"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Best Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

Ellen Grant
• Saturday, 26 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Spicy crumbled sausage, silky potatoes, and an ultra creamy broth… it’s the perfect copycat soup! If you’ve never had this soup… it’s a creamy soup with tender potatoes, spicy Italian sausage, crispy bacon, and healthy kale.

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Olive Garden named this soup and made it incredibly popular all across the United States! Zuppatoscana soup is made from crumbled Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale, chicken broth and cream.

What I love most about this copycat soup is that you don’t need a lot of ingredients to get such a rich flavor! There are three main ways to make this delicious copycat soup; stove top, slow cooker, and pressure cooker (instant pot).

I’ll have directions for all three down in the recipe card, but let’s focus on the stove top version for this how-to. Use a wooden spoon to crumble the sausage as you cook it, then drain it very well, getting as much grease off of it as you can.

Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to the plate with the sausage. If you have a ton of grease after cooking the bacon, drain off all but about 1 1/2 Tbsp.

Add the flour to the cooked onion and garlic, stirring to mix it all in. Don’t cook them TOO much, you want them tender when pierced with a fork, but not mushy.

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Control the heat level by using either mild or spicy Italian sausage. In a pinch, I like to keep a bag of refrigerated diced potatoes on hand.

My grocery store carries them next to the eggs (for some reason lol). Let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes, then gently skim off the grease layer.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Simply Potatoes. Recipe originally published in 2015, recently updated with new photos and additional content.

Sprinkle flour over onion and garlic in pot, then stir to combine. Add in cooked sausage, most of the bacon, heavy cream and kale.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 (potatoes should be soft) Before serving, whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch or flour until well mixed. Pour into slow cooker, add kale and stir to combine.

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Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes until soup has thickened slightly. Add a drizzle of olive oil and Italian sausage.

Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess grease. Add bacon and cook until crispy, remove with slotted spoon to a plate.

Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become soft, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in cooked sausage, chicken broth and potatoes.

Felt like I could have cut the potatoes a little smaller, and added more salt. Took 5.5 hours on low in crackpot, this may have been because of the potato size.

And if I have a Parmesan rind I add that to the broth for extra flavor. Agree no need to use a slow cooker as it doesn't take long to make.

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Replaced the sausage with Turkey sausage replaced the cream (who needs the fat) with 1 cup of 2% milk. Having the leftovers tonight so added 2 cans of whole clams with their juice so it'll be like clam chowder with a twist.

10/23/2018 I decided not to use the cream at the end and it still turned out amazing! It looked and tasted like milk was added to water.

Followed recipe to exactness and turned out perfect. This easy ZuppaToscana is a creamy soup full of Italian sausage, kale, potatoes and Parmesan.

The Italian sausage is loaded with herbs and spices, which cuts down on the extra ingredients required! Lots of recipes for Zappa Tuscany include bacon, but I find it an unnecessary addition.

If that’s your thing, feel free to cook some up in the same pan you fry your sausage and add it to the slow cooker (or save it to sprinkle on top later). I don’t recommend low fat milk as it can curdle when added alone to hot liquid.

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Pin this recipe to your favorite board 375 g Italian sausage meat without casings, mild or spicy (3/4 lb) 1 small onion finely diced 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 3 cups low sodium chicken broth 1.5 lbs Russet or gold potatoes peeled and diced (about 4 medium) 2 cups chopped kale 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 3/4 cup cream (10-30% will work fine) 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional, for extra spice In a large frying pan, brown the Italian sausage with the onion over medium-high heat (4-5 minutes).

Add sausage mixture, broth, potatoes, kale (or save to add with the cream if you prefer more texture), salt and pepper to the Slow Cooker (4-6 quarts) and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for about 2 hours (cooking times vary by slow cooker). Once potatoes are tender, stir in cream, Parmesan and red pepper flakes if using (optional for extra heat!).

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