Best Zuppa Toscana Soup (Olive Garden Copy Cat)

The temperature is dropping, pumpkin spice everything has taken over, and all of my favorite stores are stocked with patent leather booties, and heavy cardigans. You know what that means! Fall is finally here and I figured the best way to kick off the season is with my…I mean EVERYONE’S favorite fall special; Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup. I swear, as soon as you type in “Zu” on Google, prepare to be inundated with all of the best copy cat recipes. I get it, it’s such an easy and delicious soup recipe, it’s worth every share.

What I love the most about this soup is how it get’s better over time, so be sure to save some for the next day! When it comes to this soup, I think everyone has their own approach and adds their special preferences and little extras along the way, yet somehow we all end up serving the same great tasting soup, that continues to bring people together. I’ve made Zuppa for friends and small gatherings and years later and we still reminisce about it, because it’s that good!

The flavors in the soup are simple and start with 2 key ingredients; sausage & onions. Once the onions and sausage have cooked down they act as the key flavor agents for this soup and while I love a seasoned dish, you really don’t need a lot of seasoning. Salt, pepper, and maybe a little garlic powder is all you need to make THE BEST Zuppa Toscana soup, trust me. 


SAUSAGE- For this recipe, I’m using spicy sausage because I love some heat. You can use whatever you like. I usually purchase sausage links and remove the casing. We don’t want the sausage to over cook, so once it’s done and there is no pink, remove it and drain on a plate or paper towel.

ONIONS- Like I said earlier, the onions lend tons of flavor to the soup. I use white onions and quickly dice the whole onion. I say quickly because I haven’t found any good tricks to stop the onion tears! Trying to dice an onion with tears rolling down your cheeks is never fun. Once they are diced, I add them to the pot using the same grease from the sausage. From here we’ll start building our soup flavor.

POTATOES- Red potatoes are my favorite, so I’m going with my favorite! After I’ve rinsed about 6 potatoes, I slice and add them to the pot with the onions.

SEASONING – As mentioned above, you don’t need a lot seasoning for this soup but if you’re like me and like to build on top of natural flavors, salt, pepper, garlic powder, creole seasoning, parsley, and basil is a wonderful blend for this soup. I won’t list these seasonings in the recipe below because they are totally optional. If you do decide to use them, just a 1 teaspoon of each will do the trick.

KALE – I would say the amount of kale you add is also about preference. I add about 2 handfuls of kale because once it cooks down it balances with the other key ingredients. I add enough so that every spoonful has equal parts, kale, potato, and sausage.


Best Zuppa Toscana Soup (Olive Garden Copy Cat)

Zuppa Toscana Soup (Olive garden copycat)
  • Author: Jaylynn Little
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner


  • 1 lb hot or mild sausage, casing removed
  • 1 large white onion
  • 6 red potatoes, sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 slices of cooked bacon, optional


  1. Cook the sausage in the pot until there is no pink. About 7-9 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel. Add the onions to the same pot and cook until they are translucent. Add the thinly sliced potatoes to the onions. Season with salt & pepper. Add in the chicken broth and water, cook until the potatoes are tender. 25-30 minutes.
  2. Add in the kale(stems removed) and cook until the leaves are tender.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream and cooked sausage, simmer for 5-10 minutes before serving
  4. Garnish with crushed bacon pieces.

Keywords: Zuppa Toscana soup

Join the Conversation

  1. Cathy Q Little says:

    This is the BEST soup! I never tried using Red potatoes but will use them when I make my pot of soup. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks Jay!

  2. Cathy Q Little says:

    I made the Zuppa Toscana soup on Sunday and my husband said “that was the best soup you ever made” and it was. I used the red potatoes this time around and even used spicy sausage. Everything blended so well together and tasted so…good. Looking forward to trying the Turkey meatballs!

    1. Wonderful! I love the red potatoes in this soup; I think they add a nice creaminess to the broth. So glad you enjoyed it!

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