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Healthy Zuppa Toscana

Transport yourself to Italy in a heartbeat with this Healthy Zuppa Toscana. Inspired by Olive Garden's most popular soup, this healthier version is sure to hit the spot.

Healthy Zuppa Toscana

Full of vegetables, potatoes, and flavor, the Healthy Zuppa Toscana is sure to hit the spot for the whole family. It is quick to cook, makes your entire house smell like an Italian villa, and is macro-friendly.

This Healthy Zuppa Toscana recipe is a lighter, healthier version of the classic Italian soup, which has become very popular at Olive Garden here in the United States. I was inspired to make this easy, at-home, healthy version of the delicious Olive Garden soup. It is lighter, less-rich, and less-caloric than what you'll find at Olive Garden. Plus, you can easily make it in the comfort of your kitchen!

What does zuppa toscana mean?

Zuppa Toscana literally means "tuscan soup" in Italian. It is classically made with vegetables, an Italian bacon, olive oil, beans, and potatoes. In Italy it is called "Minestra di Pane" which means bread soup.

The popular Americanized version at Olive Garden is richer and tends to have more calories than the original Italian version of Zuppa Toscana.

Zuppa Toscana Ingredients

Gather all of these ingredients and you'll be on your way to a yummy Healthy Zuppa Toscana:

  • turkey sausage 
  • onion 
  • garlic
  • chicken broth
  • yellow potatoes
  • Neufchatel cheese
  • kale
  • bacon 
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes

Zuppa Toscana substitution ideas

Remember that when you change up ingredients in a recipe, you're going to get something different! Zuppa Toscana is especially specific as far as the ingredients and taste that is created. That being said, feel free to change what you need to in this recipe to suit your specific needs.

  • Sausage: Although this recipe calls for sausage, feel free to use whatever meat you have on hand. You could use ground turkey or even ground beef. Just remember these will drastically change the soup's taste.
  • Cheese: To make this recipe dairy-free, you could certainly just leave out the Neufchatel cheese and parmesan. That will take out all the creamy elements of the soup, but it will still taste great! You can also add dairy-free cream cheese and top with a dairy-free parmesan alternative.

How to make Healthy Zuppa Toscana

  • Place a large dutch oven on a burner on the stovetop. Turn on medium heat and let the dutch oven heat up.
  • Spray the dutch oven with cooking grease.
  • Add the turkey sausage to the dutch oven. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the turkey as it cooks. Cook for about 5 minutes or until there's no pink and it's cooked through.
  • After the meat is finished cooking, scoop the meat out of the dutch oven. Place in a bowl on the side until needed. **When scooping out the meat, leave the excess liquid in the dutch oven! Don't drain. You'll use this for the next steps**
  • Add the onion and garlic to the dutch oven. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as desired. Use a spoon to stir frequently.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, until onions start to get soft.
  • Add the block of neufchatel cheese to the dutch oven. Use a spoon to crush the cream cheese and help the melting process. Stir around until creamy and melted, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the chicken broth and potatoes into the dutch oven. Turn the burner up to medium-high heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
  • Cut the heat to low and add in the kale and meat. Mix completely and let cook for about 3 minutes, until the kale leaves start to wilt.
  • Scoop the soup into bowls. Top with bacon, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes for some extra flavor.
  • Enjoy!

How can I store homemade soup?

You should store your leftover soup in an airtight container in your refrigerator. This recipe will stay fresh for about 5 days, which makes it a perfect choice for meal prep!

How do I reheat soup?

My personal favorite way to reheat soup is on the stove in a pot. I feel like this more thoroughly reheats the soup all the way through.

However, if you're in a pinch for time, you can reheat for 1-2 minutes in your microwave. This soup reheats very well and even gains some more flavor after sitting together for longer in your refrigerator.

How many calories are in a bowl of Zuppa Toscana soup?

In my Healthy Zuppa Toscana recipe, there are 361 calories per serving. This recipe makes six servings and is very filing.

This would be a great recipe for a meal prep, to serve to friends coming for dinner, or to make for a family meal.

What goes with Zuppa Toscana soup?

Zuppa Toscana is a hearty, filling soup that can definitely stand on it's own as a dinner. The best side dish for some Zuppa Toscana would easily be a warm, crusty piece of bread.

Some other options for a complementary side would be a side salad, or some cooked veggies, like mushrooms, asparagus, or broccoli.

More soup recipes

If you've got a real hankering for soup, check out these other Jordo's World soups:

This is a bowl of zuppa toscana. There is a white bowl filled with chopped potatoe, kale, onions, sausage, and kale. There's a broth and the soup is topped with bacon and grated parmesan cheese.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Healthy Zuppa Toscana

Transport yourself to Italy in a heartbeat with this Healthy Zuppa Toscana. Inspired by Olive Garden's most popular soup, this healthier version is sure to hit the spot.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: healthy soup, tuscan soup, zuppa toscana
Servings: 6
Calories: 361kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Equipment

  • dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 1 lb turkey sausage (16 oz)
  • 1 medium onion diced (125 grams)
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced (5 grams)
  • 6 cups chicken broth (48 oz)
  • 4 medium yellow potatoes diced (24 oz)
  • 1 block Neufchatel cheese (8 oz)
  • 2.5 cups kale stems removed (85 grams)
  • 4 pieces bacon cooked & chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • toppings: parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Place a large dutch oven on a burner on the stovetop. Turn on medium heat and let the dutch oven heat up.
  • Spray the dutch oven with cooking grease.
  • Add the turkey sausage to the dutch oven. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the turkey as it cooks. Cook for about 5 minutes or until there's no pink and it's cooked through.
  • After the meat is finished cooking, scoop the meat out of the dutch oven. Place in a bowl on the side until needed. **When scooping out the meat, leave the excess liquid in the dutch oven! Don't drain. You'll use this for the next steps**
  • Add the onion and garlic to the dutch oven. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as desired. Use a spoon to stir frequently.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, until onions start to get soft.
  • Add the block of neufchatel cheese to the dutch oven. Use a spoon to crush the cream cheese and help the melting process. Stir around until creamy and melted, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the chicken broth and potatoes into the dutch oven. Turn the burner up to medium-high heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
  • Cut the heat to low and add in the kale and meat. Mix completely and let cook for about 3 minutes, until the kale leaves start to wilt.
  • Scoop the soup into bowls. Top with bacon, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes for some extra flavor.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 880mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 17mg
Recipe Rating




Morgan

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Super yummy! I used ground turkey (it’s what I had) and added seasonings to make it taste more like ground turkey sausage. Definitely making it again!!

Laura

Thursday 9th of February 2023

Delicious and easy to make, large servings, I forgot the bacon but everyone enjoyed it and will definitely make again. Thank you Jordo for all your hard work.

Jordan Smith

Saturday 11th of February 2023

Hi Laura, I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

Shari

Monday 6th of February 2023

Made this for a dinner with friends and it was such a hit that they made it again themselves a few days later! I used pork sausage but my friends used the turkey sausage like the recipe calls for and both were delicious. It was easy to make and tastes so similar to Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana and pairs perfectly with salad and/or baked bread! Another amazing Jordo's World soup to add to my favorites :)