Zuppa Toscana is one of those recipes that every food blogger has made. Apronese would like to share with you our Zuppa Toscana recipe in this article.

Although this version is a bit lighter, it’s still every bit as creamy, filling, and delicious as the original. Let’s get started!

What is Zuppa Toscana?

Zuppa means soup, and Toscana means Tuscan. Therefore, “Zuppa Toscana” translates to “Tuscan soup” or “Tuscan-style soup.”

Traditionally, this soup is made with lots of veggies, beans, potatoes, olive oil, spices, Italian bacon, and Tuscan bread.

The American version adds Italian sausage and bacon, garlic, and heavy cream in addition to the potatoes and kale.

What is Zuppa Toscana

Do I have to include beans?

No, that’s up to you. You can add beans to add many nutrients and fiber, if you want.

This recipe use Great Northern Beans. Or you can use Cannellini or navy beans as well.

Can I substitute the kale?

Yes. While the kale is more classic to this soup, you can use spinach if kale is not your think.

Since spinach is a lot more delicate than kale, add the spinach at the very end of the cook time, stirring it in just until it has wilted.

Can I make this Zuppa Toscana vegetarian?

Yes, you can. The sausage in this recipe add a lot of flavor to this soup, so if you plan to skip the sausage, you’ll need to ramp up the seasoning.

Add a tablespoon or so of Italian seasoning blend to make up for the spices that are found in the Italian sausage. You may also want to add an extra can of beans to bulk up the soup a bit.

Zuppa Toscana

This homemade version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana is slightly lighter, but every bit as creamy, filling, and flavorful as the original.

Prep Time: 15 mins / Cook Time: 30 mins / Total Time: 45 mins

Servings: 8 (1.5 cups each)


  • 1/2 lb. Italian Sausage, hot or mild ($1.75)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 15 oz. can Great Northern beans ($0.49)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 3 cups chicken broth* ($0.39)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 2 cups half and half ($1.49)
  • 1 lb. red potatoes ($1.29)
  • 1/2 lb. kale, chopped ($1.50)
  • pinch red pepper flakes, optional ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked black pepper, optional ($0.05)


  • Add the sausage to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. The sausage should contain enough fat to keep it from sticking, if not add a touch of olive oil. It’s okay if a small amount browns on the bottom of the pot.
  • While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until the onions are softened. The moisture from the onions should help dissolve any browned bits of sausage off the bottom of the pot.
  • Drain and rinse the can of beans. Add the beans, smoked paprika, chicken broth, one cup water, and half and half to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and let it come up to a simmer over medium heat.
  • While the pot is heating, cut each potato into quarters lengthwise, then slice across into thin, 1/8-inch thick slices. Add the potatoes to the pot along with the pre-chopped kale. The kale will fill the pot when it’s first added, but the heat from the liquid will wilt it within a few minutes. Stir it occasionally to help the wilting process.
  • Let the pot simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Season with red pepper flakes and freshly cracked black pepper if desired.


Serving: 1.5 Cups ・ Calories: 299.81 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 27.85 g ・ Protein: 13.89 g ・ Fat: 15.56 g ・ Sodium: 723.19 mg ・ Fiber: 5.15 g

The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.


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Scroll down for the step-by-step photos.

How to Make Zuppa Toscana – Step-by-Step Photos

Brown Italian Sausage Then Add Onion and Garlic
Step 1: Add 1/2 lb. Italian sausage to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat, breaking it into chunks as it cooks. I didn’t use any extra oil because sausage tends to be pretty fatty. It’s okay if a little sticks to the bottom of the pot because it will dissolve off in the next steps.

While the sausage browns, dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic.

Add the onion and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft.
Add White Beans and Smoked Paprika
Step 2: Drain and rinse one 15oz. can of Great Northern beans, then add them to the pot with 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika. The smoked paprika will give that smoky hint that the bacon would have supplied.
Add Broth and Half and Half
Step 3: Next, add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup water, and 2 cups (one pint) of half and half. “Half and half” is like a lighter version of light cream.

Put a lid on the pot and let it come to a simmer over medium heat.
Slice Potatoes for Zuppa Toscana
Step 4: While the pot is heating up, wash and slice one pound red potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices. Slicing them thinly helps them cook faster, plus makes a great texture in the soup.

Add the potatoes to the pot.
Bagged Chopped Kale
Step 5: Instead of buying a regular bunch of kale, you can buy this bag of pre-chopped kale. This is a 12oz. bag, so I just used about 2/3 of it. If you are buying your kale in a bunch, use about one bunch.

Make sure to remove the stems and tear the leaves into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
Add Kale to Zuppa Toscana
Step 6: Add the kale to the pot, and it will likely fill it up to the top.

Let the heat from the liquid begin to wilt the kale. Give it a stir occasionally to help it contact the hot soup and wilt.
Wilted Kale in Zuppa Toscana
Step 7: After a few minutes it will have wilted down into the soup nicely. Let the soup simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Simmered Zuppa Toscana
Step 8: If you like the soup spicy, then season it with a pinch of red pepper flakes. A little freshly cracked black pepper is also nice. Depending on what type of broth you use, you may need to add a little salt.

And that’s all for the Zuppa Toscana recipe. Try to follow the steps above and see the result!