Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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This easy Zuppa Toscana is a creamy soup full of Italian sausage, kale, potatoes and Parmesan. It’s hearty, creamy, and perfect for fall! Step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.

slow cooker zuppa toscana in metal ladle
Table of Contents
  1. Why we love this Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana:
  2. Variations on this Zuppa Toscana recipe:
  3. Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Recipe

I faintly remember those days when I used to go to Olive Garden.

And we’ve always lived at least an hour and a half away from an Olive Garden, so it’s not like it was a once a week thing, but still — every once in a while I think back to the days before Real Responsibilities (let’s call them “Kids” for short) and how we could go into a restaurant and just eat a relaxed meal.

But now I have two of the sweetest, cutest, funniest girls and I wouldn’t even trade them for a trip to Olive Garden (promise).

This means that I’ve learned to make more of our favorite restaurant meals at home, and this Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana is one of our favorite things to dip large chunks of bread into in the fall.

(What is soup without large chunks of bread??)

two bowls of zuppa toscana on white background with bread

Why we love this Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana:

  • The Italian sausage is loaded with herbs and spices, which cuts down on the extra ingredients required!
  • It’s got just the right amount of spice and sweetness (again, thanks Italian sausage!)
  • Aside from browning the meat, I can just dump it and go, which is perfect for busy weeknights
overhead image of one bowl of zuppa toscana with bread

Variations on this Zuppa Toscana recipe:

  • Lots of recipes for Zuppa Toscana include bacon, but I find it an unnecessary addition. If that’s your thing, feel free to cook some up in the same pan you fry your sausage and add it to the slow cooker (or save it to sprinkle on top later).
  • We prefer the texture of kale after it has softened in the slow cooker along with the vegetables. If you prefer it with more bite, you can leave it out until you add the cream to the slow cooker near the end.
  • You can swap the kale for spinach if that’s what you have on hand, but spinach isn’t as tough as kale and I would add it right before serving.
  • If you want to use a lighter dairy option, you can swap the heavy cream for evaporated milk. I don’t recommend low fat milk as it can curdle when added alone to hot liquid.
close up image of bowl of zuppa toscana soup
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Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

4.98 from 39 votes
This easy Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana is a creamy Tuscan soup full of Italian sausage, kale, potatoes, and Parmesan. It's hearty, creamy, and perfect for the colder months! There's a step-by-step recipe video down in the recipe card, too!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course, Soup
Servings 4 servings
Calories 579cal


  • 375 grams Italian sausage meat without casings, mild or spicy (¾ lb)
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • lbs Russet or gold potatoes about 4 medium, peeled and diced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional, for extra spice
  • ¾ cup cream (10-30% will work fine)
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • In a large frying pan, brown the Italian sausage with the onion over medium-high heat (4-5 minutes). Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • Add the sausage mixture, broth, potatoes, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes to the Slow Cooker (4-6 quarts).
  • Cook on Low for 4-5 hours or High for about 2 hours (cooking times vary by slow cooker).
  • Once potatoes are tender, stir in kale, cream, and Parmesan.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.


Store: Store leftover Zuppa Toscana in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave stovetop until piping hot.
Freeze: Freeze this soup for up to 1 month. The texture of potatoes will change with freezing and defrosting, so if that is something that bothers you, I’d advise against it. To reheat it, simply thaw it in the fridge overnight and warm it on the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 579cal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1170mg | Potassium: 1303mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3445IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 4mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! This screams comfort food! We grow kale and the nice thing is that you can leave it in the garden well into fall and, depending on where you live, sometimes into winter. I make a kale and Andouille sausage soup that is pretty darn good. On my list! 🙂

  2. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says

    It’s been too long since I’ve gone to Olive Garden too – my husband and I used to go all the time and fill up on their soup, salads and bread sticks when we were dating. This looks SO creamy and amazing! Love that it’s made in the slow cooker!

  3. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says

    Zuppa Toscana is my husbands favorite soup from the O.G., but I can guarantee theirs has got nothing on your version! I LOVE that you prepared this in the slow cooker! Hand me some crusty artisan bread and a big ole vat of this! Perfection! Pinned! Cheers and thanks for sharing the YUM!

  4. Vicki says

    I will definitely be making this gorgeous looking soup; thanks for providing us with an Olive Garden favorite to make at home! As to what I would make, my family loves Au Gratin Potatoes on a regular basis, so I’ll try these little creamers in our favorite recipe.

  5. Rosie says

    This is recipe to make sooo good! I would love to make this, I would also like to mix them with extra virgin olive oil, lots of oregano and salt and bake them until crispy. I like having french fries this way from a girl friend’s mom in high school. Be very generous with the oregano. Yum!

  6. Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says

    One semester in college, I had like a 3 hour gap between classes. Right next to campus was an Olive Garden. It was like $7 for soup, salad and bread sticks and free wi-fi. I spent MANY an afternoon there. Loved this soup, can’t wait to make it at home!

  7. Shashi at RunninSrilankan says

    The only time I have had Zuppa Toscano was at Olive Garden – but i haven’t been there in a long while either so thanks so much for this recipe – now I can have Olive Garden at home!
    I love creamer potatoes and I would lvoe to use them to make this soup or Sri Lankan “Ala thel dala”

  8. grace says

    i’ve wanted to make hot smashed potatoes for the longest time,but i always buy big potatoes. these would be perfet for that purpose!

  9. Tony Trupiano says

    I make these great appetizers using small potatoes like this. I bake them until they are just soft but be sure to make sure you don’t over cook for them. I then cut off a little piece of the top scoop out each potato leaving enough inside so it holds it’s shape. I then take what I’ve scooped out mix it with chopped little neck clams some Parmesan cheese some chives A very little bit of salt and some pepper to taste and a small amount of cream. At that point I stuff them, then put half of a cherry tomato on top and bake in the oven at 4:50 for 10 minutes. I also drizzle olive oil on top before they goin into the open. These are absolutely delightful and everybody loves them.

  10. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    As soon as I saw the name of this soup, I immediately thought of Olive Garden! It’s been such a long time since I’ve been to that restaurant, but I always loved their soups (and salad and bread sticks). I have a feeling your homemade version is way better, though!

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