This cozy crock pot Zuppa Toscana recipe is perfect for nights when you want a hot, nutritious meal, but don't have much time in the kitchen.
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While I use my crock pot all year, this is the time of year it really starts to shine. It just works SO well for soups. Sure, you can whip up a tasty soup pretty quickly. But when they have time to really develop flavors over hours like this crock pot Zuppa Toscana recipe? Oh my. Next level goodness.
What is Zuppa Toscana? Well if you don't know, you're in for a treat today! Zuppa Toscana is a hearty Italian-inspired soup featuring sausage, potatoes, and kale. I say “Italian-inspired” because the actual soup in Tuscany often uses pancetta or bacon instead of sausage and also includes toasted bread chunks. Trust me though, this Americanized version is still 100% delicious, even if it's not 100% authentic.
Why make Zuppa Toscana in the crock pot? Because I know you love returning home after a busy day to a cozy and delicious meal as much as I do! You certainly don't have to make it in the crock pot but to anything that makes dinner so easy, I say “why not?”
To make the easy Zuppa Toscana, you'll start by chopping your onion and mincing your garlic. I always like to get everything chopped at the start when I'm cooking to make the process stress-free.
Next, you'll remove the kale from its stems and rough-chop the leaves. If you purchase pre-chopped kale, make sure to still go through and remove any stem bits as there are often quite a few left in there.
You'll then cut the sausage into bite-sized pieces and chop your potatoes.
From here, it's simple! Add the onion, garlic, sausage, potatoes, chicken stock, water, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Before serving, stir in the chopped kale and the (optional) heavy cream. Dinner is ready!
Make sure to scroll down for tips on how to meal prep this soup if you're like me and love making weeknights easy.
Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana Recipe
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 # yukon gold potatoes
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 # precooked Italian sausage
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
- 32 oz chicken stock
- Chop 1 onion.
- Mince 2 cloves of garlic.
- Remove kale from stems (discard stems) and rough chop leaves.
- Cut sausage into bite sized pieces.
- Chop 1# yukon gold potatoes.
- To slow cooker add chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, sliced sausage, chopped potatoes, 4 cups chicken stock, 1 cup water, 1tsp salt & 1/4tsp pepper.
- Cook on low 4-6 hours.
- Before serving, stir in 2 cups chopped kale and 1 cup heavy whipping cream (optional).
How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup – Tips
How to Make Zuppa Toscana is quite simple! That's one of the things I love about this recipe. There's not an overwhelming amount of chopping and I find it to be the perfect balance of comforting and nutritious. That said, here are a few tips to help you get the best results:
- Add the kale at the end. Whenever adding greens like spinach or kale to a soup, I recommend adding at the end so they don't get soggy and overcooked.
- Use a flavorful broth. I love making my own broth because it's nutritious, budget-friendly and incredibly delicious! If you don't make your own though, make sure to select a quality brand with good flavor as there's quite a bit of it in this recipe.
- Feel free to add toppings. Top with freshly grated parmesan or chopped fresh herbs if you like! These things will take the soup to the next level.
How can I meal prep this crock pot Zuppa Toscana recipe?
Zuppa Toscana is perfect for meal prep. You can chop almost everything ahead, making it easy to throw everything in the crock pot when you're ready to cook. The only thing I recommend waiting to chop is the potatoes, which tend to turn brown when chopped ahead.
In your meal prep session, mince your garlic and chop your onion, sausage and kale. Store in the fridge. On “dish day” when you're ready to complete the meal, chop your potatoes and add everything except the kale and cream to the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, add the kale and cream, and enjoy!
What should I serve with this easy Zuppa Toscana?
If you eat bread, this easy Zuppa Toscana is delicious with some fresh, crusty bread for dipping. If Paleo is more your style or you want the meal to be a bit lighter, this soup is also delicious with a simple green salad, a side of roasted broccoli or some sauteed green beans.
What's the nutrition like for this crock pot Zuppa Toscana recipe?
This crock pot Zuppa Toscana recipe is a nice balance between veggie-packed nutritious dinner and cozy comfort food. The kale gives it a nutritional boost while the heavy cream makes it rich and satisfying.
Remember, the cream is optional, so if you don't do dairy, you can easily omit or replace it with cashew cream.
A lot of the nutrition will also vary based on the particular sausage you choose. I love Butcher Box or US Wellness Meats (<< affiliate links) for sausage because I know it will be flavorful AND use ingredients I want to eat.
Here are a few of the nutritional benefits this hearty soup recipe provides:
Kale (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate)
Kale is high in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. One caveat – if you have thyroid issues, talk to your doctor about whether it's safe for you to consume kale. It's a type of cruciferous vegetable, which can interfere with thyroid function in those with certain conditions.
Garlic (Beneficial Sulfur Compounds, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium)
Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some types of cancer. Eating garlic may also help prevent colds and other minor illnesses.
Scientists believe these substantial health benefits may stem primarily from garlic's sulfur compounds such as allicin, diallyl disulfide and sallyl cysteine.
Onion (Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Folate, Potassium)
Did you know that the humble onion is actually packed with antioxidants? Antioxidants help protect you from free radicals that cause things like cancer and heart disease. Onions also have beneficial sulfides and polysulfides which may help protect against cancer.
Potatoes (Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese)
They get a bad rap sometimes, but the reason potatoes are considered unhealthy by some has much more to do with preparation than nutritional content. Sure french fries won't make the cut for superfoods, but neither would deep fried brussels sprouts…. Cooked in a healthy way, potatoes can be quite a nutritious component of a meal. They offer vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese and antioxidants. Much of the vitamin content is in the peel, so make sure to leave the skin on!
FAQ – Everything You Need to Know About Zuppa Toscana
What does Zuppa Toscana mean in Italian?
Zuppa Toscana translates to “Tuscan Soup”.
What is Zuppa Toscana?
Zuppa Toscana is an Italian-inspired soup featuring kale, potatoes and sausage.
How spicy is Zuppa Toscana Soup?
My version of Zuppa Toscana soup is not spicy at all but you can of course adjust to your preferences. Choose spicy Italian sausage or add red pepper flakes for a spicy version.
Do I have to make Zuppa Toscana in the slow cooker?
No! You're welcome to make Zuppa Toscana on the stovetop instead if you like. Saute the onions, add garlic, and then sausage. Add broth and potatoes and simmer until potatoes are tender. Add kale and cream at the end.
Can I make dairy free Zuppa Toscana?
Yes! Making dairy free Zuppa Toscana is quite simple. You can actually just omit the heavy cream and it's still quite flavorful. Alternatively, replace the heavy cream with cashew cream for a creamy, dairy-free soup.
I want more healthy Crock Pot soup recipes!
Crock pot soups are so convenient this time of year. Plus, I love coming home after a busy day (or emerging from my home office as the case may be…) to a house filled with the smells of delicious food. These are two of my favorite healthy crock pot soup recipes:
My whole family loves lasagna and that extends to this soup! It has all of the classic flavor of lasagna but with none of the layering and assembly required.
This slow cooker beef stew is classic comfort food at its best! I can't think of any dish I'd rather enjoy on a cold night.