Our Version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana

Our Version of Olive Gardens Zuppa Toscana SoupThis is one of our favorite soups. It is the perfect Fall soup.. but really it is great any time of the year! If you like Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, you are going to love this (I think it tastes better than Olive Garden’s.. it’s more creamy and flavorful). This goes PERFECTLY with our Breadtwists recipe!

Our Version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana
  • 3 cans (14oz) Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • ½ pkg. bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 4-5 cups chopped kale
  • 1 lb Johnsonville mild Italian ground sausage
  • 3 to 4 potatoes scrubbed and cut into slices or small chunks (skins left on)
  1. Heat a fry pan to about medium heat. Shape the sausage into small rounds and brown stirring frequently. Then remove to a plate lined with paper towels to de-grease.
  2. Put everything except for the potatoes together in a large crockpot and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Add potatoes the last 40-60 minutes (if you add them too soon they will get soggy). Serve with breadsticks.


  1. This soup is over-the-top delicious!!
    I have made it several times for my family, and it gets devoured!! (and if there are leftovers, they just taste better 😉
    I have also made it vegetarian, too…
    Trader Joe's vege broth and no sausage. (YUM!!!) My family loves it just as much!!

  2. How big is the cans of broth, or can you tell me how many cups? And when you say whipping cream, is that like the liquid or the actual like cool whip?

  3. @Robert & Stacey – The cans are about 14oz.. the whipping cream is the liquid kind that you find in the cartons back by the milk. Hope this helps! – Erica

  4. Does Olive Garden's have bacon? I am just wondering because that is about the only ingredient I don't have and we usually use turkey bacon, which doesn't crumble very well so I'm wondering if it will make much of a difference if I don't even use it. Thanks!

  5. Hi your recipes look very yummy !!!

    I just have a question what's kale? can I substitute for something else?
    I don't know if I can find it here in Mexico , so please let me know
    thanks for sharing your recipes!!!!

  6. Kale is usually found by the spinach or lettuce. It looks similar to your leafy green lettuce but feels more stiff. A store employee at your local supermarket could probably point you in the right direction. As far as I knoe, there aren't any great substitutions for kale. Hope you are able to find it!

  7. Made this last night with the AWESOME bread twist recipe. It was very simple and so good. Perfect recipe for a cold evening. I loved it. Can I say the breadsticks have to be one of the easiest recipes for homemade "bread" ever. Love that you can just whip them up after adding potatoes to the soup and it is all done at the same time :) Love your site!

  8. Incredible recipe, I used regular Johnsonville Italian sausage but only put in half as much, which ended up being perfect. I also made the breadtwists with a little wheat flour. My family was raving about it the whole week

  9. I made this last night for my family and it was sooooo delicious!! My husband loved it AND MY TWO YEAR OLD ATE ALL OF IT!!! Needless to say, I will be making this again. Thank you, Thank you!!

  10. This recipe is so delicious… we made a few adjustments, but now we can't even enjoy the olive garden version because this one tastes so much better!

  11. Made this tonight along with your breadtwists. My daughter asked if we could have it for every meal and that when she is a Mommy she is going to make it for her children :)

  12. I'm so excited to try this and 'thought' I remembered to pick up all the ingredients but forgot cream :( I might try a can of coconut milk instead ? or will I ruin it completely?

  13. @ Darla— I wouldn't do coconut milk… but that's just me! If it were half-and-half, I would say "sure" but I don't know if coconut milk will taste that great.

  14. Hi Erica! I am in the process of making this soup, I subbed half and half for whipping cream and the cream is almost curdled/separated from the remainder of the stock… Any ideas what I may have done wrong? Or is this normal? Thanks :)

  15. Hi Kyrstin–

    I have never seen it curdle before. I know I have done 1/2 half and half and 1/2 cream.. but not entirely half and half.. either way it shouldn't really separate. Did yours look like the picture above? It doesn't really come out as a creamy consistency, it is more of a milky/watery consistency. I don't know if that made ANY sense at all but that is the best I can describe it. I am baffled if it curdled.. that is really weird.

  16. No unfortunately it's entirely separated. I've just tried straining out the curdles but no luck. I will attempt to try it again in the future with whipping cream. There is no saving this batch. Thanks for your help!

  17. Kyrstin– Did you do this in a crockpot? Here is my advice to you.. and I will probably change it here on the recipe.. but add the cream just like 20 minutes before serving. That might make a difference.

  18. Curious how many servings this makes?? Also, saw your recommendation above with adding the cream 20 minutes before. By doing that does it alter the taste, consistency, or what? Looks yummy, thanks for sharing!

  19. @ Denise and Nathan –

    I know that with cream soups, sometimes they turn out grainy when you add the cream or cheese too soon or if you bring it to a boil. The 20 min. thing was just a suggestion so there is a better chance of it holding it's creaminess. It is a consistency thing. I would say this makes about 4-6 servings.
    Good luck and let me know how it turns out!


  20. Thanks for your fast response!! I will will add the cream later on in the process, thanks for the clarity! I've made Zuppa before, but with a different recipe, so I want to try this one and compare! You have a very good tasting blog! Thanks for sharing your talents with us!

  21. best winter soup ever! My husband loved it too, which is great because he usually isn't a soup guy. (I think it was the sausage that did it for him). Great job! I love your recipes. I made the bread sticks too, and it was delicious!!

  22. best winter soup ever! My husband loved it too, which is great because he usually isn't a soup guy. (I think it was the sausage that did it for him). Great job! I love your recipes. I made the bread sticks too, and it was delicious!!

  23. I just made your soup and Will and I loved it! Thanks for making me feel like a good cook. :) We miss you guys!

  24. Made this last week and it was amazing! Looked forward to the leftovers the next day for lunch. I didn't have Kale so I used spinach. Making it again tonight with the kale.

  25. This soup recipe is awesome I loved it. I had never had it before but I will definately have it again. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was great.

  26. Best soup I’ve ever “made up” . I enjoy cooking and make up all my own recipes. This is a must try soup. Everyone loves it, especially my son. I hope you enjoy it too. 😉

  27. Absolutely fabulous soup! My finance says it’s the best soup he’s ever tasted. I’ll be making it again real soon! Thanks for the recipe.

  28. I am going to try it in the crockpot, but not add the cream until the last few minutes. I think to freeze it, I would take out half before I add the cream, freeze that portion. When you reheat it, add the cream. I do that with chowders and it seems to work pretty well.

  29. Made this in a crockpot tonight while getting ready for Halloween and added the cream at the end. What a great soup recipe! I am officially in love with your website and going to try all the recipes/

  30. I made this for dinner to night. I did not use a crock pot. From start to finish it was done in less than an hour. It tasted great. My husband who said he was not very hungry because of a big lunch had two bowls.

  31. I love this soup! I order it for lunch all the time with a Peach Bellini tea or the frozen Peach Bellini.

  32. Hi! I am wondering if anyone has tried using coconut/almond/soy milk in place of whipping cream. Did you notice a difference? Thank you!

    • We don’t. You could probably check it on the Olive Garden website or check a calorie counter online… hope this helps!


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