Paleo-Friendly Meals: Zuppa Toscana

What if I told you that you could enjoy a Paleo-friendly Olive Garden inspired meal that tastes just as good as the real thing?
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Tis true, tis true! This is my favorite soup! I never get tired of eating it and one pot makes a week’s worth of lunches! It travels well and tastes great microwaved.
DSCF0017 Gather your ingredients: hot Italian sausage, bacon, kale, garlic, chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, and S&P. You can tailor the soup to your taste with mild or sweet Italian sausage or swap swiss chard for the kale.
DSCF0021 Give the onions and garlic a rough chop.
DSCF0028 Remove the casing from your sausages. This is an optional step, but I like crumbled texture of the sausage. If you want to just slice your sausage, make sure the pieces are bit sized. There’s nothing worse than having to cut your soup into pieces.
DSCF0029 Here’s all of my naked sausage.
DSCF0030 Melt the fat of your choice in a large soup pot. Is there anything more beautiful than a pot full of melted butter? Mmmmm.
DSCF0031 Toss in the onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft. Be sure to keep the heat low so the garlic doesn’t burn.
DSCF0032 Add the naked sausage to the pot and chop with a cooking spoon. As the sausage browns, break up the large chunks until there is bite sized pieces.
DSCF0033 Once the sausage has browned completely, add in chopped cooked bacon. I was lazy and didn’t cut the bacon into small pieces, but if I did it over again I would make the pieces smaller. Large bacon slices looks a little icky when soft and wet (yes, that is indeed what she said).
DSCF0034 Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.
DSCF0035 Once boiling, add the chopped kale and cook until wilted.
DSCF0036 To top it all off, add the heavy cream to give the soup a beautiful creaminess and bring out the broth’s rich orange color.
DSCF0037 Voila! A Paleo-friendly version of an Olive Garden favorite. The only thing this soup is missing is the russet potatoes. If you are leniently Paleo, feel free to add the potatoes, but I don’t think you are missing anything without them. If it’s still too hot for you to have soup this summer, make sure to try this in the fall! I promise, you’ll love it!

Paleo-Friendly Meals: Zuppa Toscana

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Per Serving 385 calories

Fat 34 g

Carbs 6 g

Protein 13 g



  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage (you can use mild or sweet)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium head of kale or swiss chard, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Chop the onions and mince the garlic.
  2. Remove the casing from the sausage or slice into bite sized pieces.
  3. Melt the fat of your choice in a large soup pot.
  4. Saute onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  5. Add the sausage and cook until brown.
  6. Add chopped bacon, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil.
  7. Once boiling, add kale and cook until wilted.
  8. Finish with heavy cream.

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