BEST Copycat Zuppa Toscana Recipe


Classic zuppa toscana soup, in slow cooker form!  It tastes WAY better than the restaurant version, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!


Spicy crumbled sausage, silky potatoes, and an ultra creamy broth… it’s the perfect copycat soup!

The BEST copycat zuppa toscana soup, made with spicy crumbled sausage, silky potatoes, and an ultra creamy broth.  Bacon and kale put the finishing touch on this Olive Garden copycat recipe! #soup #souprecipe #copycat #zuppatoscana #olivegarden #slowcooker #crockpot #instantpot #pressurecooker #easyrecipe #weeknightmeal

Best Copycat Zuppa Toscana Recipe

My husband’s favorite soup is Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, so naturally I wanted to find a way to have it at home (for way less money)!  This soup has all the great flavors of the Olive Garden soup, but making at home is much more convenient, and I think it tastes way better!  If you’ve never had this soup… it’s a creamy soup with tender potatoes, spicy Italian sausage, crispy bacon, and healthy kale.

WHAT’S IN ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP?

First, I want to clear something up.  Even though zuppa toscana soup translates to Tuscan soup, it’s not a traditionally Tuscan soup.  Olive Garden named this soup and made it incredibly popular all across the United States!

Zuppa toscana soup is made from crumbled Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale, chicken broth and cream.  The combination is soul-warming and absolutely mouthwatering.  What I love most about this copycat soup is that you don’t need a lot of ingredients to get such a rich flavor!

Bowl of copycat zuppa toscana soup

HOW TO MAKE ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP:

There are three main ways to make this delicious copycat soup; stovetop, slow cooker, and pressure cooker (instant pot).  I’ll have directions for all three down in the recipe card, but let’s focus on the stovetop version for this how-to.

  1. Brown the Italian sausage.  I like to use spicy sausage links and remove the casing, but you can also use bulk Italian sausage if you prefer.  Use a wooden spoon to crumble the sausage as you cook it, then drain it very well, getting as much grease off of it as you can.  Remove to a plate.
  2. Fry the bacon right in the residual grease from the sausage.  This adds plenty of flavor!  Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to the plate with the sausage.
  3. Cook the onion and garlic in the bacon grease.  Again, boosting the flavor here!  If you have a ton of grease after cooking the bacon, drain off all but about 1 1/2 Tbsp.
  4. Add the flour to the cooked onion and garlic, stirring to mix it all in.  This is going to thicken your soup slowly, as it cooks.
  5. Add liquid and potatoes.  I like to use chicken bone broth or chicken stock, but you can use broth if you prefer.  When you add the liquid, make sure to stir well, so the flour is mixed in with the liquid and doesn’t clump up.
  6. Boil potatoes until tender.  Don’t cook them TOO much, you want them tender when pierced with a fork, but not mushy.
  7. Stir in cooked sausage and bacon.  This keeps the meats nice and crispy.
  8. Add cream and kale.  Stir well and let the kale wilt.
  9. Enjoy!!

Ladle of zuppa toscana soup

CAN ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP BE FROZEN OR REHEATED?

Reheated, yes.  It makes for amazing leftovers the next day!  Frozen, I’m not entirely sure.  Soups with dairy have a propensity for separating when frozen.  So if you want to freeze this soup, I would freeze it before adding the cream and kale.  Just add those as you’re reheating the soup.

HOW TO MAKE ZUPPA TOSCANA THICKER?

This soup is traditionally pretty brothy, but if you prefer a thicker soup, it’s really easy to thicken it.  You can either mash some of the potatoes in the soup, or mix 1 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch with 2-3 Tbsp of additional heavy cream, and stir it in when you add the cream.  Stir occasionally for the next 5-7 minutes and it’ll thicken up.

Spoonful of copycat zuppa toscana recipe

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING THIS COPYCAT ZUPPA TOSCANA RECIPE:

  1. Control the heat level by using either mild or spicy Italian sausage.  I prefer the spicy variety with the creamy soup, but it’s your soup!
  2. No patience for peeling and chopping potatoes?  In a pinch, I like to keep a bag of refrigerated diced potatoes on hand.  My grocery store carries them next to the eggs (for some reason lol).
  3. Too much grease in your soup?  It happens, especially with the Italian sausage, but you can fix it if it bothers you.  Let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes, then gently skim off the grease layer.
  4. Want to try this soup but following a low-carb way of eating?  Swap out the potatoes for chopped cauliflower florets!

GREAT RECIPES TO SERVE ALONGSIDE THIS SOUP RECIPE:

The BEST copycat zuppa toscana soup, made with spicy crumbled sausage, silky potatoes, and an ultra creamy broth.  Bacon and kale put the finishing touch on this Olive Garden copycat recipe! #soup #souprecipe #copycat #zuppatoscana #olivegarden #slowcooker #crockpot #instantpot #pressurecooker #easyrecipe #weeknightmeal

SHOP THE RECIPE:

  • Dutch Oven – My secret weapon in the kitchen.. I use it for everything from soups to frying!
  • Instant Pot – In case you don’t have one, this is the model I have and love.
  • Hamilton Beach 7qt Programmable Slow Cooker – I received this as a gift and couldn’t be happier… works like a dream, switches to warm once the time is up, and is big enough to cook just about anything!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Simply Potatoes.  All opinions are 100% mine.

 

Recipe originally published in 2015, recently updated with new photos and additional content.

The BEST copycat zuppa toscana soup, made with spicy crumbled sausage, silky potatoes, and an ultra creamy broth.  Bacon and kale put the finishing touch on this Olive Garden copycat recipe! #soup #souprecipe #copycat #zuppatoscana #olivegarden #slowcooker #crockpot #instantpot #pressurecooker #easyrecipe #weeknightmeal

BEST Copycat Zuppa Toscana Recipe

Classic zuppa toscana soup, in slow cooker form! It tastes WAY better than the restaurant version
4.92 from 68 votes
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 790

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground spicy Italian sausage (mild can be substituted)
  • 8 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp flour (cornstarch can be substituted)
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 bunch kale (a couple of handfuls) de-stemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes. optional

Instructions

  • Heat a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot over MED-HIGH heat.  Add a small drizzle of oil, then brown sausage, crumbling as it cooks.  Drain well, then remove to a plate.
  • Fry bacon is residual sausage grease until crisp, then remove to plate with the sausage.  Drain all but 1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp of bacon grease.
  • Add onion to pot and cook 5 minutes, adding garlic the last minute.  
  • Sprinkle flour over onion and garlic in pot, then stir to combine.  Pour in chicken stock, stirring as you pour.  Add in potatoes and bring to a boil.
  • Gently boil about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender.  Add in cooked sausage, bacon, heavy cream and kale.  Stir and cook 5-10 minutes until kale is wilted.
  • Taste and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.  Top with bacon and enjoy!

Notes

 

CROCKPOT DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat large skillet over medium high heat and brown sausage.  Drain.
  2. Fry bacon and set aside to a plate.
  3. Add onion and minced garlic and cook slightly.
  4. Add sausage, onion and garlic to the bottom of slow cooker.
  5. Add peeled potatoes, cover with chicken stock and water (if necessary) to completely cover potatoes and sausage.
  6. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 (potatoes should be soft)
  7. Before serving, whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch or flour until well mixed. Pour into slow cooker, add kale and stir to combine.
  8. Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes until soup has thickened slightly.
  9. Taste, season according to your tastes, and serve.

 

INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS

  1. Set a 6-qt instant pot to the saute setting. Add a drizzle of olive oil and Italian sausage. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess grease.
  2. Add bacon and cook until crispy, remove with slotted spoon to a plate.
  3. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in chicken broth and potatoes.
  5. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 5 minutes. When finished cooking, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then a controlled quick release.
  6. When the pin drops, open the lid.
  7. Whisk together flour/cornstarch and heavy cream, then add to pot, along with kale.  Stir often and let heat through.
  8. Taste and season as desired.
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The BEST copycat zuppa toscana soup, made with spicy crumbled sausage, silky potatoes, and an ultra creamy broth.  Bacon and kale put the finishing touch on this Olive Garden copycat recipe! #soup #souprecipe #copycat #zuppatoscana #olivegarden #slowcooker #crockpot #instantpot #pressurecooker #easyrecipe #weeknightmeal

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324 comments on “BEST Copycat Zuppa Toscana Recipe”

  1. This was really good. I love it.

  2. Can you substitue pancetta for bacon with this recipe??

  3. This was SUCH an amazing recipe!!!! My husband and I both loved it! I even took a little tupperware container to my sister as comfort food and she loved it too! Thanks!!!

  4. I have never added flour. I do add a lot of heavy cream. This is my favorite soup. Anything I make it i have to either not tell anyone or make several stock pots.

  5. I made this tonight, It was delicious! I did the thicker version and added the red pepper flakes. I doubled the recipe…we had 6 people and only had about 4 cups left over….Everyone loved it and requested it again, soon!

  6. I made this soup for my sick husband last night. It was so so delicious. Everybody loved it. I had Turkey sausage instead of Pork so used it. I also had no heavy cream in the hand so I mixed 1 cup of whole milk+2 TBSP Corn Starch and turned out really good. Thanks for the great recipe. Look like this soup is going to be hit for cold winter nights!

  7. Omg I made this in a small batch first not sure how itd turn out but I had to make a 2nd batch the next day because everyone ate the first one haha

  8. How much is a serving? Is it one cup or two cups or more, or less?

  9. The recipe is so good I NAILED IT 😆😆😆

  10. Is the calorie content for the entire 6 servings or per serving? 789 calories seems awfully high for one serving. 

    • This certainly isn’t a diet-friendly soup, much like the restaurant version, so the calorie count is per serving. However, the number is an approximation, as no computer program is 100% accurate.

  11. I have made this several times and it is always delicious.
    I use spicy sausage and about 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes. Using Simply Potatoes diced potatoes makes 
    this a breeze to make. I don’t use any flour to thicken 
    only heavy cream! I have a pot of it cooking right now.

  12. Look no further for a copy cat recipe if this is your favorite soup from Olive Garden!!!
    I have made this recipe a dozen or so times now! We use hot Italian sausage (we have a thing for spicier foods) and it became a family favorite with the very first spoonful. The kids (all 3 of them) demand it every time it gets cold and rainy. It tastes exactly like Olive Gardens and saves well for later on or the next day when my husband takes it to work.
    I literally just finished collecting the ingredients to make it today! And we are so excited!!

  13. Also, regarding the potatoes, Aldi (and I’m sure many other markets) have little bite-sized potatoes that are perfect for something like this. 😀

  14. Regarding the freezing, I’ve made this before (not this version). It froze nicely and didn’t separate when I heated it up. I waited until it cooled completely then separated into freezer bags and made sure all the air was out. Worked like a charm.

  15. Made this today and it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe! 

  16. Looks delish!! I’m trying the slow cooker method as we speak. Out of the 3 methods, which method produces the best flavor?

  17. Add crushed fennel for a “better than the restaurant” taste. Yummy

  18. Did you change this recipe? I have made this a lot and now it looks different.

  19. Delicious! We love this soup at Olive Garden so I was nervous to make it myself, as I have never made soup before but it was amazing, even better than the restaurant! We will definitely be making this again!!

  20. Love this Soup, Just saying 🙂

  21. The recipe for a regular large pot was included before. I scoured the internet but can’t find it anywhere. Can you share those directions again please?

  22. This is seriously making me hungry! This couldn’t look any more perfect!

  23. Best soup ever! Can’t wait to try this!!

  24. Is this a slightly different updated recipe? I thought it had Simply Potatoes (w/ onions) in the recipe and I don’t remember the bacon! Am I just going crazy? 🤪 

    • I updated it slightly, as most people prefer to use regular potatoes and onion (although I mentioned in the body of the post that I like to use simply potatoes when I’m pressed for time), and I added the bacon, as I felt it added a bolder flavor. Feel free to leave it out if you like 🙂

  25. This looks better than Olive Garden! So comforting and delicious!

  26. this looks like a perfect bowl of comfort!!

  27. Looks insanely delicious! I bet those flavors on it are amazing that makes this simply irresistible, need to make this soon!

  28. I could eat this soup every single day! it’s absolutely delicious!

  29. I order this every time I go. Can’t wait to make it at home!

  30. When do i add the bacon to the slow cooker version?

    Thank you!

  31. This turned out delicious! Made it on the stove in my Dutch oven. Only added some extra kale. Was a hit- this recipe is definitely a keeper.

  32. Taste great! Hubby is picky but he lived it so I’m making a second time actually right now! I used half and half instead of heavy cream and taste so good! 

  33. Can I use heavy whipping cream? Instead of the heavy cream? That is all I found at the store. 

    Thank you! 

  34. Good morning! I just recently found your blog and your recipes are outstanding! Can you share which of your amazing slow cooker soup recipes you think would go well with a lasagna dinner? I’m having a dinner party and don’t have time to try them before Saturday so I went straight to the expert for advice….YOU! Thank you!

  35. Is this good to freeze? I work a lot of long hours and love this soup, but I live alone and can’t eat it all. 

  36. #chunkychef!  This is awesome
    Good!!! Made it yesterday and took it to a dinner party! Everyone loved it. Thanks for the recipe. Just want to add to people thinking the potatoes get too mushy… the don’t,  they are firm when the soup is ready. I used the simply potatoes like you suggested. And what a great time saver and they are delish. First time I have used them .  And mine cooked for about 7 hours. I didn’t have anything but self-rising flour so I added 2 tablespoons of corn starch to 1/4 cup of water and added to the soup instead of the flour.  And I mixed mild and spicy sausage just incase we had people that did’nt like it too spicy.  Awesome soup. This will be on the menu often! 

  37. Really good! And super convenient will be making this again. 

  38. Any ideas on how I can make it dairy free?

    • We eat dairy, so I’m not super familiar with dairy-free alternatives, but I’ve had a few readers say they used cream of coconut in place of the cream.

    • I just saw a paleo version of this made with a can of coconut milk. It also had the option of making cashew cream with water and raw cashews. Both options would be great!

  39. I want this soup so bad. Serious deliciousness happening here. I need to make this asap!

  40. Great recipe. Easy to make. 

  41. I just made this delicious soup – I wish you could see my two year old gobbling it up!

    I made it in the instant pot – my first time adapting a recipe for it on my own – and it turned out great, so I thought I’d post what I did for anyone who’s wondering.

    I hit saute and browned the sausage with some pepper flakes. Added the minced garlic, stirred it up for a minute, then drained it.
    Added the chicken stock, potatoes and onions (I had some to use up, so I cut mine rather than using the pre-diced, which I totally love though and use often when time is more pressing).
    Set the IP on manual, high pressure for 12 minutes.
    When that beeped, I covered the release valve with a towel and did a quick release.
    Set the IP to saute again and added the flour/cream mixture, stirring. It boiled up pretty quickly, so I let that go for a minute while I grabbed frozen chopped spinach from the freezer, then I added that in, and let it simmer until my little guy was begging for some soup. The spinach took maybe a minute to cook, and it was perfect.

    Added a little salt and pepper, served it to him and he’s giving me thumbs up(s) and saying yum yum constantly.

    I can’t wait until my hubs gets home so we can eat! lol hooray for keep warm.

    I’ll make this again and again and again! Thank you for the recipe!!!!

    • Thank you so much for posting this! I just bought an IP and was planning to use it for this soup but had no idea how. You rock. 

  42. I need to make this gluten-free, can I substitute cornstarch for the flour?

  43. this meal tastes nice with white ugali when served hot.

  44. I have made this before and it’s delicious. I substitute a gluten free flour as my daughter is celiac. My question is this…. ca zen u make this and skip the kale making it a creamy sausage potatoe soup? I love it with the kale but we are camping this weekend with some people who do not like their veggies. If I were to skip the kale should I be using less broth or cream or will it not matter? 

  45. I love soup and I could eat lots of this! It sounds appealing and delicious, what a great recipe 🙂

  46. Hello! This look super yummy and easy! I would like to use my instant pot instead of the slow cooker though. Do you have any experience with an instant pot? If so what would suggest for cook times? Thank you

    • Hi Becky 🙂 I’m just getting into using my Instant Pot, so I’m not familiar enough with it to give you accurate cooking times, unfortunately. Maybe another reader here has some suggestions, or you could find an Instant Pot recipe, and use these ingredients in place of theirs.

  47. This soup was absolutely amazing.
    The Kale was probably my favorite part since it absorbs the flavor of the soup, just be sure to add it about 30 minutes before the soup is ready to serve for best texture. My favorite soup!
    Making a double batch now.

  48. I LOVE this recipe

  49. Made today we loved it.i did use mild sausage w red pepper flakes.needed spicy sausage or more pepper flakes but even so tasted wonderful! Fresh potatoes ane pinch of tarragon.half bag frozen kale.in crockpot worked great very easy very tasty.ill try spicy sausage next time..tysm for this one its keeper for these frigid winter days!!

  50. Very good! I almost ayr the whole pot, alone. And only very reluctantly shared. Great recipe! Thanks.

  51. This is a delicious recipe especially with coconut milk!

  52. This soup in INCREDIBLE! The only substitutions I made was using regular (not hot) Italian sausage and I used fresh potatoes (Yukon Gold minis) and onions. My husband isn’t a kale eater, but once I made the soup, he loved it. (Only after he told me how good it was, did I tell him there was kale in the soup) 😉
    I froze the leftovers and they were just as good, if not better than the day I made it!

  53. Hi, if I used spinach instead of kale, would fresh or frozen be used? Thank you:)

  54. Just tried this tonight for the first time my husband is not a soup fan but he LOVE it, A valuable keeper. SO yummy!!!! 🙂 Thank you!

  55. I doubled up this recipe and I took it to a friends annual “Soup night” get together, and it was a great hit. It was easy to make even though I cut my own potatoes, and it tasted fantastic.

  56. Can you freeze leftovers of this soup? I’m making it tomorrow and using fat free half and half.

  57. Half and half works great! It still has 18% fat (as opposed to a super crazy cut to 2% milk). Amazing family soup for a chilly winter night!

  58. The Zuppa tuscana was fabulous. My tweeks were sweet Italian sausage I used baby spinach instead of kale and canned milk.. We had guest for dinner and they couldn’t stop raving about it !! Hubby is ready for another pot.

  59. I’ve made this multiple times using half & half and spinach and it always turns out delicious ! TY !

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  62. I typically never leave comments on recipes, but simply HAD to after trying this one! WOW – this soup is A-MAZING. I made it this past weekend and it couldn’t be easier. Even my boyfriend who isn’t a big soup eater loved it! The perfect amount of spice, and hearty without being too heavy. Thank you so much for sharing.

  63. Has anyone tried this with Veggie meat? I always try recipes as is the first time around and this is AMAZING!!

    However my husband and I are trying to veer away from so much meat. I like the ground turkey suggestions for a bit more of a healthy meat option. Just wondering if anyone tried like a veggie meat option. The biggest issues I can think of is (1) veggie meat tends to cook a lot faster and (2) it probably wouldn’t be at tender.

  64. Sounds great, but what about the sodium intake?

    • I don’t calculate sodium or any nutritional information other than calories (since that’s what Google want to see). Also, this recipe isn’t supposed to be healthy in any way, it’s a copycat of Olive Garden’s dish.

  65. I’m making this for the third time, everyone just loves it! However, this time I have a sibling who does gluten free. Do you think it’ll be fine to eliminate the flour? Would it not thicken up?

    • Hi Tanya 🙂 I’ve never made it without the flour… maybe you could try some cornstarch? I know some brands are gluten free. If not, I think it’ll be okay without the flour… you could also use a potato masher and mash a few of the potatoes, which will help thicken it as well 🙂

  66. This soup was so incredibly good. And super easy. You know how sometimes you are super excited to make a recipie and then it’s bland and you are so disspointed .. that was not the case at all!

  67. Good base, just a little too plain for my taste. I added some carrots instead of kale, and then some tortellinis at the end. My husband and I love it!

  68. Tonight for dinner I made your crockpot copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscan Soup. My family loves it. A small amount left over for lunch tomorrow. A slice of crusty bread hit the spot. It was very easy and nice to have something different.

  69. This soup is absolutely wonderful. Every time I make it the entire family raves about how good it is. It is actually better the next day. Thanks so much for the recipe. I haven’t made it in the crock pot yet, only stove top.

  70. I loved this soup! I was wondering though…what is the purpose of the kale in it? Could it be made without it? MY husband would not eat this if I made it for him because of the kale…

    • Hi Betsy 🙂 You could absolutely substitute with spinach if he prefers that or I guess leave the greens out altogether. I added kale because this is a copycat recipe like the one at Olive Garden, and they use kale.

  71. Can almond milk be used instead of half and half and will I still need to add the flour to it?

  72. I made this on the stovetop tonight and it was so, so good. So full of flavor and so filling. Thank you so much for the beautiful recipe!

  73. When you cook this stove top should I cover it while it’s at the low boil?

  74. I made this yesterday to portion out for lunches at work for the week. It is so delicious! I ended up getting a bag of frozen potatoes that had onions and peppers in it, and I thought it was a great addition to the soup. My fiance’ doesn’t normally eat lunch at work thought it was so delicious that he asked me to portion some out for him to take to work too! I am currently at my desk eating my lunch and all of mu coworkers have asked what kind of deliciousness I’m eating. Thank you for this amazing recipe!!

  75. I make zuppa toscana pretty regularly and it takes about an hour, if that long, and only one pot. Why would I want to add extra cleanup and more than four hours to the cooking time?

    • Hi Emily 🙂 Well you absolutely don’t have to make it in the slow cooker. Many readers reached out to me and asked for a slow cooker version, so I posted this one. Some people aren’t home all day, or don’t have a hour or more in the evening to cook. It’s another way to cook it, not a replacement for your version. Feel free to cook whatever version you like, no one is forcing you to cook it in the slow cooker.

  76. FYI The actual recipe would not have flour in it as it is on the gluten-free menu.

  77. Made the Zuppa Tascana. It came out PERFECT. I double the recipe for more people and everyone LOVED IT.
    THANK YOU CHUNKY CHEF

  78. I used half and half and it’s delicious. Thanks!

  79. I looove this soup! I’ve made it 3 times and actually have some cooking right now! 🙂 I went back to the Olive Garden after making it to compare since I forgot what the restaurant’s tasted like and in my opinion this recipe is way better. I always end up adding the whole bunch of kale instead of half because it spreads too this once it all shrinks away (my boyfriend’s suggestion) and it’s the perfect amount. I’ve made it cutting up the onion and potatoes myself and using the simply potatoes bag and I do really like the convenience of the latter and that they’re not frozen! My sister doesn’t eat pork so I’ve also made it with ground chicken and seasoned the meat myself and it turned out much tastier than I was expecting (I think I preferred it in fact). My mouth is watering waiting for this batch to finish! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!!!

  80. Gave it rating based on the recipe alone.

    Actually I just wanted to sign up for the newsletter and couldn’t find a way other than posting a review. Could be I missed the letter sign up.

    I did take a quick look at the site, looks good.

  81. Just tried this tonight for the first time, SO yummy!!!! 🙂 Thank you!

  82. Fantastic recipe, it turned out amazing!! Thank you!!

  83. the soup sounds great and will be trying it soon, this is for the reader that had a comment about the name of the dish, there is a Tuscan kale and perhaps that’s why it was named as such?

  84. This recipe looks great! Do you know how long I would cook it in an InstaPot? I appreciate any feedback asap! 😉

  85. I don’t have any fresh potatoes or the simply potatoes on hand. Would the frozen diced hash brown potatoes work?

  86. Hi – do you know if this freezes well? Looking for some freeze-ahead recipes.

  87. Has anyone tried this substituting sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes? Looking for a Paleo alternative.

  88. I made this tonight and it was delicious! I used half & half instead of cream and fresh potatoes and onion instead of Simply Potatoes. I cooked it on high and would suggest cooking for 4 hours (as opposed to being closer to the 3-hour mark) so that the potatoes soften up enough. Still super delicious!! Thank you for posting this!

  89. This was so delicious!!! Thank you for sharing! Does this soup freeze well? With just 2 of us, I’d like to freeze for another time.

    • Hi Deb 🙂 I’m so glad you loved the soup! I’ve never frozen the soup before, but I think it should work just fine 🙂

    • I made it for just 2, as well. I did freeze my extras and reheated later. It worked well. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I heated it up in a pot on the stove rather than the microwave. It took about 10 minutes and was as good as the first day I made it!

  90. I made this soup tonight….AWESOME! I subbed spinach for Kale & used half & half. It was great!

  91. I love this soup. It is perfect on cold winter nights! I like to use cauliflower instead of potatoes. It makes a great low-carb, healthier version of the soup. I also like to use 1/2 mild and 1/2 hot Italian sausage. It gives it just enough heat and flavor, but you don’t notice the heat! I have never thought to use a slow cooker. Thanks for the tip.

  92. What can you use instead off cream for those off us who are lactose5

  93. I am wondering, is it 500 calories per serving or for the entire batch?

  94. Could you make this in a Dutch oven? I got one for Christmas and I’m dying to use it! How would the time and temperatures convert?

    • Hi Jordana 🙂 Congratulations on your dutch oven! I love mine 🙂 Are you wanting to use it on your stovetop? I think that would be the best way to use it, as cooking the soup in the oven can be tricky (the potatoes could end up really mushy). Here’s what I’ve recommended to other readers wanting a stovetop conversion… In your dutch oven, brown the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes over MED-HIGH heat. The last minute or two, add minced garlic. Drain.
      Add chicken stock and bag of diced potatoes and onion (or substituted russet potatoes and diced onion), bring to a boil.
      Keep at a low boil for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender (this time will vary based on your stove).
      Whisk flour and heavy cream and add to pot, stirring to combine.
      Add in kale, stir, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes (or until soup has thickened slightly).
      Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
      I really hope you love the soup!

  95. Could you use regular pork sausage or does it have to be Italian. I can’t get Italian here in this small town.

    • Hi Margaret 🙂 I’ve never made it using regular pork sausage, but I’m sure that would work just fine! If you want that Italian flavor (like Olive Garden’s), maybe add a pinch of Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to the pork as it cooks 🙂

  96. The Italian sausage that I have is actual sausages. Is that the same thing that is used here?

    • Hi Shannon 🙂 I used ground sausage that came pre-ground like hamburger meat… but if you have sausages, you could carefully slice open the casings, squeeze out the inside of the sausages (which is basically ground sausage) and cook as directed 🙂 I’ve also seen some recipe that use sliced sausages, so if you’d prefer that route, I’m sure it would work too 🙂

  97. This looks so yummy! How much kale or spinach should we use?

  98. Hi Amanda! Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe! That’s one of my all time favorite soups and I can’t wait to try it. I have a 2 qt Crockpot and I was wondering how to alter the recipe for a smaller slow cooker?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Liz 🙂 I hope you love it as much as we do!! I think halving the recipe should work, as the recipe only fills about half of my 6 qt slow cooker. If you wanted to be completely safe, you could cut the recipe down to 1/3, but that seems like a lot of math to me lol. I’d love to know how you like the recipe!

  99. I have always fixed my version of this soup on the stove and my family loves it. Excited to see how crockpot version turns out tonight. For people commenting on being too spicy- I always use half hot Italian & half mild or sweet Italian sausage. So you get a little kick but it is still kid friendly. Also you can now put the other half of your sausages in freezer and just pull them out for the next batch of soup!

  100. Made this last night for my family, and it was amazing! Delicious with kale, btw. and a side of french bread. Tastes just like theirs too! TY for sharing.

  101. One of my favorite soups; Half and half works just fine in the place of cream.

  102. If it serves 6 does that fill your crock pot or are you able to double it in that size of crock? I have to feed 7 peeps and I’m sure they will all wants seconds

    • Hi Kristina 🙂 It would depend on the size of your slow cooker, as mine is usually about 2/3 full with this soup.

      • In mmm in the same boat. Needing to feed 7 hungry people. Did you have enough for everyone plus a few that might want seconds? If I wanted to add just a little more to the recipe, what would you suggest the measurements of each ingredient be? Sorry for the trouble…just want to make sure I have Enough. Thanks!

        • I think this comment was to Kristina, but in case she doesn’t see it, I’ll try to chime in 🙂 Do you happen to know what size your crockpot is? When I make this in my 7 quart crockpot it’s about 2/3 of the way full. If people are going to want seconds, I’d probably double the recipe and cook it in 2 separate crockpots just to be safe 🙂

  103. This soup recipe was super easy! I LOVE the Olive Garden version, but this one turned out even better. I’m hooked!

  104. I made this last night and it was so good! I definitely plan on making it again. Thank you for the recipe!

  105. All I can say is bravo! Really wonderful, comforting soup.

  106. How would you adapt this for the stove top? I’ve seen that others have done it in these comments, but nobody says how (like how long to cook it before and after adding the flour mixture). I’m not a very good cook and need to follow a recipe to get anything to turn out right. Thanks!

    • Hi Shannon 🙂 I’ve never cooked this without using my slow cooker (as it’s just so convenient), but here’s what I think should work:
      In a dutch oven or whatever big pot you usually cook soup in, brown the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes over MED-HIGH heat. The last minute or two, add minced garlic. Drain.
      Add chicken stock and bag of diced potatoes and onion, bring to a boil.
      Keep at a low boil for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender (this time will vary based on your stove).
      Whisk flour and heavy cream and add to pot, stirring to combine.
      Add in kale, stir, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for about 5-10 minutes (or until soup has thickened slightly).
      Season with salt and pepper, and serve 🙂
      I hope this works out for you.. it’s such a perfect chilly weather meal 🙂

  107. Hi! I found this recipe on Pinterest & had to try it tonight! So quick & easy, even with cooking it on the stove & using regular potatoes (couldn’t find the bagged ones that weren’t hash browns). It was delicious! Going into my Autumn/Winter rotation. Thank you!!

  108. Hi there! I tried this today and I have to say a huge THANK YOU! This recipe is great. I made it exactly according to the original recipe except I cut my own onions and potatoes. This is for sure being added to my favorite slow cooker meals!

  109. As I sit here on a Sunday afternoon, I read your wonderful recipe and it did intrigue me. I didn’t have the time for the slow cooker and made in a large pot on stove. I added fat free half and half and fresh spinach! The smell has slowly permeated my whole house and it is just delightful. The half and half worked wonderfully! Great food and great ideas! Keep up the good work!

  110. Excellent soup! Made it today but used mild Italian chicken sausage, half & half, and baby spinach leaves and it was delicious! My husband and I loved it! Thank you for sharing; I will definitely be making it again!

  111. I’ve made this 3 times now! Lots of my close friends are gluten and dairy intolerant so I nix the flour and use coconut cream instead of heavy cream. Always a hit and lucky to obtain leftovers 🙂

  112. Can you double the recipe? Would I just add twice às much? I can’t wait to try with my family!

    • Hi Heidi 🙂 In order to double the recipe, you’d need a REALLY big slow cooker… probably the best bet would be to have two slow cookers side by side and have the recipe going in each. I just don’t know that it would all fit in one… even one of the bigger ones. But yes, to double it, you would just add twice as much of all the ingredients 🙂

  113. This look too delish!! Can you make it without a slow cooker? They’re not very common here in Denmark ?

  114. buzzfeed.com bring me to your blog :D. Looks awesome! Can’t wait to try! So fresh and yummy!

  115. I make this a lot but not in the crockpot. I use mild Italian sausage and add just a tiny bit of red pepper flakes. I also use unpeeled sliced potatoes instead of frozen ones. It doesn’t take that long for them to cook. Also use regular whole milk a lot of times. I never thicken it and it tastes just like olive gardens.i can make this ready to eat in 30 minutes.

  116. I loved loved loved this soup and made it last week in hot humid New Orleans. I’m trying it this weekend with chicken bc my niece suggested it as we thought the sausage became overwhelming at times. I will post on the outcome. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Vanessa! I’m so happy you loved the soup, even in such hot weather 🙂 Yes, for those that aren’t crazy about sausage, it could be a bit much, so I’d love to hear how the chicken turns out 🙂

  117. Perfect fall soup. Can’t wait for this heat to go away so I can make a big pot of this! Delicious!

  118. I tried this recipe and it was amazing! I couldn’t find Simply Potatoes at my local store, so I just diced two large gold potatoes I had at home. Just incredible! I’ve already passed the recipe to a coworker and friends!

  119. So good! My husband loved it so much he had seconds!

  120. I am a huge fan of soups!! I can eat it any time of the year 🙂
    I am getting ready to put this in my crock pot right now. Can’t wait to try! I’ve never had kale tho before. So I’m super excited to try something new.

  121. Silly question: have you made it on a prep day with the intention of eating later in the week? Just wondering if I should wait to add the cream until right before we eat or if I add it when it’s done cooking and let it sit in the fridge for a day or so if it will still be ok? I’m sure the it will separate a bit but nothing a little heating and stirring can’t handle, right??

    • Hi Sarah 🙂 I’ve never made it with prepping in mind… but I think that adding the cream as normal should be okay. When you reheat and stir it should come back together. For texture reasons, I would wait to add the kale until you reheat it though.

  122. Can I prep this the night before and start it in the morning?

  123. I never leave comments, but Lord this soup is soooo addicting it is so easy to make and so good! I’ve made it four times and each time my parents swing by to get some! This time I’m trying out the spinach instead of kale. So excited!!!! Perfect! Thank you!

  124. I’m not sure I’ll find the “1 bag Simply Potatoes, diced potatoes and onions”. What would the equivalent be if I bought the potatoes/onions fresh?

  125. This was delicious and very easy to make. I lightened it up by using Skim Plus Fat-Free Half & Half instead of heavy cream, and I used Nature’s Promise Hot & Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage. I took it out of the casing and broke it up while browning.

  126. Made this for my husband tonight with double meat and he absolutely LOVED it. He said it’s better than olive gardens. He ate so much that he is sitting on the couch full as can be and soooo very very satisfied ! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe xoxoxoxoxo

  127. This was nothing short of delicious. Skipped the “fresh” bagged potatoes and opted for chopping up a living potato instead. So so good. Why have I never heard of this before reading this recipe. Yum!

  128. My co-worker made this for a potluck and is was uh-maze-eeng!!!!

  129. I tried your recipe and it came out amazing I used spicy sausage and added crushed red peppers because I like spicy food but ANAZING! Thanks 🙂

  130. I don’t normally like to post changes that I make to recipes online but sometimes it’s a matter of convenience and a bad memory. I made this soup tonight on the stove top instead of in the slow cooker. It is delicious! I added a tablespoon of chicken base (I thought the recipe called for it but I got it mixed up with another recipe), I cooked it for about at hour and then added the kale and then later the cream. I think that next time I will add less cream – just a personal preference. Overall this is a great recipe, easy, and good ingredients. Thanks!

  131. This soup is absolutely delicious and the recipe couldn’t be easier, many thanks for posting.

  132. This is awesome! This is my picky eater of a daughter’s favorite food and it looks super easy to make! Thank you. Do you know if it freezes well?

    • Hi Kelly! 🙂 I know the struggle of a picky eater all too well… it can be frustrating! We rarely have any leftovers lol, but I think this should freeze well. I would let it cool to room temperature (or slightly warm), and pour into large ziploc bags. Seal them well and lay them flat on on a baking sheet and put that in the freezer until the bags are frozen. Take them off the baking sheet and they’ll stay nice and flat or you could even store them vertically to save on freezer space 🙂

  133. I love to make sweet corn bread muffins

  134. We can no longer find heavy cream in the stores around here. Only heavy whipping cream is available. Will this work, or is it too sweet? Do you know of a substitute?

  135. Do you have to use the potatoes in the bag ?;or can I just use regular potatoes and peel them?

  136. We are supposed to be getting hit by a blizzard! So I know what we will be eating while the snow falls!!!

  137. Looks delicious…thanks for the recipe!

  138. Spicy sausage, potatoes and cream…what’s not to like?

  139. This is currently in the crockpot and is so red from the hot Italian sausage…hmm…

  140. I made this tonight, but used the Simply Potatoes with Steak House Seasoning because that’s what I had on hand. It turned out great!! Very flavorful.

  141. Do you think I could use frozen chopped kale instead of fresh? Getting all of the grit out of fresh kale can be so tedious!

    • Hi Heather 🙂 I think that would work well, although I think if you defrosted the frozen kale and wrung some of the liquid out, then you could just add them to the soup a few minutes before eating 🙂 I know what you mean, fresh kale can be a pain! I usually fill my sink up with water, add the separated kale stems, move them around with my hands in the water for a minute and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. The grit generally falls to the bottom of the sink 🙂

  142. What is the likelihood of this being reheatable? I try to meal prep on Sundays for the week, and this seems like it would be a great lunch for the office, but with the kale, I’m too too sure about how long it would last.

  143. I just made this soup tonight, and oh my goodness, it is fantastic! And it was so easy! It is my new favorite – thank you for the recipe!

  144. Do you think I could sub spinach for the kale? I’m more of a spinach fan, but I wouldn’t want to ruin the soup!

  145. This was amazing! We loved it! Thank you for sharing!

  146. I’m not sure if Simply Potatoes is available here in Canada. What amount of potatoes and onion should be used in the recipe?

  147. Wow! I love this soup and I’m excited to try it out crockpot style! Quick question, if I wanted to try to make it Low Carb and sub the potatoes out for cauliflower, should I use frozen or fresh? I’m new to crockpot cooking and I don’t want the cauliflower to be soggy of over cooked.

    • Hi Aubryn!! Great call on subbing the potatoes for the cauliflower… I bet that will taste amazing 😀 I’ve never done it that way before, but I’d think that fresh cauliflower would be the way to go. I hope you love it!!

  148. I made your Zuppa Toscana tonight and man, it was good! My husband orders it Olive Garden all the time, but he agreed this was WAY better! The broth was richer and there was more sausage – and it was just more flavorful. I could lighten it up if needed, but I loved it just the way it is – a very filling meal.

  149. I made this soup today to take to a friend’s house for lunch. INCREDIBLE! I’m saving this as a go to slow cooker soup recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  150. I make this all the time on the stove top and use fat free half and half and it tastes great. I never thought to make it in the crockpot. Thanks for posting this.

  151. I love this soup for fall! I’ve made it a few times and being lactose intolerant, as well as trying to stay moderately healthy, I sub the cream for coconut cream. Works great! You also can’t taste the coconut cream 🙂

  152. LOVE zuppa toscana! LOVE that this is made in the slow cooker! Pinned!

  153. I just made a zuppa soup and we lived off of it! I love the ease of yours. Definitely remembering!

  154. This sounds so delicious for a chilly fall day! Can’t wait to try!

  155. I agree. You’ve got to have bread with soup, just to sop up all the extra at the bottom of the bowl. I wouldn’t want to miss one drop of your zuppa toscana. It looks incredible, and so hearty!

  156. Oh yum! This soup looks so good! 🙂 And I love that it is made in the slow cooker- always a win-win for me.

  157. I am all about the comfort food and the slow cooker when the weather changes. I love those simply potatoes, they cut down on so much food prep.

  158. Love how fast and convenient this recipe is (especially with those potatoes!) I am all about soup right now (who isn’t when the temperatures drop?!)

  159. I love soup and I could eat lots of this! It sounds so hearty and just perfect, what a great recipe 🙂

  160. Still looks yummy. BTW who so you use for your floating share buttons? Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday link party. Please join us again next week and invite your friends to come along.
    Q

  161. This soup looks absolutely perfect for fall! Thanks for Linking up at Try A Bite Tuesday!!

  162. This sup is “Toscana” like me being an Inuit.

    • Okay.. well thank you for your opinion and comment. Not sure I understand exactly what you’re trying to say though. I didn’t name the dish, it’s a copycat of Olive Garden’s soup

      • Ok, got it. Is some absurd naming policy of some of their creative, probably.
        “Toscana” is an adjective which means originally “from Tuscany”, it’s a region in Italy. Being born there I have quite some feeling for those cooking traditions, and I thought it was named because of some connection there.
        …I still think the people naming it tried some weird connection there (I don’t know what my region suggests to the imagination of foreigner, but I guess the branding has been done with that in mind), but not your fault. And it probably tastes quite good, even if it could be called “soup mexicana” or “soup antillaise”. I’m sure for you it’s a name with no meaning, sorry.

        • No offense taken, I know what it translates too… while I’ve unfortunately never been to Tuscany, I didn’t want to deviate from the restaurant dish, as most people want that same flavor and name as well 🙂

  163. This recipe sounds so great and easy! I have not made this soup in so long!

  164. Love my crock pot but I could use a new one.It is soup time. Thanks for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday #86. Happy FF!

  165. Oh! What a hearty soup! This sounds so delicious and comforting, Amanda. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  166. THIS is the fall I really get into soups. Especially soups I can do in my slow cooker. Ok I said it out loud (kind of) so I have to follow through! Thanks for linking up at #SaucySaturdays.

  167. YUM! I could eat this all day long. I love the potato short cut, so smart!

  168. I love this soup, I rarely eat it but I think I need to change my ways. If I had this slow cooker…I’d be slow cooking me some meat!

  169. Zuppa Toscana is one of my FAVORITE soup recipes, can’t wait to try this slow cooker version!

  170. Looks so filling and comforting!

  171. This looks amazing! I am so excited that you have given me a YUMMY slow cooker version!

  172. Totally making this as soon as it gets cool here! It looks delicious!

  173. I love theis soup form Olive Garden! What a great copy cat!

  174. I’m so looking forward to soup season!

  175. I love to do a bone in turkey breast in the slow cooker. We love turkey sandwiches and now we have them year round.

  176. My favorite thing to cook in my slow cooker is pot roast or balsamic short ribs both are so yummy. I can’t wait to try this soup.

  177. Oh I am so ready to curl up with a bowl of this soup–looks great!

  178. Yummy recipe Amanda! Perfect for this cool day. Great give away!

  179. Looks awesome! Can’t wait to try!

  180. My favorite thing to make in my slow cooker is pulled pork!