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Low Carb Zuppa Toscana – Sausage Kale Soup

Make this low-carb, keto friendly copycat Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot recipe at home for a delicious dinner.

You will love how easy it is to make this recipe whether you use the stovetop, pressure cooker, or even a slow cooker!

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low carb zuppa toscana recipe in bowl with steam

This sausage kale soup has become one of my steadfast family recipes for years. If you’ve ever been to Olive Garden, then you know all about soup, salad, and breadsticks deal.

I love to order the Zuppa Toscana, which typically comes with potatoes. With a quick swap of frozen cauliflower for the potatoes, you have a low carb version that is loaded with flavor.

This is one of my family’s favorite soups year round and it’s so easy.

You can certainly make this with potatoes if you aren’t cutting carbs. In which case, I recommend following it with this tiramisu cake.

I never thought my kids would love kale, but they do! This Tuscan soup is a great way to get your greens. They also love this tomato tortellini soup loaded with spinach so if you ask me, we’re totally winning over here.

This is also a fabulous choice for low-carb days on the FASTer Way to Fat Loss plan too. It’s the most versatile soup ever.

What to Buy

This is one of my all-time favorite soup recipes and the ingredients are the same no matter how you decide to cook it.

I’ll add instructions for the Instant Pot first with variations on the stove or in a crockpot after that. It’s just as good all three ways, so use what is easiest for you.


Shopping List/Ingredients:

  • Ground mild Italian sausage (we use mild but spicy sausage works too if that’s your thing). Note: if you are following Weight Watchers you can use chicken sausage in place of the Italian sausage.
  • Chicken Broth – vegetable broth would work too but since we already have meat and this isn’t a vegetarian soup, I tend to prefer chicken stock.
  • Heavy whipping cream – you can use half and half here but you will have a richer broth with cream. If you are following Weight Watchers, milk subbed for the heavy cream will lower your points. I’ve included it both ways in the recipe below.
  • Fresh Kale – I like recommend the full stalks and removing the leaves for the best texture. Bagged kale works too, but it’s not as leafy.
  • Frozen cauliflower – I have found that frozen cauliflower holds up the best in this soup. If you want to use fresh you can, but it may break down a bit faster.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes

Instant Pot Directions

You can make this soup with potatoes or cauliflower. Typically the Olive Garden version is made with russet potatoes, but it is a simple swap out with cauliflower to significantly lower the carb count.

In fact, my oldest never liked the potatoes anyway, so it’s an upgrade for him! The full sausage flavor and creamy broth are really what pulls it all together.

To make this recipe using an Instant Pot, first turn on the saute function and add a small amount of water.

Once the inner pan is hot, add the sausage and cook while stirring occasionally, and drain off any grease. For some reason, the sausage I buy doesn’t leave a lot of grease so I may or may not skip this step depending on how it looks after cooking.

Once the sausage is done and drained, turn off the pressure cooker and add the other ingredients.

Pour in the chicken broth first, then add the cream, kale, and cauliflower florets. Add spices last and give it a little stir.

zuppa toscana instant pot recipe steps

Close the lid, set the vent to seal and then cook on “high pressure” for 5 minutes. It will take a few minutes to come to pressure before this clock starts counting.

Instant Pot Timer

When the timer is done, let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes with the natural pressure release.

Then vent out whatever pressure is left by turning the vent to quick release before opening the lid.

Add to bowls to let cool and enjoy!

Sausage Kale Soup in bowls with spoons on a napkin

Optional Cooking Methods

If you don’t have or want to use a pressure cooker, you can make this soup on the stove or even in the slow cooker.

Personally, I love cooking this kale sausage soup right in the the soup pot. It makes clean up SO much easier.

If cooking on the stovetop, grab a soup pot and add a little bit of water, then cook the sausage and drain. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

Then lower the heat to low-medium and simmer for about 15 minutes.

To use the crockpot, cook the sausage first and add with all the ingredients to your slow cooker and set on low for about 2 hours.

This creamy soup probably shouldn’t sit all day in a slow cooker or you risk it getting too mushy.

zuppa toscana with cauliflower in green pottery

Print the Recipe

This Olive Garden copycat soup will be a hit with the whole family. With minimal effort and some simple ingredients, you’ll be making this great recipe over and over.

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container and thank yourself for the delicious lunch the next day!

If you are cutting carbs or strictly following a Keto Diet , this soup will totally satisfy you.

instant pot zuppa toscana recipe keto

Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot Recipe

Andrea Updyke
This delicious low carb sausage kale soup will be familiar if you love Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden. We swapped out potatoes for cauliflower making it keto friendly. Here are Instant Pot, stovetop and slow cooker directions.
4.64 from 11 votes

Be sure to check out my tips and tricks in the post. Scroll up to read!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 411 kcal


  • 1 lb Mild Italian Sausage ground (for weight watchers use chicken sausage)
  • 48 oz Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 C Heavy Cream (for weight watchers use milk)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 bags Frozen Cauliflower
  • 4 C Kale


Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Set Instant Pot to Saute and cook sausage in a little bit of water to prevent sticking. Turn off when cooked and drain grease if any.
  • Add all other ingredients and close Instant Pot.
  • Set vent to sealed.
  • Turn Instant Pot to Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
  • Natural release for 10 minutes and then vent until all pressure is released.
  • Enjoy!

Stovetop Instructions:

  • 1. Cook sausage in a soup pot with a little bit off water and drain grease, if any.
  • 2. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • 3. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Crockpot instructions:

  • 1. Cook sausage on the stovetop in a pan with a little bit off water and drain grease, if any.
  • 2. Add sausage and all other ingredients to the slow cooker and close the lid.
  • 3. Turn slow cooker on low for about 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.


Enjoy this low carb instant pot zuppa toscana recipe or for the full version, simply chop 2 large russet potatoes instead.


Serving: 1gCalories: 411kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 22gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1733mgFiber: 6gSugar: 8g

Nutrition information is estimated. For the most accurate info, always doublecheck with your ingredients.

Of all the green vegetables, one my kids have never complained about is kale. We love making kale chips in the oven and this soup is another winner.

Will they eat mac’n’cheese? Of course not. Don’t ask kids to make sense.

If you’re looking for even more low carb keto soups, check out my girl Linda’s post with all the yummy options.

Sound good? Please share and save for later!

Recipe Rating

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Monday 15th of November 2021

Is a serving size 1 cup or 2?

Andrea Updyke

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Cooked I'd say 2 cups if you want 6 servings from the batch.


Tuesday 12th of May 2020

I just made this for lunch today and it was fantastic! Did you ever do a nutrition label for this?

Andrea Updyke

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Hi Carrie, I just updated the info! So glad you enjoyed it!


Sunday 26th of January 2020

If cooking in the stove, how long would you say it needs to simmer after bringing to a boil?

Andrea Updyke

Monday 27th of January 2020

I would say a good 10-15 minutes should do it!


Wednesday 8th of January 2020

Is there a way to make this in the crock pot?

Andrea Updyke

Thursday 9th of January 2020

Sure! I would just brown the meat first and set it on low.


Monday 18th of November 2019

How many carbs did you calculate? One app said 9 which seemed high to me.

Andrea Updyke

Monday 18th of November 2019

Hi Lisa, so using the ingredients above with 6 servings, I'm getting 7net carbs. My guess is most of those are coming from the whipping cream. Your mileage may vary depending on the ingredients you use. Hope this helps!

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