This creamy, craveable, low carb Zuppa Toscana Soup has all the delicious flavors of the OG classic, but in a low carb version loaded with veggies.
The best copycat zuppa toscana recipe
Crispy bacon, sautéd onion and garlic, ground Italian sausage, red pepper flakes, fresh spinach and cauliflower, simmered in savory chicken stock and silky fresh cream, then topped with grated parmesan cheese. This soup is comfort in a bowl, super easy to customize, and ready in one pot.
In my late teens and early twenties, I worked at a rib joint. On my breaks between shifts, I frequently went to Olive Garden for their endless soup and salad lunch. I never got tired of it. Every day I ate their Zuppa Toscana. I typically had the same server, and she knew me by name. She also knew that I wasn’t the biggest fan of kale, and she would always do her best to pick it out for me. She truly went above and beyond, especially given how busy the lunch rush could be. My love of that soup never left me, so I knew I needed to re-create it as a keto-friendly version. I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes and swapped out the kale for spinach, although you could certainly make it with kale. This soup never lasts long in my house — I’ve even made two batches in the same day.
How to make this soup dairy free
You can make this keto Zuppa Toscana dairy free by swapping butter for butter flavored coconut oil and heavy cream for coconut milk (this is my favorite brand), coconut cream, almond milk, or cashew milk. Omit the parmesan cheese, or swap for a dairy free version and boom: you have a paleo Zuppa Toscana, loaded with veggies and full of flavor.
Substitutions and Variations
While I think cauliflower is a great option in this recipe, you could sub radishes for the cauliflower. The radishes cook down and get soft just like potatoes, and I promise they’re not as peppery once they’re cooked.
Additionally, if you’re not worried about making a low carb version of Zuppa Toscana, you could make this recipe with regular potatoes. Be sure to dice 4 cups of potatoes or radishes, adding to the stock pot at the same time you would add cauliflower.
Want to boost the protein in this low carb Zuppa Toscana? Make it with 1/2 pound ground chicken and 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage. Just don’t forget to season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning before cooking.
How to make Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
If you have an Instant Pot, this easy Zuppa Toscana recipe is even easier, and ready in under 30 minutes! Using the sauté mode, cook the bacon and follow the rest of the steps in order. After you add the chicken stock and it comes to a boil, give it a stir, then cancel the sauté function, put the lid on your pot setting the vent knob to seal, then set your Instant Pot to Pressure Cooker Mode for 10 minutes. It will take a couple of minutes for your Instant Pot to come to pressure, this is normal.
After 10 minutes, do a quick pressure release (with an oven mitt or a wooden spoon, move the vent knob to the venting position) and when the pin drops, open the lid. Then, cancel the pressure cooking mode, turn on sauté mode, and add your cream and spinach to the pot. Stir and cook uncovered until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked bacon to the soup, taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed, then enjoy.
How to convert this recipe for a slow cooker
To make this recipe slow cooker-friendly, follow the same instructions to sauté the bacon, onion, garlic, and Italian sausage, adding everything to your crock pot as it finishes cooking. Add the chicken stock and cauliflower (or radishes/potatoes) to the crock pot, then cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Before serving, add the spinach and heavy cream to the crock pot, then stir and cook on high for an additional 15 minutes.
Other soup recipes you might enjoy:
- Creamy Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Soup with Bacon
- Jalapeno Popper Chicken Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup
- Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
- Keto Wonton-less Soup
- Paleo Keto Cabbage Roll Soup – Whole30, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
- Buffalo Chicken Soup – Low Carb, Gluten Free
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew – paleo, Whole30, keto
- Italian Meatball Zoodle Soup
- Creamy Reuben Soup – Low Carb, Gluten Free
Low Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup – Keto, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 10 cups 1x
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter (or butter flavored coconut oil for dairy free)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 pound bulk ground Italian sausage (I get my meat here)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup heavy cream, more to taste (coconut milk for dairy free, paleo, and Whole30)
- 2 packed cups fresh spinach or kale
- Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pot, leaving the drippings in the pot.
- To the bacon drippings, add the butter, onion, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes to the pot. Cook until the sausage is browned, about 10 minutes.
- Pour the stock into the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is crisp-tender.
- Stir in the cream and spinach and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the soup has started to thicken. Add the cooked bacon to the soup. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To reheat, add soup and a little extra cream to a sauce pan and warm on the stovetop.
net carbs per serving: 3.1g
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 283
- Fat: 22g
- Carbohydrates: 4.5g
- Fiber: 1.4g
- Protein: 13g
Keywords: soup, slow cooker soup, instant pot soup recipe, keto soup, low carb soup, cuppa toscana recipe, keto zuppa toscana