Crockpot Copycat Zuppa Toscana

Copycat recipes are the bomb.  You know why?

They make food that is already well-loved come to life in a home kitchen.  That’s what I love about this recipe for Crockpot Copycat Zuppa Toscana.  And what I love about my Panera Bread Copycat Broccoli and Cheese Soup.  And my Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks recipe.  And… well, you know… the list goes on, so just check out all of our copycat recipes!  We’re adding new copycat recipes all the time, because we know YOU love them.

Copycat Zuppa Toscana

Kale is my new-found love.  Why, you ask?  Well now… kale has high marks on this long checklist of good for you nutrients: Vitamins A, C and K, antioxidants, fiber, works as an anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol, high in iron, helps with digestion, and oh yeah… zero fat. Guess what?  My entire household is in love with kale! So… now I need to find new recipes to test out how far I can take their love for this nutritious green leafy vegetable.  While kale is being touted as the king of vegetables, that alone won’t make my kids down a green smoothie any time soon.  I need to start slow. How it all started:  My daughter and I love Olive Garden.  And pretty much anyone who has been to Olive Garden has tasted their amazing Zuppa Toscana.  It’s the best.  Soup and Zuppa.  That’s my standing lunch order when we venture out to Olive Garden.  And a few bites of my daughter’s Fettuccine Alfredo, because it’s always nice to share, right? Pair it up with Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks, and your meal is absolutely GOLDEN. Copycat Zuppa Toscana I have seen several Zuppa Toscana recipes floating around and wanted to come up with a version that would work in or out of a crockpot.  I don’t know about you, but I rely on my crockpot at least one night a week when the kids have activities and I’m running them between this and that. Having dinner ready and waiting in the crockpot when we get home is something to relish.  No need for takeout, and with this Copycat Zuppa Toscana recipe, I have found a crockpot success that my whole family is happy to come home to.  We eat a lot of soup in our house… its easy, tasty and comforting.  And this soup is a winner all around. It’s a bowl full of yum.  Yeah, and my son actually ate leftovers for breakfast.  But hey… he ate breakfast, and not just a few bites.  That’s a win. Copycat Zuppa Toscana Now, just so you know: my version of Zuppa Toscana is loaded with kale.  I doubt wholeheartedly that Olive Garden puts as much kale in their Zuppa.  I know I have never seen as much green in their version.  So if you want a true copycat version instead of my souped up kale {nutrients, nutrients, nutrients} version… go ahead and reduce the kale by half. Looking for a different spin on this soup?  Try our Meat & Potato Parsley Soup.  We use parsley to flavor the soup and add some green, and leave out the kale… the result is a completely new and refreshing recipe that adds another day of comfort to your meal plan.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Crockpot Zuppa Toscana
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Copycat Zuppa Toscana {kind of like Olive Garden's awesome zuppa}
Ingredients
  • ½ Pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 Pound Hot Italian sausage
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves (pressed, crushed or finely chopped)
  • 3 Medium (or 2 large) russet potatoes, sliced
  • 4 Cups chicken stock (I use homemade stock, you could also use broth)
  • 2 Cups water
  • 3-4 Cups chopped kale
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Brown bacon and sausage over medium high heat. While cooking, break up into small pieces. Add onion and garlic once meat is mostly cooked, and allow flavors to blend.
  2. Add meat mixture to crockpot once cooked.
  3. Add potatoes, chicken stock and water to crockpot.
  4. Let cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  5. Add chopped kale, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Let cook an additional 1-2 hours and then turn down to warm to serve.

Jessica McCoy

Owner, Writer, Editor at All She Cooks
Jessica McCoy is the publisher and primary editor behind All She Cooks. She enjoys recipe development, food photography, as well as food and travel writing. You can find Jessica on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +.

Comments

  1. says

    I have never actually had Kale – does it have a taste similiar to any other veggie out there that I could compare it to – to no if I might like it?

  2. says

    I absolutely love kale and this sound delicious, can’t wait to try it. I wonder if there’s anyway to substitute something for the heavy cream though…

    • Talina says

      Our family has a lot of dairy sensitivities and we always just use soy or almond milk in place of the cream. My mom likes to use vanilla soy milk (sweeter flavor, more similar to cream) and I tend to just use unsweetened almond milk, because it is what I have on hand. We’ve never noticed a big taste change and it is still a family favorite, even with my milk-loving, picky husband :-)

      • says

        Talina- That sounds like a great alternative! And your husband sounds like mine… I don’t think I could get him away from milk and have to pry my son’s whole milk away from my hubs. ;)

  3. Linda says

    This looks delicious! I am yet to try anything with kale :-) thank you for sharing at our ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS party !

  4. Ryan says

    WOW! This recipe is on the MONEY! I prefer the extra kale, as I am always wondering “why don’t they put more green stuff in here?” I had some chicken stock from a bird I slow-cooked weeks back. Everything worked well. I placed the pot on HIGH heat for the last 1-2 hours just to tender up the kale.

    My only suggestion is to pair it with fresh-bkaed Ciabatta bread; slightly toasted!

    Cant wait for more.

  5. Dave says

    I have to give many thanks for this recipe.
    I have always loved Olive Garden’s Zuppa.
    My amazing wife found this and the entire family loves it!
    Well, my kids are allergic to all dairy, so they have it without the heavy cream – and it’s still awesome.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you ;)

    – One happy guy named Dave

  6. Barbie says

    I’m making it right now and it smells so good it’s driving me crazy cause I have another 3 hours to go before its done.

    • says

      Barbie- I’m hoping you’re not in the same time zone as me or you’re going to be having dinner late tonight! But… you’re making me want to cook this again soon. One of our favorite soup meals.

  7. Morningstar says

    I bought Kale with the intention of making this soup, however it’s taken me a week to get around to making it :( My Kale is wilted, do you think it would still be fine in the soup?

    • says

      I think it would be fine as long as your Kale is still good. I did find this information that might help you here: “Store in the refrigerator where it will keep for 5 days. The longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes. Do not wash kale before storing because exposure to water encourages spoilage.” If it has been in the refrigerator for longer than 5 days, you might want fresh kale. However, I know I have used kale that has been in the refrigerator for closer to 10 days (not wilting) and it has tasted great in Zuppa.

      • Morningstar says

        I was most concerned with it being bitter, but it was just fine (only some of the leaves in the bunch were wilted). Turned out amazing, thanks so much for the recipe! We are dairy free so I substituted almond/cashew “cream” and you couldn’t tell the difference! Also added tsp. fennel. I used to work at Olive Garden years ago and I would have to say your recipe is spot on!

  8. Anh says

    Do I have to cook the sausage and the bacon? can I just dump everything in the crockpot and let it cook that way? as you can see, I am extremely lazy =)

    • says

      Ha! :) I have my lazy days too and I SO wish it were that easy. Yes, you’ll need to brown the sausage and the bacon prior to putting them in the crockpot. But it’s SO worth it. ;)

  9. Natalie says

    I just made this last night and it was fantastic! Just like the restaurant version! It was so good that I had two huge bowls. Afterward, I felt a bit queasy because I’m not used to having so much creamy wonderfulness in my diet. Since I’ll never be able to eat just one bowl of this soup, I’m going to try to cut the cream amount in half to see if that helps to allow me to continue to be a soup glutton.
    Thanks again for a fantastic recipe! I’m going to check out your other recipes now!

    • says

      I’m so glad it was such a big hit! I’ve made it with milk before instead of heavy cream, and it was nearly the same… just not quite as rich.

  10. Roberta Skrypak says

    I made this today and it is fantastic! I just love the fact that kale is the green portion of it. I made so much , I was just wondering if it would freeze well? I would love it this coming week end for visiting family. Thanks for this great recipe!

    • says

      Hi Roberta- This wouldn’t be my first pick of recipes to freeze with all the dairy in it, and then the cooked kale also. I think it would be much better fresh. Luckily it doesn’t take long to prepare!

    • says

      I used hot sausage, but you don’t have too. The soup is not really spicy when using hot sausage, but I guess it might be to some people. Maybe use 1/2 hot sausage and 1/2 regular to see how your kids do for that.

  11. Katie G says

    I can’t wait to make this Xmas eve. I’m hosting 16 people though, so want to double the recipe. How much additional cooking time do you think I’ll need?? Thanks!

    • says

      I’m not sure if it would fit in a crockpot to double it… you might need to use two. ;) As far as additional cooking time, if you have a large enough crockpot to cook it all together, I don’t think it would require much if any extra cooking time.

  12. Barb says

    Have you tried making this with got Italian turkey sausage? Just curious if it would be as good, looking to take out some of the fat! Thanks :)

    • says

      I have not tried it with Italian turkey sausage. I think it would taste great but not sure if the meat would have the same consistency… however, with it being in a soup it probably wouldn’t make a big difference!

      • Barb says

        I made 2 versions of this soup, the original listed here and a lower fat version with hot Italian turkey sausage and whole milk instead of the heavy cream and regular sausage. Both were outstanding, but my family actually preferred the lower fat version! I did keep regular bacon in both recipes and added some fennel to both, soooo good!!

      • Barb says

        * I also recommend cooking the bacon until VERY crisp, it will soften up in the crock pot and has a weird texture unless it’s really cripsy before you add it!

  13. says

    I am a huge fan of kale. Kale and potatoes, especially. Add in cream, forgetaboutit! My love for kale began when I did catering as a kid. We would trim it and put in on many of our dishes as garnish. I was curious as to its taste, nibbled a piece and have been a fan ever since.

    We would love to have you stop by and share your post on Tell Me About It Tuesday. I think it would be a great addition. http://www.sweetsillysara.com/2014/01/tell-me-about-it-tuesday-3.html

  14. says

    This looks absolutely fabulous! I always order this, and now I must try making it at home. This would be amazing in a bread bowl with a nice salad on the side!

  15. Cathy says

    Thanks for sharing at the Happiness Is Homemade Link Party! Pinning to the party board and can’t wait to see what happiness posts you share next week! Have a terrific week!
    Cathy
    APeekIntoMyParadise.com

  16. Cathy says

    Thank you for linking up at Tasty Tuesdays! Your post has been pinned to my Recipes from Tasty Tuesday board. I can’t wait to see what you link up next week!
    Have a terrific weekend!
    Cathy
    APeekIntoMyParadise.com
    #TastyTuesdays

  17. Marie Benici says

    This recipe is AMAZING! The Zuppa Toscana is my fave soup at the OG but there isn’t one close to where we live. I didn’t have italian sausage so substituted ground turkey and put tons of red pepper flakes and dried oregano. SO GOOD! Almost exactly like the one from the restaurants. Now I don’t have to drive halfway across the state to get my fave soup. I’m so glad I found your blog!!!! Ciao!

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