This luscious and creamy Vegan Zuppa Toscana recipe is even better than Olive Garden! It’s a rich and comforting soup made with vegan sausage, vegan cream, garlic, kale, and potatoes.

Vegan Zuppa Toscana soup in a white bowl.

If you’ve ever had Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup, then you know how addicting it can be. Or, if you’ve heard of the infamous menu item but could never try it, now’s your chance! My Vegan Zuppa Toscana recipe is just as irresistible as the classic, with all of the rich and creamy qualities you crave.

Replicating the richness of the classic in this vegan Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscana was surprisingly easy. With vegan-friendly alternatives, like vegan sausage, vegan heavy cream, and plant-based chicken broth, the textures and flavors came together beautifully. You may not even notice it’s vegan!

What is Zuppa Toscana?

Zuppa Toscana, meaning “Tuscan soup” in Italian, is a creamy soup traditionally made with Italian sausage, heavy cream, chicken broth, kale, potatoes, and bacon. It’s a popular menu item at the Italian-American restaurant chain, Olive Garden. 

sauteeing onions and vegan sausage crumbles in a large grey pot.

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Vegan sausage – Impossible Spicy Sausage in a tube is my go-to for this recipe. Just like in my Vegan Meatballs and Vegan Sausage Rolls, Impossible Meat gives this soup a meaty and hearty flavor that’s very similar to real sausage. However, if you can’t find Impossible sausage, use tempeh sausage (sautéed first) or any savory store-bought savory vegan sausage (crumbled or chopped finely) that’s available.
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Vegan chicken broth – I used Better Than Bouillon no chicken broth paste mixed with water. Vegetable broth works, too.
  • Russet potatoes – White, starchy potatoes are best because they naturally thicken the soup and become deliciously soft. Yukon Gold potatoes can be used as a substitute.
  • Kale – This is the traditional choice but spinach can be used instead.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – A pinch of these spicy pepper flakes add a touch of heat that would normally be found in Italian sausage.
  • Vegan heavy cream – You have a few options here. I’ve tested the recipe and had great results using homemade vegan heavy cream substitute, a can of full fat coconut milk or cream, and Country Crock plant cream. For a less rich option, use unsweetened soy, cashew, or almond milk.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegan parmesan cheese – This can be used as an optional cheesy topping, either homemade or I really like Violife brand. In addition, add crumbled tofu bacon or tempeh bacon, extra chili flakes, or shredded vegan mozzarella on top.
kale, potatoes, and broth in a large grey pot.

How to make vegan zuppa toscana

Find the complete recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.

Begin by sauteeing the vegan sausage crumbles and diced onion in a large soup pot. Cook until the sausage is lightly browned and the onion is translucent.

Next, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the broth, potatoes, kale, and red pepper flakes to your pot. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered until the potatoes are soft.

pouring cream into a pot of zuppa toscana soup.

To finish the soup, stir in the vegan heavy cream and cook for a few more minutes. Give it a taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. 

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with vegan parmesan cheese and/or vegan bacon, and enjoy!

a soup ladle full of cooked vegan zuppa toscana soup.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to use vegan sausage?

Copycat Zuppa Toscana tastes best when it’s made with vegan sausage but you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. Instead, you can use diced mushrooms, tempeh sausage, leftover seitan meat, lentils, or chickpeas.

How long does it last?

Leftover Zuppa Toscana will keep well for up to 5 days in the fridge. Store it in individual containers in the fridge to maintain freshness.

Can you freeze Zuppa Toscana?

Yes, it freezes well for about 2 months. Let the leftovers thaw in the fridge before reheating them in a pot on the stove or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Vegan Zuppa Toscana in a white bowl.

Want more creamy vegan soups?

close up on Vegan Zuppa Toscana in a white bowl.
5 stars (15 ratings)

Vegan Zuppa Toscana

This luscious and creamy Vegan Zuppa Toscana recipe is even better than Olive Garden! It’s a rich and comforting soup made with vegan sausage, vegan cream, garlic, kale, and potatoes.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 14 ounces spicy vegan sausage crumbles I used Impossible, see Notes
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes about 4 cups
  • 3 cups chopped kale, ribs removed about 1 bunch
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup vegan heavy cream see Notes for options
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional vegan parmesan cheese, shredded

Instructions 

  • In a large soup pot, cook the vegan sausage crumbles and diced onion over medium heat until the sausage is lightly browned and the onion is translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cooked until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the broth, potatoes, kale and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 14 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  • Stir in the vegan heavy cream and cook for a few minutes. Taste; add more salt and pepper as desired.
  • Serve with optional vegan parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. You could also use tempeh sausage crumbles – just cook in the pan, then add the onion and carry on with the recipe. Any savory vegan sausage will work, just chop finely or crumble it well.
  2. I have used full fat coconut milk/cream as well as Country Crock plant cream. Cashew cream also works well. Use unsweetened soy/cashew/almond milk for a less rich option.
  3. I like Better than Bouillon No Chicken Paste mixed with water for the broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 8 servings | Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 514mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2842IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. This soup turned out amazing! So easy, so yummy! I ended up adding about 1 teaspoon of salt at the end and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. All of your recipes are so delicious! I can’t get enough!

    1. I am thrilled that you loved the soup! I appreciate you using my recipes! Thanks for your terrific feedback! Happy cooking!

  2. This soup is amazing. I honestly think it’s better than the traditional version from Olive Garden. I made my own seitan Italian sausage, but followed the rest of the recipe as written. My whole family loved this. Thanks for another fabulous recipe, Nora!

    1. Hi Terri. I am so thrilled to hear how much you and your family loved the soup! Thank you for sharing your glowing feedback!

  3. I’m writing this before I go in for my second bowl! This is DELICIOUS and I can’t believe how easy it was to put together. I used Field Roast sausage and coconut cream but next time I will try the cashew cream recipe. My new favorite soup. Thank you Nora! I love every single one of your recipes that I’ve tried so far and look forward to trying more.

  4. Omg I made the Toscana soup, the best soup ever!!!!!!! Sooo delicious and very satisfying! Thank You for sharing!

  5. This soup was sooooo good. I used “the very good butcher” Cajun sausage (think it’s a Canadian company) and it was the perfect amount of spice. Delicious. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Lindsay. You are welcome! I’m really glad you loved the soup! Thanks for taking time to share your terrific feedback!

  6. Made this for dinner last night. Quick, easy, and delicious. We used Impossible Italian sausage links and removed the casing to crumble them while cooking and Country Crock plant cream. Thank you for the recipe! This is a keeper.

    1. Hi Barbara. The Italian sausage sounds delicious! I love that you found the recipe easy and delicious! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and ideas! Happy cooking!

  7. Really delicious!! I very much appreciate your hard work transforming recipes into vegan dishes that are easy and tasty! Thank you!

    1. Hi Philecia. I appreciate you taking time to acknowledge the work that goes into creating my recipes! I’m so glad you loved the Toscana! Thank you for taking time to share your amazing feedback! Happy cooking!

  8. I was so excited to make this.. I was waiting for you to create this and so glad you did! My husband and I loved it! The flavors were amazing. Thank you so much for creating so many delicious recipes. You are always my go to!!

    1. Hi Cindy. You are welcome! I am so glad you are enjoying my recipes! I’m really glad to know you and your husband loved the Toscana! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback – it makes my day! Happy cooking!

  9. Nora, thank you for a wonderful recipe. It was quick and easy to make. I did not have the sausage so I used field roast sausage links and chopped them up. My vegan daughter loves your creations.
    Delicious! I also modify the vegan version to accommodate my non-vegan family members. They loved it!

  10. I confess I was a bit skeptical of this recipe because as a lover of every type of vegetable soup, I am not a fan of meatless “meat” in soups. But I had all the ingredients, including the meatless Italian sausage, and I was looking for something different. Well, this soup is delicious! I used spinach and oat milk, and the flavor and texture are wonderful. Vegans and non vegans alike will love this soup. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  11. I am making this today!! Can’t wait (and I do not like when people comment BEFORE they make it) but I have a question — Many vegan recipes call for purchased the veggie broth — why don’t you come up with a recipe to make your own veggie broth with spices. You have such great recipes!!! I have seen some online and tried and they are good — waiting for yours.

  12. Nora,
    This is one of the best soups I’ve ever had. Thanks for the recipe. It was soooo good. My store didn’t have impossible sausage so I used a combination of beyond and Morningstar sausage patties. Definitely will be keeping some of this in the freezer. Your recipes are always so delicious. Thanks.
    Gail

    1. Hi Gail. I am thrilled to know this one of the best soups you’ve ever had! Thank you so much for your fantastic feedback! Your ideas are great and helpful! I appreciate you using my recipes! Happy cooking!

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