This Healthy Zuppa Toscana is a healthier copycat version of everyone’s favorite Olive Garden soup. Dairy-free, Paleo, and made with only real-food ingredients, this hearty soup is full of flavor and so simple to make.

The Best Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup

Who didn’t love Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup growing up? True story – I used to love Olive Garden as a kid. Their soup, salad, and breadsticks combo was my absolute favorite along with their chicken alfredo. Oh my gosh, I just could not get enough.

This soup is a healthier copycat of my old favorite. It’s packed with flavor from Italian sausage, crisp bacon, and plenty of fresh garlic. Even though it’s dairy-free, this soup is still perfectly delicious, creamy, and will be a hit with everyone. It also happens to be Whole30 compatible if that’s something you need!

Watch How to Make This Recipe

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paleo zuppa toscana soup ingredients

Healthy Zuppa Toscana Soup Ingredients

Bacon: you’ll need a few strips of thick cut bacon to start off the soup. 

Italian Sausage: you can use whatever ground Italian sausage you prefer. If you like things on the spicier side, then grab a pound of spicy Italian sausage to give the soup a bit of kick. 

Onion & Garlic: plenty of onion and fresh garlic help to give this soup the best flavor. 

Spices & Seasoning: you’ll need a combination of red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper for the soup. 

Arrowroot Starch: this is a grain-free thickener that works similarly to cornstarch to thicken the soup up a bit. 

Russet Potatoes: you’ll need around 4 cups of diced russet potatoes for this recipe. No need to peel them unless you want to!

Chicken Broth: I like to use low-sodium chicken broth for this soup so that I can better control the amount of salt. 

Coconut Milk: to keep the soup creamy we’re using full-fat coconut milk before, it works as a great dairy-free substitute for heavy cream. You can typically find full-fat coconut milk in the Asian aisle of your local grocery store. It will be unrefrigerated and sold in a can.

Kale: you’ll need around four cups of kale for this recipe. I chose curly kale for this soup but you could also use lacinato or “dinosaur” kale instead. 

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Bacon – if you prefer you can leave the bacon out altogether or use half of the amount if you prefer!
  • Italian Sausage – skipping the pork? swap the traditional pork Italian sausage for ground chicken or turkey sausage instead. 
  • Potatoes – you can swap the potatoes for cauliflower if you prefer! I’ve included some notes on how to do that, below.
  • Coconut Milk –  if you don’t need to keep this soup dairy free then you can use half & half instead of coconut milk. 
  • Kale – don’t love kale? swap it for another green like spinach or chard!

Helpful Kitchen Tools

coconut milk being poured into soup

How to Make Homemade Dairy Free Zuppa Toscana Soup

Step One: Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced bacon to a large stock pot and cook until crispy. Stirring occasionally.

Step Two: When the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pot. Drain the bacon on paper towels and then set aside.

Step Three: Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pot. Next add the Italian sausage to the pot. Brown the sausage and break it up as it cooks.

Step Four: When the sausage is brown, add the diced onion, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper to the pot. Let everything cook for a few minutes until the onions start to become tender, roughly five minutes.

Step Five: Next sprinkle the arrowroot starch over the meat mixture and stir until well combined. Then, add the diced potatoes and chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for around 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Step Six: When the potatoes are tender, add the coconut milk and kale to the pot. Simmer until the kale is wilted. Lastly, stir in the crisped bacon and then serve immediately. 

How to Make this Zuppa Toscana with Cauliflower

I love the hearty potatoes in this soup, but if you need a lower carb option you can also make this healthy zuppa toscana soup with cauliflower florets instead of diced potatoes.

Here are a couple of things to note when making this Zuppa Toscana with Cauliflower:

  • Depending on the size of the cauliflower florets they will likely need a bit less time to cook and become tender. Check the soup after 15-20 minutes of simmering to see if the cauliflower florets cooked through.
  • Cauliflower releases water as it cooks, which may make the soup a bit thinner. If you want the soup to be a bit thicker, you can make a slurry with a tablespoon of hot water and arrowroot starch and stir that into the soup to thicken.

How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat

Store the soup in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave. 

You can also freeze the soup, however, the texture of the potatoes do change a bit after freezing so keep that in mind.

More Reader Favorite Soup Recipes

Get all of our best healthy soup recipes, here!

zuppa toscana soup in bowls

I hope you give this Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup a try! They are so easy to make and delicious! If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. 

You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.

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zuppa toscana soup in bowls

Whole30 Zuppa Toscana Soup

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 4 strips thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/21 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 4 cups diced russet potatoes
  • 32 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 cups curly kale

Method

  1. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced bacon to a large stock pot and cook until crispy. Stirring occasionally.
  2. When the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pot. Drain the bacon on paper towels and then set aside.
  3. Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pot. Next add the Italian sausage to the pot. Brown the sausage and break it up as it cooks.
  4. When the sausage is brown, add the diced onion, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper to the pot. Let everything cook for a few minutes until the onions start to become tender, roughly five minutes.
  5. Next sprinkle the arrowroot starch over the meat mixture and stir until well combined. Then, add the diced potatoes and chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for around 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  6. When the potatoes are tender, add the coconut milk and kale to the pot. Simmer until the kale is wilted. Lastly, stir in the crisped bacon and then serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • My favorite Whole30 Italian Sausage is Pederson Farms.
  • To keep the recipe Whole30 friendly be sure to grab a bacon that is sugar free.
  • I used a full teaspoon of red pepper flakes in this recipe and it definitely had a kick to it! If you don’t care for spice, you can feel free to lower the amount of red pepper flakes or leave them out altogether.
  • Three tablespoons of arrowroot starch gave this soup the perfect amount of thickness in my opinion, but if you want a thicker soup, you can add a tablespoon more of arrowroot starch.
  • Be sure to use full-fat canned coconut milk for best results.

Keywords:

Whole30 zuppa toscana, zuppa toscana soup, paleo zuppa toscana soup, healthy zuppa toscana soup

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110 Comments

  1. The best and easiest soup!! So flavorful! Thank you for your efforts 💙

    1. Ashlea Carver says:

      so happy you enjoyed it, Sal!

  2. This soup looks wonderful, I am in the process of making this today. I cut up a large Rutabaga into bite size pieces to replace the potatoes, to make this more Keto! will let you know how it goes!!!!

    1. The rutabaga, was perfect, my son didn’t know the difference because of all the flavors going on at one time! This is a keeper for sure, I never cooked with coconut cream before but I’m glad to try it, this was very delish! Thank you Ashlea

  3. This soup is so flavorful and delicious! I’ve been making soup for the past couple of months and my boyfriend this is the best soup I have made so far. Definitely recommend! For some reason it was difficult for me to find compliant sausage in my stores
    but there are easy recipes out there if you end up needing to make your own as well!

  4. Ashlea, this recipe is amazing! This is full of great flavor and fairly quick and easy to make. Using the arrowroot was a game changer. Thank you!

  5. THE BEST soup I’ve ever had of any type and better than any restaurant! A little time intensive, as I had to make my own sausage, but so worth it in the end.

  6. Katie A Bullock says:

    I’ve been making a similar soup for years but this recipe is exactly what I needed to make it healthier yet still thick. Thank you for making it possible to help produce the taste with the healthy we need.