Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe

This copycat recipe is budget-friendly, incredibly easy to make, and tastes a million times better than the original!

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe - This copycat recipe is so easy to make and tastes a million times better than the original!

I absolutely loved going to Olive Garden as a kid. See, my mother made Korean food every single night of the week, and as grateful as I was, I was still incredibly excited to skip over the rice and Korean stew for a huge plate of fettuccine alfredo from the kid’s menu. Not to mention their warm breadsticks that I would obviously get too full off of before the main dish even came out.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe - This copycat recipe is so easy to make and tastes a million times better than the original!

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe - This copycat recipe is so easy to make and tastes a million times better than the original!

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe - This copycat recipe is so easy to make and tastes a million times better than the original!

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe - This copycat recipe is so easy to make and tastes a million times better than the original!

Another favorite of mine from Olive Garden was their soup, particularly their zuppa toscana. I never really knew what was in it but all I could remember was slurping it nonstop, downing that creamy goodness like it was water.

Now it’s been years since my last visit to Olive Garden but when I saw Recipe Critic‘s copycat recipe for this soup, I immediately ran to the grocery store so that I could recreate it. And you know what? It was unbelievably 100 times better than what I had imagined.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe - This copycat recipe is so easy to make and tastes a million times better than the original!

The soup was incredibly creamy with chunks of spicy Italian sausage and potato bites that just crumbled in your mouth. And you can’t forget that heavenly crunchy, crumbled bacon on top! Ā I had about 2 servings more than I should have but I honestly could not stop eating this until it was all gone!

And really, the only complaint about this soup is that I didn’t make enough! Jason took the leftovers to school but I’m slowly realizing that I should’ve hid it from him and kept it for myself!

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Yield 6 servings

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe


  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  • Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in sausage and spinach until spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon.


Adapted from The Recipe Critic



    • Amy says

      Loved the soup! The only thing I would change is the amount of sausage, I think I’ll try just a 1/2 pd. next time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Barb says

      I used to work at the OG many years ago, and this by far was my favorite thing on the menu! I have made this several times, but I recently wanted to reduce the calories. I made a batch with spicy Italian turkey sausage and whole milk instead of the heavy cream and I actually thought it turned out better! Plus I didn’t feel as guilty having a second bowl šŸ˜‰ I’ve always made it with kale, but I bet the spinich would be good too, just don’t skip on the bacon and make sure you cook it till its really crispy cause it will soften up in the soup.

    • Cheryl says

      My family prefers the kale. It stands up and keeps it texture much better than the spinach, and is better for you.

      • says

        Actually, Kale isn’t that much better for you, they are both good for different reasons. Kale is higher in protein, but lower in iron. It has more calcium, but less magnesium. Spinach also has much higher potassium. Both are great sources of Vitamin A, while Kale has a higher concentration of Vitamin C and Spinach has fewer calories and carbs. It all depends on what your diet needs — there is no ‘one veggie does all’ choice. Kale is just a fad right now.

        • Pat says

          Call me weird but I like kale. I like swiss chard naked. How much of the nutrients that make these veggies “top o’ the world ma” get cooked out by the time they get to your mouth? Leftovers? Just a stupid question from a convoluted mind!!

    • Linda Wilson says

      You are correct. OG uses kale, not spinach. It is my favorite soup, and I don’t recall that there is much bacon in it, either.

  1. Melissa says

    Im making this today, looks absolutely amazing. I am using half and half and do not cook with it often. Should I heat it before adding it to the soup to keep from curdling? Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. says

    Oh wow, I loved this soup at the Olive Garden as a kid too! Can’t wait to try the real (copied) deal at home. Got any other OG copycats buried away? I also loved the chicken gnocchi soup growing up!

  3. [email protected] says

    I made this recipe today and want to say thank you very much for it, was delicious soup. I follow all the steps and was very easy to make and tasted wonderful my husband was amazed.

  4. says

    Love this – I could seriously dive into that amazing bowl of soup. And P.S. seriously – what do they do to make those breadsticks so good? Those things are ridiculous.

  5. says

    Olive Garden was probably my FAVORITE restaurant as a kid. I would always be such a fatty and get the Tour of Italy and ate the whole thing. Maybe that’s why I was overweight in high school šŸ˜‰ hahaha – but I tried this zuppa toscana once at Olive Garden and it was so dang good, but to be honest, yours looks a zillion times better! I need to add this to my list!! Beautiful photography!

  6. Amy says

    I just finished making this soup… Easy and amazing! My husband loves it too! :) Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely be making this again!

    • Chung-Ah says

      You are too sweet. Thanks, Trish! And yes, this recipe is the best. I could have this soup every single day. I can’t wait to try it with kale next time!

  7. Denise says

    I made the soup this past weekend. My husband is already begging for me to make it again. I didn’t make enough that’s for sure!!! It was excellent and by far the easiest soup I’ve made yet. Thank you for the excellent recipe! :)

    • Chung-Ah says

      I’m so glad the hubby likes it so much! This is definitely one of my favorite soups, and the batch sure wasn’t enough for us too!

  8. Courtney says

    My family LOVED this!!!! We had it for dinner tonight and my kids said it was just like the olive garden!!! Thank you so much!

  9. Carol M says

    I make this as well. I have used spinach and Kale. I also add a can of diced tomatoes and I use light cream and I love it as does my family and my co-workers.

  10. Pamela Sorrels says

    OH my GOD!!! Best soup ever!! Make this recipe…you will regret it…seriously amazing food!!! Thanks so much!!! This is just make you happy food!! Can you tell that we like it? I saw this recipe and immediately went to the store and then proceeded to make it! 10 Stars!! Thanks Chung-Ah, you ROCK!!!

    • Chung-Ah says

      I’m so glad you liked this recipe! This has quickly become a favorite of mine and you just reminded me that I need to make it again!

  11. flgirl says

    can I use cauliflower instead of potatoes to make it low carb? Do you have another substitute for the potatoes? Thanks!

  12. Holly S. says

    Chung-Ah, thank you, thank you, and thank you! I made this tonight. It was fantastic! My hubby and son loved it. It is in my soup rotation! I stumbled upon your website. I will definitely keep coming back for more. Keep up the good work!

  13. Jennifer Isitt-Jackson says

    I am making this tonight but with turkey Italian sausage and using skim milk instead. It smells fantastic. I always try to make recipes healthier as I am trying to lose weight but don’t want to miss out on stuff.

  14. Nicole says

    This soup was soooo good. I always order it when I go to OG. I must say this was way better than theirs. I too used kale like they do. My family gobbled it up. My FIL was slurping the last bit with a spoon out of the pot. Thanks for posting this recipe.

    • Chung-Ah says

      Diana, I think that’s really based on personal preference. I’m not the biggest fan of kale so I absolutely love the spinach in this!

  15. Uhm Meokay says

    OMG. like totally OMGEEEEEEEE !!! this is like so YUMMERS. i need to take a selfie of me and this soup…it is so OMG i just ROFL and out my window it was so OMG…YUM NOM NOM NOM NOM. SWOOOOONN.

  16. says

    Great recipe! I use 12cups of chicken broth and a can of evaporated milk instead of the cream. I’ve never used the cream but that sounds really good as well. My whole family loves this soup.

  17. Amber Boles says

    As soon as my friend sent me your link, I went to the grocery store in a snow storm! It was delicious! Definitely going in my “keeper” file! Lol the grocery literally had no spicy or medium Italian sausage left in the case. I had to settle for mild and added red pepper flakes. Made me think many people were whipping up your recipe in Minnesota today!

    • Chung-Ah says

      To my understanding, Olive Garden does include the bacon in their version. Either way, I still recommend adding it in because after all, everything is better with a little bit of bacon!

    • Chung-Ah says

      Carol, yes, the original version does use kale. But as I mentioned in the previous comments, I am not the biggest kale fan, hence the use of spinach. There is no right or wrong answer here – it’s all based on personal preference.

  18. Carolyn says

    I had saved this recipe several weeks ago and today I made it for my husband. We’ve been married for 65 years and I still love cooking for him. When we go to the Olive Garden he always gets the Soupa Tuscana and I get something different because I’m not a big sausage eater. I used the Johnsonville Spicy Sausage and took the meat out of the casing. I also used a little more chicken broth because he likes a lot if broth, I just thickened it a little using some of the cream and cornflower. He absolutely wents nuts over it. He said it had a lot more flavor than the Olive Gardens. I also made breadsticks from scratch, so he felt like a King. I did taste a little if it and I agree I think it’s much better than the original. Thank you for sharing.

    • Chung-Ah says

      Carolyn, I am so glad you were able to give this a try. And I am so jealous of the homemade breadsticks. I definitely need to do that the next time I make this!

  19. jeni says

    Made this soup last night for my boyfriends mom. (She’s very critical about everything) But she slurpped every drop and had seconds. She said “its pretty good.” Doesn’t sound like much but from her its a high compliment indeed! It was a super easy recipe. I used six cups of broth though. Delicious! Boyfriend loved it too. Made me stop eating (I had 3 bowls lol) so he has some for lunch. Big hugs thanks sooo much!!

  20. says

    Making this right now, but trying to do the low carb thing. no potatoes, and using fat free cream. Smells and tastes amazing! Used lots of kale, some chili flakes and fresh parsley.

  21. says

    One thing missing from the recipe to make it just like olive garden’s : fennel. You can go to the expense and time of buying, cleaning, dicing a little fennel, or you can add 1 delicious drop of doTERRA Fennel essential oil. Really adds the crowning touch to this delicious soup.

  22. Vixster says

    Thank you so much for this copy cat recipe!! You are amazing. My husband does not like spice so I used half regular!! it was delish, thanks again.

  23. Victoria says

    I can’t even begin to tell you what a hit this was. Talking about possible additions here with a friend and he said “Don’t change a thing. Never change a thing.” =D We both agreed that a tad more spinach might be in order, though. This will be my contribution to an Easter meal tomorrow. Found you on pinterest, BTW and so happy I did. Thank you! :)

  24. Barb says


    I made some minor modifications:
    1. I used a roll of spicy Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
    2. I fried the bacon, then fried the sausage in the bacon fat, then sauteed the onions and garlic in the bacon/sausage fat for extra flavor
    3. I used small new potatoes, unpeeled and quartered. Put them in with the chicken stock before it reached a boil as you should never add potatoes to boiling water or they will be mushy outside and raw inside.
    5. Added lots of extra seasonings (sage, red pepper flakes, onion/garlic powder, italian seasoning) and added a big handful of REAL parmesan cheese (not shaker stuff) at the end.

    WONDERFUL! Even my hubby who doesn’t believe soup is a meal loved this. Served it with breadsticks. Can’t wait to warm up the leftovers tomorrow.

  25. Ash says

    I’ve made different variations of this recipe dozens of times. I prefer to use kale if I’m gonna add something green, and the secret to making it more like OG’s is using turkey sausage! I couldn’t figure out why the sausage never tasted quite right, then on a whim one day I tried it with turkey sausage, and that was it! One of my absolute favorites to make, and it is always better when you do it yourself.

    • Chung-Ah says

      Unfortunately I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself. I recommend using your best judgement for storing leftovers and reheating.

    • Heidi says

      Hello J. Harold Ray,

      Don’t freeze cream soups if they really have cream in them and are not just pureed soups.

      Cream soups are the hardest to freeze. Milk products often separate and get watery.

      If you are using real cream, freeze the base and then add the cream when you prepare it to eat.

      Several “cream of ” soups that use pureed vegetables and not heavy cream, those soups freeze well. Most other food products using heavy cream (with the exception of ice cream and a few decent desserts) do not freeze well at all.

  26. TJ says

    Made this today and the spinach beats the Kale at OG. This reciepe is better than the soup I get at OG. Thank You Absolutely Perfect !!!!

  27. Georgene says

    I have found that if you’re going to use kale and find it strong, put it in from the beginning and boil it a bit longer than the potatoes. Turns out tasty without the harsh and cooked like it should be. I make an anduille, white bean and kale soup and have to cook it longer than the recipe calls for. Makes it scrumptious!

    • Chungah says

      Lloyd, I have never used a pressure cooker before so I cannot answer with certainty what should or should not be changed. Please use your best judgment to convert this recipe to utilize a pressure cooker.

  28. Lana says

    Love all of your recipes! You should totally make a copycat recipe of Olive Gardens Gnocchi & Chicken soup! I’ve been craving it! Thanks!

  29. Julie says

    This soup is delicious! For the greens I used a mixture that Costco sells of organic power deep greens: baby kale, chard & spinach. So good! Thank you for sharing recipe.

  30. says

    I love soup.. especially on a chilly day! I have made this many times. I am making a pot today but I use broccoli rabe instead of spinach or kale. I just chop it up, put it in a pan with some of the chicken stock, some garlic and two teaspoons of sugar until it is tender. Drain it and add to soup when done. It is delicious

  31. Lannon says

    I LOVED this recipe! I had never had this at OG before, but had to try it! My husband, who is not a soup fan, even approved! I replaced one of the potatoes with a parsnip and felt like it gave it another layer of flavor!

  32. Karen Russell says

    i love OG Zuppa but this recipe doesn’t sound like the soup I eat. There isn’t any bacon. Also there isn’t any spinach, rather kale. This looks delicious though

    • Chungah says

      Karen, this is really an Olive Garden version made better with bacon (because bacon makes everything better!) and spinach (which has a less harsh taste than kale).

      • Mark Brown says

        For everyone commenting on the bacon, in the OG soup there are little cubes of pancetta, which is just basically italian bacon. you could use pancetta instead, but bacon is cheaper and i dont think it should alter the flavor too much

  33. Alex says

    I substituted Full fat coconut milk to make this dairy free and I really liked the result. The coconut kind of tied in with the fennel in the sausage and was super yummy!

  34. Diane Wake says

    yum,,,,this is awesome,,used half and half,,,no bacon,,,made home made rosemary and sea salt croutons ,,,too good

  35. Nancy L says

    I love the debate over the health aspect of kale vs spinach in a soup that has bacon, Italian sausage and heavy cream !

    All in all though, this is a wonderful soup. Amazing on a chilly night – add some crusty bread and prepare to purr.

    • Vince says

      Nancy,…LOL! Too funny! :) Yet, of course, as you further observe, this truly is a *wonderful soup*, etc. The three of us, here, *absolutely love it*,…along with my MlL & SlL, who now constantly request that we make more (never mind I gave them the recipe – they just don’t do home cooking much anymore. My wife’s mother is 90+ and and her older sister is 64 šŸ˜‰ Subsequently, when we made our latest batch, I increased the ingredients, thus allowing more for us all. To wit:

      Using a 1-1/2 gal stockpot…

      Garlic – 6 med cloves
      Onion – 1 large Vidalia
      Chicken broth – 3 qts
      Sausage – 2-1/4 lbs, mild ground
      Bacon – 1 full pkg
      Cream – 1 pint
      Potatoes – 6 med + 2 to mash for thickening

      Since my wife is on blood thinner meds, and to avoid gassiness, we only included a minimal amount of kale with the bulk of the added greens being baby spinach. – Even with the mashed potatoes, it didn’t thicken up as much as we hoped, but it didn’t really matter for us. In the words of my late FIL, *GULP*-*CHOMP*-*SLURP*,…Uber yummy!! :) – Thanks ever so very muchly!!

  36. MiMi213 says

    Just came across this recipe on Pinterest. OMGeee! This surely turned out much better than what I’ve had at the Olive Garden. Thanks for the awesome recipe! I now know what I will take to my work potluck on Wednesday!!! Nom nom nommm…

  37. Tamie says

    Damn delicious is correct! We made it for dinner last week and I’m craving some more. I like creamy soup so I put two cups of cream and 1/2 c. Flour. Either way the flavor is amazing!

  38. Melissa R says

    I love this soup. I just put a batch in my crockpot – that’s how I like to make it. Thanks for a great recipe.

  39. Judy S. says

    Just made this soup for lunch and it was delicious ( followed your recipe without a single change:)
    I found that just about every time I pinned something lately – it was from your site – so I am now a follower – keep up the great work!!

  40. Sirvasha says

    I made this today and it was really fantastic. I opted to go for the kale rather than the spinach to add a little crunch. I also added an extra couple of potatoes and an extra clove of garlic. I used a little onion salt because that is my favorite. My choice for sausage was Bob Evans Italian sausage. Absolutely phenomenal. I also to the advice of an above poster to make the bacon really crispy. Very helpful hint. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  41. debbie says

    I’m going to buy the ingredients right now and make it. It’s freezing here today. It looks and sounds amazing. I’m sticking to your recipe, after all, it is yours! I don’t know why they go on and on about the kale issue. If you want to use kale, just use it and be done with it.
    Thank you for all your amazing recipes. Your beautiful photos make me want to try each and every one. Thank you

  42. Nicole says

    This soup was fantastic!!!!! Didn’t change a thing! Served with an italian salad and italian bread, perfection!

  43. says

    I stumbled upon your website on a Tumblr recipe post. I am so glad I did! Tried this recipe yesterday, and it definitely turned out delicious! As a cooking novice, everything was easy enough to follow and make adjustments to. Added a cube of chicken bullion for extra flavor, and used spinach as suggested (I love spinach!). Pinned this recipe, and am definitely going to have to make it again! Thanks for sharing!

  44. JustMe says

    Thank you for posting this soup! My husband is a soup lover and this OG soup is his favorite so I was very happy when I saw your recipe. I made it for him last night and he absolutely loved it! I think he would have proposed to me last night if we weren’t already married! I made the soup exactly as posted and I enjoyed as well. I also made your garlic monkey bread to go with it. I will definitely make this soup again!

  45. Jessie Robinson says

    I made this soup for a dinner party and it was a huge hit! I use hot turkey Italian sausage each time. I couldn’t find good spinach or kale this last time so I used green beans because I happened to have some. It was really good! I sautĆ©ed the green beans with the turkey sausage before adding it to the soup, turned out great!!

  46. Nicole says

    What a fantastic recipe! I added extra garlic, red pepper flakes and Cajun spices along with corn and shrimp! Was so tasty!! Definitely a keeper for Minnesota winters.

  47. Lisa Sellers says

    Made this last night. My family went bat. shit. crazy. over it! They loved it and so did I. Thanks. That was Damn Delicious!

  48. JoAnn says

    Went to OG last nite. Had this soup. They use kale and there was not one speck of bacon in it — never has been at our OG. Make it all the time and don’t care if I add the bacon or not. Still a great recipe

  49. Wendy says

    Made this last night. It was so tasty! My two kids had this again as their breakfast this morning. My son wanted me to make more. My kids and I love all your recipes. They are yummy and very easy to make. Thank you!

  50. Donna T. says

    I have not tried this yet but will. Have tried putting cream in this kind f soup before and it always curdles. Looks awful. Is there any time to add cream? Thanks

  51. Julia P says

    I made this soup the other night and it was delicious. My husband and I had leftovers for lunch. The only difference was I added less cream. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Chungah says

      There isn’t really a specific requirement on how thin the potatoes should be – but please note, the thinner they are, the faster they will cook through.

  52. Tina says

    Shut the front door! This was freakishly good. Made this last night and it was a great hit! I used both kale and spinach. Just fabulous. Tastes way better than the OG one! Thanks for sharing!

  53. ann says

    I made this today for a friend who love olive garden soups I had to tastr it. Boy my mind was blown. I love soup just love it and this one hit the spot especially today as temperature hit another history -5 degrees. I b taking this soup to work tonight for her and other coworkers to enjoy I hope she an everyone enjoy. Sssh don’t tell anybody but i am going back for my second bowl.
    Oh by the way it wonderful with white wine and crusty bread. Thank you for the recipe.

  54. Danielle says

    Has anyone tried doing this in the crockpot?

    I’m thinking I could cook up the sausage and throw all of the ingredients in my crockpot in the morning. Then 1/2 hr before serving put in the spinach (I also prefer spinach to kale). Would that be okay for a creamy soup or would it curdle? The only cream style soup i’ve made in my crockpot before was with coconut milk… might also be good with this. :)

  55. Allie says

    I bought all the ingredients to make this the other day but I couldn’t find heavy cream at my grocery store I saw heavy whipping cream in the milk section but I wasn’t sure if that’s the same as heavy cream

  56. Heidi says

    Great recipe! Based on previous comments…I used organic baby kale rather than spinach & mild italian sausage. I also used 1 cup of half & half, 1/2 cup whipping cream and chicken stock (rather than broth). Turned out wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  57. says

    I made this today (random 65 degree day in July!) and it was SO good! I did use turkey sausage instead of regular, kale instead of spinach, doubled the garlic, and used coconut creamer instead of the heavy cream, as both my girls are allergic to dairy. It was really excellent, thank you!

  58. Jayne says

    I see that the kale has been talked about, but did anyone mention the red pepper? Sprinkled on the sausage as it cooks, really brings the flavor out. Also, the oil can be omitted (because who needs more oil in their lives?). At OG they wipe the excess sausage grease out of the tilt, but leave just enough residual to cook the onion and garlic (at this point they also throw in the cooked bacon). I do appreciate this recipe, though, as I’m terrible at scaling back the amounts when I try to make just a small batch at home.

  59. Kt says

    Ah I just made this and it was delicious! I only used half of the sausage and 1 cup of heavy cream, but we all agree that it’s the best toscana soup we’ve ever had. Thanks so much for posting this!

    • Chungah says

      Unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself – there were no leftovers left to freeze! Please use your best judgment for freezing and reheating.

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