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Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
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

5 from 6 votes
This Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana is a hearty potato soup made with Italian sausage and kale!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course, Soup
Servings 4 servings
Calories 579cal

Ingredients

  • 375 g Italian sausage meat without casings, mild or spicy (¾ lb)
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1.5 lbs Russet or gold potatoes peeled and diced (about 4 medium)
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup cream (10-30% will work fine)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional, for extra spice

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 sausage mixture, broth, potatoes, kale (or save to add with the cream if you prefer more texture), salt and pepper to the Slow Cooker (4-6 quarts) and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for about 2 hours (cooking times vary by slow cooker). You can also reserve the kale to add at the end if you prefer it to have more texture.
  • Once potatoes are tender, stir in cream, Parmesan and red pepper flakes if using (optional for extra heat!). Let heat through before serving.

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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Comments

  1. Angela Restad says

    I would go to my grandmas and help her make her potato soup because she can not do it by herself any more and she loves potato soup.

  2. Stacey @ Bake Eat Repeat says

    I’ve never made a potato soup before, or even had one where the potatoes weren’t blended up. This soup looks just fantastic though so I need to make it soon. Especially since it’s in the slow cooker! And because I have some of those potatoes in my pantry right now, and have been slightly addicted to slow cooker soups lately! πŸ™‚

  3. Carol M says

    Oh I think I would try the recipe that is featured.

    I make one that is quite similar and it’s my favourite soup, maybe this one will become my fave.

    Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Michele Moore says

    I recently started making a recipe called Parmesan Red Potatoes. It is made in a Crockpot. The recipe is as follows:
    Parmesan Red Potatoes in the Slow Cooker
    by Andrea Green, Contributing Writer

    I love a good slow cooker recipe. In addition, this is a GOOD slow cooker recipe.

    Parmesan red potatoes in the slow cooker only need to cook between 3 and 4 hours on high, depending on your slow cooker.

    The quick cooking time means I can get everything in the slow cooker before picking up the kids from school. Then, when all the after school lessons and activities are done, the potatoes are ready for dinner!
    Start by scrubbing your red potatoes and then cutting them into about 2 inch pieces. I’m not a perfect chopper and they still turn out just fine.

    I really think grating fresh lemon zest and Parmesan cheese makes a big flavor difference in this recipe.

    The aluminum foil wrap helps the potatoes cook faster and protects them from burning. It doesn’t hurt that it makes clean up easier as well!
    Try this the next time you need a make-ahead side dish. We love these potatoes and hope you do too!

    Parmesan Red Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

    Ingredients:
    3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
    ΒΌ cup EVOO
    4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    1 Tablespoon dried parsley
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:
    1. Line your slow cooker with a large sheet of aluminum foil.
    2. In a large bowl, toss red potatoes with olive oil, Β½ Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley.
    3. Add potatoes to slow cooker and seal aluminum foil around them.
    4. Cook on high 3-4 hours or until fork tender.
    5. Toss with remaining Parmesan and then season with salt and pepper before serving.

    Andrea Green of The Greenbacks Gal is an organic coupon expert. What if you could find affordable organic and eco-friendly products on a budget? Eco-friendly moms need affordable solutions. Andrea finds the best green deals, helping hundreds of families save on the frugal, green lifestyle. Nothing makes her happier than to help people realize being organic doesn’t have to cost more.

    Please try this recipe…it is delightful.
    Fondly,
    Michele

  5. Cindy A. says

    I would make a simple potato soup sprinkled with bits of bacon and cheddar cheese. Side note: I would be lost without my fabulous slow cooker. No kidding! I make everything from stew to fruit butters in it.

  6. Darlene Schuller says

    I’d have to whip up a batch of cheesy scalloped potatoes.. always have been my favourite way to have taters!

  7. Pat says

    I would be making this soup……….I make it all winter long and my recipe is very similar to yours, but I sometimes add chopped carrots to mine that we’ve grown in the garden…..a nice healthy soup….I always use Italian sausage in mine……have a nice day……………

  8. Judy Cowan says

    Since it is comfort food time of I would love to roast some little potatoes around a beef roast along with some carrot, parsnips, and onion.

  9. Kimberley Knull says

    I would make loaded Potato Soup with those yummy potatoes. It’s a perfect meal for the cooler weather that is soon to come! And I also love them baked in the oven with herbs! Yum.

    Love your blog! πŸ™‚

  10. Izzy says

    I finally live in a town with an Olive Garden and I haven’t eaten there once lol. I love the name of this soup though and I’m all for any soup that has potatoes in it!

  11. 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! πŸ™‚

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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”

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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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