This healthy zuppa toscana soup is a copycat of your favorite restaurant version, but without the guilt! I’ve included Whole30 instructions, too!
You’ll love how easy it is to make this lighter Olive Garden copycat zuppa toscana in the Instant Pot, for a quick and flavorful soup recipe you’ll want to add to your meal plan rotation!
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One of my favorite Olive Garden soups is their Zuppa Toscana, which is a hearty soup of potatoes, sausage, and greens.
It’s full of flavor and brings back memories of eating lunch there during summers home from college with my family!
But one of the most common questions I get regarding that recipe is how to cut the calories and make it Whole30 compliant.
So I decided to create a zuppa toscana recipe that meets that need, which is how this healthy zuppa toscana was born!
How to Make a Healthier Zuppa Toscana
There are a few tweaks to make zuppa toscana healthier without compromising flavor.
If you don’t need the soup to be Whole30 approved, these are the simplest ways to make the soup a little lighter (and if you do need a Whole30 version, scroll on down!).
To cut calories, you can opt for a different type of sausage, such as chicken or turkey sausage. However, I’ve found that these types of sausage are normally in link form, rather than ground, so you’ll probably have to slice and chop, unless you can open the casing and brown the meat that way.
If you want to stick with pork sausage, which is much easier to find, just be sure to drain off the grease really well and rinse the sausage with hot water to remove even more grease!
Another great way to cut some calories is to either omit the bacon completely or use a turkey bacon.
My original zuppa toscana recipe calls for heavy cream to give the soup a decadent creaminess, but I’ve found that using evaporated milk is a fabulous way to decrease calories while still enjoying the creaminess of the soup.
And of course–kale is already as healthy as it comes, so stick with that! 🙂
How to Make Whole30 Compliant Zuppa Toscana
If you need to make a version that works for the Whole30, these are some additional tips.
First of all, let’s start with the sausage. I normally use mild Italian pork sausage. Obviously, if you are going the Whole30 route, you’ll need to find a sausage that doesn’t contain any sugar and preservatives.
Admittedly, this can be a bit tricky. Many Whole30 approved sausages are in link form, and aren’t necessarily conducive to crumbling and browning. I’ve included some possible options below.
You’ll also need to make sure you use a sugar-free chicken broth. And if you decided to top your soup with crumbled bacon, opt for a sugar-free option.
Last, you’ll need a dairy-free option if you’re going Whole30. I’ve found that canned coconut cream is the best dairy-free option.
I also recommend checking out this Instant Pot hamburger soup as an easy Whole30 soup!
Where Can You Find Whole30 Sausage and Bacon?
For Whole30 approved bacon, try this sugar-free pork bacon. If you don’t want to fork over the money for Whole30 bacon (because, let’s be honest…it ain’t cheap!), just omit the bacon.
I honestly don’t use bacon most of the time when I make this soup!
How to Make Healthier Zuppa Toscana in the Instant Pot
You’ll start by browning your sausage along with some onions in the insert pot of the Instant Pot. Once it’s cooked, drain off any grease.
Next, add some garlic, sliced potatoes, and chicken broth.
Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release of pressure. Then, perform a quick release of any remaining pressure.
Add some chopped kale to the hot broth and let the soup wilt it.
Stir in the evaporated milk or coconut cream and serve! How easy is that?!
Can You Freeze Zuppa Toscana?
Yes, you can! The potatoes do break apart a bit when you reheat it, so the texture will be a little different, but it still tastes great!
You can check out how to reheat soup in the Instant Pot when it’s time to warm it up!
- Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 lb Italian sausage (or other sausage of choice; see recipe notes for Whole30 options)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large russet potatoes, unpeeled and sliced to 1/4" thickness
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups chopped fresh kale
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk (or coconut cream for dairy-free/Whole30)
- 4 slices of bacon, crumbled (optional for serving; can use pork or turkey bacon; see recipe notes for Whole30 options)
- In the insert pot of the Instant Pot, add olive oil, onions, and sausage. Use the Saute button to brown the sausage and cook the onions.
- Add garlic and allow to heat for just a minute until it becomes fragrant. Turn off Saute function by pressing Cancel.
- Drain off excess grease. Add in potatoes and broth.
- Close the lid and set the vent to the sealed position. Select a 5 minute cook time at high pressure.
- Once the cook time is complete, allow a 10 minute natural release followed by a quick release of remaining pressure.
- After the pressure has released and the valve has dropped, carefully open the lid.
- Add the chopped kale to the hot broth and allow it to wilt in the heat.
- Stir in the evaporated milk or coconut cream until combined and serve!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 560 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 22g Cholesterol: 65mg Sodium: 1680mg Carbohydrates: 44g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 26g