Last Updated on July 16, 2021 by Corinne Schmitt
Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana is so easy to make, you can enjoy this Olive Garden favorite at home whenever you want! Even better, this delicious, creamy soup is made with just a handful of ingredients so it’s easy to keep everything you need on hand to whip some up in your pressure cooker any day of the week.
Zuppa Toscana is hands-down one of my all-time favorite soups. In fact, it’s probably one of my top ten favorite foods! Every time we go to Olive Garden and I get the Unlimited Soup, Salad & Breadsticks deal, I end up eating at least 3 bowls of this soup!
And now that I’ve figured out how to make it in my pressure cooker this Zuppa Toscana Soup is one of my favorite instant pot recipes too. I think this Zuppa Toscana recipe is just as tasty as the Olive Garden version.
What is Zuppa Toscana?
Zuppa Toscana is Italian for Tuscan Soup. Traditional Tuscan cooking relies heavily on fresh, simple ingredients. Since the farms in Tuscany grow many vegetables and beans, these ingredients are typical in Tuscan dishes.
When most Americans think of Zuppa Toscana, they imagine the simple, but delicious soup that is a staple on Olive Garden menus across the country. The Zuppa Toscana soup at Olive Garden includes “spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes in a creamy broth.”
Just like traditional Tuscan recipes, Olive Garden’s recipe is simple, yet full of rich flavor. No wonder it’s the most popular soup on their menu.
And thanks to its simplicity, there’s absolutely no reason to leave home to enjoy it. You can make it in your own kitchen in less time than it would take you to drive to your local Olive Garden.
Ingredients for Zuppa Toscana
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1 pound of spicy Italian sausage
- 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 4 cups of peeled and diced russet potatoes*
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups of chopped kale
- Depending on your store, the spicy Italian sausage may be labeled “hot Italian sausage”
- For a leaner version, you can use turkey sausage, chicken sausage or ground chicken instead of the hot italian sausage
- For a healthier version, use low sodium chicken broth
- If you don’t have russet potatoes you can use red potatoes instead
- If you don’t have heavy whipping cream, you can use half-and-half or whole milk
- For a less spicy soup, you can use mild Italian sausage instead of spicy sausage
- For a dairy-free version, use coconut milk with coconut cream in place of the heavy cream
- For a lower-carb version, you can replace the potatoes with cauliflower florets
- You can substitute baby spinach for the kale if you prefer, but know that the consistency of the two is different in the soup
Optional Add Ins and Toppings:
- To emulate traditional Tuscan soups, you can add canned white beans like cannellini beans or navy beans when you add the potatoes
- For added heat, add ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
- For added flavor, top with grated parmesan cheese
How to Make Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
We’re going to let our pressure cooker do a lot of the work, but there is some minimal effort hands-on time before we let it take over. Here’s what you’ll need to do to make this Olive Garden copycat soup recipe:
Step 1: Sauté the Italian sausage
To begin, turn the Instant Pot on sauté mode. Wait for the display to read “Hot” then add one tablespoon of oil to the inner pot followed by the spicy Italian sausage.
Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the ground sausage as you brown it. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned. When the sausage is cooked through, remove it from the pot and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
Step 2: Sauté the Onion and Garlic
Next, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the inner pot of the Instant Pot and then the chopped onion. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any bits of sausage that may be stuck there.
Sauté the onions until they begin to soften — this should take just a few minutes.
When the onions have begun to soften, add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute. Cancel Sauté mode.
Step 3: Prepare to Pressure Cook
Now, return the spicy sausage to the pot. Also add the diced potatoes (or cauliflower florets for low carb variation), chicken broth (or chicken stock, if you prefer), and the Italian seasoning. Give everything a good stir to combine (again scraping the bottom to release any food that has stuck to the bottom), then secure the lid of the Instant Pot.
Step 4: Pressure Cook
Make sure the valve is set to sealing, then set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 9 minutes. When the timer beeps to indicate the cook time has ended, turn the valve to venting to quick release the pressure.
If you’re not in a hurry, you can allow for a natural pressure release but there’s no need to wait if you’re ready to eat!
Step 5: Add Remaining Ingredients
After the pressure has fully released, carefully remove the lid. Add the heavy cream and chopped kale to the pot and stir to combine.
Spoon the soup into bowls and top with fresh ground pepper, red pepper flakes and/or parmesan cheese. To really take it up a notch, sprinkle some crumbled bacon on top of the soup.
Serve with some fresh bread and a salad for a complete meal!
Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana Recipe
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Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Instant Pot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 tablespoon garlic minced
- 4 cups potatoes peeled and diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups kale chopped
- Set Instant Pot to sauté mode. When hot, add one tablespoon olive oil to the pot. Then, add sausage. Cook, breaking up with wooden spoon, until browned. Once fully cooked, set aside to a separate plate.
- Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot. Then, add chopped onions. Sauté onions until they start to soften (about 3 or 4 minutes). Add garlic. Sauté both onion and the garlic for an additional minute.
- Return browned sausage to the pot followed by the potatoes, broth, and Italian seasoning.
- Secure the lid of the Instant Pot. Turn the valve to sealing. Set Instant Pot to High pressure for 9 minutes. When cook time ends, quick release the pressure by turning the valve to venting.
- When the pressure has fully released, remove the lid. Add the cream and chopped kale and stir to combine.
- Spoon soup into bowls. Top with crumbled bacon, crushed red pepper flakes, and parmesan if desired. Serve with fresh Italian bread and Italian salad.
Need to run to the store for a couple of things first? Pin this recipe so you can find it when you’re ready to cook!