Not-Really-Olive-Garden’s Zuppa Toscana
Ours, like the original recipe for this chain’s favorite, is a sausage, potato, and kale soup. But we’ve made a couple of changes that make the soup, well, better. First, almost all copycat recipes for this soup call for pork sausage and then ask you to drain off the rendered fat. Doing so is a pain! And even if you drain off the fat, more comes out under pressure. So we substituted chicken sausage — which means you don’t have to drain the pot and the soup doesn’t get an oil slick. Even better, because we’ve used a lower-fat sausage, we can then use cream (rather than half-and-half, as called for in the original) to make more satisfying bowlfuls. The original also calls for regular kale but we feel baby kale is easier (because it doesn’t need to be stemmed) and sweeter (so it tastes better alongside the cream).
Servings Prep Time
6servings 7minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6servings 7minutes
Cook Time
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1lb sweet or mild Italian chicken sausageany casings removed; or bulk sweet Italian chicken sausage meat (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 1 large yellow or white onionchopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6cups chicken broth1 1/2 quarts
  • 3 large russet or baking potatoespeeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 3/4 cups), about 12 oz each
  • 2tsp mincedstemmed, fresh oregano leaves
  • 1tsp table salt
  • 1/2tsp red pepper flakesUp to
  • 3cups loosely packedchopped baby kale leaves (3 ounces)
  • 1cup heavy cream
  1. Press Sauté and set to Medium/Normal and set the time for 10 minutes.
  2. Warm the oil in the insert set in a 5-, 6-, or 8-quart Instant Pot. Crumble in the sausage meat and cook, stirring often to break up any clumps, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and continue cooking, stirring more frequently, until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits on the pot’s bottom.
  4. Stir in the potatoes, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes. Turn off the heat and lock the lid on the pot.
  5. For the Max Model: Set the pot to Pressure Cook on MAX level for 10 minutes.

    For all other Instant Pots: Set the pot to Pressure Cook/Manual on High Pressure for 12 minutes.

    For the Slow-Cook Function Set the pot to Slow Cook on the HIGH level for 3 hours.
  6. When the pot has finished cooking under pressure, use the quick- release method to bring the pressure back to normal. Whichever cooking method you’ve used, unlatch the lid and open the cooker
  7. Press Sauté and set for Medium/Normal for 5 minutes.
  8. As the soup comes to a simmer, stir in the baby kale and cream. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes to wilt the kale completely and nix the taste of raw cream. Turn off the heat and set the pot aside for 2 to 3 minutes before serving warm.
Recipe Notes

• Use a half-and-half combo of sweet and spicy chicken sausage.
• Drizzle servings with olive oil.
• And top them with finely grated Pecorino Romano.

Other Pots
• For a 3-quart Instant Pot, you must halve all of the ingredient amounts.
• For a 10-quart Instant Pot, you must increase all of the ingredient amounts by 50 percent or you can even double them.