11.03.19

Whole30 Zuppa Toscana

Whole30 Zuppa ToscanaBringing back another childhood staple, a Whole30 Zuppa Toscana copycat rendition of Olive Garden’s delicious soup. The only thing that I am missing is the endless breadsticks and salad!

Growing up in Celina, Texas, my friends and I would always drive up to Frisco (the closest city to us) so that we could dine at Olive Garden together and carb load on *all the yummy things*.  In fact, when I ran Cross Country back in the day, Olive Garden was our day before meal of choice when we went to big meets out of town.  Our Coach would take us to Olive Garden so we could feast before we’d run our little hearts out the next day. We loved it. 

Being the soup lover that I am, I loved getting the Zuppa Toscana as my appetizer, even as a child. I loved it’s rich, creamy broth with the chunky potato and sausage filling. It’s one of those soups that really, in fact, is a true full meal. 

Whole30 Zuppa Toscana

Here in this Whole30 Zuppa Toscana recipe, I’ve recreated one of my childhood favorites while also keeping it Dairy-Free and Gluten-free. It’s still simple to make and just as satisfying as my teen years. The flavor from the ground sausage really does all the talking along with the rich and creamy texture of the soup (by thickening it with Arrowroot flour + using dairy-free creamer!)

I think this is going to be a total crowd-pleaser and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as me and my family!

For other soups and stews, check out this recipe round-up.

Whole30 Zuppa Toscana

Serves: 4 people
Print
5 from 26 votes
A whole30 rendition of the popular soup served at Olive Garden.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 strips bacon, diced medium
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage (if you buy it in the links, you can remove from casing) (chicken or turkey sausage is okay to use, also!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 32 oz. carton of chicken broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups peeled russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chopped lacinato kale, ripped from stem (or one bunch)
  • 1 cup Nut Pods Original Dairy-Free Creamer
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice of 1 lemon)

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is just crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. While reserving the bacon fat in the the pot.
  • Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and sausage into the pot. Cook, breaking up meat with back of spoon, until cooked through, or no longer pink. About 4-5 minutes.
  • Add arrowroot into the sausage mixture and stir until well incorporated into the meat mixture. While stirring, slowly pour in chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer, add the italian seasoning, chopped kale and potatoes. Cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • When the potatoes are tender, remove the lid from the pot and stir in the creamer, nutritional yeast, and lemon. Cook for 5 more minutes, simmering uncovered, just to mend the flavors and the cream.
  • Serve in bowls topped with the cooked bacon bits. Enjoy!

66 Comments

  • Reply
    Marie Lussier
    October 23, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    What can I use as a substitute for the Nutritional Yeast? My son got me hooked on your website a couple of years ago.

    • Reply
      Alex
      October 24, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      Hi! you can sub in 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese!

  • Reply
    Felice
    October 21, 2021 at 10:59 am

    What can you substitute potatoes with if you want to cut carbs?

    • Reply
      Alex
      October 21, 2021 at 11:38 am

      You could do some cauliflower florets!

  • Reply
    Paula
    October 20, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Can I use parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and cornstarch to replace the nutritional yeast, nut pod creamer, and arrowroot flower if I’m not worried about whole 30?

    • Reply
      Alex
      October 21, 2021 at 11:38 am

      yes!! all of the above works! 🙂

  • Reply
    Holly
    October 14, 2021 at 3:15 am

    5 stars
    This was OFF THE CHARTS, CRAZY GOOD!! I’m not a huge fan of Italian sausage and the ingredients are pretty simple and basic so I was a little skeptical…but boy was this a treat for my taste buds and my hungry, pregnant belly! So flavorful, so satisfying, and something you feel GREAT about eating! I ate THREE BOWLS!!

  • Reply
    Chelsea L Blair
    October 8, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    5 stars
    I could live off of this soup morning, day and night! Absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    October 3, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    5 stars
    Holy cow! I have made several different whole30 Zuppa recipes and they’ve been meh. I made this one today because I was seriously craving it and I was NOT disappointed. So damn good!! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sydney
    August 24, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Is there any replacement for arrowroot flour? I have all other alternate flour types – just not this one – and my store doesn’t carry arrowroot.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 25, 2021 at 1:31 pm

      Do you have tapioca?

    • Reply
      Renata Rampersad
      October 21, 2021 at 2:38 am

      Alternative to nutritional yeast?

  • Reply
    Lena .
    May 4, 2021 at 12:19 am

    My whole family enjoys this recipe… even our 3 kids under 6 years old.

  • Reply
    Erika
    April 9, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    5 stars
    Loveeee this soup! Seriously SO delicious! I’m wanting to make this and freeze it for a friend who’s having a baby. How would you recommend freezing it? Or would you suggest not freezing it? Thank you 🤗

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 11, 2021 at 10:41 pm

      You can definitely freeze it! it’s not my favorite to freeze since it has the coconut milk and it separates, but honestly– it’s still works great

  • Reply
    Alyssa D
    March 9, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    5 stars
    This is easily my most favorite soup! Such an easy recipe with so many complex flavors. I’ve probably made it 6x by now and it’ll be a staple for winters to come!

  • Reply
    Greta David
    March 7, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    5 stars
    10/10 amazing Whole30 soup!

    • Reply
      Alex
      March 7, 2021 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you, Greta!!

  • Reply
    Handey
    March 1, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely the BEST soup! There is nothing I change about the recipe except occasionally I buy the mild sausage. It’s so so SO good!

  • Reply
    BaLeigh
    February 25, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Hi! Can’t wait to make this. I’m allergic to yeast. I know it offers that creamy/cheesy flavor. Any substitute suggestions or just leave it out?

    • Reply
      Alex
      February 26, 2021 at 4:17 pm

      You can totally omit! or add in 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    February 13, 2021 at 12:18 am

    5 stars
    Cold weather in the south means switching up dinner plans and making this instead tonight. First time. Sprinkled with red pepper flakes. Perfection.

  • Reply
    Kelli
    February 13, 2021 at 12:00 am

    5 stars
    Making this for the 2nd time tonight and probably at least once a month for the rest of eternity! SO. GOOD. For all the people like me who read comments to see if a recipe is worth it, yes…yes it is.

  • Reply
    Kayla Sherwood
    February 1, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Can you do this in a crock pot all day on low? and then add kale towards the end like last hour?

    • Reply
      Alex
      February 2, 2021 at 2:39 pm

      The only issue with doing it in the Crockpot is that the arrowroot won’t thicken as well… so i recommend making a slurry at the end of the day with about 1/2 cup of broth and the arrowroot. and waiting to add the kale and the DF creamer at the end as well!

  • Reply
    Katy
    February 1, 2021 at 4:10 am

    We have soup every Monday through out the winter and more Mondays than not, this is the soup that someone requests. It’s so great- and, I discovered last time I made it that it’s just as delicious without the bacon (didn’t realize we were out until it was too late!)

  • Reply
    Kristin
    January 31, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    5 stars
    HOLY MOLY! I love everything you make but this might take the absolute cake. My husband and I both LOVED this when I made it for the first time last week and now I’m making it again and practically drooling waiting for it to be ready to eat. There is a very good chance we will cook this weekly for the rest of winter 🙂

  • Reply
    Margriet
    January 31, 2021 at 2:56 am

    5 stars
    Ohmygoodness- I don’t ever leave feedback on recipes… that being said, my whole family loved, loved, LOVED this recipe. They requested that I put it in the regular rotation of meals. Winner winner Zuppa Toscana dinner!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    January 24, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    I love this soup!! Are you able to tell us approx calories per serving? Thank you!

  • Reply
    Julie Angelina Smith
    January 15, 2021 at 3:56 am

    5 stars
    My Mom and I are doing Jan Whole30 and are absolutely using your plans you share. Fortunately for us, we became a fan of your dishes before we started Whole30 and we’d even cooking new Alex dishes each weekend together. I really think the fact that we were already making your recipes before most of the time saved us from any of the Whole30 headaches- it has been and easy and delicious journey for us.
    My Mum’s made this about 4 times now. And me, once. We don’t all have the same threshold for spicy food, so my Mum experimented with 100% spicy sausage, then 25/75, only to keep 50 spicy/ 50 non spicy. It was delicious each time!
    I made it with 25%spicy sausage and 75%ground turkey. Good’- and my children 1 and 3 ate some too.
    I like that once we made about 3 of your recipes we had a good stock of the ingredients to try other dishes.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 12, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    5 stars
    All of your recipes are good, but this one is OUTSTANDING. Minimal effort, high payoff. Required very little chopping and dirtied only a few dishes. This will be in regular rotation at the Smith house.

  • Reply
    Monique
    January 12, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    5 stars
    This soup is SO. GOOD. Made it for my roommates and they LOVED it!!! We can’t stop eating it lol it’s the perfect comfort food! And we had leftovers for days – the flavors just meld even better the next day! Thank you so much, Alex!!!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    January 10, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    5 stars
    10/10 again.. over and over! While I don’t have the waiter at my table asking “would you like cheese on that?”, this is way better than the restaurant version. It’s light yet creamy, the potatoes are cooked perfectly, the amount of lemon.. it’s all perfection. We ate it next day for lunch and it was even better. Will make this recipe for years and years to come.

  • Reply
    Erika
    January 10, 2021 at 9:33 am

    What can I sub the hot Italian sausage for if I can’t find one that’s compatible?

  • Reply
    Sonja
    January 7, 2021 at 2:30 am

    I made this! It’s delicious! A friend sent the recipe. Where is the cookbook for these recipes? Making it this weekend for friends!

  • Reply
    Courtney Hesterly
    January 7, 2021 at 1:13 am

    5 stars
    The perfect comfort food!

  • Reply
    Kiah
    January 6, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    5 stars
    This is delicious. I didn’t add any creamer, or nutritional yeast and used regular flour (as I’m not on whole 30). But it is so yum!
    Delicious flavor.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 5, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    5 stars
    Soooo good! Mine probably isn’t properly Whole 30 because I had to work with what I had or could find so my creamer was non-dairy, but just coffee mate regular and I had to use corn starch for arrowroot powder, but taste wise, I don’t think it changed it and it was amazing!!! (I also prefer sweet sausage but that’s just my super sensitivity to spice)

  • Reply
    Hannah
    January 5, 2021 at 4:23 am

    5 stars
    I’ve made this so many times that I owe it a review at this point! Probably my favorite soup ever. It is so soooo delicious, easy, and fast enough for a weeknight. I don’t follow Whole30 so I use heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and cornstarch and it is just perfection.

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 5, 2021 at 12:22 am

    5 stars
    I love Zuppa Toscana and have tried many different recipes! This is my favorite by far! You never fail, Alex! 👏

  • Reply
    Rachel
    January 4, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Hi there—just wondering if you think frozen kale would work? There seems to be a run on fresh kale right now at my grocery store. New year, new me, maybe? 😂 Love this recipe SO much.

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 5, 2021 at 2:41 am

      Absolutely!

  • Reply
    Ana
    January 3, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    Could you make this in an instant pot?

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 4, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      I am sure you can! I haven’t done it yet so im not positive on timing. You’ll still want to brown the sausage on saute function, then add the broth/potatoes and cook on Manual high preessure for 10-15 mins or so. Then stir in nutpods at the end.

  • Reply
    Hannah
    January 3, 2021 at 12:56 am

    5 stars
    This was SO good! I didn’t have nut pods on hand so I used a mixture of 75% coconut milk and 25% almond milk. The flavor and texture were still amazing! Dreaming about leftovers tomorrow. I have not been disappointed by a recipe of yours yet! Thank you for making Whole30 so delicious!

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 3, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Christine McMillan
    January 3, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Which Nut Pods original did you use? We bought Almond and Coconut Original , and Original Oat?

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 3, 2021 at 2:20 pm

      To keep it Whole30– I use thee Almond/Coconut original.

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    December 30, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Where do you get whole 30 compliant Italian sausage and bacon?

    • Reply
      Alex
      December 30, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Wholefoods for both! their counter has compliant sausage. And both Pederson Farms and Applegate have a “no sugar” bacon.

  • Reply
    Janet Wilson
    December 17, 2020 at 2:18 am

    5 stars
    Just made his for the first time and it is delicious! Well done once again, Alex. Your recipes never disappoint.

    • Reply
      Alex
      December 17, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you, Janet!

  • Reply
    Hillary
    December 4, 2020 at 3:33 am

    Made a mistake. Used Silk Heavy Whipping Cream and now my soup smells like an Italian Sugar Cookie. There’s no sugar in it, it just imparted a very sweet coconut smell. Beware!

  • Reply
    Heather
    December 3, 2020 at 1:09 am

    5 stars
    Love this soup! It was super easy to make and filling. I’m definitely going to add it to the meal rotation.

  • Reply
    Laura
    November 29, 2020 at 12:12 am

    5 stars
    This recipe is the best. I’ve made it at least 10 times during quarantine! It never fails.

    • Reply
      Alex
      November 29, 2020 at 1:34 pm

      It’s the perfect comfort food.

  • Reply
    Meghan
    November 24, 2020 at 3:09 am

    To make it not whole 30 – just sub heavy cream and parm for the nutpods and nutritional yeast?

    • Reply
      Alex
      November 24, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      yep!! you got it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brianna
    November 14, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Love this soup so much! Can it be made ahead of time and frozen though? Trying to do some meal prep.

    • Reply
      Alex
      November 30, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      Since it has milk/coconut milk in it, it’s not ideal for freezing; however, I find it still tastes pretty dang good.

  • Reply
    Mollie
    November 9, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    5 stars
    This is a repeat recipe for me…so good!!!

    • Reply
      Alex
      November 9, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      It is for us, too!! glad you love it!!

  • Reply
    Valerie
    October 27, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Can you sub a different non dairy creamer? Coconut or almond without altering taste

    • Reply
      Alex
      October 27, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      Both of those would alter the taste a bit. I love the nutpods because it’s the most neutral in flavor. You can certainly use either of those and they still work, but the coconut will add a coconut flavor and the almond just doesn’t have much texture to it.

    • Reply
      Lynda A
      March 24, 2021 at 4:30 am

      5 stars
      Third time making this! Soooo good!

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