Home > Soups & Stews > Healthy Zuppa Toscana (DF, GF) Healthy Zuppa Toscana (DF, GF) January 18, 2023 | 4 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. This Healthy Zuppa Toscana features loads of veggies including carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale. This creamy, hearty, and delicious soup is naturally gluten free and dairy free. We’re borrowing flavors from the beloved Olive Garden® original–Zuppa Toscana soup, and boosting the nutrition. Why Is It Called Zuppa Toscana? “Zuppa Toscana” is translated to “Tuscan soup” or “Tuscan-style soup” which is full of veggies, potatoes, beans, and spices. So, while this is certainly not an authentic Tuscan-style soup, it’s a more nutritious “copycat” of Olive Garden’s® famous Zuppa Toscana. Try out this Healthy Zuppa Toscana recipe, which is part of our collection of favorite soup recipes. Click here to see all the recipes in the collection. Healthy Zuppa Toscana This slow cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup is a favorite in my home. And, when we’re in a time crunch, this Easy Zuppa Toscana is our go-to (ready in less than 30 minutes!) dinner. One of the most common questions I get on those two recipes is how to make the soup without dairy. And another frequently asked question is how to make it a little more nutritious. So, a few weeks ago, I set out to create a more nutritious version, and ended up with this recipe. To say we’re totally hooked would be an understatement–this soup is delicious! In this recipe, we leave out the bacon, increase the amount of veggies, swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes, and replace the heavy cream with coconut milk. It’s naturally gluten and dairy free, but certainly not lacking any flavor! QUICK TIP While the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free, make sure to check all your ingredient labels to be sure they weren’t processed in a facility with gluten. Making Zuppa Toscana Healthy and Tasty While I’ve swapped out many of the ingredients for slightly more nutritious options, the one ingredient I couldn’t find a swap that was worth it for the flavor trade-off is the sausage. Yes, Italian sausage is higher in fat and sodium, but it also provides essential vitamins, minerals, and a good amount of protein per serving. I don’t recommend any substitutes for the sausage, as the flavors are very integral to the soup especially with all the other healthful swaps we’re making. Italian-style sausage made with ground turkey comes close, but I have to say, in this recipe, you need the real thing. Healthier Zuppa Toscana Tips Use robustly flavored chicken stock or broth. The more flavor in the broth, the more flavor in the soup! We love Swanson® chicken broth (not sponsored) best in this skinny version of Zuppa Toscana. Healthy Zuppa Toscana has no bacon in it, which is why we add in some smoked paprika. You’ll get that hint of smoky flavor without any bacon. We tried this soup with almond milk, and definitely preferred coconut milk. You can make it with milk or cream, but it will no longer be dairy free. Managing the Sweetness This Healthy Zuppa Toscana is on the sweeter side due to the sweet potatoes and coconut milk. To balance out the sweet, the recipe calls for adding a touch of red pepper flakes along with smoked paprika. Using spicy sausage is another way to add some heat which will nicely balance against the sweet. If something other than coconut milk, use half-and-half or heavy cream instead of the coconut milk. (Soup will no longer be dairy free). (I wouldn’t consider this soup to be overwhelmingly coconut flavored, but you can taste the coconut.) QUICK TIP We highly recommend using full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and texture in this soup recipe. Lite coconut milk doesn’t thicken as nicely and won’t result in the rich full flavor that regular coconut milk provides. Plant-based milks like soy, oat, and almond milk are a bit too thin for this recipe. What To Serve With Zuppa Toscana a good crusty baguette or crusty artisan bread (like this no-knead bread), homemade dinner rolls, or soup crackers a big vegetable-filled salad: Olive Garden salad, garden salad, Italian salad some kind of fruit side salad: this winter fruit salad or grapefruit salad additional veggies try roasted broccoli or roasted Brussels sprouts on the side More Nourishing Soup Recipes: Vegetable Soup with basil pesto Black Bean Soup with sweet bell peppers Chickpea Soup with red lentils Easy Tomato Soup with canned tomatoes Chicken Curry Soup with coconut milk FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Healthy Zuppa Toscana 5 from 2 votes - Review this recipe This Healthy Zuppa Toscana features loads of veggies including carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale. This creamy, hearty, and delicious soup is naturally gluten free and dairy 1free. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Healthy Zuppa Toscana 5 from 2 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe This Healthy Zuppa Toscana features loads of veggies including carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale. This creamy, hearty, and delicious soup is naturally gluten free and dairy 1free. Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup Cuisine American, Healthy Keyword Healthy Zuppa Toscana, zuppa toscana healthy Prep Time 25 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Total Time 50 minutes Servings 6 servings Calories 543kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $13.12 Ingredients▢ 1 tablespoon olive oil▢ 1 cup each: diced yellow onion, diced carrots▢ 1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild or hot--See Note 1)▢ Fine sea salt & pepper▢ 1 teaspoon smoked paprika▢ Optional: 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes▢ 1 tablespoon minced garlic▢ 2 tablespoons white flour (or GF flour to keep GF)▢ 5 cups good-quality chicken broth (like Swanson)▢ 4 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (~3 medium)▢ 2 tightly packed cups shredded kale▢ 1 can (13.5 oz.) full-fat coconut milk (Note 2)▢ Optional: Parmesan cheese (Note 3)US - Metric USMetric InstructionsVEGGIES AND SAUSAGE: Add oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in diced onions and carrots. Sauté 5-7 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Press to edges of the pan. Add Italian sausage to the center of the pan. Season to taste (I add 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper) and add smoked paprika along with red pepper flakes (if using). Cook, crumbling as you go, until browned. If there is more than 1 tbsp grease, drain off excess (See Note 4). THICKEN: Add minced garlic and sprinkle flour over everything. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Very gradually add in the chicken broth, while stirring, and scraping the bottom of the pan. Once all broth is added in, add in sweet potatoes and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low (cook at a gentle simmer). Cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. KALE: Remove the lid and add in shredded kale and coconut milk; stir through. Simmer until kale is wilted, another 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat, ladle into bowls and use a microplane to grate a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top if desired (Parmesan cheese has dairy). Enjoy! Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Sausage: This soup is on the sweeter side due to the sweet potatoes and coconut milk. To balance out the sweet, we add a touch of red pepper flakes along with smoked paprika. Using spicy sausage is another way to add some heat to balance against the sweet. That said, if you don't like spice, use mild sausage-- but note the soup will be on the sweeter side. If using sausage in casings, remove from casings first. Note 2: Coconut milk: We highly recommend using full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and texture in this soup recipe. Lite coconut milk doesn’t thicken as nicely and won’t result in the rich full flavor that regular coconut milk provides. While not overpoweringly coconut-flavored, it certainly is present. If you don't enjoy coconut flavor, use half-and-half or heavy cream instead (soup will no longer be dairy-free). Note 3: Parmesan cheese: This is a totally optional topping, so leave it out if you need this soup to be dairy-free. If using, we recommend grating the Parmesan cheese with a microplane, which gives it a great texture and allows the cheese to melt beautifully into the soup. Note 4: Grease: Drain off all but 1 tbsp of the sausage drippings. At the end of preparing this soup, if there is still too much leftover grease for your liking, allow the soup to cool for 15-20 minutes. The grease will rise to the top and you can gently skim it off the top. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1410mg | Potassium: 946mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 25854IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 5mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.