Crockpot Zuppa Toscana

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

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This easy Crockpot 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!

For more delicious soup recipes, check out my Sausage Tortellini SoupItalian Sausage Gnocchi SoupHam and Potato Soup, and my Chicken Wild Rice Soup

overhead image of metal ladle scooping slow cooker zuppa toscana from crockpot.

I faintly remember those days when I used to go to Olive Garden for the Zuppa Toscana (all you can eat soup and breadsticks? Sign me up!).

But life gets busier and we need all the easy meals around here!

Since having kids, I’ve learned to make and enjoy more of our favorite restaurant meals at home, including this creamy soup. 

This easy Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Soup is as delicious as the original recipe, if not better!

It’s made with simple ingredients and minimal effort, so it’s perfect for a lazy weekend or prepping for the end of a busy day. 

This delicious copycat soup is one of our favorite things to dip large chunks of bread into in the fall!

overhead image of bowl of crock pot zuppa toscana soup.

Why we love this Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup:

  • 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.
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Zuppa Toscana Ingredients:

slow cooker zuppa toscana ingredients needed.
  • Sausage: use mild or spicy Italian sausage meat without the casings.
  • Onion & Garlic: use freshly chopped onion and freshly minced garlic.
  • Broth: I always use a low-sodium chicken broth, as it adds a depth of flavor and allows me to control the salt content of the dish better.  
  • Potatoes: Russet or gold potatoes will work well here, but you can try other kinds of potatoes if you like. If you use smooth-skinned potatoes you can skip the peeling!
  • Salt & Pepper: simple seasonings of salt and black pepper will give this dish a great flavor. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes: a simple way to add some extra spice to this dish. 
  • Cream: Use heavy cream or 10-30% cream for the best creamy flavor and texture. 
  • Kale: chop the kale before you add it to the soup so you don’t end up with big clumps at the end.
  • Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese is perfect for this soup. 

How to Make Crockpot Zuppa Toscana Soup

  1. Saute: Brown the sausage and onion in a pan.
  2. Add garlic: Add garlic to the pan and stir.
  1. Put in pot and cook: Add the sausage mixture, broth, potatoes, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes to the Slow Cooker and cook.
  2. Mix in everything else: Stir in the kale, cream, and Parmesan and serve!

Zuppa Toscana Soup FAQs

How do you thicken Zuppa Toscana Soup?

Zuppa Toscana is meant to be a creamy broth but if you prefer it thicker, you can mash some of the potatoes or add a cornstarch slurry to it. Mash potatoes with a potato masher, or blend the soup a bit with an immersion blender.
For the slurry, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk small amounts into the soup until thickened to your liking. 

How do I store Zuppa Toscana Soup?

Store leftover Zuppa Toscana in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot.

Can you freeze Zuppa Toscana Soup?

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 in the fridge overnight and warm on the stove or in the microwave.

Tips and Notes

  • Dutch Oven. You can make this Zuppa Toscana Soup in a Dutch oven or soup pot if you prefer. Take a look at my Zuppa Toscana Soup recipe for more information. 
  • Kale texture. We prefer the texture of kale with more bite, so we stir it in near the end of the cook time. If you want, you can always add it to the slow cooker at the beginning but it will be softer.
bowl of crockpot zuppa toscana with bread in the background and spoon in bowl.

Crock pot Zuppa Toscana Soup Variations

  • Bacon. 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 your crispy bacon to sprinkle on top to garnish).
  • Swap the kale. You can swap the kale for spinach if that’s what you have on hand, but spinach isn’t as tough as kale, so I would add it right before serving it. 
  • Cream. 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.
  • Change the meat. Swap the Italian sausage for ground beef or even ground turkey sausage, if preferred. Bear in mind that Italian sausage is heavily seasoned, so if you use another meat, you will want to add more seasonings yourself!
  • Add more veggies. Add more veggies to the soup for more nutrients and color. Sauté some peppers, mushrooms, or any other veggies with the onion and Italian sausage. Or you can add veggies with more structure, such as broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots, when you add the potatoes.
  • Low-carb. To make this soup a low-carb option, use cauliflower instead of potatoes.

Serving Suggestions

​Zuppa Toscana soup is comforting and filling all on it’s own, but we love dipping some bread in there to soak up all the juices!

Try these Homemade Breadsticks (Olive Garden Copycat), my No Knead Artisan Bread, or this classic Garlic Bread

You can also serve some yummy sides with the soup like these Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks, or veggies like my Air Fryer Green Beans, or Roasted Carrots

More Easy Soup Recipes To Try

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Crockpot Zuppa Toscana

4.99 from 64 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Storage
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

Serving: 422grams | 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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Comments

  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!

4.99 from 64 votes (45 ratings without comment)

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