Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)
This Zuppa Toscana is serious comfort food! It’s a classic copycat made gluten-free, paleo, whole30, and AIP.
What is Zuppa Toscana?
Zuppa Toscana essentially translates to “The Soup of Tuscany”. When I traveled to Tuscany when I was 21, I was expecting everything to be swimming in only Marinara sauce. Much to my surprise, Tuscany features a lot more rich, savory flavors like cream sauces, white beans, and rustic bread. A traditional Zuppa Toscana embodies this perfectly! It’s made with Italian sausage, white beans, tomato, onion, potato, kale, Italian bacon, and olive oil. The American version (which you’ll probably remember from Olive Garden) adds cream and usually omits the tomato.
So really Zuppa Toscana it’s just a nourishing soup and the perfect comfort food dish that can be enjoyed on all types of healing diets… if you prepare it right and use good ingredients! This version is paleo, whole30, AIP, and can be made in the instant pot.
The Ingredients you’ll need for Zuppa Toscana
- Italian Sausage. Italian sausage gives this soup a ton of flavor! Traditionally this soup is made with a spicy Italian pork sausage with the casing removed. If you’re like me and can’t have nightshade spices, or are following an autoimmune protocol, you can easily make your own sausage at home. Check out this recipe!
- Bacon. Gotta have the bacon, right? Bacon is used as a garnish in this soup.
- White sweet potato.
- Kale. See? I told you this soup was healthy 😉 You’ll use a whole head of kale in this soup.
- Chicken broth.
- Coconut milk. This is the substitute for heavy cream.
How to Make Zuppa Toscana in the Instant Pot
- Cook the bacon: Set the instant pot to sauté and add the bacon. Cook until crispy and set aside, leaving the fat in the pot.
- Saute the onion and garlic: Keeping the instant pot on sauté, add the onion and garlic to the bacon fat and cook sauté for 5-6 minutes or until translucent.
- Cook the sausage: Add in the ground sausage and sauté until cooked through.
- Add the broth and sweet potato: Turn the instant pot off sauté and pour in the chicken broth, coconut milk, diced sweet potato, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cook: Lock the lid onto the instant pot and set to 13 minutes on high. After the instant pot comes to pressure soup is done, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Add the kale and serve: Remove the lid and add in the kale and parsley and allow to wilt in the hot soup. Serve topped with bacon and extra parsley.
Can you make this recipe on the stovetop?
I love using the instant pot for fast, easy meals! However, if you don’t have an instant pot, the recipe is easily adaptable to a stovetop! See the notes of the recipe for instructions.
Is Zuppa Toscana Healthy?
“Healthy” is always a subjective term and means something different for everyone. However, since this soup is homemade and packed with vegetables like sweet potato and kale, I’d call this soup pretty wholesome.
How long is Zuppa Toscana good for in the fridge?
Leftovers of this soup will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Can Zuppa Toscana be frozen?
You can freeze this soup! The kale holds up well, as does the rest of the soup. Simply freeze everything except for the bacon for 2-3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, reheat in a pot, and serve topped with fresh bacon.
How do you reheat Zuppa Toscana?
Reheat the soup on the stovetop for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
Can you use something other than white sweet potato?
Though this soup traditionally has white potato and white beans, I’m using white sweet potato to keep it nightshade-free and AIP compliant. The sweetness of the potato really adds something to the soup, but you can also use regular white potatoes if you tolerate them. If you’re not into sweet potato, you can also sub parsnips or rutabaga.
Can you make this soup without coconut milk?
Traditional Zuppa Toscana really isn’t as creamy as the American version, but let’s be real… creamy is good! Using coconut milk helps keep this soup dairy-free, and with so many other flavors, you don’t really taste the coconut. However, if you can tolerate nuts and don’t do coconut milk, you can try another dairy-free milk to make this soup creamy.
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Paleo Zuppa Toscana (Whole 30 & AIP)
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This Zuppa Toscana is serious comfort food! It’s a classic copycat made gluten-free, paleo, whole30, and AIP.
- 6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage (use this for AIP )
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups white sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (plus extra for garnish)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
- Set the instant pot to sauté and add the bacon. Cook until crispy and set aside, leaving the fat in the pot.
- Keeping the instant pot on sauté, add the onion and garlic to the bacon fat and cook sauté for 5-6 minutes or until translucent.
- Add in the ground sausage and sauté until cooked through. Remove some of the fat.
- Turn the instant pot off sauté and pour in the chicken broth, coconut milk, diced sweet potato, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Lock the lid onto the instant pot and set to 13 minutes on high. After the instant pot comes to pressure soup is done, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Remove the lid and add in the kale and parsley and allow to wilt in the hot soup.
- Serve topped with bacon and extra parsley.
If not using an instant pot, follow all of the instructions exactly the same, using a large dutch oven or pot to sauté the initial ingredients. Then, double the cooking time of the soup on the stove, or wait until potatoes are softened.
For AIP Italian Sausage: 1 lb. ground pork; 1 tsp each dried parsley, basil, & oregano; 1/2 tsp each thyme, garlic & onion powders, sea salt, & optional coarse-ground black pepper.
All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: one pot meals
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 827
- Fat: 65g
- Carbohydrates: 34.6g
- Fiber: 4.9g
- Protein: 27.5g
Recipe by Michelle, Unbound Wellness. Photos by Eat Love Eats
This post first appeared on Unbound Wellness in October 2017 and was updated in 2022.
The Zuppa Toscana soup from Olive Garden used to be my favorite soup! Can’t wait to try this Paleo version!
Thank you so much Chelsea!!
Made last night with only 1 sweet potato (just to keep the sweetness to a minimum) since we don’t eat much sugar. Still came out really sweet breakfast soup. Any suggestions on how to dial it down?
I’ve used turnips or rutabagas instead of sweet potatoes. That made it less sweet and more hearty.
Sorry you thought it was a bit sweet! I agree rutabaga is a good sub. I’ve also tried parsnips and have updated the recipe to reflect the swap.
I always forget about parsnips! Will try again with those. Thanks, Michelle!
I ate a piece of daikon radish in an Asian soup and thought it was potato. Plan on trying radish with this soup. Thanks for the recipe. I loved this soup before.
Loved this soup – I even really liked the sweetness of the white sweet potato – it blends well with the saltiness of the sausage and the bacon – a real keeper!
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Such an amazing recipe. Used Turnip instead of white sweet potato. My husband thought it was regular white potato, haha.
oooh I made something similar and used celery root in mine, it was very tasty!
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Hi! I don’t know if it’s there and I’m just missing it, but at what step do you add most of the cooked bacon back in?
I add it on top at the end and mix it in 🙂
Made this for the first time and it came out amazing!! I stuck to the recipe you called for and it is cooked to perfection! I’m new to the AIP diet and this sure does hit the spot. Might I add I am not a good cook by any means and this still turned out great!
Question, about how many servings would you say one batch makes?
So happy that you liked it!! It makes roughly 5-6 servings, depending on the person 🙂
I do double the recipe, make the sausage, lots of flavor, stores and freezes well.
Thank you so much!! 🙂
Everyone loved this recipe! Thank you!
Making this right now looks great! Smells incredible. Followed some suggestions and used rutabaga instead of potatoes, and did half lb of Italian sausage, and half of lb of spicy sausage. Thanks for the yummy recipe.
I used 1.5 lb white sweet potatoe, 1.5 lb (x2 medium/large) parsnips, and 1.5 lb (1 large) rutabaga and it was a tasty combo my husband thought it was regular potatoes. I’ve experimented with the different ratios of root veggies in this dish and so far this is my favorite. I prefer to dump a aroy-d coconut milk from the carton but I used canned coconut cream separated from the runny water and its great as well. Thanks for the recipe. Hope my veggie ratios inspire someone lol. I used to serve at olive garden so this recipe is a regular one in our house.
Delicious and so easy to make!! I love the instant pot soup recipes! Just stared the AIP protocol and I don’t think I would’ve been able to keep to it and maintain such a positive attitude without all your awesome easy recipes. Finding your site has been awesome!
Thank you so much, Catherine!!! SO glad it’s helpful!
I’m a newbie to the instant pot so forgive me if my question seems silly! After it pressure cooks for the 13 minutes, how long should the natural release take? Mine took about 45 minutes which seems really long but maybe it’s normal.
Yeah, that’s a long time! If it’s stretching too long, I eventually just quick release.
I’ve made this with rutabaga before and my non aip family really can’t tell the difference! I love it!!
Hi! Do you ever drain the grease from the sausage and the bacon?
Made it for dinner tonight. I subbed water for broth and left out the bacon so it was lower histamine which resulted in it needing more salt. Super good, recommend!
I just made this and it is sooo good. This is definitely going to be heavy in the meal rotation.
When you say coconut milk in your recipes are you using canned coconut milk? Or like carton of cold section coconut milk? Thanks!
Canned coconut milk! My favorite is Native Forest Simple.
So yummy! Just finished this soup up so that I have ready to go lunches and I had try have a cup. It’s amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe
I COULD EAT THIS SOUP ALL DAY EVERYDAY !!!!! So incredibly delicious. I actually like it more than real Zuppa Toscana.
Made my own AIP compliant “spicy” Italian sausage which was simply ground pork + various spices.
This came together easily and quickly in the instant pot.
Couldn’t hold off on eating the bacon so we had no garnish, but the parsley added plenty of extra flavor.
Thanks for putting this recipe together, Michelle !!!!
Delicious! My husband said, and I quote “this is the best thing you’ve ever made.”
We loved it! I tolerate regular white potatoes so I used those, otherwise didn’t change a thing!
This soup is so good! I added a lb. of white sweet potatoes but I think next time I will double the amount. Whole family loved it.
Thank you so much, Erika! So glad it was a hit 🙂
Delicious!! Make this at least once per month!
This was so easy to make and so flavorful. Thank you for creating such wonderful recipes.
Another five-star dish! I have an IP but have actually made this on the stove twice. I’ve made it mostly AIP, but used sausage that had some spices that aren’t allowed in the elimination phase. This is now my go-to soup and I’ll keep making, honestly, forever – long after I leave the hardest parts of AIP. I have made it once without bacon and once with. The time without, I sauteed everything in bacon grease and really didn’t miss the bacon. It’s just one of the best recipes!
Aw thank you! I love to hear that!
It looks like the AIP sausage link is broken, is there any chance you know of any good recipes for that?
You can also use ground pork and sausage seasonings like garlic, onion, oregano ,thyme, salt, etc:)
I was able to find a copy of the formerly linked sausage recipe: 1 lb. ground pork; 1 tsp each dried parsley, basil, & oregano; 1/2 tsp each thyme, garlic & onion powders, sea salt, & optional coarse-ground black pepper.
Yay! Thank you, Erin! Am planning on making this tonight and was at a loss without that link.
MADE THIS TODAY AND IT IS AMAZZZZIIIIING!! I just started the AIP protocol this month, and your recipes have been blowing my mind! Yesterday, I made your broccoli and “cheese” soup, and THAT was amazing. I almost finished the whole pot in one sitting… there wasn’t much left for sharing. Oops!
We have some super cold days coming up, and I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to make the soup last until then! I’m going to need to make bone broth every week so that I can make all of your soups every week!
THANK YOU THANK YOU
YAY! So glad you are enjoying so many of my AIP recipes!
I will be making this for a family with a lot of allergies and they can’t have parsley. Is there something you will substitute or just leave it out al together? Thank you!
You can do basil!
Was looking for a recipe with Kale, found this one.. so amazing, all measurements and instructions are completely on point. Thx for another amazing go to!
So glad you enjoyed!
Legit the BEST Zuppa I’ve ever had! I used red onions, omitted the garlic and pepper, but added an AIP approved Italian seasoning, and swapped chicken broth for a mix of Turkey & Beef broth. Wow! This will become a staple in our home!
YUM! So glad you have been enjoying it!