Gluten Free Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

The Olive Garden is notorious for bad gluten free food but one thing they do get right is their zuppa toscana.

Unfortunately it’s not gluten free nor are their breadsticks.

Luckily for you I re-created this lip smacking soup to be gf friendly.

GF Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

Tastes just like the Zuppa Toscana soup from Olive Garden.

Gluten Free Olive Garden Soup


  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 3 small russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 piece chopped bacon (cooked) for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream or canned coconut milk
  • 3 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  1. Chop sausage into small pieces.
  2. Brown sausage in soup pot.
  3. Once sausage is cooked set aside and cook onion and garlic in same pot until translucent.
  4. Add sausage back to pot.
  5. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes and water to pot and stir.
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Place potatoes in the pot.
  8. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
  9. Turn to low heat.
  10. Add kale and simmer for 5 min, until kale is tender.
  11. -- Add cream to taste. I prefer to not add the cream to the pot but rather have it at the table for guests to add as much or as little as they like. Full fat canned coconut milk can be used in place of cream and tastes just as good.

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Andrew: When was the last time you went to the Olive Garden?

Rebecca: 3 or 4 years ago before I went gluten free.

Andrew: So it probably wasn’t a place that you went to very often.

Rebecca: No it made my stomach hurt every time I went there.

Andrew: I don’t think I’ve been to the Olive Garden in five years or maybe six years but one thing I used to love eating there was the soup and salad and breadsticks my favorite soup was the zuppa toscana it was so good I used to dream about that soup.

Is there anything that you would eat there that you really liked.

Rebecca: Prior to changing my entire lifestyle I loved creamy sauces, fettuccine alfredo, chicken carbonara, I like the which cheesy creamy sauces.

So that might be a clue as to why I was going to the bathroom all the time.

Those were the dishes that I loved there, and the bread sticks I mean who doesn’t love the bread sticks?

Andrew: Those breadsticks are really good.

Going back to the zuppa toscana, my whole family would order the exact same soup when we went to olive garden and I was always disappointed because even though it was a bottomless bowl it seemed like there was never enough kale, sausage or potatoes it was just a bunch of broth but the broth was really good.

So I figured out how to make it myself.

I bought all the ingredients to make this soup on Christmas day but at the last minute we ended up in Fresno having Christmas with my niece and nephew.

So the next day I made the soup for my dad, and its like the best soup in the world to him.

It’s really easy to make it’s just kale potatoes sausage broth and a little cream at the end or you can use full fat coconut milk.

And no the soup will not end up tasting like coconut milk if you choose to use coconut milk instead of cream. The broth has a strong flavor and the subtle flavor of the coconut milk does not overpower it it just adds a little creaminess to the broth.

I highly recommend trying the soup it tastes very good, it’s healthy.


Does this soup sound good to you?

Rebecca: Yeah I love soup!

I know you’re in California but its freezing over here in my part of the world so soup is always something great to have in January-February here on the east coast.

  • Michelle

    I always had the pasta fagioli at Olive Garden, and it’s easy to make that one GF. I can’t wait to try this one! Thank you! :)

    • Andrew Cordova

      Welcome :)

    • Marianne Castiglia

      Do you have a recipe posted somewhere for the Olive Garden pasta fagioli Andrew?

      • Andrew Cordova

        Not yet.

  • Lucy Mauterer

    I wonder if you can just use the coconut water straight from the coconut. My doc has me on such a strict diet that I cannot have anything from a can. I am GF and cow DF but I can tolerate goat dairy. Go figure.

    • Andrew Cordova

      You can skip the milk all together, it tastes delicious with or without the coconut milk or heavy cream.

  • threeems

    I was at Olive Garden a month or so ago and everything has changed – it’s not nearly as good as it used to be. My friend and I had the soup, salad, & breadsticks lunch and all were very unflavorful and disappointing. The salad was so bland at first I thought they had forgotten the dressing – but no, it was there, just really watered down. And it was almost all iceberg lettuce. The most boring meal I’ve had in a long time, GF or otherwise.

  • Kym Rossi

    Thank You Andrew! I can’t wait to try it!!

    • Andrew Cordova


  • crsigel

    Hello, where have you all been. Where I live at least in York Co., Pa, all our Olive Gardens have an entire GF menu. Either this is a really old post, but I just got it or yours doesn’t have it or you just haven’t asked. I love their food too, but was constantly asking for GF options, finally they added a menu and it’s been about 3 years or more. Just go online or call or ask. It’s a franchise. I think they all do the same thing as the other. No soup or breadsticks yet though. I’m still bugging them about that. But I will try this soup, I always wanted to try it but never did, now I’ll just make it. Thank you. Where are you in Cali. We’re moving out there soon? Just curious. Good eating. Cassandra

    • Andrew Cordova

      I know they have a gf menu, I’m just not a fan of their pasta. I live in Salinas, CA.

      • Marianne Castiglia

        Speaking of gluten free pasta, I have found only 2 brands that I like. One I can only buy in a little GF shop near Albany NY. The pasta is called Bia Glut. VERY GOOD. When I’m not in Albany I order it online from Amazon. The other one I discovered is sold in a grocery store in Albany and that pasta is called Heartland. I can buy that at Hannaford Supermarkets in Albany. For some reason that area is like living in gluten free heaven. Unfortunately where I live in Florida it’s the opposite. So Andrew and Rebecca, do you have any pasta recommendations that are so good you can serve it to non GF people and they wouldn’t know? I have done that with both of these I mentioned but wouldn’t mind finding another choice especially if I could find one locally.

  • Marianne Castiglia

    Just made it and oh soooo delicious, thank you! I used more broth because I like mine a little soupier. I also used a whole can of coconut milk. You’re right, no coconut taste… Just that nice creamy, full body. I can’t wait to make it again. Question… With the coconut, do you know how well this soup would freeze? I’d love to make a double batch and freeze it in small containers and have it whenever I want. Another note, the bacon as a garnish is nice but this soup is so yummy, you don’t really need it. With bacon being so expensive these days I might skip it next time. Thank you again Andrew and Rebecca!

    • Andrew Cordova

      I’m glad you liked the soup. I’ve never experimented with freezing soup but thanks for brining it up, I’ll have to give it a shot.

      • Marianne Castiglia

        I can answer my own question since I just had a bowl that I had frozen and thawed. I use the coconut milk so not sure how it would freeze using cream. Freezing it using coconut milk didn’t seem to change it at all. Still very very delicious!

        • Andrew Cordova


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  • Chris

    on the Olive Garden website, it lists the Zuppa Toscana on their gluten free menu.