Damn Delicious

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.

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.

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!  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

This copycat recipe is so easy to make and tastes a million times better than the original!

15 minutes30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon.

Adapted from The Recipe Critic.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories 543.0 Calories from Fat 400.5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44.5g 68%
Saturated Fat 19.8g 99%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 118.3mg 39%
Sodium 750.8mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 23.5g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1.8g 7%
Sugars 4.5g
Protein 16.2g 32%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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245 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is one of my favorite recipes. I have been making it for a few years now and come back to it every now and then, especially in fall and winter months or when I feel a cold coming on. I sub kale for spinach sometimes depending on what’s in the fridge, which is also delicious, and often use half and half instead of heavy cream for less calories. If you haven’t tried it yet you are missing out!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious! I let mine simmer all day and added the heavy cream once I got home from work. It was so good. Better than Olive Garden!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this with sweet sausage and it was delicious. My husband got this soup at Olive Garden all the time but said just as good with a little parm on top. Definitely a keeper.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    I use 2 potatoes then at end put a large can of white beans in it. Add a tap of dried Oregano too. Love this recipe. Make it a lot!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Definitely DELICIOUS!!!

    Can I do doulbedouble in an a 6 qt?  How much extra time shouldd i cook it?

  6. Ooooo I notice spinach rather than kale. Not a giant fan of
    Kale so this is a great alternative.  

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    We made this tonight and it was great! We doubled the meat but we usually do that with soups because it is our dinner. We will be making it again!

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Love this recipe just made it tonight! Thank you for posting it wife and my little girl loved it!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was easy and delicious!!!

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    So easy to make and soooo very good. Warms you up on a cold day!

  11. Glad I found this, this soup is an instant hit…

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’m new to cooking but just this yesterday and it was awesome. Great flavors.

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Excellent

  14. As the lady says, “Damn Delicious!” And yes, it’s even better than Olive Garden!

  15. Can I leave out the spinach?  And just not add it or the kale?

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    I love, love, love this soup at Olive Gardens!

  17. So excited to try this this week! Wondering if it is possible to freeze any left overs for later use???

    • Unfortunately, soups that contain milk or cream, like chowders and bisques, do not hold up well in the freezer as they tend to take on a grainy texture and separate when defrosted and rewarmed. 🙁

      • What we usually do is add a dollop of cream to individual serving bowls. It sacrifices a tiny amount of richness from simmering but allows us each to control the amount we consume, plus freeze leftovers.

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    I make this all the time, it’s so comforting and delicious! I do double the broth (cuz i like things brothy) and when i sautee the onions and garlic I deglaze the pot with some white wine! Lastly i bake half of the kale so i have a crispy topping! Sooooooo good.

  19. I make this soup often, shared it with my mother and sister and we all love it!! Tonight I’m even making it for a birthday party, but for some reason the recipe isn’t showing up on the website?? I’ve used this link so many times, I know it should be here. Please fix or send the recipe ASAP! Thanks, Chungah!

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe is definitely better than OG’s! We are spinach lovers here too. My 15 year old says that the spinach is like noodles in the soup and asked me to add more! Even my 9 year old loves this soup but how could you not?

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    First off, Olive Garden uses kale. And doesn’t use bacon.

    Just kidding. I’m sure you are so sick of those comments.

    Personally I’d rather channel my inner Italian grandma and use what is delicious and what my family will eat.

    Just wanting to chime in and say this recipe is fantastic, is one of the highlights of winter for my husband, and if he had it his way there would be no green stuff in it at all.

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Loved this soup!  It truly is BETTER than Olive Garden’s.  

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great recipe! I did dice the potatoes instead of slicing. Same cooking time 10 minutes for potatoes. Thank you for the Zuppa!

  24. I’ve made this and it is absolutely delicious. My family loves it. Does anyone know if it freezes well?

  25. I halved the sausage (because I only had 1/2 lb)next time I would use more bacon and spinach. Also added some seasonings oregano, thyme, basil may have been a few others i don’t remember now. Turned out amazing I’ll be making again soon! 

  26. I used Italian sweet turkey sausage, Yukon gold potatoes, kale, and fat free half and half. It was absolutely delicious. And boy I ate too much.

  27. Hi Chungah, made this soup for dinner tonight. It goes well with football! This is the best soup ever. Never go to OG—dont need to. Thanks for the great recipe. I will make it over and over again.

  28. Excellent soup. My only addition is 1 can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans. I prefer the use of spinach instead of kale, as used in some recipes. I use an entire 6-ounce bag of spinach, removing the larger, thick stems. When I don’t have a bag of fresh spinach, a a 10-ounce thawed package of frozen, chopped spinach works very well. Canned, low-sodium chicken broth is a pantry staple in our house. No additional salt is necessary.

  29. This is the BEST SOUP I have ever made. I have made it 5-6 times and we’re having it again tonight . Thanks for such a great recipe . EXATLY like Olive Garden . Everybody needs to stop other thinking kale vs spinach it doesn’t matter . It’s GOOOOD

  30. I love this soup and if you don’t change a thing I think you will still love it.

    Because I can’t ever leave well enough alone, here are some changes you can consider to have an alternate soup: to the chopped onion, add three stalks of chopped celery and three chopped carrots. Brown the sausage (I do two pounds but that is not necessary), Remove sausage, drain most of the grease off and add the veggies, saute a bit, put the sausage in the pot, add the chicken broth and then add the potatoes and chopped kale – six cups or more, it is strange but you cannot taste the kale so you have a bit healthier soup. Add the half and half or heavy cream. The broth will be thin. My husband likes thick soup so I add boxed mashed potatoes to thicken. Garnish with bacon and parmesan cheese!

    Here is something I want to share… I’m not fond of chicken bouillon cubes and canned or boxed broth is way too expensive. I use chicken soup base which is way cheaper but tastes awesome. They make beef, ham and vegetable soup base too. It comes in a jar and is kind of a powder. Find it in the soup section.

  31. I keep canned condensed milk in my pantry; could that be used in lieu of the cream?

    • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications. Sorry, Betty!

  32. Made this dozens of times..started it a few days ago, only to discover..NO POTATOES! I had sweet potatoes though…and OH MY GOODNESS..never making with white potatoes again!!!!
    We use Italian ground sausage, with the sweet potatoes my husband wants to try a spicy sausage next time.

  33. This soup looks and sounds amazing.  Can hardly wait to make and eat it

  34. This sounds so wonderful but I have a BIG problem in that I can’t eat either kale or spinach (on Coumadin). Would red chard work? Anything else you can suggest which isn’t high in vitamin K?
    Love your recipes and the photos are beautiful!

  35. I just made this.  I didn’t peel my potatoes and I am thinking about adding a little more chicken broth.  Great recipe!

  36. My family also uses kale instead of spinach. Kale stays a little on the crunchier side, which we prefer, but its great either way. I could eat this every day

  37. My Niece and Nephew ate this last night when i gave this recipe to my cook and they have asked him to make it again for lunch and it is so damn tasty i cant say no, even if i dont feel like eating anything.

  38. I made this tonight, and it was great! I used whole milk instead of cream because I’m trying to keep it light. I also left out the bacon, both because wanted to lighten it and because I didn’t want it to compete with the sausage flavor. I opted for the kale over the spinach because I feel that spinach gets a little slimey in soups and this is the only way I actually enjoy kale! THANKS SO MUCH!

  39. Could this be made with chicken instead of sausage? I know it would no longer be the same as OG but I was wondering if it would work.

    Thanks
    Dan

  40. The Olive Garden soup uses kale not spinach. I have used both and definitely like the kale better. The spinach tends to get slimy.

  41. I have been making Tuscan Soup for years. I make a large pot because the family eats more than one bowl. I use a whole onion chopped, minced garlic, saute in olive oil in large pot. Then I pour in 3 to 4 large box containers of low sodium chicken broth and 2 cups of water (you can add more if you want, you can learn with each pot you make the way you like it best). Start cooking on medium heat. I add shredded carrots (some people prefer large cuts of carrots but I don’t). I also use small red potatoes and cut them in 3 to 4 pieces and cook them in a separate pot until slightly cooked because I don’t want all the extra starch. I then add the potatoes to the broth. I cook 8 pieces of bacon, crumble the bacon and add it to the broth. I also use two rolls of Hot Jimmy Dean Sausage and add to the broth. I then cook until carrots and potatoes are done. Then I add two bunches of chopped Kale, let it cook down and then add the heavy cream, stir and turn the heat off. My family likes it more chunky and full of goodness. Scrumptious!

    • I make this with kale and I have learned that even if you put six cups of kale or more, it does not overwhelm the soup. Yes, I like kale but really, if you are going for healthy, adding more of something that doesn’t negatively influence the taste is a winner. I actually cook it with the potatoes rather than leaving it to be crunchy in the soup. I always add chopped carrots and celery. I always use two pounds of sausage and a pound of bacon (half cooked in the soup, the rest sprinkled on when served. I like the soup thinner and my husband wants thicker so I have added instant potatoes to make it thicker. Of course, you could add more and just mash up some of the potatoes… Enjoy topped with grated Parmesan cheese too.

  42. First off: I’ve never had the Olive Garden soup, so to be fair I didn’t know what to expect.

    At first I was like.. hmm. What is this going to be?
    But slowly when it came together it started smelling so good! Then I put the cream in and something fantastic happened.. it actually looked like the pictures! Fair to say that usually never happens..

    I made as mealplanning for lunches (2x 2 lunches) and it’s the perfect description for comfort in a bowl. The creaminess, the salt of the bacon and the sausage.

    This will be a perfect winter soup! (I’m in Australia now where it’s summer 😉 )

    Thank you!

  43. O. M.GGGGGG! This soup was incredible!!! SO so good. Even my insanely picky husband loved it. We omitted the spinach since said picky husband won’t eat it, but otherwise followed recipe as written. 5 star and going in to the regular dinner rotation! 

  44. Has anyone ever made in crockpot? Apologize if already asked…lots of comments to scroll through and I am in a hurry:)

  45. This is the best copy cat soup ever! Making it right now, for the 3rd time! Only soup my hubby wants me to make. Super easy & yummy!!

  46. What is the serving size?

  47. I just cooked this now and it’s so delicious!  Instead of olive oil, I used some of the bacon drippings to saute the garlic and onions.  I like it spicy but waiting for the verdict from my family later if they’re ok with it this heat.  I suppose I can do 1/2lb spicy and 1/2 lb mild next time.  Used spinach coz I love it as well!

  48. Wow, your recipe is very great. It’s not only tasty but also good for health. Thanks for sharing!

  49. YUM! 
    This is so good!

  50. it look perfect. I am interesting when cook it,

  51. I never made it with spinach since it is originally made with kale, also i add red pepper flake and use Italian sausage and
    Pork sausage. i add the bacon  last and sprinkle with a lil cheddar cheese….this is also a good slow cooker recipe..4 to 5 hr on high till the potatoes are soft.

  52. I made my with kale and cubed the potatoes and I put bacon in soup at end at serving time as with astonishing on top with bacon. BONAPETIT

  53. I hope to get a comment back today as I’d like to make this for dinner. I personally have never had this soup but so many people I know love it and it really sounds delicious. I wondered if this would be good in the crockpot? I have a HUGE love of my crockpots (yes 2) and try to find a way to use it for dinner everyday if I can. Any input would be very much appreciated!!!  Thank you in advance!!!

    • ​Unfortunately, it is very difficult to give exact conversion information to translate a traditional stovetop recipe to be used in a slow cooker without further recipe testing. However, here is an article worth checking out on a possible conversion guide. Hope that helps!

  54. This was absolutely delicious.  I added kale instead of spinach and used spicy turkey sausage.  Thank you so much for the recipe  🙂

  55. Sounds delicious! Would this work in a crockpot?

    • It is very difficult to give exact conversion information to translate a traditional stovetop recipe to be used in a slow cooker without further recipe testing. However, here is an article worth checking out on a possible conversion guide. Hope that helps!

    • I make this exclusively in the crockpot! The night before, I brown the sausage, onion, and garlic, then add the potatoes and cold broth, then stick in the fridge. In the morning, I skim the cold fat off the top (another bonus of this method) and put in the crockpot on low for 8 hours. When I get home from work, I stir in the cream and kale and turn the crockpot to high for about 30 minutes. Done! I have found that Yukon gold with the skins still on seem to keep the potatoes from turning to mush, and it’s best not to stir it much during the process. So good!

  56. This is delicious!  I knew from start to finish, that by following the recipe it would be amazing and it was!

  57. This looks amazing! Pinned it.
    I will make it for my kids. I ‘m sure they will love it…

  58. ❤❤❤ this soup everytime I make it for someone they always always ask for recipe. Kale or spinach both delicious. Only addition I add 1tsp. crushed fennel seeds & I use hot Italian sausage. If I don’t have cream on hand I use evaporated milk & regular milk anyway it’s delish. And yes OG does use bacon,maybe you just didn’t get much when they dish it up. Also serve with fresh grated parmesan & hard crusted Tuscan Italian bread,great for dipping into the tasty broth.

  59. I make this non-stop for the cold months, my husband LOVES it. I would sugest trying 1/2 beef broth 1/2 chicken broth. The bolder flavor of the beef broth really compliments the soup and I throw some kale in there too. It adds a great crunch to the soft potatoes.

  60. My family also uses kale instead of spinach. Kale stays a little on the crunchier side, which we prefer, but its great either way. I could eat this every day

  61. Chungah, thank you so much for this recipe. I used kale because I just happen to like kale, and a few pepper flakes, but other than that I did it the exact same way as the recipe. It is the best soup I’ve ever made. A new favorite. Now if I could only figure out that salad dressing! 😉  thank you and happy holidays!

  62. I’ve made this 3 times already, and it’s on the stove right now again. This soup is really easy, and is so delicious! My only addition is a touch of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. This soup reheats so well, and my husband thinks its delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  63. Made it exactly how it was written and it was amazing! Love the spinach! Hubby said this is probably one of the best soups he’s ever had! This one is going into rotation! Thank you!

  64. Looks delish!

    You would make my life complete if you made a recipe for OG’s chicken gnocchi soup. Totally complete!

  65. This is my children’s favorite soup and one of the only reasons we go to The Olive Garden. It has never been my favorite as I always thought it was too bland. However, this soup is much more flavorful which means I’ll be making this one ASAP for the family.

  66. This was absolutely delish! And yes you must have strength to not eat more than 1 bowl (it’s that good). Thanks for the share. Great spice for a cold evening to warm up!

  67. Thanks for the recipe! I’ve already made it twice now since it was so good 🙂 Used kale the first time (my favorite) and baby spinach the second time (so my kids would eat it). Here’s my blog post about it if you’d like to see: http://busymomrecipes.com/dinner/zuppa-toscana/

    Thanks again, I love all your recipes!

  68. I’m literally writing this as I am eating this soup. It’s my second time making it and I can’t believe I’m not making this once a week. It’s perfectly creamy, perfectly spicy and just all around my favorite. thanks for my new favorite recipe!

  69. Anyone who works at Olive Garden can tell you this recipe is wrong. Zupa does NOT have spinach in it at all. It has kale and you add it in after the soup is hot and fully cooked. It’s the chicken gnocchi that has the spinach in it.

    • Dave – you can add spinach or kale to the soup – all that really matters is what you prefer in your soup. Isn’t that the beauty of home cooking?

  70. I make a lot of soups and they tend to be my most requested dishes among family and friends. I made this soup for the first time tonight and it was PERFECT. Huge success. You know that feeling of pride when your husband goes up for thirds?? I didn’t, until tonight! 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe. I know my family and friends will enjoy it for years to come. 🙂

  71. I LOVED!!!! this soup. My parents make me a birthday meal of my choosing every year and I have always chose potato soup with my dads famous dumplings…. but now I will request this for sure. I didn’t think my kids would eat it but I just had to tell them the spinach was broccoli and they slurped it up and asked for more!!

  72. Do you know of leftovers would freeze well??

    • 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.

  73. 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!

  74. I use Kieabasa sausage instead of Italian (much better flavor) and Kale instead of spinach!

  75. 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.

  76. 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!

  77. 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!

  78. 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

  79. 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. 🙂

  80. I added some red pepper flakes for a little spice.

  81. 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.

  82. 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!

  83. With Kale is THEE BEST.

  84. How thinly should we slice the potatoes? Thanks! Making this tonight!

    • 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.

  85. Made this for my in-laws and husband and OMG it was definitely a hit!

  86. 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.

  87. 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

  88. 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!

  89. 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

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

  91. 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.

  92. 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 sautéed the green beans with the turkey sausage before adding it to the soup, turned out great!!

  93. Just made this! It was delicious. I used kale instead of spinach. 🙂

  94. 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!

  95. 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!

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

  97. 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

  98. Such a fabulous soup on this cold day! Very easy to make and my family loves it. Thanks

  99. 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.

  100. 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!!

  101. 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.

  102. 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!

  103. 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…

  104. Could I use red potatoes instead? It’s all I have on hand.

  105. 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.

    • 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 😉 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!!

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

  107. 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!

  108. 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

    • 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).

      • 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

  109. 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!

  110. 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

  111. 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.

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

  113. Is there anything I should do different to make this in an electric pressure cooker?

    • 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.

  114. This IS better than Olive Garden! 🙂

  115. This was so delicious!

  116. 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!

  117. 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 !!!!

  118. If you happen to have any left over, can it be frozen?

    • 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.

    • 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.

  119. 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.

  120. LOVE THIS!

    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.

    • I agree it needs some spice. Added twice as much garlic, then cayenne, then garlic salt. Will try the parmesan. You can’t go wrong with cheese!

  121. This is happening soon!

  122. Looks so good! I’m starting my grocery list now. Thanks.

  123. I’ve made this recipe so many times. Thank you!!!!!

  124. 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! 🙂

  125. We loved this soup! Thanks for the recipe.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. I just made this soup. What a HIT!!! love it!!!!

  130. 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!!

  131. Chung-Ah,
    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.

    • 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!

  132. It’s actually Kale and not Spinach.

    • 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.

  133. Making this tonight! I love bacon in anything and will add it here as well but, does the original OG recipe use it?

    • 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!

  134. 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!

  135. I made this soup tonight. It was very good, however the half and half curdled . Did not affect the taste. Any hint to prevent?

  136. 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.

  137. I freakin’ love this soup! I make it all the time. Great idea using spinach instead of kale!

  138. 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.

  139. IMO, The kale is much better in this soup. My family loves this also!!

    • 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!

  140. This was such a great and easy recipe! Definitely going on my staple recipe list. Thank you!

  141. 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.

  142. 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.

  143. 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!

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

  145. 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!!!

    • 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!

  146. Making this tonight with kale and extra garlic. Yum!

  147. This soup looks so incredible, you did a fantastic job 🙂 can’t wait to try this for myself!

  148. 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.

  149. 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!

  150. 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! 🙂

    • 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!

  151. This soup is amazing! I think the only difference between Alyssa’s recipe and mine is that I use kale instead of spinach. Your pics are GORGEOUS!

    • 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!

  152. 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!

  153. Haha…restaurant not recipe. Clearly the lack of sleep is getting to me!

  154. Olive Garden was my favorite recipe as a kid too! We would go every Sunday after church. This soup truly looks 100 times better than the original. Can’t wait to try it!

  155. Mercy! I need this – like right this second. So comforting and cozy!

  156. This looks amazing! Pinned!!! Hope to make soon 🙂

  157. I love this soup! I love that you added bacon to it I’m going to have to try that!

  158. 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 😉 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!

  159. I love soup and don’t make it enough. This is going to be on our table tonight! Pinning now! Thanks for the recipe!

  160. Zuppa toscana is my husband’s favorite! He was just asking me to make it, now I have a recipe! This looks incredible!

  161. I’ve seen Olive Garden commercials but never been there. Looks like a bowl of comfort! Funny how eating out is such a treat when you mom cooks. My kids were the same way, but now that they’re older, I think they appreciate home cooked meals a lot more.

  162. I’ve actually never been to Olive Garden, but this soup looks absolutely delicious!! So perfect for winter. 🙂 Pinned!

  163. This is my favorite soup at OG. And you’re actually looks ways better than the restaurants. YUM!

  164. I haven’t been to Olive Garden in forever and don’t think I have had this. It looks mighty tasty though!

  165. 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.

  166. This looks so amazing – I love soup!

  167. Heavy cream and bacon? Sign me up.

  168. 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.
    thanks!

  169. I really wish I had a bowl of this…now! Looks so comforting and decadent!

  170. Stunning! It’s a soup day here (actually, will be soup days here for the next 3 or 4 months, but I won’t wait nearly that long to try this soup.

  171. I need a bowl of this right now Chung-Ah! It’s snowing and just got inside from a long walk with Jude. Total comfort in a bowl. Looks amazing!

  172. Oh wow – this looks amazing! Not just pinning this – but planning to make it very soon!

  173. 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!

  174. 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!

  175. Girl. You nailed this! Pinned! 🙂

  176. This looks so good! I could use a bowl or 2 today! It is freezing here!

  177. OG’s uses kale rather than spinach. I make this soup all the time. So yummy 🙂

    • I actually prefer the spinach a lot more than the kale – the kale is a bit too harsh for this soup!

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

      • I’m actually not the biggest fan of kale – I guess it all depends on personal preference!

      • 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.

        • Kale is VERY high in Vitamin “K” which is bad if you are on a blood thinner

        • 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!!

    • 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.

  178. Yes please, this soup is comfort in a bowl!

    • 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!

    • 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 😉 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.

    • I find that swiss chard works really well

      •  Pancetta  is what is used instead of bacon . I’ve made it several times ,,, this is one of my favorite things at Olive Garden. 

    • Olive Garden uses kale