This easy Zuppa Toscana recipe is Whole30, dairy-free, and a healthy delicious way to beat the cold outside. It’s also known as Tuscan Soup and it’s a perfect one-pot meal loaded with plenty of flavors.
Today I am going to show you three ways of cooking a super delicious Tuscan Soup recipe.
Yes! You heard that right. You can cook this Whole30 Zuppa Toscana on the stovetop, in a Crockpot or in an Instant Pot, as I will explain down in the article.
Regardless of which method you choose, all of them will yield the same result… a healthy, flavorful and super delicious Tuscan Soup.
More Soup Recipes:
This dish was made famous by Olive Garden and I’m sure some of you are thinking ‘Not another Zuppa Toscana copycat recipe’. Well, even though it’s similar, this one has a few delicious twists which I’m sure you’ll love.
For instance, I used ground turkey instead of sausage, almond milk and Tapioca flour* instead of whipping cream, baby spinach rather than kale.
So we could call it a copycat zuppa Toscana recipe with a twist.
This is a perfect dish if you’re cooking for a crowd, as it has most of the easily available ingredients such as ground turkey (or sausage if you want), tomatoes, potatoes, and spinach/kale. This can be really helpful when making weekly meal prep soups or other make-ahead meals.
So this homemade zuppa toscana recipe is also a perfect candidate for meal prepping. It only requires one pot to make and reheats really well.
Moreover, it takes less than an hour to make it on the stovetop or 10-15 minutes in an Instant Pot. I am sure most of you can appreciate this, especially during the winter holidays when we have to spend so much time on food preparations.
For instance, if I have any family get-together or a party at home, I pre-chop the veggies and store them in the fridge a night ahead, and then cook everything before guests arrive. This way you won’t be spending too much time in the kitchen, unless you’re the one doing the dishes 🙂
That’s just one of the tricks for this Whole30 Zuppa Toscana recipe. I’ve got a few more up my sleeve so if you want to make the best of it, stick around and you’ll find out:
- Which ingredients can be replaced in this easy Tuscan soup recipe
- How to make it on the stovetop, in an Instant Pot* and in a Crockpot*
- How to make it low-carb and Keto-friendly
- What to serve with it and how to make it even healthier
So let’s jump in, shall we?!
How to Make This Whole30 Zuppa Toscana Recipe (Best Tips & Tricks)
1. Which ingredients can be replaced in this easy Tuscan soup recipe?
Technically, you could make it with any of your favorite ground meat. To make it lighter and low fat, I replaced the Italian sausage with lean ground turkey but you can bring that back.
Alternatively, you can use crumbled chicken, turkey or pork sausage meat.
You can replace the potatoes with cauliflower and baby spinach with kale.
Furthermore, you can make this healthy zuppa Toscana with any kind of non-dairy milk. I used almond milk but coconut, cashew or rice milk would work just as great.
Now let’s see what is the best way to make homemade zuppa toscana.
2. Best way to make Homemade Zuppa Toscana
There are 3 ways of making this super delicious Tuscan soup:
- On the stovetop
- In an Instant Pot
- In a Crockpot
Out of these three, I love the first two as they are the quickest.
The stovetop method is in the recipe and video below so I won’t go into it here. But here’s how the step-by-step process for the second.
How to make Zuppa Toscana in an Instant Pot, step-by-step:
- Set your Instant Pot* on SAUTE mode.
- Once hot, add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon* to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside. Keep the fat into the pot.
- Add onion and sauté, stirring constantly, until slightly softened, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the ground meat, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and the fat is rendered, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk well the flour and milk, and set aside.
- Once the meat is browned, add sun-dried tomatoes, potatoes, broth, water and the flour-milk mixture.
- Stir well then secure the lid, setting the valve to the sealing position. Cook on manual mode for 10 minutes.
- Once the pot beeps, allow it to release the pressure by turning on the valve.
- Carefully, unlock the lid.
- Add in spinach, stir until it’s wilted.
- Taste and adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls.
- Top with crispy bacon and serve immediately!
Even though making zuppa toscana in a Crockpot is not as quick, it’s definitely not difficult either. The recipe is pretty much the same, it just takes a bit more time and a few extra steps.
How to make Zuppa Toscana in a Crockpot:
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
- When hot, add the chopped bacon in a single layer.
- Cook stirring halfway through until golden and crisp.
- Once the bacon is golden and crispy, remove from heat and place it on a plate lined with paper towel.
- Keep the drippings in the pan.
- Return the pan to heat and once hot again, add onions to the drippings (this adds loads of flavor!)
- Sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Immediately stir in ground turkey and garlic, and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Mix well, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon*, until it is in small crumbles. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Now transfer the cooked meat into the Crockpot*.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, potatoes and spinach.
- Into a small bowl, whisk the flour and milk together, until smooth and well combined.
- Now pour in the broth, water and milk-flour mixture. Make sure to stir well, so the flour gets mixed in with the liquid and doesn’t clump up.
- Fit the lid on and cook on High for 2-3 hours or on Low for 4-5 hours.
- Taste and season according to your taste.
- Top with crispy bacon and serve warm.
3. How to make it Low-Carb or Keto?
If you want to make this Whole30 Zuppa Toscana low carb, you should swap the potatoes with fresh cauliflower florets or turnips. Turnips add a texture similar to that of potatoes!
You should also remove the sun-dried tomatoes as they are rich in carbs. But keep in mind that these bring in a lot of flavor in this homemade Zuppa Toscana so you might want to keep a few.
To get a higher fat content, use high-fat meat such as ground pork. Furthermore, you can replace the milk and flour mixture with heavy cream and remove one cup of water. This will also make the soup thicker.
These tricks should make your homemade zuppa Toscana keto-friendly.
4. How long can you store it in the refrigerator and freezer?
You can store this healthy zuppa Toscana in the refrigerator, in airtight containers, for up to 4 days.
In the freezer, you can store it in separate airtight containers* or Ziploc bags* for up to 3 months. Before serving, just thaw and reheat on the stove or microwave.
Keep in mind that soups with dairy ingredients have a propensity for separating when frozen. So if you make it with dairy, I suggest adding the cream before reheating.
Also, spinach or kale should be added before reheating as well and not before freezing. This way, they will retain their nutrients and freshness.
5. What to serve with homemade zuppa toscana?
Roasted veggies are always a good idea to serve with soups.
Just cut some carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli or beets into bite-size pieces, and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet* with parchment paper*.
Immediately transfer the veggies to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until showing crispy, charred bits at the tips and edges.
Serve warm with soup.
6. How to make it even healthier
– Make it Paleo:
If you want to make this easy Tuscan soup recipe Paleo, use sugar-free bacon, without nitrates, additives or MSG.
– Convenient way:
It’s better to use fresh veggies but if you don’t have too much time for cooking use frozen diced potatoes and spinach. They are more convenient to use.
If you have the time, pre-chop the potatoes, onion, kale or spinach the night before cooking and store in the fridge until ready to make. This way, when needed, you’ll have a meal ready in no time.
Keep in mind that these veggies are best used within 2-3 days of chopping.
– A spicy version:
If you want this healthy Zuppa Toscana spicy, just add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. This way you’ll make the traditional hot version.
– Use bacon fat:
It’s better to make it with bacon leftover fat. This can be used in place of any cooking fat and it will make the soup more flavorful.
That’s it for today, my dear foodies. I hope I didn’t keep you too long with my Tips & Tricks but you know how passionate I am when it comes to cooking. I just can’t help myself when getting into the yummy details.
Now let’s see how you make this Whole30 Zuppa Toscana, and don’t forget: if you need any advice for this recipe, just drop your question in the comments.
And if you like this easy Tuscan soup recipe video and want to see more like it, please Subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
Whole30 Zuppa Toscana Recipe
- 6.5 oz (185g) bacon - chopped
- 1 medium onion - finely diced
- 1 lb (450g) ground turkey - or sausage meat
- 2-3 garlic cloves - peeled and minced or pressed
- 1.7 oz (50g) sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 medium russet potatoes - peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 4 cups (1L) chicken broth (stock)
- 2 cups (480 ml) water
- 1 cup (240 ml) almond milk
- 2 1/2 tbsp tapioca flour/starch
- 4 oz (115g) baby spinach or kale - roughly hopped
- Sea salt and black pepper - to your taste
- Heat a large pot* or Dutch oven* over medium heat. Add in chopped bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot, and place it on a towel-lined plate to absorb the excess fat.
- Keep about 1 tbsp of bacon fat in the pot and return to heat. Once hot again, add in the onions and sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the ground turkey, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook the meat for 5-6 minutes, mincing it with a wooden spoon* as it cooks.
- Meanwhile, in a measuring jug* or a small bowl, whisk the milk with tapioca flour* until well incorporated.
- Once the meat starts to brown, add in the sun-dried tomatoes, potatoes, broth, water, and the milk-flour mixture.
- Put the lid on and reduce the heat to Low. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
- Once the soup is done, turn the heat off, and add in spinach. Stir until wilted, then ladle into bowls.
- Top with crispy bacon and serve immediately.
- If you want to replace any ingredients in this easy Tuscan soup recipe, see Tip #1.
- Check out Tip #2 for step-by-step instructions on how to make zuppa Toscana in an Instant Pot* and in a Crockpot*.
- To make it low-carb and Keto-friendly you'll need to replace some of the ingredients. See which at Tip #3.
- You can store it in the refrigerator in airtight containers* for up to 4 days, or in the freezer, in airtight containers or Ziploc bags*, for up to 3 months. See Tip #5 if you want to freeze it.
- Serve this super delicious Tuscan soup with roasted veggies. See how to make them at Tip #6.
- If you want to make it Paleo or spicy, check out Tip #7.
- To make Whole30 Zuppa Toscana, make sure the milk doesn't contain any sulfates, sweeteners or additives.
- If desired, top with fresh grated Parmesan.
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