Don’t shoot the messenger, but … I’ve never liked the Olive Garden restaurant. Yes, I know it’s an American institution but I think most of their food is terrible. The only dishes from Olive Garden I ever liked are the soups. So I set out trying to recreate them at home in a healthier way. This Olive Garden Copycat Whole30 Zuppa Toscana soup will remind you of the original, but without the questionable ingredients. It’s a hearty mixture of sausage, potato, kale and lots of veggies made creamy by the use of a special ingredient.
This recipe is inspired by the Whole30 Zuppa Toscana from Alex Snodgrass of The Defined Dish. Alex is a blogger that I respect and admire greatly. She recently released her first cookbook and it’s been wildly successful. Alex’s Zuppa Toscana recipe gave me the “trick” to make the soup creamy by using Nutpods (a mixture of coconut and almond milk) as well as nutritional yeast. But I changed up Alex’s recipe by adding some additional vegetables and modifying the cooking instructions.
Real Dairy vs Dairy-Free
If you’re a regular follower, you know that I’m a big fan of organic, grass-fed dairy. Kalona Supernatural is my favorite brand. But this recipe is Whole30 and uses Nutpods Original Creamer instead of dairy. Nutpods is a plant-based alternative to half and half (a blend of almond and coconut milk). You can use Nutpods when cooking, add it to coffee or tea, and substitute it virtually anywhere you’d use dairy. Using Nutpods in this recipe instead of dairy also makes it easier to freeze and re-heat the soup.
If you don’t care about the soup being Whole30 compliant, feel free to substitute half and half.
Try this Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana Soup and let me know what you think. Be sure to tag #grownupdish or @grownup_dish on Instagram so I can share your posts.
Olive Garden Copycat Whole30 Zuppa Toscana soup is a hearty mixture of sausage, potato, kale and lots of veggies. It’s much healthier than the original Olive Garden version and even more delicious. Recipe is Whole30, dairy-free, sugar-free, keto & paleo.
- 3 strips of bacon, diced
- 1 cup sweet or yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb. hot chicken or pork italian sausage, casing removed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups diced potatoes, cut into cubes
- 4 cups curly lacinato kale, de-stemmed and chopped
- 32 oz chicken broth or chicken bone broth
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour (can substitute all purpose flour if desired.*)
- 1 cup Nutpods original dairy-free creamer or 1/2 cup half and half.
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- In a large dutch oven or stock pot, fry chopped bacon until crispy. Remove cooked bacon and set aside. Reserve the rendered bacon fat.
- Add chopped onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrots and parsnips. Saute for 2-3 minutes until vegetables start to soften.
- Add sausage and break up the meat with a spoon. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
- add arrowroot into the sausage mixture and combine.
- Add chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and add potatoes, kale, italian seasoning and salt/pepper to taste. Cover and simmer 15 – 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Stir in creamer, nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Cook for 5 more minutes uncovered.
- Serve topped with the bacon bits and (optional) chopped parsley.
Feel free to substitute all purpose flour instead of arrowroot but the soup won’t be Whole30 compliant.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: recipe
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: soup, italian food, zuppa toscana, sausage, potato, kale, keto dairy-free, whole30, keto, paleo