This crock pot zuppa toscana soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that makes it easy to bring the taste of Italy home. A simple dinner for busy weekdays!

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Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana! This crock pot zuppa toscana soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that makes it easy to bring the taste of Italy home. An easy dinner for busy weekdays! |

About Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana

In a roundabout way, this recipe for Olive Garden zuppa toscana has helped solve a ten-year-long disagreement with an old friend of mine:

Where we should go out to eat.

Because you see, he has his favorite foodie haunts and I have mine. But it seems like the older we get, the further and further apart we get on this issue. While I’m more of a seafood and Italian buff he tends to gravitate toward ritzy steakhouses.

Even though we have different ideal foods, usually we can make it work for one another. I go to his steakhouses and order the crab cakes and he’ll come to seafood joint and gets the surf and turf.

But while we’re pretty good at compromising, there’s one restaurant I can’t get him to go to no matter how many trips to Longhorn I try to trade in:

Olive Garden.

Do you hear that sound? That’s my heart crying for all the zuppa toscana crock pot recipe I’ve had to do without.

Well, that is…  until I learned how to make it myself with this recipe for zuppa toscana soup.

And after I made this recipe, do you know what happened?

an old friend of mine ate more of it than I did.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – to me, this was a perfect copycat of the zuppa toscana recipe from Olive Garden, leaving me feeling like a waiter should come by with a basket of delicious breadsticks any minute – but apparently I wasn’t the only one who missed this particular part of a trip to Olive Garden.

an old friend of mine may not be a big fan of chain Italian food, but he certainly can appreciate a tasty recipe for zuppa toscana soup!

Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana! This crock pot zuppa toscana soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that makes it easy to bring the taste of Italy home. An simple dinner for busy weekdays! |

Plus, this soup has the added bonus of being an ideal comfort food for the upcoming winter months.

It may not get very cold here in Phoenix, but there’s still a chilly bite in the air.

A warm and hearty soup like this one will be perfect for distracting me until the warm summer days arrive again.

How long is zuppa toscana good for in the fridge?

Once prepared, this Italian soup can last in the refrigerator in a sealed container for three to four days.

Can you freeze zuppa toscana?

Yes, you totally can! Soups are great for freezing in individual-sized portions, too.

To freeze, allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a sealable container or freezer bags.

Soup can be stored in the freezer for up to two to three months.

What to serve with Italian soup?

If you’re serving soup as the main course, you might be wondering what else to serve with it. And I totally get it; soups are one of those gray areas where it can be an appetizer, side, or main course, and each situation can call for different options.

In my house, we typically serve soup with:

  • Bread. Whether it’s plain toasted bread, a bread baked with cheese, or even some simple sandwich, anything with bread is bound to be a good compliment to soup.
  • Salad. And when serving salad with soup, I try to pick a variation that has different (yet complimenting) ingredients to the soup. Leafy salad or hearty pasta salads are always a good fit.
  • Meat dishes with minimal seasonings. You don’t want the other recipe to totally steal the show, but a lightly flavored chicken or beef dish would go great with potato soup.

Do you have to use kale?

Since posting this recipe, one of the most common questions about this soup has been about the kale. Because, weirdly enough, kale has the reputation of not being very tasty. Oh so strange, I know.

So, as someone that is not normally a fan of kale but is a fan of this soup, I can confirm that kale can taste good – in the right circumstances. And the flavors in this soup go a long way in bringing out the very best qualities in kale, giving this soup a great veggie texture and an added nutritional bonus.

However, if all the positive vibes in the world couldn’t sell you on kale, many readers have substituted the kale for spinach and liked the results.

Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana! This crock pot zuppa toscana soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that makes it easy to bring the taste of Italy home. An simple dinner for busy weekdays! |

Notes & tips for this zuppa toscana crock pot recipe

  • You can make zuppa toscana soup numerous ways, but the main staples are the kale, heavy cream, and potato. I’ve seen soups that use both bacon and chicken, but I’ve always felt it works best with sausage (and Italian sausage at that).
  • This soup isn’t difficult to make on the stovetop, but I’ve always liked the convenience of a crock pot, and this Olive Garden zuppa toscana recipe is a perfect example of what a crock pot can do. I’m a big fan of this crock pot – it has three sizes in one!
  • And if you like Olive Garden copycat recipes, be sure to check out this one for Parmesan Baked Shrimp!

More tasty soups

How to make zuppa toscana soup

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Since this recipe is made in a crock pot, the instructions are very simple.

Step 1 – Cook the ground hot Italian sausage, garlic, and yellow onion in a large skillet (draining the grease from the skillet).

Step 2 – Add the cooked veggies & sausage, potato, seasonings, and chicken broth to your crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 2 - Add cooked veggies and sausage to crock pot. Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 2 - Add potatoes to crock pot. Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 2 - Add crock broth to crock pot. Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 2 - Add water to crock pot. Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 2 - Stir well. Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 2 - Cover and cook.

Step 3 – Add the kale and heavy cream to the crock pot, stir, then cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.

Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 3 - Add kale to crock pot. Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 3 - Add cream to crock pot. Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Step 3 - Stir well.

Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!

And that’s it! This recipe can also be made on the stovetop, but sometimes you need the extra freedom that a crock pot can provide on a busy weeknight. There’s nothing more comforting than a crock pot full of soup!

Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana! This crock pot zuppa toscana soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that makes it easy to bring the taste of Italy home. An simple dinner for busy weekdays! |

Recipe Details

Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana! This crock pot zuppa toscana soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that makes it easy to bring the taste of Italy home. An easy dinner for busy weekdays! |
4.37 from 11785 votes

Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana

20 mins prep + 4 hrs cook
280 kcal
Yields: 8 servings
This crock pot zuppa toscana soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that makes it easy to bring the taste of Italy home. A simple dinner for busy weekdays!


  • 1 pound ground hot Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 4 diced russet potato
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch black pepper, to taste
  • water, see recipe instructions
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)


  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown and crumble hot Italian sausage, about 5-8 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until some of the onion begins to turn translucent (no need to cook onion completely at this point). Drain grease from skillet.
    1 pound ground hot Italian sausage, 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic, 1 chopped yellow onion
  • In a crock pot, add cooked sausage & veggies plus the diced potato. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour chicken broth on top. There should be enough broth to cover the tops of the potatoes; if there isn't, add up to 2 cups water so potatoes are covered.
    4 diced russet potato, 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch black pepper, 4 cups chicken broth, water
  • Gently stir ingredients, cover crock pot, and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove lid from crock pot and add kale and heavy whipping cream, then stir to combine.
    1 bunch kale, 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Cover crock pot and cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes.
  • Serve zuppa toscana immediately with shredded parmesan cheese as garnish.
    1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 867mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2021IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Jackie

    Do you think red potatoes could be used?

    • Jessica

    I added the kale when it says add the veggies… is that going to ruin the soap? I didn’t realize you had to add the kale with the cream at the end

    • Cookie Baptista

    Can I use Parks (Or Jones) SAGE ground Sausage since I don’t have Italian sausage? Also can I use Vegetable broth instead of Chicken broth? I’m also thinking about using Sweet Potato instead of white potato. Any input will be greatly appreciated.!

    • Kierstin

    I enjoy cooking bacon and breaking it into small pieces, as well as adding mushrooms! By far my favorite thing to eat especially during the cold months ❤️ I make it every other week, I haven’t made it a crock pot yet so I’m looking forward to that here soon

    • Marty

    Super easy, husband pleasing, super delicious!

    • Kathy
    • 4 stars

    I made this tonight for the first time. I don’t like all kinds of sausage, just some kinds. My husband LOVES zuppa toscana at the Olive Garden. He liked this. However, we both agreed the “Italian sausage hot links” (removed from the casings) that I used were way too hot for me and even for him. Next time, I’ll use a mild Italian sausage. As others recommended, I used small Yukon Gold potatoes, a 1.5 lb. bag of “Steamables” brand. They worked great, and I did not have to peel. I just diced them.

    • Varvara S

    My boyfriend is lactose intolerant and I really wanna make this! I read through all the comments and did not see a recommendation for what I can sub the heavy whipping cream for😭

      • Jennie

      I’m trying mine with Ripple dairy free cream

      • Mena

      My family can’t have bovine dairy- I add coconut cream instead of cream- this is my sons favorite soup.

      • Mary T

      I make this and leave out the cream all together… it is very good without it. I also use potatoes with skins and spinach instead of kale. It is my most request soup even without the cream

      • Loren

      Just make it without the heavy cream. I don’t care for milky soup and that’s how I’ll make it.

    • Katelynn P.
    • 5 stars

    I can’t believe how much this taste like Zuppa at Olive Garden! I wrote this one down in my recipe book. I look forward to using it again! So easy to make! I didn’t add any water to mine though, just chicken broth and it was still great. I wanted to get rid of the rest of it.

    • Nicole K
    • 5 stars

    We love this soup! It’s one of our go to recipes throughout the colder months. I swap out the potatoes for rutabaga which gives it a little sweeter flavor.

    Thanks!! ❤️

    • Jenna
    • 5 stars

    I made this for my parents, since it’s the only thing my Mom likes at Olive Garden, and they INHALED it! Neither are partial to kale though so I substituted it with spinach, and since that’s cooks so quickly I just added it and stirred it in just before I served it. Definitely making again!

    • Brenda Montoya
    • 5 stars

    I made this for dinner, And it was awesome. Easy to follow instructions. I’ll add it to my list of soups, it’s one of my favorites. I like the crock pot, I don’t have to stand over the stove. I added a tossed salad and French bread. My family liked it so much all bowls were empty, next time I’ll double the recipe and invite Friends over for Soup & Salad. Thank you for sharing the easy delicious soup recipe 🍲

    • Patrick
    • 5 stars

    Making this now for the second time. Last time i peeled the potatoes. This time I am leaving them on. In my opinion it is better than Olive Garden

    • Samantha Huffman
    • 5 stars

    I love this recipe, it’s a family favorite.

    • Jess

    How much water?

    • Carol Marie Homick

    What accounts for the 1788mg of sodium? That seems incredibly high! Or is that a typo?

      • Aubri

      The chicken broth, I’m guessing. Maybe switch it out for low sodium chicken broth?

    • Lisa

    I made this soup over Easter weekend. OMG!!!! This is the BEST soup I’ve ever had! I made it in a 6 qt crockpot per the written recipe except I used 2lbs of hot Italian Sausage instead of one. In my crockpot it took 5 hours to cook the potatoes (Yukon Gold unpeeled) and an additional 40 minutes on high to cook the kale. A total cook time of 5 hrs & 40 min. This soup is even better the next day and it freezes beautifully. Thank you, thank you for this amazing recipe!!!

    • Samantha

    I always use vegetable broth when I make this and it is AMAZING!

    • Katie
    • 5 stars

    Sooooo yummy sooo easy

    • Maureen C Germain

    If you want to make it keto substitute cauliflower (I use frozen cauliflower florets but you can use fresh as well) for the potatoes. I also use a combination of kale and spinach as it tastes so much better. You can also add 6-8 slices of bacon but I never add it. It does taste good, I just always forget that part

    • Dark Rose
    • 5 stars

    It looks so good but I’m curious as to what flavours should I use if I add beef mince as we don’t get Italian sausage mince here in Oz. Would the Italian seasoning herb blend be close? Thanks

      • Emma

      DARK ROSE, I suggest using pork sausage and adding a generous pinch of Italian seasoning and a pinch of crushed red pepper. I have done this in the past when I did not have the Italian sausage. Worked fine.