This Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana recipe is sure to become a family favorite! The classic Olive Garden soup with sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale, and cream is easily made in the electric pressure cooker.
Back in 2015 I posted my version of the stove-top Zuppa Toscana, and I recently re-published the post with updated photos. I figured why not hop on the Instant Pot wagon and make it in there? It's a great way to infuse flavor quickly.
This recipe is pretty similar to the regular version (tastes practically the same), but sometimes people prefer making things in their electric pressure cooker. And why not? It frees up your stove.
If you haven't tried Zuppa Toscana (or seen the millions of copycat recipes on Pinterest), I would suggest that it's definitely worth making. I don't often do copycat recipes (like why not just go get a Big Mac instead of putting in all the effort to make one at home?), but this soup is easy and fairly quick to make.
This soup isn't particularly thick (it's meant to be quite brothy), but you could always whisk in a cornstarch slurry if you want to thicken it up a little bit or even mash some of the potatoes to give it more of a chunky texture. I like it as-is, though.
How to make Zuppa Toscana in the Instant Pot
Start by sautéing the bacon and sausage in the Instant Pot until browned & crispy. You then add in the onions and garlic, followed by the chicken broth, water, potatoes, and Italian seasoning. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, then do a quick release and stir in the cream and kale. Close the lid again and let it sit for a few minutes until the kale wilts. Season to taste and enjoy (full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below).
Love Instant Pot soups? Try my Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup, my Instant Pot hamburger soup, this Instant Pot ham and potato soup, or my Instant Pot taco soup.
If you like Zuppa Toscana, you may also like my sausage, kale, and gnocchi soup - it has similar flavors.
Will you try making Zuppa Toscana in your Instant Pot?
Questions? Ask me in the comments below. 🙂
Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
- 5 strips bacon (thick cut works best) cut into small pieces
- 1 pound Italian sausage crumbled
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth (beef works too)
- 4 cups water
- 4 medium-to-large red potatoes roughly diced (leave skins on)
- 1 dash Italian seasoning
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1 small bunch of kale torn into bite-size pieces (remove stems)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Using kitchen shears (or a knife), cut the bacon into small pieces and add it to your Instant Pot. Press the sauté button and start frying the bacon (give it about a 5 minute head start before adding the sausage so it crisps up more).
- Add the sausage meat to the Instant Pot and break it up as it cooks. Cook until the sausage and bacon are crispy and browned.
- While the sausage and bacon cook, chop the onion and potatoes, making sure to stir the bacon and sausage occasionally.
- When the sausage and bacon are nicely browned and crispy, stir in the garlic and onion and cook for about a minute.
- Pour in the chicken broth and water. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the potatoes and Italian seasoning.
- Give the soup a stir and close the Instant Pot's lid. Make sure the valve is set to "sealing".
- Set the timer to cook for 8 minutes on high pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes or so to come up to pressure.
- One the countdown has finished, do a quick pressure release and take off the lid.
- Add the cream and kale. Close the lid again and let the soup sit for another 5 minutes or so until the kale wilts (keep the Instant Pot off or on "keep warm").
- Season with salt & pepper as needed and enjoy immediately.
- Use hot Italian sausage or add some red pepper flakes if you want a bit of spice.
- You can use Russet or a different variety of potatoes if you prefer.
- I use this 6-quart Instant Pot.
- Inactive time indicates the time it takes the Instant Pot to get up to pressure.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Made tonight, excited to try it!
Hope you love it, Jessica! Let me know! 🙂
I followed the recipe exactly. I love it.
Don’t change a thing!!
Thank you so much!
How many ounces is one serving?
Hi! No idea - sorry! I am not a trained nutritionist, and the nutrition info is just included as an estimate to give readers a rough idea. It's whatever 1/6 of the recipe works out to. If you need the nutrition info for health reasons, I'd plug the recipe into something like My Fitness Pal and weigh out the exact ingredients you're using.
Andrea B says
Just did it … so good doubled the ingredients because I have a large family but will definitely do it again … thank you
Awesome! You're welcome!
Shan Noell says
I didn’t add the bacon, garlic, onion, water, cream, or Italian season (only used oregano) and the recipe was still amazing!
wow, then you did NOT MAKE THE RECIPE. Why even bother posting a review. You basically made boiled potatoes. Sorry, but people like this tick me off.
You didn't make the recipe.
Adding water is the worst idea! Don't do it! Only liquid that should go in here is broth and cream. I made it with water and it was like eating food from dish water. So gross. Haha
That's very odd. You could certainly swap the water for broth, though, but I'd be mindful of the salt content (as there's bacon, sausage, and broth already in the soup). I am wondering what is wrong with your water... perhaps try bottled next time?
This recipe tastes JUST LIKE Olive Garden and my family loves it! I just wanted to know what the stove top cooking instructions are. I need to make a batch larger than my Instant Pot can hold. Thanks!😋
Hi Renita! So glad you enjoyed it. The stovetop version is actually linked within the blog post (near the top). 🙂
I’m a little behind, but I wanted to thank you for responding to me. The stove top version was just as good!😋
No worries at all! I appreciate you letting me know that you liked it! 🙂
Can you substitute the cream for anything else? Like yogurt or creme francie, trying to watch my calories! Thanks x
Hi Vickie! Yogurt or creme fraiche just won't be the same. They're likely to curdle, and the flavor will be different. I haven't tested an alternative. Half-and-half may work.
VICTORIA Norgate says
Ok thanks for the advice, damn the calories then I'm fine with that lol 😆
Wanting to make this in to a freezer meal for postpartum. Any special freezing/thawing instructions?
Hi! We've frozen this before and it's been fine, so I think you should be ok just freezing it in individual (or larger) portions then thawing on the stove in a covered pan over a fairly low heat. Enjoy!
I tried to read everything, so sorry if this is a repeat question, but do you have a suggestion for replacing the cream with a non-dairy option? Still new to non-dairy so don't know the good replacements.
Hi Kathy! No worries! I haven't tested a dairy-free alternative. Some readers use coconut milk, but it can change the flavor a bit. I've also heard some people use cream substitutes (I know Silk brand makes a dairy-free whipping cream).
Love this soup. I made it this time with turkey Italian sausage and it is ( I’m eating it now) delicious.
I've been craving this soup and finally got some kale to make it. My whole family enjoyed it, even my "soup isn't a meal" husband. I did 3 cups broth 2 cups water bc I used low sodium broth that wasn't too flavorful and omitted one cup liquid so it's thicker for my husband. The only thing I'll do next time is use spicy sausage. I made an Olive Garden type salad and bought some garlic bread sticks and we were all full. It was like we were there. Thanks for a great recipe! I'll for sure be making this again.
Sounds like a delicious dinner... I haven't had breadsticks in ages. I'm glad even your husband liked the soup! And yes, it's very good with hot Italian sausages. Thanks for leaving me a review! 🙂
Recipe is spot on!! Easy and was a huge hit with the entire family. I will double the recipe for leftovers next time as my family of seven devoured the entire pot!
I like NEVER leave reviews for recipes, usually because I’m too busy stuffing my face to pull the site back up and wrote down my thoughts that I’m sure no one cares about... BUT....
I’m a little over 4 months pregnant and I’ve been CRAVING Olive Garden Zappa Tuscano BIG TIME. Every time I’m in town I can’t bring myself to spend $8 on a dinky little bowl of soup that would be cold by the time I got it home.
THIS WAS PERFECTION. Finally me and my baby are satisfied and everyone in the house can stop hearing me whine about it 😂
Next time I might add a little less water and a little more broth just for extra flavor, but it’s really a stretch to find any complaints except that I’m the only one in the house that likes this kind of soup and there’s no way I can eat it all... is it freezable?
I'm so happy you liked it! To be totally honest, people DO care, and it really helps us food bloggers out as well as other readers, so reviews are much appreciated. I know that whenever I'm looking at a recipe online, the first thing I do when deciding to make a recipe or not is check the comments to see if anyone has any tips/thoughts that could be useful. 🙂 Yes, you can definitely freeze it. It's popular in my house too, and we've frozen it plenty of times before.
September Brown says
Such a good recipe and so much better than olive garden! Dont recommended adding the potatoes though the instapot just made them super mushy and gross. After I added the cream and kale I find if you do the soup setting for 5 minutes the kale is nice and soggy which I love. I just got my wisdom teeth out and this has been my crutch!
I hope you feel better soon!!
I used to make this soup all the time the old fashioned way pre-Instant Pot and used this recipe instead to try with my Instant Pot. I would replace all water with chicken broth (ended up being too bland with water added) and probably use a cup less of broth (so 5 cups of broth). I also used half & half instead of cream. Other than that, it turned out good and was much faster than the “old way” of cooking it on the stovetop!
Yup, you could definitely do all broth or just add some more salt at the end. Glad you enjoyed it!
I have made this incredible recipe no less than 10 times in the last couple of months - it is hearty without being heavy and amazingly delicious. I did crisp my bacon first then added the sausage. Thank you!!
Wow that's impressive! I'm so happy you enjoy it! 🙂
Making it for the second time now. It's just me and my boys and it made an admittedly large batch but I'll tell you what - never have I been so keen to eat the same thing for lunch every day! It. Is. Amazing. My *only* suggestion is to fry up the bacon first. I ended up having to transfer it to a bacon plate in the microwave because this thick cut bacon just wasn't crisping up in my instant pot. I accidentally cooked it to long and it was C-R-U-N-C-H-Y but it turned out perfect in the soup, even days later!
(Oh... and I may or may not have dropped a full stick of butter in at the end... this southern girl can't help herself...)
Ok, the full stick of butter comment made me smile!! 😀 It makes everything better. I've heard that comment re: the bacon from a few readers, so I think I will tweak the instructions a bit.
Made exact recipe several times and its AMAZING every time!!
Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana is awesome. Thanks for the recipe. Just like the Olive Garden version. MMM
So happy you enjoyed it, Tom! 🙂
Delicious recipe!!! I will definitely make and share this again
Glad to hear it, thank you Christina! 🙂
I just made this and it's actuall still cooling down in the pot. It is AMAZING! I've made this on the stove and doing it in the InstaPot is so much better. This is the first full meal I've made in there and I've had my pot for over a year now.
I'm so happy that you enjoyed it!! 🙂 Love it when new IP users have success with one of my recipes.
This is such a fast, easy and delicious recipe. I’ve had a instapot for forever and this is, by far, one of my favorite recipes. Thank you.
I'm so happy to hear that 🙂
This is one of my family's favorite soups and omg I made it and what a hit. This will be a go to soup recipe from now on thank you. Love it
Wonderful! 🙂 So happy to hear that.
Great flavor! Doubled recipe
This was a great and cozy soup, but I had to make changes to just use what I had on hand. My changes were: 13 oz. hot turkey sausage, 3 oz. cubed pancetta instead of bacon, more like 3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning, 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, 2/3 cup leftover tomato puree and 3/4 cup water, frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed) instead of kale, no cream. Everything else was the same with the same cooking timings. I promise, someday I will buy all of the ingredients and try a recipe just like you present it...but maybe not for a few more months. Thanks so much!!
I'm glad you were able to tweak it! sounds delish! 🙂 Haha it's all good.
Loved it! Great flavor! I added a little grated Parmesan at the end!
Wonderful! Thank you, Diane.
Im a complete newbie at instapot meals as i only got it for christmas... best day ever... also you know youre an adult when an insta pot makes you litterally jump for joy 😂.... my kids and i love this soup and are making it for the first time (second meal made in the insta pot) but it smells amazing and if i had known that the press button needed to be up we might be eating now rather then waiting for the next 6 minutes hahaha trial and error i guess Thanks for the recipe 🙂 i really hope i did it right... do you have any newbie tutorials on how to actually use it hahaa 8 have the insta pot duo crisp and air fryer model
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Haha yup, I get excited for new appliances too. I don't have any IP tutorials unfortunately, but you'll get the hang of it soon enough. 🙂
Made this for my love today for Valentines day. It's his favorite soup,It was FANTASTIC!! He devoured it!!
Thanks SO Much! 😊
Aww so glad to hear it!! 🙂 XO
Did you cook the bacon by itself for a few minutes before adding the sausage, or just all together? My bacon did not get crispy at all while trying to cook them together.
Hi! I just do them at the same time, but you can definitely start the bacon first if you prefer.
I’m finding it takes a long time to get bacon to brown w sausages. It’s happening but slow and meanwhile lots of burning on the bottom. Next time I will probably cook bacons for a bit before adding sausage.
I'm currently at this exact step and thinking the same thing - that this thick cut, fatty bacon definitely needed a few minutes along to sizzle before adding the sausage. Will do next time. Otherwise everything seems (and smells) wonderful!
Charlotte Bernhard says
I have a 6qt IP as well. Could I double this recipe and still have enough room in my pot? I’ve got some big appetites to feed tonight.
Hi! I don't think straight doubling it will fit. I just looked at the photos in the post, and it's definitely more than half full. You could try my stovetop version (linked within the post) and double that if you have a pot that's large enough.
I know you can use your Insta pot like a crockpot I was wondering if you could make this and just press the slow cooker button
Hi! If you use it like a Crockpot, I would still do the searing step. Then slow cook but wait to add the cream and kale until the last 30 min or so of cooking.
Wow, I was surprised how good this was!! It has so much flavor. Subbed sweet potatoes for russet and used spinach instead of kale. I will definitely remake this.
Could I make this soup in my crockpot?
Hi! You could... I would do the initial browning steps in a skillet, then transfer it to a Crockpot. Add the cream about 30 minutes prior to serving. It's probably easier to just do it on the stove unless you want it to cook while you're at work all day. The stove top recipe is linked within the post in case you didn't see it.
paul callicoat says
I believe that OG uses red pepper flakes if you don't have hot Italian Sausage.I added 1/2 tsp. with the broth.Came out great.
That makes sense! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Paul!
can I use bulk Italian sausage?
Not sure what that means. You'd have to like use a similar quantity to what I recommend so the soup isn't too greasy.
I used russet potatoes and half and half. This was amazing! Thank you for sharing!
Yay so glad you liked it!!
OMG!!! So good!!!
Used Russet potato since didn’t have red potatoes. Made Hatch chili cornbread to go with it. I’m in love!!!!! Thank you!!!!!
So happy you enjoyed it, Margot! Thanks for letting me know!
Can I use half & half instead of heavy cream? Planning to make this tonight, and I don't have heavy cream on hand....
Hi! I think that should work!
Am making this right now and cannot wait to try it! Noticed, tho, that the directions do not state when to add the dash of Italian? I am hoping it’s along with the cream and kale? Either way, this smells delicious!
Whoops... just updated the recipe - thanks for pointing it out! I usually add it earlier, but what you did works too! 🙂 How did you like the soup?
LOVED it!! Will definitely be making this again!
That's what I like to hear! Thanks, Jen! 🙂
So good! Recipe was super easy, took less than an hour from thought to finish, and used up all the random things I had in my fridge I didn't know how to really put together. Thank you!
I am so pleased to hear you liked it! thanks for letting me know 😀