Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe -Olive Garden Copycat | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe -Olive Garden Copycat's January and it's COLD here in northeast Ohio! That means it's healthy comfort food time...that means it's delicious soup weather! If you are looking for the perfect soup to make on a chilly winter day, this Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup will warm you right up. 

It's made lighter than the restaurant version by swaping pork sausage with turkey sausage and swapping heavy cream with evaporated skim milk. But, this skinny version still delivers on taste! It has got all the flavor of the Olive Garden restaurant classic original recipe, but with less calories 

Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup in a bowl with a spoon

I've said this many times before, I used to not be much of a soup person. I know, I know...I'm blaming it on the fact that growing up canned condensed soup was pretty much what having soup meant to me.

However, when I got married and had a family of my own, I started making homemade soups. Unlike myself, my husband was a huge fan of soup, so my homemade soups made him very happy. 

Today, I have an extensive library of homemade soup recipes to choose from, but I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes to add.  This recipe for a healthy Zuppa Toscana soup is my hand at making an Olive Garden Copycat recipe with less fat and calories than the original. And let me tell you, I have had readers tell me it's actually better than the original Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup! 

My husband loved this ligher version of classic zuppa toscana too. He's proclaimed it as the best soup I've made! 

Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup overhead view with bread

What is zuppa toscana?

You might be someone who hasn't dined at Olive Garden and enjoyed a bowl of this great soup. Loosely translated, zuppa toscana in Italian means "Soup from the region of Tuscany"  On the Olive Garden website, It's main ingredients are "Spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes in a creamy broth."

Is Toscana soup healthy? 

I've had the Olive Garden version at the restaurant and really enjoyed it!  But, it's full of heavy cream and fatty pork sausage and CALORIES....lots and lots of calories. So I wouldn't call the Olive Garden Toscana soup healthy. But this healthier version of Zuppa Toscana replaces some of the heavier ingredients with more figure friendly ingredients resulting in fewer calories while keeping all the flavor in the style of Tuscany. 

Can I make a low carb zuppa toscana?

Yes! You can make this recipe for zuppa toscana low carb by swapping diced potatoes for cauliflower florets. It won't taste the same as the original recipe I have below, but it will still taste delicious. 

What ingredients can I swap if I don't have something in the recipe card below?

A few of the notable swaps you could make are as follows (keep in mind, any changes will alter the end result and nutrition facts provided in the recipe card):

  • Swap evaporated skim milk for all half and half (I would NOT use low-fat milk in this recipe. You will lose some flavor)
  • Swap half and half with fat-free half and half
  • Swap garlic powder for 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • Swap fresh kale for baby spinach or swiss chard
  • Swap turkey Italian sausage for chicken sausage or hot Italian sausage (pork)
  • Swap red potatoes for large russet potatoes or yellow potatoes
You can add in a little more red pepper flakes to make the soup more zesty, if you like.

Can I freeze Zuppa Toscana?

Yes, you can freeze this recipe for zuppa toscana. You might find the potatoes will soften a bit more than you like, but the flavor should remain good. As always, if not freezing, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This is one of those recipes that might be even better the next day! 

Can I make Zuppa Toscana in a crock pot or in an Instant Pot?

Yes! You can make this recipe for skinny zuppa toscana in either a crock pot or an Instant pot. Stay tuned for directions for the Instant pot. If making in a crock pot, you'll need to brown the sausage and onion in a skillet on the stove top over medium heat, adding in the black pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic and oregano, then transfer to a slow cooker. You can add a little water or chicken stock to deglaze the skillet and pour that over the sausage mixture. Continue with the rest of the ingredients except the evaporated skim milk and half and half and the salt. Allow to cook for 4 hours on HIGH or until potatoes are fork tender, then add the evaporated skim milk, half and half and the salt to taste. 

This skinny zuppa toscana recipe is a great recipe, that has been made by many readers. It's a hearty soup perfect for a chilly winter day. It has become one of my family's favorite soups topped with Parmesan cheese and served with a green salad on the side.

Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup, Healthy Zuppa Toscana Soup, Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
Main Course, Soups
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup

Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 50 Min
Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup is made lighter by substituting pork sausage with turkey sausage and cream with evaporated skim milk, but has got all the flavor of the Olive Garden original, in a better for you version!


  • 1 pound turkey Italian Sausage, raw, bulk
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cups sliced (1/4 ") red potatoes, with skin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp (or more or less to taste) crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or two cloves of fresh minced garlic)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 cups fat free, low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 - 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 4 cups kale torn into bite sized pieces
  • kosher salt, to taste


  1. In 5-6 quart dutch oven or stock pan, brown the turkey sausage on med-high heat. Drain any excess oil, if needed. Add in onion and saute for about 6 minutes or until onion becomes translucent. Add the potatoes to the pot and stir to combine
  2. Add in black pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder and oregano and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the chicken stock, scraping up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan, bring to boil, then turn down to simmer. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender (for me, it was about 20 minutes).
  3. Once potatoes are fork tender, add in the evaporated skim milk and the half and half. Continue to simmer.
  4. Add in the kale and push into broth. Continue to cook until kale is tender. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Serve hot, ladled into bowls. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

7.94 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.43 g

Carbs (grams)

24.20 g

Fiber (grams)

3.09 g

Net carbs

21.12 g

Sugar (grams)

4.75 g

Protein (grams)

19.89 g

Sodium (milligrams)

1571.65 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

57.95 mg

Nutritional Information provided is an estimate.

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*Note: This recipe for Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup first appeared on Renee's Kitchen Adventures in January 2015. I've updated the post to include more information and republished it because it's an excellent Olive Garden Copycat recipe with fewer calories than other copycat recipes and a great soup to serve in the Fall and Winter! 

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  1. love, love creamy warming and full of flavor soups and that is exactly what this is! glad the wait for your recipe is over! :)

    1. It's really very good! Hope you give it a try sometime!

  2. I love this soup! I make a "skinnier" version too, and it's just as good as the restaurant version IMO. Pictures make me want it right now!

    1. Thanks Kim!! I hope you give it a go and let me know what you think! :)

  3. I'm so glad you made this recipe "skinny"! It's one of my favorite soups! Yum!

    1. yeah, all that cream isn't good for anyone! lol

  4. I love everything about this recipe. This looks so perfect for this time of year - even looks like it would freeze well. This has got to taste so good!

    1. I didn't have any left over to freeze, but I agree with you that it would do well!

  5. I love this slimmed down recipe! Turkey sausage is so tasty. Pinned so I can try this soon!

  6. Mmmmm! This sounds and looks so good. It's a must try for sure.

  7. I could eat soup for every meal. And with this skinny recipe I don't have to feel guilty!

    1. Yes! You get a nice big serving for about 200 calories!

  8. I want a bowl of thisi right now. I will be making this in the future!

  9. I've never had that soup at Olive Garden, but this looks very tasty! I'll have to try it. I was never a fan of soup growing up either (probably for the same reason). Once I discovered the goodness of homemade soup, there was no looking back. I love it and am always on the lookout for delicious new soup recipes to try!

  10. Love me some Zuppa Toscana! I've made a lightened version very similar to this. So good.

  11. I can eat soup 365 days a year - soup lover here! But I am looking away from the onions on top! :P

  12. I love that this is lighter, I am eager to try it! I was never a soup person either until I made homemade and now I am converted as well. The canned stuff just isn't as good!

  13. Can you substitute almond milk for the evaporated milk and half/half??

    1. I've never done it, but you can give it a try. Almond milk has come a long way over the years and is a great substitute for milk in many recipes.

  14. I know this is an old post, but OMG this is awesome! Thank you so much!

  15. How many servings and do you have the sugar and saturated fat content?

    1. Hi benfam6! I've updated the recipe card above to include the information you are looking for. Hope this helps!

  16. I’m in Oklahoma and can’t find Italian turkey sausage, do you think Italian chicken sausage would work, do you suggest the
    hot or mild sausage? Have you ever substituted spinach for the kale?

    1. Hello! Both substitutions for the sausage and the kale will work fine! As to the degree of heat you like in your sausage, that's totally up to you! Come back and let us know how it turned out!

  17. I just came across this. Probably the best soup I've ever made. Huge thanks.

    1. Hello! Thanks for your review and I'm so pleased you enjoyed this recipe! Lots more soup recipes on this website too! Just go to recipes and search soup.

  18. Where is the instructions for making this soup in insta pot?

    1. Hi! Thanks for your question! I haven't made this recipe in the instapot yet, so I don't have instructions added for that particular appliance. As soon as I make it and perfect that method I will add it.


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