flavor, or go bold with the spicy version.
- Veggie Variations: Toss in additional veggies like spinach or Swiss chard.
- Dairy Swap: Whole milk or half-and-half make excellent substitutes if you’re out of heavy cream.
- Bacon Bits: Fry the bacon until it’s crisp to enrich the soup with a smoky flavor.
- Spice It Up: Add a dash of red pepper flakes to balance the creamy richness with a spicy kick.
- Creamy Alternatives: For a lighter version, substitute heavy cream with coconut milk or almond milk for a different flavor profile and less fat.
- Herb Garnishes: Enhance the aroma and flavor with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like basil or oregano before serving.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.