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 (34 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 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
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. My favorite soup! It was my fave at Olive Garden “before” and so glad I can enjoy it now. I toast up little baguette slices with Miyoko’s butter and garlic salt to dip into it. Kids ask for more. So yum. Thank you.

  2. Omg this was so delicious!! I just about doubled the recipe, but instead of 2 sausage tubes I used 1 and a cup of red lentils. My family loved this meal!! Soup is our vibe and we love trying different kinds, especially your recipes!

  3. This recipe is so good! I didn’t have any sausage crumbles so I used Impossible ground beef and substituted the kale with spinach and it still came out delicious. I never had the original Olive Garden version but I will be happy to make this again. Thank you for such wonderful recipes!

    1. You are welcome, Sandy! I’m glad your meal turned out great! Thanks for your fabulous feedback and review!

  4. Absolutely delicious, l made it for the first time to take to a church potluck and everyone loved it. It was the first pot that disappeared….my family are the only ones that are vegan, so the meat lovers loved it! Yay!
    Thanks so much.
    Sylvia Ice

  5. I made this recipe twice and will keep making it. I’ve never had the Olive Garden version, but I don’t feel I’m missing anything with this one. My non vegan boyfriend loves it too. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. I’m thrilled you guys love the recipe, Irene! Thank YOU for sharing your awesome review and feedback!

  6. I made this with 2 leeks instead of an onion and served it with homemade Naan bread, because , why not. It was like a warm hug. This soup is extremely rich, creamy and very comforting. Oh so satisfying. I used cashew cream from Nora’s recipe (basically 1:1 water and cashews).

  7. I just made this last night and it is fantastic. My partner said it was one of the best meals they’ve had in months. Can’t wait to make it again.

    1. Hi Ashley. How wonderful the recipe was a hit with you and your partner! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

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