Instant Pot Recipes Recipes Soups and Stews

Last updated on June 18th, 2024 at 04:13 pm

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Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana [VIDEO]

Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana is the Olive Garden Copycat easily made in the pressure cooker in just 40 minutes with budget-friendly ingredients. Olive Garden has some incredible food, but their number, one most demanded soup is Zuppa Toscana.

I have had it many times but like it best when I make it at home. It is easy to make it in the instant pot, and it is much less expensive. Also, I can add or remove any ingredients I want or do not want. I have perfected the taste, and the cooking method, to make an even better version that the one you order at the restaurant.

Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana is rich and hearty comfort food at its best. This is the perfect rainy-day comfort food to enjoy. Not only is it a hearty soup, but it is also healthy and incredibly delicious. With all the meat and potatoes, you can make it a full meal, especially if you serve it with some homemade breadsticks.

When cooked traditionally (in a slow cooker), this recipe takes all day or even overnight. But with this recipe, you can have it done in 40 minutes start to finish. You get ground sausage infused with garlic, onion, and oregano flavors with a rich and creamy broth topped with melted parmesan cheese. The chewy kale is also quite tasty and lets you know that you are still eating healthily even though it tastes incredible.

You can whip up this soup quickly in minutes with just a little preparation. The instant pot will do all the work. You do not even have to stir or watch it! There’s no reason to go to Olive Garden when you can make it so easy at home.

Why you will love this recipe

  • It’s so much cheaper: This recipe will feed the whole family with leftovers for less than $20!
  • You control what’s in it: Leave it out if you don’t want bacon, or add it if you want more cheese.
  • Everything is real: I use natural sausage, potatoes, kale, garlic, onions, cream, and broth. No added ingredients like you may find in restaurant soups.
  • You can make it easy: There is nothing special to do. Just chop, brown, and cook.
  • Only one pot to wash: This is a one-pot meal, so you only have one pot to clean.

What you’ll need to make instant pot Zuppa Toscana

Special items:

  • Instant Pot – I use an Instant Pot Duo Plus.
  • Wooden spoon – For stirring.


  • Italian sausage – I usually use hot Italian sausage but mild is fine too.
  • Potatoes – I use five or six medium russet potatoes diced into quarter-inch pieces.
  • Olive oil – I prefer extra virgin olive oil because it is light for sauteing.
  • Chicken broth – Low-sodium organic chicken broth is what I use for this recipe.
  • Kale – Everyone probably already knows I use organic everything. Kale is no different. It is usually curly kale, chopped with the stems removed.
  • Heavy cream – Using heavy cream gives this dish its thick and rich texture. I would not switch it unless you have to.
  • Onion – Sweet yellow onions, diced, is what I prefer.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced garlic adds the best flavor.
  • Oregano – I prefer a lot of dried oregano in my soup, but you can leave it out or reduce it if you do not like it.
  • Salt – For me, kosher salt has the cleanest taste with no bitterness.
  • Pepper—Grind your own pepper. You will not regret it, and it only takes a few minutes.
  • Parmesan cheese – Make sure you use freshly grated parmesan so it will melt and make a creamy topping.

How to make instant pot zuppa Toscana?

  1. Prepare the pot: Set the pot to the sauté setting and add olive oil when it reads HOT. 
  2. Brown the sausage: Now, add the sausage and brown it for five to six minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Then, add the onion, garlic, and oregano. Stir and cook for three minutes.
  3. Deglaze and fill the pot: After that, pour in two cups of the broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove anything stuck to it. Add the rest of the broth and the potatoes, but make sure it does not go over the fill line.
  4. Cook on SOUP mode: Turn off the sauté mode and close the lid. Set the steam release valve to sealing and then set it to SOUP mode. Click to adjust, set it to HIGH, and set the time to five minutes. Because there is so much liquid, it will take the pot several minutes to come to pressure but don’t worry.
  5. Release the pressure: Afterward, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before carefully releasing the rest of the steam yourself. Once all the steam is released, open the lid and add the kale. Stir and cover for three minutes to soften it.
  6. Add cream and serve: Finally, add the cream, stir, and season to taste before serving with parmesan on top.

Expert tip

Using the SOUP function

The Instant Pot is really an intelligent machine—probably because humans made it. I love its functions. Most of the time, they work well for what they are intended to be used for. The SOUP function is one of them. It has several ways of doing things. First, you can set it to high or low. This is great because you want your soup to cook on low when you are making potatoes so you do not end up with mashed potatoes.

Also, this one is my favorite; the bottom does not get hot when you use the SOUP function. Yes, that is correct! The instant pot knows that nobody will be there stirring your soup, so it ensures the bottom stays cooler. That way, nothing burns (hopefully). Now, that does not mean it is cool, just cooler. You can always end up with a BURN notice if your sausage or potatoes end up sitting on the bottom too long.

One way to protect your pot from a BURN notice is to spray the bottom with olive oil before you cook. This usually prevents any issues. Another great thing about the SOUP function is that your instant pot will automatically change the pressure to decrease and increase the temperature as needed. However, it is kind of generic about what soup you are cooking. It does not know whether you are making Zuppa Toscana or chicken noodles.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Dairy-free: If you or someone you serve cannot have dairy products, you can substitute the heavy cream with coconut cream.
  • Make it spicy: Toss in some chopped jalapenos and cayenne pepper for spicy food lovers.
  • Use Popeye’s favorite: Instead of kale, use spinach for this soup. You could also use mustard greens, chard, or collard greens.
  • Add some veggies: Turn this into a veggie garden. Chopped carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes will give your soup more texture and taste.   

Serving suggestions:

Whether you serve this as a main entrée or a side dish, here are some fun serving ideas.

  • Breadsticks are the main thing I love about this dish. After all, Olive Garden became famous for its soup, salad, and breadsticks deal, right? 
  • You could also serve it with crackers, rolls, or something else to dip into the tasty broth instead of breadsticks.
  • Make some Italian chicken caesar sandwiches to go with this soup.
  • A simple Italian tomato salad on the side is refreshing and light!
  • Some awesome desserts to go with your Zuppa Toscana include limoncello tiramisu, Italian ice, and gelato.

Frequently asked questions

What is zuppa Toscana?

Toscana means Tuscan, and Zuppa means soup, so it literally means Tuscan soup. It is the most popular soup at the Olive Garden Restaurant. It is made with potatoes, Italian sausage, bacon, and kale, along with onion, garlic, and oregano, all cooked in chicken broth with parmesan cheese melted on top. I make mine without bacon most of the time, but sometimes I do add it. Either way, it is delicious.

How can I fix the BURN notice on the instant pot?

First, unplug your pot. Then, carefully remove the pot from the base to see if there is anything in between. If so, remove it and clean the area. If not, check the silicone ring around the lid. Then, make sure the floating valve is not stuck. If you see no problems there, the steam release switch is not in the closed position. If all that is okay, you may have scorched food at the bottom from sautéing your food. Use a wooden spoon to scrape it and try again.

Can you reheat instant pot zuppa Toscana in the instant pot?

Yes, you can reheat your soup in the instant pot. Just pour it in, turn it to the sealing position, and set it to pressure cook or manual. Set the time to zero and it will heat the soup while it is coming to pressure. Since you are just reheating it, you do not need any minutes on the timer. The timer will beep and switch to the “warm” setting automatically to keep your soup nice and warm for you until you are ready to eat it. Just remember to keep it below the max fill line.

How long can you keep soup warm in your instant pot?

Unlike nonstick surfaces that are treated with chemicals, the stainless-steel instant pot has no danger of harmful chemicals, so you can safely leave it set on warm for up to 10 hours. According to the package instructions, the warm setting works like a slow cooker to keep food at around 140 degrees F so bacteria cannot multiply. Keeping food out for up to 10 hours or overnight makes it safe.

How to store leftovers:

  • Refrigerate: To save your leftovers, pour them into an airtight container. They will stay fresh in the fridge for three days.   
  • Freezing: Put it in a freezer-safe container to freeze it for up to three months.   
  • Defrost: Thaw it overnight before serving for the best taste and texture.
  • Reheating: Reheat it on the stove or in the instant pot for zero minutes.   

More Instant pot soups to try:

Recipe tips:

  • Do not fill your instant pot over the max fill line. This can cause the pot to overflow and make a big mess.
  • Overfilling the pot may also cause the valve to get clogged, impede the pressure, and prevent the food from cooking.
  • If you get a BURN notice, check the base, silicone ring, floating valve, and steam release switch. Otherwise, it may be scorched food.
  • To prevent a BURN notice, ensure your meats and other heavy ingredients are not sitting at the bottom of the pot.
  • You can leave your soup on warm overnight or up to 10 hours if needed because it will keep it at 140 degrees F.
  • If you use coconut cream, chill it first and only use the top layer of solid white cream.

Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana is the Olive Garden Copycat easily made in the pressure cooker in just 40 minutes with budget-friendly ingredients.

  • Prep Time15 MIN
  • Cook Time25 MIN
  • Servings 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground hot Italian sausage
  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 5-6 medium russet potatoes diced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
  • 6 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 1 bunch of kale stems removed and chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded


  • Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode, and when it reads Hot, add the olive oil.
  • Add the sausage and brown it for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you get a nice golden brown color outside.
  • Add the diced onion, minced garlic, and oregano and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add two cups of chicken broth to deglaze the pot, stir well, and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any sausage pieces that may have stuck to it.
  • Add the diced potatoes and pour the remaining 4 cups of broth; stir to combine.
  • Ensure the contents don't exceed the Max Fill line on the inner liner.
  • Cancel Sauté mode, close the lid, set the steam release knob to Sealing and set to Manual (or Pressure Cook), and choose 5 minutes High Pressure or select Soup mode, click on adjust and select High (for High Pressure) and adjust the time to 5 minutes. It may take several minutes for the IP to come to pressure as it contains a lot of liquid.
  • After the cooking cycle ends, allow a 10-minute Natural Pressure Release, and then manually release the rest of the steam.
  • Once all the steam has been released, open the lid and add the kale, stirring well. Cover and let heat through for 2-3 minutes to soften the kale. If you want the kale to be cooked more, select sauté before covering the pot for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the heavy cream, taste, and adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

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Can half and half or milk substitute whipping cream?

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

yes, that will work well



This shows in Pinterest as a weight watchers smart point recipe, but I’m not seeing anywhere that says the points. Could you please tell what they are, ang modifications needed to make it comply?

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

I am sorry, no idea why it shows like that on Pinterest.



This was great! My family really liked it. My daughter had hers without cream since she has an allergy. It's nice that you can add cream at the end. I made it was two pounds hot sausage and it was perfect.



Can you use frozen kale /spinach instead of fresh

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

hi, yes you can.

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