Creamy, healthy, and flavorful to the max, this Instant Pot remake of the world-famous Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup is going to absolutely blow you away!
WAIT! DON'T GO! I know you've seen hundreds of Copy Cat recipes for this Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup and you've probably eaten it at every neighborhood soup pot luck you've ever been to, and you're probably tired of it . . . BUT HEAR ME OUT!
THIS version of Zuppa Toscana Soup has shot it's way to the top of my soup love board and I'm so excited for you to try it out!
Prior to today's creation, I had never actually made this soup myself, but had eaten it at many neighborhood get-togethers and seen rave reviews of it all over in the Instant Pot Facebook group.
But here's the thing, I didn't really get the fascination with it. I knew it was a heavy cream based soup, but it always seemed quite thin to me and the grease streaks throughout weren't especially appealing either.
The flavor was pretty good, especially with a handful of bacon on top, but I just kept wondering, why are a third of the Instant Pots/Crock Pots at every soup pot luck I go to serving Zuppa Toscana?
Well, I decided to see if I could remake this one a bit, give it an extra punch of flavor, make it smooth and creamy all while omitting the ingredients that gave it the label of “not really healthy, but worth every calorie.”
Mission accomplished! No heavy cream, more veggies, flavor town!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS “BETTER THAN OLIVE GARDENS” HEALTHY ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP
- Heavy cream be gone, HELLO Cauliflower! Cauliflower gets steamed in a basket above the soup, pureed, then poured back into the soup to give it that thick, silky, spoonable luxuriousness
- I swapped the pork sausage for a much leaner, but definitely not less flavorful, turkey sausage. I love the spicy kind, but if you want it more mild I suggest going with half Sweet Italian sausage and half Spicy. This swap got rid of the grease streaks throughout the soup
- The Instant Pot makes this soup incredibly easy and fast. Four minute cook time on this one!
- If you're on the fence with your love for kale, this might be your gateway! Feel free to swap for spinach if you must
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY ZUPPA TOSCANA WITHOUT CREAM
- Brown the sausage, onions, and garlic
- Add potatoes, stock, and seasonings
- Add a steamer basket full of cauliflower
- Cook for a quick 4 minutes
- Blend cauliflower and a ladle of the soup liquid until smooth and creamy
- Stir that creamy goodness back into the soup
- Viola! “Cream” soup
- Add the kale, let it wilt in the hot soup
- Serve! Add a side of crumbled bacon if you really want to be knocked over
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
TIPS FOR THE ULTIMATE ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP
- Use Yukon potatoes! I know russet is the most commonly used potato here, but Yukons have a more flavorful, buttery texture that adds to the rich taste of this soup
- Season! The sausage goes a long way to make this soup flavorful, but don't be scared to add extra salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning if desired
- For a little short cut, buy pre-washed and chopped cauliflower. I've found it really doesn't cost much more than buying a head of cauliflower, and in a time crunch, it's so nice not to make a mess breaking down cauliflower
- Because we stayed away from cream in this recipe, it freezes well! Pour leftovers in a freezer safe bag, and lay flat to freeze. The flat shape helps it thaw much quicker and takes up less space in your freezer
I'm so excited for you to try this healthified, Instant Pot-ified Zuppa Toscana Soup! Bring it to your next pot luck and plan on getting bombarded by Zuppa lovers wanting to know your secrets!
- Swap spinach for kale if you're not a fan
- Swap half of the Yukon potatoes for sweet potatoes. This adds an extra layer of flavor
- If you really don't want to bother with the cauliflower, add 1 cup of heavy cream instead
BEST SIDE DISH FOR SOUP
Since this soup contains the veg, the protein, and the dairy food groups, might I suggest bread? More specifically, this Instant Pot Whole Wheat Asiago Rosemary Crusty Bread. Wow, this combo is good!
WHAT DOES ZUPPA TOSCANA MEAN
Anyone else curious about this? I was, and you never know when you might need this knowledge in a rousing trivia game. It means “Soup in the style of Tuscany.” There you go, you're eating like an Italian.
HOW TO SUBSTITUTE HEAVY CREAM IN SOUP
Heavy cream adds a smooth, silkiness to recipes and can be quite delicious. But it's not the only way to get that amazing texture.
- Puree veggies: Some of my favorite vegetables to blend into soups are beans, butternut squash, zucchini, potatoes, broccoli stems, etc. Check out Thai Butternut Squash Soup, Creamy Enchilada Soup, White Chicken Chili, and Baked Potato Soup for examples on how I do this. In my book Master the Electric Pressure Cooker, there's an incredible Broccoli Cheese Soup you need to make ASAP if you haven't yet
- Make a roux out of a little butter and low-fat milk. This Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice is the perfect example of this method
- Make a water and cornstarch slurry. This works beautifully in my favorite Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- Whipped Cream Cheese: light and airy so it's easy to mix in and adds great flavor too
- Other options include yogurt, silken tofu, and coconut milk
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP
MORE INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPES
Lots of gems to be found in this soup/chili sectionPrint
Instant Pot Healthy Zuppa Toscana Soup
A healthier version of the famous sausage, potato, and kale soup. The flavor and creaminess is outstanding!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage – (I suggest using all Spicy, or half Spicy – half Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage)
- 1 medium sweet or yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 heaping cups or 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into large florets
- 3 cups chopped kale or spinach
- Optional for serving: extra salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, cooked and crumbled bacon
- Preheat the pressure cooker by selecting saute.
- When hot, add sausage and onions and cook for about 5 minutes to brown the sausage and soften the onions. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.
- Stir in potatoes, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Top with a steamer basket. Add cauliflower to the steamer basket.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a quick release.
- Place cooked cauliflower and a ladle or two of broth into a high speed blender, blend until it's a smooth puree.
- Pour puree back into the soup and stir.
- Press saute, add kale, and let the soup simmer for 2-3 minutes to soften the kale.
- Serve hot topped with crumbled bacon, if desired.
- Look for Italian Turkey Sausage in the meat department area. Look for the sausage in the casings that can be cut to allow the sausage to be squeezed out and into the pot. Do not get precooked sausage.
Keywords: instant pot recipe, zuppa toscana soup, healthy soup
I actually think I will try this! I am not fond of “regular” sausage but turkey might be fine. I also avoid stuff with heavy cream so this just may fill the bill! Thanks.
Nancy, I’m the same way. I don’t much like regular sausage but the turkey sausage is yum! Let me know what you think!
I haven’t had the Olive Garden Suppa Toscana in a long time, but I recall that their version included a type of white beans. They were larger than navy beans, probably cannellini, which hold their shape well.
Rita, Interesting, and it sounds like another element I would love in this soup. I’ll try it!
How did you get the steamer basket to sit up so high on top of the other ingredients?
Karen, I just sat the basket on top. It’s okay if the broth comes up a little, it just keeps the cauliflower separated so it can be pureed after it’s cooked. Does that help?
Made this recipe tonight and I am IN LOVE! So good and flavorful, will definitely be making again! I substituted turkey sausage for chicken but tasted so great. Love the cauliflower in replace of heavy cream, can’t even taste the difference. Thank you for the recipe!
Rylee, I’m so glad you liked it! It’s my favorite version of this soup ever.
This soup is delicious! I had to use sweet Italian sausage because I couldn’t find the turkey. But everything else I followed to the T.
The cauliflower instead of heavy cream is brilliant. So flavorful ! I used spinach instead of kale. I will make this again for sure. Thank you for the recipe!
Carol, Isn’t it great!? I Love it so much and I agree, the cauliflower adds more flavor than cream. Thanks for letting me know what you thought!
Mary Deatherage says
I just wanted to write to say THANK YOU for this awesome recipe! Made it exactly as written – with all Regular Italian Turkey sausage (didn’t see spicy or would have tried that!). I made it the first time – for my husband and company (risky – I know!) – but…it is SO good! Even my friend who doesn’t like cauliflower had two bowls! This will be a regular in our dinner rotation. Thank you thank you! 🙂
Mary, I’m so glad you loved it! It’s one of my favorites and I love that it’s creamy without being greasy like the restaurant version. My kids don’t notice the cauliflower either. That was brave of you to make it for them knowing they didn’t like cauliflower!
Hi! I am eating less meat and wondered what you would do as a replacement for the sausage?
Kim, This soup is a good base for just about any veggies, so if you’re wanting to bulk it up without the meat, maybe some broccoli, carrots, peas, etc. Or to mimic more of a meat taste, you could season up some cauliflower and roast it in the oven while the soup cooks and then top your soup with it, that would be yummy!
I do love this soup but cauliflower? Does it taste like it? lol, can you tell I don’t care for that particular vegetable? Ok, inquiring minds want to know!
Cecilia, well than you’re THE person I want to try it! I think it is a million times better than other versions I’ve had!
Haha, well then I guess I need to make it. I’ll let you know!
I just made it yesterday and absolutely not! It’s amazing, creamy, filling and it will definitely be making an appearance on next week’s meal plan. Probably one of my favourite soups to date.
Would riced cauliflower be too small and over cook? Or would it work similarly?
I like to substitute for heavy cream base soups and sauces all the time. Better for creamy texture and full flavor without the rich heavy fat feeling. I look forward to trying this soup for the first time as I am sure I must be the only person that never saw it as an appealing choice. 😳
Also, themed months sound interesting. Either for seasonal foods; a particular ingredient multiple ways; a particular culture or country; or recipes for one complete day’s menu like a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or dessert that would come together for one special meal, etc.
Connie, I think riced will be fine. My cauliflower was mush by the time it was done which was great because it pureed so smooth. I think it’s worth a try! Sounds like we’re soul sisters in the kitchen :). Yes, that was my thinking with the themed idea. I love that kind of thing, but didn’t know if it would appeal to others. Thanks for your thoughts!