This zuppa toscana is based off my memories of Olive garden. It was my favorite place to eat when I was younger and before I knew what gluten was. I was predictable and would always get the zuppa toscana, some bread sticks and then stuff myself with the seafood fettuccine alfredo. Every time.

I loved the rich, creamy broth paired with the kale and spicy sausage. It was warm and comforting and had just the right amount of heat. After awhile I would fill up on soup and bread sticks and end up taking my fettuccine home for later. The zuppa toscana was the star of the show.

Did you know?….

Zuppa Toscana is a broad term that literally means “soup in the style of Tuscany”. What we call zuppa toscana in the states is an Americanized version (thank you Olive Garden). Classic zuppa toscana is made with onion, carrots, celery, kale, zucchini, potatoes, cannellini beans, tomato pulp, olive oil, chili powder and rigatino (italian bacon). Which sounds amazing and is now on my to make list this year.

Our american version of zuppa toscana is made up of spicy sausage, potatoes, kale, and a creamy broth. It’s an amazing and hearty soup that I love enjoying on cold nights. It’s not too heavy of a soup and if your like me you’ll load your bowl with a ton of broth just so you can soak that piece of gluten free bread in it. So good.

This recipe is easy to make and can even be made in the crock pot or instant pot if that’s your thing. I used curly kale for this recipe but if you plan on using the crock pot or instant pot I suggest using Tuscan kale (aka dino kale aka lacinato kale). It has thicker leaves and will stand up better to the cooking process.

I tend to use this chicken broth recipe for my soups. I try to keep some in the freezer for when I need it. If you don’t have homemade stock/broth on hand use a good quality store bought one.


Zuppa Toscana Soup

Creamy, salty, broth with potatoes, kale, and spicy sausage. Zuppa Toscana is a hearty soup perfect for cold winter nights.

  • Author: Alycia Louise
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
  • Cuisine: American, Italian


Units Scale
  • 1 TBS Oil (Avocado, Olive, or Onion oil)
  • 1 LB Italian Sausage
  • 3 TBS Butter
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
  • 1 Large Onion (Minced)
  • 2 Qt Chicken or Vegetable stock
  • 4 Large Yukon gold Potatoes (Diced)
  • 2 Bunches Kale (Chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Plus extra for people who really like it cheesey)


  1. Heat an enameled cast iron pot over medium heat. Once hot add in the oil and the sausage and saute till the meat is brown. 
  2. Add in the butter, garlic, and onions and saute until the onions have softened and have become translucent. 
  3. Add in the Stock and potatoes and simmer until potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork (20ish minutes)
  4. Add in the kale and allow it to wilt into the soup. Then add in the sour cream, heavy whipping cream and dijon mustard. Mix together and add the salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with Parmesan cheese on the side


If using a crock pot to make this, saute the meat before adding everything into the crock pot to cook. This will give the soup a better depth of flavor.


Keywords: Gluten free, kale, Sausage, Soup, zuppa toscana

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Alycia Louise
Alycia has worked in the food industry for over 10 years. She lives in the PNW with her husband and three dogs. Her likes include coffee, rainy days and horror movies.
Articles: 251

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