Our Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot recipe is the best Olive Garden copycat one you will find anywhere! Filled with sausage, bacon, potatoes, heavy cream, and topped with cheese, this pressure cooker soup is the perfect winter recipe for chilly nights. Home cooking that tastes just like it came from a restaurant and is a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
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What Is Zuppa Toscana Soup?
Zuppa Toscana is based on the beloved Olive Garden Italian soup recipe that translates to Tuscan soup. It's basically a potato sausage soup and the main ingredients are potatoes, cream, sausage, and kale that get garnished with Romano cheese and bacon. Whether you call it Zuppa Toscana, Tuscan soup, or Italian potato and sausage soup, it's simply a bowl full of goodness.
Why is it called Zuppa Toscana?
"Zuppa Toscana" is Italian for "Tuscan soup." This name implies that the soup is from the Tuscany area of Italy but the version we’re most familiar with from Olive Garden isn’t an authentic Tuscan soup recipe typical of Tuscany. The Olive Garden version is a creamy soup with sausage, potatoes, and kale. A traditional Tuscan soup would be made with local ingredients such as cannellini beans, kale, zucchini, potatoes, other veggies, and olive oil, without the heavy whipping cream.
This Toscana Soup Recipe is so hearty!
Our family loves a nice hearty soup on a cold winter's evening - there is nothing better! And while we have a variety of soups to choose from, our Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscana is our favorite! Starting with a hearty broth, adding in layers of meat and potatoes, and topping with cheese, gives us a soup that is rich, filling, and loved by all who try it.
Naturally gluten-free, our Instant Pot Tuscana soup recipe is just the thing when winter winds blow and you need a rich, hearty, warming soup to end your day with. If you are looking for a low-carb, keto-friendly, Paleo, or Whole30 version, be sure to check out the recipe variations below!
Filled with flavorful ingredients including bacon, sausage, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese, Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot soup makes for a fabulous for dinner. However, if you are looking for a lunch that will fill you up and fuel your afternoon you can always make a batch early or utilize any left-overs you may have.
Why you'll love Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
- Create an authentic Italian soup that your whole family will love, and tastes like it cooked all day, in under an hour!
- Naturally gluten-free, you can also create Zuppa Toscana that will work for low-carb, Paleo, or Whole30 lifestyles with easy swaps that don't sacrifice flavor.
- We are making our Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot recipe with heavy cream and chicken broth for a broth that is both full of flavor and hearty!
- Your pressure cook time is just 5 minutes!
If you love soups as much as we do, be sure to check out our pressure cooker chicken crack soup, our slow cooker taco soup, this instant pot broccoli cheddar soup, and our crockpot stuffed pepper soup! They are all just as satisfying as this Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot recipe!
Toscana Soup Recipe ingredients
While our Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot recipe does require quite a few ingredients, it's super easy to pull together and well worth the time and effort you put in!
- bacon - cooked
- spicy or mild Italian sausage - crumbled
- red onion - chopped
- garlic cloves - minced
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Yukon Gold potatoes - cut into 1" cubes
- kale - some readers use spinach in place of kale
- chicken broth
- heavy whipping cream
- parmesan cheese - or romano
- cayenne pepper - optional
Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot variations and substitutions
Parmesan Cheese - We are using parmesan for our version, but Olive Garden uses Romano. Feel free to include the cheese you prefer.
Kale - If you don't care for kale (or forgot to grab some at the store), you can easily swap it for baby spinach.
Potatoes - While we opted for Yukon Gold in our Zuppa Toscana soup, you can also use Russet. Using a Russet potato will give you a thicker soup as the potato has more starch.
For reference, we made the soup on the left with Yukons and the one on the right with Russets. Everything else was the same.
A Pressure Cooker - This is the Instant Pot model that we used.
- Whole30 - Use coconut milk instead of cream and skip the cheese.
- Paleo - Omit the potatoes or use sweet potatoes
- Keto - Skip the potatoes and make sure to use heavy cream.
How to make Zuppa Toscana
Your Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot recipe is going to require some prep work, followed by a short pressure cook before you add the finishing touches. All-in-all it will come together quickly and you will have a fabulous restaurant-quality meal to serve your family!
Before you can use your pressure cooker, you will need to prep the ingredients.
Start by chopping the onions, mincing the garlic, and cubing the potatoes (peeling is optional). Chop the kale as well, unless you purchased a bag of pre-washed and cut kale.
Cook your bacon. You can either use the saute feature of the Instant Pot (about 7 minutes per side) or use pre-cooked bacon. If you cook your bacon fresh for this recipe, save about 1 tablespoon of grease for your soup.
Remove the bacon from the instant pot and cook your sausage in it using the saute feature (about 7-8 minutes). You can either use the reserved bacon grease for this, or 1 tablespoon of oil.
Place the chopped onions in the pot and cook for 5-minutes, until the vegetable is soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are fully submerged.
Turn the pot off.
Place the cover on your Instant Pot and be sure the valve is set to seal.
3. Pressure Cook
Pressure Cook on Manual High for 5 minutes (some pressure cookers might call this setting Pressure Cook) It will take about 15 minutes for the pot to come to pressure.
Once the pressure cooking time is complete, do a Natural Release of pressure for 10 minutes (this helps to prevent soup splatters!). Once the 10 minutes is up, do a Quick Release of your instant pot to release the remaining pressure in the pot.
Add the kale and whipping cream. Use the saute feature and cook on high for 3-4 more minutes or until the kale is wilted.
Garnish with bacon and cheese.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot recipe tips
- Prep the ingredients for your Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot soup before you start as pressure cooking magic goes quickly!
- While you can saute your sausage and onions in oil, using bacon grease adds a wonderful depth to the flavor of the final dish!
- To ensure even cooking, chop your potatoes as evenly as possible and make sure they are fully submerged in the chicken broth.
- Bacon and cheese are both optional garnishes, but they add a robust flavor to your soup and are worth it!
- The soup is typically made with a spicy Italian pork sausage, but you could use a mild/sweet Italian sausage or even Italian chicken sausage.
Zuppa Toscana storage
Leftovers should be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge and used within 3-4 days.
Can I freeze this soup?
As dairy doesn't freeze and reheat well, you are going to want to avoid freezing the completed soup. However, you could freeze before adding the cream and kale, and simply add them upon reheating. Frozen soup is good for 3-month.
Zuppa Toscana Soup FAQs
While Zuppa Toscana is a full meal by itself, opting for a side salad is a great way to start your meal off, as are breadsticks or rolls.
"Zuppa Toscana" translates from Italian to English as "Tuscan Soup." "Zuppa" is the Italian word for soup, and "Toscana" refers to Tuscany, a region in Italy. So it’s a soup inspired by the Tuscan region but it isn’t a specific traditional recipe.
Whether or not you peel your potatoes for Zuppa Toscana is really a matter of personal choice! Our recipe uses creamy Yukon gold potatoes and we did not peel them. You of course can, if you prefer and the soup will be delish either way.
More Soup Recipes
Looking for more soup recipes?
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Pizza Soup (Crockpot, instant pot)
- Crockpot low carb taco soup
- Chicken Zoodle Soup
- Instant Pot Cuban chicken stew
- Crockpot chili with kielbasa