Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana copycat recipe is one of the best things I have made all year! Slow cooker Zuppa Toscana combines Italian sausage, potatoes, kale, and lots of garlic in a creamy, slightly spicy broth. This recipe also has Instant Pot instructions.

Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana | Sarcastic Cooking

Remember back when I posted the recipe for creamy vegetable gnocchi soup and raved all about my love of Olive Garden and how nobody will go there with me?

Well, I’m back to spit more OG love with this recipe.

Valentine’s Day is sorta right around the corner, Mike. I mean, hint hint.

There are so many things I want to eat. I wouldn’t know where to start. Soups, salads, or breadsticks?!?!


Actually don’t listen to me.

How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana | Sarcastic Cooking

This will end up like the horrific Valentine’s day of 2007 where Mike and I went to Red Lobster and took the all you can eat thing a little too seriously. 

We both ended up with stomach aches for days after.

I blame the cheddar bay biscuits. How can you not eat them? Better question, how can you only eat one of them?

I better just stick to my copycat at home recipe for slow cooker Zuppa Toscana and call it a day.

The Best Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana | Sarcastic Cooking

Slow cooker Zuppa Toscana combines Italian sausage, little golden potatoes, onions, kale, and lots of garlic in a creamy, indulgent broth. I love to up the crushed red pepper flakes in the recipe because the creaminess in this soup can handle the heat.

I have also included the Instant Pot method for cooking this soup. As always, if you like neither device, feel free to pop it on the stove and do it that way too! My piece of advice with this recipe is to drain off as much of the fat/grease from the sausage before putting it into the slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Taste-wise, the grease and fat don’t bother me, it is just that the grease sorta floats to the top and dots the soup. It is mainly for my food blogger aesthetic reasons.

To each their own though.

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Slow cooker and Instant Pot versions of the classic Olive Garden soup made from spicy Italian sausage, potatoes, kale, onions, and garlic in a creamy broth.


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground Italian Sausage*
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2 cups baby golden potatoes, cut in half or quartered depending on the size
  • 32 oz low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. FOR THE INSTANT POT: Press the "Saute" button on the Instant Pot. Once the display reads HOT, add the olive oil, swirl to coat. Add the sausage and onions. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the sausage is browned. Press "Cancel."
  2. Mix in the potatoes, kale**, stock, and seasonings. Give it a few good stirs.
  3. Secure the lid with the steam vent in the sealed position. Press "Pressure Cook" and make sure the display light is beneath "High Pressure." Adjust the time until the display reads 5 minutes.
  4. When the timer sounds, quick release the pressure with a dish towel over the steam vent to prevent the splatter from getting all over. Remove the lid.
  5. Stir in the cream and adjust the salt/pepper/crushed red pepper to taste.
  6. FOR THE SLOW COOKER: Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add the oil, swirl to coat. Add the sausage and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes until browned.
  7. Add the sausage and onions to the slow cooker along with the potatoes, kale, garlic, seasonings, and stock. Stir to combine.
  8. Close the lid and cook the soup on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the potatoes are fork tender.
  9. Mix in the heavy cream and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.


*You can also use Italian sausage in the casings, just remove it from the casing before adding it to the pot. Also, I like to use mild Italian sausage for this recipe because it allows you to control the heat level of the soup.

**You can wait until the end to add the kale as well. The residual heat will be enough to wilt and slightly cook it before serving. But sometimes I just want it all done so I have thrown it in and cooked it along with the potatoes and soup. Either way tastes the same.

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