This healthy Zuppa Toscana is inspired by Olive’s Garden most popular soup but made much lighter. Featuring lean Italian turkey sausage, hearty and nutritious kale and creamy coconut milk, this version is absolutely delicious while being dairy-free!
Want to Save This Recipe?
Enter your email and I'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!
Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana is perhaps the most popular soup offered by an American restaurant chain, and for good reason. The creaminess, the textures, the flavors — they are all amazing and make you dip your garlic breadsticks in it!
But even though the original Zuppa Toscana is pretty amazing, it’s also quite indulgent and heavy. Fear not, though, as it’s entirely possible to make a healthier Zuppa Toscana at home that still tastes pretty amazing.
My healthier version of Zuppa Toscana is dairy-free, but you definitely won’t feel like you’ve sacrificed taste.
The key ingredients are lean turkey sausage, bacon (optional), potatoes, Tuscan kale and coconut milk, plus loads of fresh garlic and herbs to transform the soup into a real treat!
Why you’ll love this healthy Zuppa Toscana
- Dairy-free yet delicious — Even though it’s dairy-free, this soup is naturally creamy and super tasty!
- Incredibly flavorful — The soup is packed with flavor from the turkey sausage, herbs, fresh garlic and loads of fresh garlic.
- Filling and satisfying — You’ll find each bowl of this soup super cozy and filling!
What goes into Zuppa Toscana soup
Olive oil — You’ll need just a bit of olive oil to saute the turkey, bacon and veggies in. If you’re using a non-stick pan, you can use a low-calorie frying spray instead.
Turkey sausage — I used lean turkey sausage in this soup but chicken sausage also works great. Alternatively, you can use a low-fat Italian sausage.
Bacon — This is optional, but I recommend it if you’d like some extra flavor for your soup. You can also sprinkle some bacon bits over the top of each bowl before serving if you like.
Onion and garlic — These add loads of flavor to the soup. Use as much garlic as you like, and fresh is always best!
Red chili flakes — Only add these if you’d like your soup to have a bit of a kick; I personally love it!
Potatoes — Russet potatoes are a great choice in this soup. For an even healthier Zuppa Toscana, you can swap the potatoes for cauliflower florets.
Chicken stock — Use your favorite low-sodium chicken stock here; both homemade and shop-bought should work just fine.
Coconut milk — This makes the soup extra creamy while being dairy-free. Even though you can’t feel the coconut flavor, if you’re not a fan, you can use a plant-based oat cream or soy cream.
Black Tuscan kale (cavolo nero) — Tuscan kale is perfect in this soup because it’s hearty and doesn’t wilt too much, but you can use fresh spinach, too.
How to make healthier Zuppa Toscana
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned.
Stir in the bacon if using and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp.
Stir in the diced onion and minced garlic cloves. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Add the black Tuscan kale to the pot and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes until wilted.
Leftovers and storage
- The leftovers taste great! Store this soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat the soup on the stove over medium heat, stirring often. If it's too thick after chilling, you can add a bit more chicken stock.
- This soup freezes well. Just skip adding the kale if you plan to freeze it, as kale can become soggy when thawed. Add fresh kale when you reheat the soup.
Recipe notes and tips
- If you think the soup is too thin, you can adjust the consistency by mashing some of the potatoes to thicken it up.
- If you don’t want to use bacon but still want a bit of smokiness, you can add half a teaspoon of smoked paprika instead.
- For an even healthier Zuppa Toscana, make it with sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.
- This soup is a great meal in itself, but you can also serve it with breadsticks or your favorite crusty bread.
If you liked this healthy Zuppa Toscana recipe, you might also like some of my other easy healthy soups:
- Vegetable Detox Soup
- Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup
- Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Lemony White Bean Soup
- Chicken Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ lb (350 g) turkey sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3.5 oz (100 g) bacon, cut into strips, optional
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 ½ lb (700 g) potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 can (13.5 fl.oz. / 400 ml) coconut milk
- 2 cups (75 g) black Tuscan kale (cavolo nero)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned.
- Stir in the bacon if using and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp.
- Stir in the diced onion and minced garlic cloves. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
- Next, add the dried oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, and red chili flakes. Stir well to combine.
- Add the potatoes, chicken stock, and coconut milk to the pot, stir well, then bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the black Tuscan kale to the pot and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes until wilted.
- Season the soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with extra red chili flakes if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 837mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.