This delicious Gluten Free Zuppa Toscana Soup is naturally gluten free and the best copycat version of the popular Olive Garden favorite. Each creamy bite includes flavorful Italian sausage, tender potatoes, and hearty kale. This sausage potato kale soup is better than any soup in a restaurant.
I have mentioned this before, but I worked as a waitress at the Olive Garden long ago (in another life). Those were fun times filled with lots of salad, pasta, breadsticks, and yummy food. Unfortunately, I can’t eat there anymore; sad times. However, I can create homemade gluten free versions of my olive garden favorites.
Gluten Free Alfredo Sauce, Gluten Free Baked Ziti, Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan, Gluten Free Meatballs or Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs, Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip, Gluten Free Mozzarella Sticks are healthier copycat versions of my favorite Olive Garden recipes. And you’d never know these are made without gluten because each one is delicious.
Of course, Zuppa Toscana is naturally gluten-free, but I can’t risk enjoying a bowl of my favorite potato sausage kale soup from the Olive Garden because of cross-contamination. So, today, I’m sharing my gluten-free version of Zuppa Toscana.
Reasons you’ll love this recipe.
- Easy to prepare. Everything goes into one soup pot!
- Delicious! This copycat Zuppa Toscano consistently gets raving reviews from family and friends! It’s super tasty, and I never need to worry about gluten sneaking in.
- Make-ahead. This creamy gluten-free potato soup can be made on Sunday for the week or frozen for a quick lunch or dinner later on.
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make a pot of this tasty, gluten free Zuppa Toscana soup. For the full instructions, see the recipe card.
- Italian sausage. You can either purchase ground Italian sausage or poultry links. If you get links, then remove the casing before using the sausage in the recipe. You can choose hot or mild Italian sausage depending on your preferred spiciness.
- Onion and cloves of garlic. Like all great Italian recipes, this is the starting foundation for this Zuppa Toscana.
- Italian seasoning. This homemade Italian seasoning mix recipe is my favorite seasoning for all of my Italian recipes, and it adds the perfect layer of flavor to this soup.
- Crushed red pepper flakes. This gives the soup a nice spicy kick, and you can leave it out for a milder flavor.
- Potatoes. Classic Zuppa Toscana soup uses russet potatoes. However, Yukon gold potatoes, also called yellow or butter, are my favorite in this potato sausage kale soup recipe. I’ve used both many times, and I prefer yellow over russet because they have a creamier buttery texture. Russets tend to get grainy. However, both will work.
- Half and half and chicken broth. Many Zuppa Toscana recipes call for heavy cream, and you can certainly use it. But I prefer to mix half and half with chicken broth, which gives the soup the perfect amount of creaminess without being too rich. Purchase a high-quality chicken broth to ensure it is gluten-free.
- Fresh kale. You can purchase cleaned and chopped kale bags from the produce section to save time. If you buy whole kale leaves, then clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the stem before chopping. You can also use frozen kale.
How to Make Gluten Free Zuppa Toscana
Start by heating olive oil in a large soup pot on the stovetop and cook the Italian sausage over medium-high heat until it is no longer pink. Use a large spoon or spatula to break the sausage into small pieces as it cooks. If there’s a lot of grease from the Italian sausage, drain before adding the other ingredients.
Add the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes to the sausage and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion and garlic start to soften.
Stir in the potatoes, chicken broth, and half and half, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Then simmer over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender – about 15-20 minutes. Give the soup a taste, and then add in the salt.
Stir in the kale and cook for another 15 minutes or until the kale is tender. Season with more salt and black pepper if needed. If you want, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve hot!
- Leave the skin on the potatoes. I’ve made it both ways, and both are tasty. Make sure to clean the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
- Adjust the spice level. If you like a spicier soup, add extra crushed red pepper flakes.
- Adjust the consistency of the soup. If the soup seems too thin, mash up some potatoes to thicken it up. On the flip side, if it starts to thicken as it sits, you can stir some chicken broth to loosen it up.
- If you don’t want to use kale, then baby spinach, Swiss chard, or other greens will work fine as a substitute.
- It’s easy to make a dairy-free Zuppa Toscana recipe by swapping the milk for unsweetened coconut milk or other non-dairy milk. See my healthy Zuppa Toscana recipe on my sister site.
- For extra flavor, add in bacon or pancetta. Cook 4-6 slices of bacon or 4 ounces of diced pancetta, remove it from the pan, and set it aside. Crumble it once it cools. Drain most of the grease, cook the sausage, and continue with the rest of the recipe. After the soup cooks, stir in the bacon or pancetta, saving some to sprinkle on top.
- Instead of pork sausage, you can use turkey or Italian chicken sausage.
- Bulk up the veggies. You can add celery, carrots, and other vegetables to this soup.
This sausage potato kale soup gets better by the day, so it’s a great soup to make on Sunday for lunch or dinner all week. Or freeze it to have dinner ready for later on.
For the week. After the soup cools, place it into an airtight container and refrigerator for up to 4 days. I like to use individual containers to keep portions under control and also so I can quickly heat and eat.
For the freezer. I’ve frozen this Zuppa Toscana recipe numerous times. I’ve never had a problem with dairy separating or curdling, and I think this is because it includes both broth and dairy.
After the soup cools, place it into containers leaving an inch from the top for expansion. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. I also love to use Souper Cubes 1-cup portion silicone trays to freeze this and other soup recipes.
More Gluten Free Italian Recipes
If you are looking for a couple of more delicious gluten free Italian Dinner recipes, take a look at this list:
- Pizza Soup
- Sicilian Chicken Soup
- Vodka Cream Sauce
- Tagliatelle Carbonara
- Gluten Free Risotto
- Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Gluten Free Chicken Meatballs
See all of my Gluten Free Dinner recipes.
Zuppa Toscana means Tuscan soup. Different versions include celery, carrots, beans, and pancetta, but the most common Italian American recipe includes potatoes, kale, and Italian sausage in a cream broth.
Zuppa Toscana is a creamy, comforting soup with delicious Italian sausage flavors, spices, and tender potatoes and kale. You can also sprinkle in parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
Yes, you sure can. After the soup cools, place it into airtight containers and freeze for 3-4 months. If you don’t have containers, use small freezer bags or freeze into portion-control servings using Souper Cubes. Reheat over low heat on the stovetop. If you can, it’s helpful to let the frozen soup thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Gluten Free Zuppa Toscana
- 1 5 1/2 quart Dutch Over or Large Soup Pot
- Large Soup Spoon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb Italian Sausage if you're using links remove the casing.
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 6 garlic cloves finely minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 lbs yellow or russet potatoes skins removed and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups half and half can also use heavy cream or milk.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 cups chopped fresh kale stems removed.
- extra salt and ground black pepper.
- grated parmesan cheese for serving
- Start by heating olive oil in a large soup pot on the stovetop and cook the Italian sausage over medium-high heat until it is no longer pink.
- Use a large spoon or spatula to break the sausage into small pieces as it cooks. If there's a lot of grease from the Italian sausage, drain before adding the other ingredients.
- Add the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes to the sausage and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion and garlic start to soften.
- Stir in the potatoes, chicken broth, and half and half, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Then simmer over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender – about 15-20 minutes. Give the soup a taste, and then add in the salt.
- Stir in the kale and cook for another 15 minutes or until the kale is tender.
- Season with more salt and black pepper, if needed. If you want, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve hot!
Did you make this recipe?
Have you tried this Gluten Free Zuppa Toscana Recipe? I can’t wait to see it! If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag me @glutenfreeitalian eats with hashtag #glutenfreeitalianeats