Gnocchi Zuppa Toscana is the comfort food you never knew you needed! Made with low-fat Italian sausages, kale and gnocchi instead of potatoes, this soup is hearty and satisfying, just perfect for a chilly winter evening.
I also love all things gnocchi, so this gnocchi Zuppa Toscana was bound to happen. The soup is incredibly delicious and even quicker than the regular recipe because gnocchi are quicker to cook than potatoes.
This is also the perfect recipe to try if you want a low-carb Zuppa Toscana, as you can easily swap the regular gnocchi for cauliflower ones.
Why you’ll love this gnocchi Zuppa Toscana
- Perfect flavor balance — The combination of Italian sausage, garlic and herbs creates a delicious broth that is packed with flavor.
- Incredible texture — The gnocchi in this soup are tender and pillowy, and the half and half and Parmesan add a rich and creamy texture.
- Easy to make dairy-free or low-carb — Use coconut milk instead of cream and skip the Parmesan to make the soup dairy-free. For a low-carb soup, use cauliflower gnocchi.
Ingredients and substitutions
Olive oil — Use a quality extra virgin olive oil to saute the onion and the sausages.
Onion — I like to dice the onion on the small side so it softens quickly. You can substitute it with shallot or leeks if you like.
Italian sausage — I used a mild Italian sausage, but you can use a hot one if you like. If you’re using sausages in casings, remove them and then slice or crumble the sausage meat.
Garlic — Add as much garlic as you like here. I like to mince or grate fresh garlic in soups, but you can use pre-minced garlic, too, if that’s what you have on hand.
You can substitute it with individual dried herbs — about half a teaspoon each should be enough.
Red chili flakes — This is optional, but I like to add it to give the soup a little bit of heat.
If you want to use shelf-stable gnocchi, you’ll need to increase the cooking time to match the directions on the package.
Tuscan kale (cavolo nero) — It wouldn’t be Zuppa Toscana without Tuscan kale (also known as cavolo nero or lacinato kale), a dark and “meaty” kind of kale that adds extra color and vitamins to the soup. You can substitute it with curly kale or baby spinach.
Half and half (single cream) — I like to keep things a bit lighter by using half and half (single cream), but you can go for heavy (double cream) if you like.
How to make Zuppa Toscana with gnocchi
Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8-10 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the half and half and grated Parmesan.
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Make it vegan
To make this recipe vegan, replace the sausage with plant-based sausage, and use a plant-based milk instead of half and half. Also, use vegan Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to replace the Parmesan.
Leftovers and storage
- Any leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat Zuppa Toscana gently on the stovetop. You may need to add some extra broth if it looks too thick.
- I don’t recommend freezing this soup because of the cream and gnocchi, which will have a different texture when thawed.
Recipe notes and tips
- The recipe calls for low-fat Italian sausage, but you can also use other types of sausage, such as chorizo or andouille. This will change the flavor of the soup, but it will still be delicious.
- Zuppa Toscana is best served with crusty bread to dip in the delicious broth.
- To ensure that the gnocchi retains its texture, you can cook it separately and add it to the soup just before serving.
- Add some bacon with the sausage for an extra smoky flavor.
If you liked this gnocchi Zuppa Toscana recipe, you might also like some of my other easy soup recipes:
- Kielbasa Potato Soup
- Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup
- Italian Meatball Soup
- Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 lb (450 g) low-fat Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs mix
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 6 cups (1.5 liter) low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 lb (450 g) fresh gnocchi
- 4 cups (100 g) Tuscan kale (cavolo nero), chopped
- 1 cup half and half (single cream)
- ⅓ cup (30 g) grated Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in the minced garlic, Italian herbs mix and red chili flakes and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- Add the fresh gnocchi and kale and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the gnocchi is cooked through and the kale is wilted.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the half and half and grated Parmesan.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 626mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 14g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.