Bringing back another childhood staple, a Whole30 copycat rendition of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. The only thing that I am missing is the endless breadsticks and salad!
Growing up in Celina, Texas, my friends and I would always drive up to Frisco (the closest city to us) so that we could dine at Olive Garden together and carb load on *all the yummy things*. In fact, when I ran Cross Country back in the day, Olive Garden was our day before meal of choice when we went to big meets out of town. Our Coach would take us to Olive Garden so we could feast before we’d run our little hearts out the next day. We loved it.
Being the soup lover that I am, I loved getting the Zuppa Toscana as my appetizer, even as a child. I loved it’s rich, creamy broth with the chunky potato and sausage filling. It’s one of those soups that really, in fact, is a true full meal.
Here in this recipe I’ve recreated one of my childhood favorites while also keeping it Dairy-Free and Gluten-free. It’s still simple to make and just as satisfying as my teen years. The flavor from the ground sausage really does all the talking along with the rich and creamy texture of the soup (by thickening it with Arrowroot flour + using dairy-free creamer!)
I think this is going to be a total crowd-pleaser and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as me and my family!
Whole30 Zuppa Toscana
- 2 strips bacon, diced medium
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 lb hot Italian sausage (if you buy it in the links, you can remove from casing) (chicken or turkey sausage is okay to use, also!)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 32 oz. carton of chicken broth
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cups peeled russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 cups chopped lacinato kale, ripped from stem (or one bunch)
- 1 cup Nut Pods Original Dairy-Free Creamer
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is just crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. While reserving the bacon fat in the the pot.
- Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and sausage into the pot. Cook, breaking up meat with back of spoon, until cooked through, or no longer pink. About 4-5 minutes.
- Add arrowroot into the sausage mixture and stir until well incorporated into the meat mixture. While stirring, slowly pour in chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer, add the italian seasoning, chopped kale and potatoes. Cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- When the potatoes are tender, remove the lid from the pot and stir in the creamer + nutritional yeast. Cook for 5 more minutes, simmering uncovered, just to mend the flavors and the cream.
- Serve in bowls topped with the cooked bacon bits. Enjoy!