I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten at an Olive Garden, but their delicious Zuppa Toscana Recipe is world-famous!

An Italian Sausage Soup, it’s chicken broth-based and full of Italian sausage, bacon, greens, and a heck of a lot more deliciousness! Now you can make this Olive Garden Soup in your own kitchen!

Zuppa Toscana or Tuscan Sausage Soup in a white, ruffle edged soup bowl.

Why You Must Make

  • If you’ve ever tried Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, now you can make it at home.
  • The addition of Italian sausage imparts delicious flavor!
  • It’s easy enough for a quick weeknight meal.
Zuppa Toscana or Tuscan Sausage Soup overhead view in a white soup bowl.

Recipe Tips

You can easily tweak this recipe in many ways. More spicy or less spicy, more vegetables or less, a thin broth or thicker, it’s all up to you!

  • If you don’t like spicy foods, start with only ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. You can always add more after tasting a few spoonfuls. The same goes for salt as chicken broth varies in sodium content, so taste before adding more salt.
  • I use mild Italian sausage, but if you like heat, try this zuppa toscana with spicy Italian sausage.
  • Make sure to drain the grease after sauteing the sausage.
  • Rumor has it that Olive Garden uses kale instead of spinach. Any favorite greens will work.
  • I added red bell pepper for color, feel free to leave it out if you wish. The potatoes can be sliced or cubed depending on your preference.
  • There is some heavy cream in this recipe, providing some richness to the broth. If you’d like a lighter version, substitute half and half.
  • I added a tablespoon of cornstarch to give the broth more body. I didn’t think it made much difference, so you can always omit this step or increase the amount to 2 tablespoons.
  • PRO-Tip: Always whisk the cornstarch in some water to make a slurry. This ensures it dissolves well in the soup.
  • PRO-Tip: If you’d like to freeze this soup, note that potatoes don’t freeze well. I’d suggest adding them after the soup is defrosted as you reheat the soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Zuppa Toscana mean in English?

Zuppa Toscana translates to Soup in the style of Tuscany.

Did this Soup Originate in Italy?

No, despite its name, this soup did not originate in Tuscany but instead was a creation served and developed by Olive Garden, a restaurant chain.

What is in Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup?

According to Olive Garden’s menu, their soup contains ” Spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes in a creamy broth.”

Can the Heat Be Adjusted in this Soup?

Yes, there are two ingredients that can be modified to adjust the spiciness. I used mild Italian Sausage but it can be replaced with Spicy Italian Sausage. Also, to increase the heat, slowly add a bit more of the red pepper flakes, then taste and add more if desired. Note that it’s easy to add heat, but nearly impossible to take it away unless you make another batch without red pepper flakes and add it to the first batch.

What Should You Serve with this Zuppa Soup?

As with most soup recipes, it’s nice to serve crackers or a loaf of crusty bread. If it’s served as a starter course, any nice Italian entree will be a terrific pairing. I’d recommend Chicken Marsala, Spaghetti with Italian Meat Sauce, plus a Chopped Italian Salad and Italian Chocolate Pudding would round out the meal!

You May Also Like

Stay in touch through social media @ InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to tag me when you try one of my recipes! And if you love the results, please give it a 5-star rating in the recipe card.

Zuppa Toscana or Tuscan Sausage Soup featured image

Zuppa Toscana Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield 6 servings

A flavorful, spicy sausage soup in the style of Tuscany!


  • 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more or less depending on desired heat
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth, I used Pacific brand, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt (taste broth first before adding any salt)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups baby spinach


  1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings from the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Remove bacon and dice when cool; set aside with the sausage.
  3. Stir the onions, garlic, and bell pepper into the bacon drippings, and cook until onions are soft and translucent about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour about ¼ cup of broth into a small bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and set aside.
  5. Pour the rest of the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  7. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and let boil for a few more minutes.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream, cooked sausage, and bacon; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.


Use spicy Italian sausage instead of mild for more heat. The red pepper flakes can be decreased or increased depending on your heat tolerance.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 564Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 1701mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 23g


Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

My first trip abroad was to the quaint walled Tuscan town of Cortona. My parents were living in Italy for part of the summer and the temptation to visit was impossible to ignore. From the cobblestone streets to the narrow shops to the most flavorful produce I’d ever encountered, it was a trip I’ll never forget.

Everything tasted better in Italy. Not a can of Chef Boyardee in sight (my introduction to Italian food!). Using quality ingredients will make for a taste of Tuscany with every spoonful of this soup!