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Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup with Swiss Chard

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Delicious Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup (copycat recipe) made with Swiss Chard, Italian sausage (bratwursts will work too), potatoes, and bacon. Made in one pot, the soup takes only 40 minutes to make (including idle time while everything is simmering)!

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I never realized that a soup with such a fancy name as Zuppa Toscana is so easy to make! This soup is usually made with kale, but I had lots of Swiss chard so I thought I would use that instead. I loved the addition of Swiss chard in this soup! Here are all major ingredients I used:

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The cooking process is very easy: everything is done in one pot. First, you cook the sausage with onions, then add water and bring to boil. Next, add potatoes and garlic, and simmer until potatoes are soft. Finally, add Swiss chard, bacon, and half-and-half. That’s it!

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The soup tastes even better the next day, or two and even three days later, after being refrigerated, which allows all flavors to blend in. Enjoy!

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Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup with Swiss Chard

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup with Swiss Chard


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 12 oz Italian sausages or bratwursts (about 2-3 sausages), chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 medium size or large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed into small chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 strips of freshly cooked bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups Swiss chard (center stalks removed and sliced thin like ribbons)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • salt and red crushed pepper


  1. Chop uncooked sausages into small slices. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a soup pot, add chopped onions and chopped sausage and cook until both onion and sausage are cooked through.
  2. Add 5 cups of water to the pan, stir, and bring to boil.
  3. Add potatoes (peeled and cubed into small chunks), and minced garlic. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until potatoes are done, about 15-20 minutes on low simmer.
  4. For Swiss chard, make sure to remove center stalks and slice the Swiss chard leaves thin like ribbon. Then, add Swiss chard and half the bacon (reserve the remaining half for serving) to the soup pot. Add 1 cup half and half to the soup pot. Bring to hot temperature (not boil), mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Serve in individual bowls, topped with the remaining amount of chopped bacon on top.



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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • ahu @ ahueats September 20, 2014, 7:55 am

    One of my measures of a good, chunky soup is how colorful it is. This looks amazing! I love that you swapped kale for swiss chard as I am quite partial to it 🙂

    • Julia September 22, 2014, 2:38 pm

      Thank you. I love colorful soups too! Swiss chard was really good in this soup!

  • Monique September 20, 2014, 9:21 am

    My husband would love that soup Julia.

    • Julia September 22, 2014, 2:39 pm

      It’s a hearty, manly soup for sure! 🙂

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy September 20, 2014, 8:13 pm

    This looks delicious!

    • Julia September 22, 2014, 2:39 pm

      Thank you, Matt!

  • cheri September 21, 2014, 12:03 am

    Hi Julia, love, love this soup, looks delicious!

    • Julia September 22, 2014, 2:39 pm

      Thanks, Cheri!

  • Ashley September 21, 2014, 2:03 pm

    My dad lovessss their zuppa toscana! I need to make this for him at home instead!

    • Julia September 22, 2014, 2:42 pm

      Nothing beats a good old homemade Italian Zuppa Toscana. 🙂

  • Yelena September 22, 2014, 1:23 pm

    Looks stunning! I love soups, such a healthy way of eating-))) Seriously-))

    Hugs my dear,


    • Julia September 22, 2014, 2:43 pm

      Thanks, Yelena! You’re very sweet!

  • sarah k @ the pajama chef September 24, 2014, 5:33 pm

    sounds wonderful! perfect for a cold evening. 🙂

  • Barb October 2, 2015, 12:51 am

    Thanks for posting this recipe and all the great pictures. I love the Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden and was excited to see the recipe here. It looks fairly easy to make. I can’t wait to try making it!

  • Patty October 2, 2015, 9:06 am

    Just came across this recipe, hope its not too late for a response. My question is, since I just made a pot of turkey stock, can I use that instead of water or will that change the overall taste too much? Oh and as for the sausage, do you think spicey is ok or is this better with mild? I’m sure its a preference but again, I don’t want to change the overall taste of this apparently awesome soup recipe!

  • Steve bethea November 8, 2015, 7:40 pm

    Thank you, upped the bacon just a bit but one of the best soups i have ever made!

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