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Low Carb Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana made low carb! My family had NO IDEA that I swapped the potatoes for sliced turnips – they take on all the flavors of the soup and the texture is just like a potato! This low carb soup recipe will be a total hit with the whole family. 

Would you believe that I was an adult the first time I ever ate at an Olive Garden? Why in the world did my parents shield me from the deliciousness when I was a kid?!

Believe it or not, I still eat there every now and then. I usually go for a salad and chicken Alfredo – I just ask them to replace the pasta with steamed broccoli and they’re happy to accommodate!

combined picture of zuppa toscana in a white bowl and a close up picture of the same bowl

I totally miss the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe though. It’s one of my favorite soups to eat at a restaurant. Unfortunately, it’s loaded with carbs thanks to the flour they use as a thickener and the thin slices of potatoes.

This zuppa toscana copycat will satisfy any craving though.

White bowl with zuppa toscana in it

I served this to my family and they had NO IDEA they were eating turnips instead of potatoes. I call that a win. 

I hope you guys give this zuppa toscana with turnips a try and let me know what you think.

Let’s do this!

bowl of zuppa toscana next to a pot

How to make this Zuppa Toscana recipe:

First up, we’re going to brown some Italian sausage. I like to use a spicy variety, but you can use mild if you prefer. If you do use mild, I’d recommend just adding in a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes. That way you get the traditional heat, but you can control how much.

zuppa toscana ingredients in pot

Once your sausage is beginning to brown, stir in some chopped raw bacon, diced onion and minced garlic and cook those up.

The bacon won’t get crispy, but it will cook through as we finish off the soup. It adds a great flavor!

turnips in soup pot

Next comes your chicken broth and turnips. Bring that to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add in the kale and let that cook for about 5 minutes. The kale and turnips should be nice and tender.

kale and sausage in the soup

Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

Isn’t it so pretty and colorful?

That’s it, friends! This zuppa toscana recipe is ready to devour!

bowl of zuppa toscana with a spoon it

More low carb Italian food to try:

Low Carb Alfredo Sauce: We serve this over broccoli!

Spaghetti Squash Casserole: Layers of spaghetti squash, meat sauce, and loads of cheese.

Pork Tenderloin: It’s topped off with garlic butter!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs: Meatballs that are stuffed with gooey mozzarella and then topped off with marinara!

Baked Shrimp Scampi: Sheet pan dinners are so easy and this one is no exception!

white bowl with a spoon in it on top of a dish towel

Follow me on social for more recipe ideas & inspiration!

bowl of zuppa toscana with a soup spoon

Low Carb Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana - just like at Olive Garden but without all the carbs. My family had no idea they were eating turnips instead of potatoes in this low carb soup recipe!

Yield 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 turnips, sliced, about 10 ounces total
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat a large sauce pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage to the pot and begin to brown the meat, breaking it up as it cooks.
  2. When the meat is about halfway browned, add the bacon, onion, and garlic and continue cooking and stirring until the sausage is fully cooked through.
  3. Add the chicken broth and turnips and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the kale and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until kale and turnips are both tender.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve immediately.


You may use spinach in place of kale if you prefer.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 18gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 599mgCarbohydrates: 10gNet Carbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 20g

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45 thoughts on “Low Carb Zuppa Toscana”

  1. Hi Karly-I used to be an Olive Garden fanatic so I can tell you this soup is SOOO good! It’s our new favorite (beating out taco & cheeseburger soups). Like most soups/sauces it was even better the next day! I’m not big on kale so only used 2 cups and added half cup more of the cream because the sausage I used was tooo spicy. I’ve shared this recipe and your site with many friends. Thanks for all you and your hubby do and keep up the great work!!

    1. Karly Campbell

      Oh, I’m so glad you like the recipe so much! Thanks for the review and for sharing the recipe! 🙂

  2. Drew Hunter

    Tasted great, but had to make a note to drop from 4 to 2 slices of bacon to reduce the bacon flavor on future makes on this one. Thank you, much better copy with the turnip than other versions I tried that had used cauliflower.

  3. Absolutely lovely recipe! I added Parmesan cheese and cavendar’s Greek seasoning. I’m a southern and like a little more spice. I cooked a good bit longer for my family’s sake.
    But the base of this recipe is perfect! Thank you!

  4. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this recipe now. It’s so easy and the leftovers are my weekly lunches. This is the closest recipe I’ve gotten to Olive Garden’s, most others use Cauli instead of potatoes and to me it just doesn’t cut it. One of my favorite LC recipes and staple in my house. Thank you!

  5. Is there a slow cooker version? My husband and I both work swings with lots of overtime and to avoid “fast food” stops when we’re exhausted, I’m converting over to slow cooker meals that take a minimum of fuss to prep and are ready when we get home each morning.

    1. Karly Campbell

      I haven’t tried this one in the slow cooker, but I think it’d be pretty easy to make it work. 🙂

  6. Nicholas B.

    I had been eyeing this for a long time now, but never had the chance to make it. However, with the possibility of a snow day, a couple of days back, I decided to make it and I am SO glad I did. I substituted cauliflower for turnips, as turnips aren’t my favorite, and used a mix of hot and mild Italian sausage. Delicious the night of and even better the day after.

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