Zuppa Toscana is the star of our soup nights, offering a delightful mix of flavors and textures. This version of the classic Tuscan Soup is a step up from the Olive Garden favorite. It is loaded with spicy Italian sausage, smoky bacon, hearty potatoes, and kale, all in a luscious creamy broth. Not only is this Zuppa Toscana irresistibly delicious, but it's also tailored to be gluten-free and dairy-free, making it a perfect fit for various dietary needs. Plus, the leftovers are just as tasty!
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Why You'll Love This Olive Garden Copycat Recipe
- Simple - Although this soup is packed with flavor, it all comes from simple ingredients.
- Hearty - The warm and filling Italian sausage and potato soup is the perfect dinner for a cold night.
- Allergen friendly - With a swap to gluten free flour and dairy free cream, this soup is easily made both gluten free and dairy free, so everyone can enjoy it.
- Bacon - Bacon provides a rich, smoky flavor that takes this soup to the next level. Don't forget to set aside a few pieces to garnish your bowl before serving. If you're following a gluten free diet, make sure to buy a gluten free bacon since it is a product that sometimes has hidden gluten. Applewood Farms and Boar's Head are my two favorite brands.
- Italian Sausage - I like to use spicy sausage, since my family enjoys a little extra heat. If you aren't a fan of spicy dishes, then use regular Italian sausage.
- Onion & Garlic - These two aromatics provide the base flavor for the soup.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend - A little bit of gluten free flour helps to thicken the broth. If you're not gluten free, use regular all purpose flour in the same measure.
- Oregano, Basil and Red Pepper Flakes - Oregano and basil provide that traditional Italian flavor while red pepper flakes bring a little extra spice to the dish.
- Potatoes - I've used a combination of Russet and yellow potatoes. Whatever you have on hand will do fine, just make sure to cut them into even sizes so they cook at the same rate.
- Chicken Broth - This is another ingredient that can have hidden gluten, so if you're following a gluten free diet, make sure to check your product. Pacific Foods brand is my favorite gluten free broth.
- Non-Dairy Cream - I use the Silk brand of dairy free heavy cream. If you're not dairy free, you can use regular heavy cream in the same measure. If you can't find either, then milk will work as well, although it won't be as creamy.
- Kale - I've tried this recipe with both kale (which is how Olive Garden makes it) and spinach. I've shown kale in the photos, but I actually prefer spinach. I usually just use whatever I have on hand.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free: use dairy heavy cream in the same measure.
- Turkey Sausage: For a lighter version, use turkey sausage instead of Italian sausage.
- Swiss Chard or Collard Greens: Instead of kale or spinach, try using Swiss chard or collard greens for a different nutrient profile and texture.
- Sweet Potatoes: Swap regular potatoes with sweet potatoes for a sweeter taste and added nutrients.
- Coconut Milk: If dairy-free cream isn't available, coconut milk can be a great alternative, adding a hint of sweetness and creamy texture.
- Mild Italian Sausage: For less heat, use mild Italian sausage and reduce the red pepper flakes.
How to make dairy free Zuppa Toscana
STEP 1: Add bacon pieces to a Dutch oven soup pot over medium heat. Cook until browned, then remove to a paper towel lined plate.
STEP 2: After the bacon has been removed, add the Italian sausage to the pot. If you're using links, remove the casing before adding. Cook until browned. Remove the sausage from the pan.
STEP 3: Drain off all but 1 Tablespoons of the meat fat. Add the onions and saute them for about 5 minutes.
STEP 4: Once the onions have cooked, add the gluten free flour, garlic, herbs and spices. Continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
STEP 5: Add the chicken broth and potatoes to the pot. Give it a good stir, then bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
STEP 6: Add the bacon, Italian sausage and dairy free cream to the soup. Stir well.
STEP 7: Stir in the kale and let the soup continue to cook for about 5 minutes until it's wilted. Serve immediately.
Store leftover Tuscan soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Because of the potatoes and cream, I don't recommend freezing this soup.
Zuppa Toscana is Italian for Tuscan soup.
Normally this soup does contain dairy. However, this recipe has been modified to be dairy free.
No, Italian wedding soup has some similar ingredients, but it is made with meatballs and pasta.
Other soup recipes to consider:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat)
- 6 slices Bacon cut into ½” pieces
- 1 pound Hot Italian Sausage
- 1 Cup Yellow Onion diced
- 4 clove Garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoon Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Basil
- ⅛ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 6 Cups Gluten Free Chicken Broth
- 4 Cups Potatoes cut into 1” cubes (about 2 pounds)
- 3 Cups Kale or spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 Cup Non-Dairy Cream
- Add cut bacon to a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook until browned. Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.6 slices Bacon
- Add the Italian sausage to the pot. If you're using sausage links, remove the casing first. Cook the sausage until browned, leaving it in bite sized chunks. Remove the sausage from the pot.1 pound Hot Italian Sausage
- Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the meat. Return the pot to the stove.
- Add the onions to the fat and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.1 Cup Yellow Onion
- Once the onions have softened, add the gluten free flour, garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Cook another minute, stirring continuously.
- Add the potatoes and chicken broth to the pot. Give it a good stir. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.6 Cups Gluten Free Chicken Broth, 4 Cups Potatoes
- Return the bacon and Italian sausage to the soup. Pour in the non-dairy cream and stir well.1 Cup Non-Dairy Cream
- Stir the kale into the soup. Cook for 5 minutes to wilt the kale a bit. Remove from heat and serve immediately.3 Cups Kale
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.