Sausage Kale Soup

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5 from 3 reviews

This Sausage Kale Soup (also known as, “Zuppa Toscana”) is a comforting dairy-free soup classic. A healthy take on the Olive Garden recipe with a variety of ways to lighten things up. Make in the Instant Pot, slow cooker or on your stovetop! 


  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Italian sausage (use turkey sausage for lighter option)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk – full fat for best flavor or lite works (see notes)
  • 4 cups chopped curly kale (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 4 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning*


  1. In medium-large dutch oven (I used 4 quart staub) over medium heat, cook strips of bacon until crispy. Remove bacon, placing on towel lined plate and set aside. In same pot, add Italian sausage, breaking up with wooden spoon to crumble; once browned and cooked through, drain fat and transfer sausage to heat proof bowl.
  2. In same pot, add in chopped onion and minced garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 5 minutes or so. (Add ½ tsp of olive oil as needed if you’ve drained all of fat from pot)
  3. Add in broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low-medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. 
  4. Add in coconut milk, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, sausage and kale. Stir until combined and cook uncovered over medium heat, another 5 minutes, until kale has wilted. 
  5. Serve and garnish with chopped bacon and more red pepper flakes as desired, enjoy!


Slow Cooker Method – Follow the same directions as the stovetop, up until Step 2. Then place potatoes, broth, salt and pepper, seasonings and sausage into the slow cooker. Cook on high about three hours, until the potatoes are soft. Once the potatoes have cooked through then you’ll stir in the coconut milk and kale and let the kale wilt for about 10 minutes. Serve and garnish with the chopped bacon.

Instant Pot Method – Use “Saute” mode and cook bacon until crispy. Remove then add sausage, breaking up and cooking until browned. Drain excess fat. Then add in onion and garlic, stirring frequently for a few minutes. Add in broth, potatoes, seasonings, salt and pepper. Select the “manual” setting and “high” on your pressure cooker, then timer for 5 minutes. Naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure and stir in coconut milk plus kale. Allow kale to wilt, about 5 minutes then serve with the chopped bacon.