A healthier copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup that’s warm, comforting, and bursting with flavor! This soup is loaded with bone broth, Italian sausage, potatoes, kale, and bacon. It’s creamy, super filling, and the perfect family-friendly meal!
Fun fact: Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup is the most popular soup on the menu. And when you taste this soup, you’ll understand why. This soup is delicious, savory, and packed with crumbled sausage, potatoes, kale, and bacon in a light and creamy broth. This is the best copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe, and it’s made with healthier ingredients! You can easily make it within the comforts of your own home because the entire recipes cooks up in one pot and requires simple ingredients! Trust me—you are going to LOVE it!
If you’re looking to make whole30 zuppa toscana soup, just use my easy homemade ground Italian sausage recipe below. Feel free to swap the ground pork for ground turkey or chicken, and make sure to use sugar free pork or turkey bacon.
Why This Zuppa Toscana is Healthier
Zuppa Toscana is a incredibly delicious and creamy soup. It typically includes heavy cream as the base. This is a healthier recipe because it’s:
- Made with whole ingredients: The main ingredients are bone broth, ground Italian sausage, bacon, coconut milk, and it’s loaded with potatoes and kale! It’s a lighter broth that isn’t heavy on the cream. Because the ingredients are simple, this is a whole30 zuppa toscana recipe that’s paleo, too!
- Gluten free: There are no additives or thickeners in this recipe. All you need is bone broth for the base.
- Dairy free: Instead of heavy cream, this soup uses coconut milk.
Simple + Healthy Ingredients
There are just a few simple ingredients you’ll need to make this healthy zuppa toscana recipe. The ingredients are fresh, healthy, and super flavorful. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Ground Italian sausage
- Organic bacon
- Yellow onion
- Italian seasoning
- Crushed red pepper
- Chicken bone broth
- Yellow potatoes
- Can of coconut milk
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Healthy Zuppa Toscana
The best part about this recipe is that it all cooks up in one pot! You’ll sauté the sausage, and then the bacon in large stock pot or dutch oven. Then, add the veggies, broth, and boil the potatoes before adding in the cooked meat and kale. Here’s how to make healthy zuppa toscana in five easy steps:
- Brown the sausage. Heat a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Once hot, add a small drizzle of oil. Add the sausage and use a spoon to break it up as it cooks. Once the sausage is browned, drain and set aside.
- Cook the bacon. Add the bacon to the pot and cook until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Stir the bacon as it cooks. Remove the bacon pieces and set aside. Leave two tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot.
- Sauté the onions. Add the onion, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Boil the potatoes. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, stirring as you pour. Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the soup to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add the meat, simmer, and serve. Add the cooked sausage, most of the bacon, kale, and coconut milk to the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining bacon and serve.
Whole30 Zuppa Toscana
Want to make this a Whole30 zuppa toscana recipe? Just make sure the ingredients in your ground Italian sausage and bacon are Whole30 compliant. For the Italian sausage, you can actually make your own with ground pork and a mixture of spices! In fact, I recommend making your own sausage even when making healthy zuppa toscana soup since there are no additives. Just mix together the following in a large bowl with your hands before using it in this recipe:
Whole30 Italian Sausage
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
There are plenty of Whole30 compliant (sugar free) bacon options available in store! The two most widely available are Applegate Organics Uncured Bacon and Wellshire Sugar-Free Bacon. In general, when making whole30 zuppa toscana, look for a bacon that is uncured and sugar free.
Cooking Tips + Tricks
- You can use mild or spicy ground Italian sausage depending how much heat you like.
- Make sure to dice the potatoes into small 1-inch cubes for even cooking.
- Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper at the end. I use ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper, but that may vary depending on the chicken broth and bacon you use.
- Don’t let the soup simmer too long after adding the kale.
- For whole30 zuppa toscana, use my homemade ground Italian sausage recipe and use sugar free bacon.
- This healthy zuppa toscana recipe is perfect for meal prep! A batch will give you plenty of leftovers for a second meal.
Can I Make Substitutions?
Sure can! But please know you may not get the same result. If you’re short on ingredients, here’s what you can do:
- Ground Italian sausage: Make my homemade Italian sausage recipe above with ground chicken or ground turkey.
- Potatoes: You can use red potatoes, too!
- Coconut milk: Coconut cream or heavy cream (not dairy free) works too. If using heavy cream, reduce to 1 cup.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
TO STORE: Healthy zuppa toscana soup stores really well in the refrigerator and leftovers are amazing! Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
TO FREEZE: To freeze, just place the soup in an airtight storage container. I like using mason jars or Le Parfait super jars. Let the soup cool completely before storing in the freezer, and leave room for the liquid to expand in the jar. It will keep in the freezer up to 3 months.
TO REHEAT: You can reheat in a saucepan over low to medium heat until warm.
Stocking the Pantry
For a complete list of my recommend pantry items and what I use in my home, check out my Baking and Cooking Resources Page.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Healthy Orange Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup (Whole30, Paleo)
- Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili (Paleo, Dairy-free)
- Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala
- How to Make Chicken Bone Broth
- Olive oil
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage*
- 6 slices organic bacon, diced (or turkey bacon, see note)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 7 cups chicken bone broth
- 7 medium yellow potatoes, diced
- 3 cups finely chopped fresh kale
- 1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Brown the Sausage: Heat a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Once hot, add a small drizzle of oil. Add the sausage and use a spoon to break it up as it cooks. Once the sausage is browned, drain and set aside.
- Cook the Bacon: Add the bacon to the pot and cook until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Stir the bacon as it cooks. Remove the bacon pieces and set aside. Leave two tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot.
- Saute the Onions: Add the onion, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Boil the Potatoes: Pour the chicken broth into the pot, stirring as you pour. Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the soup to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- Finish the Soup: Add the cooked sausage, most of the bacon, kale, and coconut milk to the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
- Serve: Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining bacon and serve.
- *Use mild or spicy ground Italian sausage depending on the amount of heat you like. For whole30 zuppa toscana, use my homemade Italian sausage recipe above, and make sure to use sugar free bacon.
- If using turkey bacon, make sure to add fat to the pan before cooking.
- Make sure to dice the potatoes into 1-inch pieces for even cooking.
- I add about ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper at the end—to me it’s the perfect amount of seasoning but may vary depending on the chicken broth you use.
- Reserve about 1-2 teaspoons of bacon pieces for garnish if desired.
What did you think about this healthy zuppa toscana recipe? Let me know in the comments below!
Recipe by: Noelle Tarr and Kelsey Hite / Coconuts and Kettlebells | Photography by: Casey Colodny / The Mindful Hapa