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Keto Zuppa Toscana

There are many components that come together to make this Keto Zuppa Toscana recipe a full love affair. A flavour filled broth brings together the delicious bacon, vibrant kale, potato-like-turnips and then the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes add their spicy flair. Bonus? Have this soup on the table in just half an hour!

White soup bowl filled with keto zuppa toscana and garnished with grated parmesan cheese. There is a spoon on the bowl.

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Okay, this is seriously my new favourite soup. Like, ever. The flavourful Italian sausage, potato-like-turnips, flavourful broth, vibrant kale and bacon?! Soup really doesn’t get any better!

Turning this delicious soup into a Keto version was actually quite easy. We simply swapped the potatoes for turnips, the flour for xanthan gum and added a whole lotta bacon! I hope you love this Keto Zuppa Toscana recipe as much as my family and I do!

Two white soup bowls filled with keto zuppa toscana and garnished with grated parmesan cheese. There is a spoon on one of the bowls.

Why it works

  1. The flavour! Oh the flavour! You’ve got onion, garlic and turnips simmered in chicken stock, and Italian sausage fried with red pepper flakes for a spicy flair!
  2. Quick and simple! This soup is easy to make and won’t take you all day. You can have it on the table in about half an hour from start to finish.
  3. The original Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana comes with potatoes, which we swapped out for a lower carb option, turnips. It is also slightly thickened with flour, however, we can easily thicken our Keto version with xanthan gum, though is really doesn’t need it!

Ingredients

All ingredients used to make this Keto Zuppa Toscana.

Italian Sausage – We use ground mild Italian sausage in this Keto Zuppa Toscana recipe. If you can only find hot Italian, think about leaving out the red pepper flakes, unless you would like a more spicy soup. If you can’t find ground Italian sausage at all, grab some mild Italian sausage links and remove the casing!

Dehydrated Red Pepper Flakes – This ingredient adds a ton of flavour to the soup. I find 1/2 tsp a perfect amount to use for the extra flavour without adding too much heat. If you are worried about the spice level, use 1/4 tsp, or none at all. Like it spicy? Try 1 tsp!

Turnips – You’ll be surprised at how much turnips taste like potatoes; it’s totally crazy! We swap the traditional potatoes with turnips because they are quite a bit lower in carbs.

Chicken Stock – Choose an organic chicken stock, free from unnecessary ingredients, or better yet, make your own! I like to make my own Instant Pot Chicken Broth because it’s super easy, I can use up vegetable trimming and it’s just so tasty!

Kale – A lot of people use spinach in their Zuppa Toscana, but I find its texture non comparable to kale. The spinach gets soggy super fast whereas the kale lasts for quite a long time!

Salt – The amount of salt you’ll need will depend on how salty the sausage, bacon and chicken stock are. Once your Keto Zuppa Toscana is complete, give it a taste test and then add the salt 1/2 tsp at a time. I usually need between 1/2 – 1 tsp.

How to make Keto Zuppa Toscana

Heat a dutch oven or soup pot on medium high heat. Add the ground Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up into chunks as it cooks. Meanwhile, chop the onion into small pieces and either finely mince the garlic, or press it through a garlic press.

Pot with cooked Italian sausage beside a cutting board with diced onions.

Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside on a plate for later. Drain the grease from the pot, return it to the heat and then fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and set it aside, then fry the onion until translucent, adding the garlic at the end to cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Peel the turnips and chop them into 1″ cubes while the onion is cooking.

Pot with fried onions and garlic on top, beside a cutting board with chopped turnip.

Add the chicken stock, pepper and cubed turnips to the onions, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the turnips are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the stems from the kale and then rip the leaves into bite sized pieces.

Pour in the warmed cream, cooked Italian sausage and prepared kale, then crumble the bacon overtop. Give the Keto Zuppa Toscana a stir and allow it to cook for a couple more minutes, until the kale has slightly wilted. Serve hot with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Soup pot filled with Keto Zuppa Toscana.

Expert Tips

  1. If the bacon was super fatty, there may be a lot of bacon grease left in the pot, so you will need to drain some of it out. You want about 2-3 tbsp bacon grease left in the pot.
  2. Even after all these years, my husband still leaves the stem on the kale. Don’t do it. Trust me. No one wants to eat kale ribs!
  3. We warm the cream first before adding it to the hot soup, otherwise the cream could curdle. Yuk!
Two white soup bowls filled with keto zuppa toscana and garnished with grated parmesan cheese.

Recipes to enjoy with your Keto Zuppa Toscano

Here are some other Keto soups you might like

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White soup bowl filled with keto zuppa toscana and garnished with grated parmesan cheese. There is a spoon on the bowl.

Keto Zuppa Toscana

Get all the flavour and texture with out the carbs in this Keto Zuppa Toscana soup! Turnips replace the potatoes in this delicious recipe.
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 bowls
Author: Aleta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground mild Italian sausage *see note 4
  • ½ tsp dehydrated red pepper flakes *see note 5
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 lb turnips
  • 8 cups chicken stock *see note 6
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups green kale
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream warmed to room temperature
  • Salt to taste *see note 7

Optional

  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum

Instructions

Equipment Needed

Directions

  • Heat a dutch oven or soup pot on medium high heat. Add the ground Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up into chunks as it cooks. Meanwhile, chop the onion into small pieces and either finely mince the garlic, or press it through a garlic press.
  • Remove the sausage from the pot, set aside, and then drain out the grease. Return the pot to the heat and fry the bacon until crisp *see note 1. Remove the bacon and set it aside, then fry the onion until translucent, adding the garlic at the end to cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Peel the turnips and chop them into 1" cubes while the onion is cooking.
  • Add the chicken stock, pepper and cubed turnips to the onions, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the turnips are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the ribs from the kale and rip into bite sized pieces *see note 2.
  • Pour in the warmed cream, cooked Italian sausage and prepared kale, then crumble the bacon over top *see note 3. Give the Keto Zuppa Toscana a stir and allow it to cook for a couple more minutes, until the kale has slightly wilted.
  • If you would like a thicker soup, sprinkle the xanthan gum over top and stir until thick. Give your Keto Zuppa Toscana a taste, adjust the salt *see note 7, and then serve hot with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Notes

  1. If the bacon was super fatty, there may be a lot of bacon grease left in the pot, so you will need to drain some of it out. You want about 2-3 tbsp bacon grease left in the pot.
  2. Even after all these years, my husband still leaves the stem on the kale. Don’t do it. Trust me. No one wants to eat kale ribs!
  3. We warm the cream first before adding it to the hot soup, otherwise the cream could curdle. Yuk!
  4. Italian Sausage – We use ground mild Italian sausage in this Keto Zuppa Toscana recipe. If you can only find hot Italian, think about leaving out the red pepper flakes, unless you would like a more spicy soup. If you can’t find ground Italian sausage at all, grab some mild Italian sausage links and remove the casing!
  5. Dehydrated Red Pepper Flakes – This ingredient adds a ton of flavour to the soup. I find 1/2 tsp a perfect amount to use for the extra flavour without adding too much heat. If you are worried about the spice level, use just 1/4 tsp, or none at all. Like it spicy? Try 1 tsp!
  6. Chicken Stock – Choose an organic chicken stock, free from unnecessary ingredients, or better yet, make your own! I like to make my own Instant Pot Chicken Broth because it’s super easy, I can use up leftover vegetable trimming and it’s just so tasty!
  7. Salt – The amount of salt you’ll need will depend on how salty the sausage, bacon and chicken stock are. Once your Keto Zuppa Toscana is complete, give it a taste test and then add the salt 1/2 tsp at a time. I usually need between 1/2 – 1 tsp.
 
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition facts are an estimate only! The ingredients you choose could have different nutritional values than the ingredients I have used.
Deduct fibre from the total carbs to get 6.8 g net carbs per bowl, if the entire soup was divided into 6 portions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.7g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 35.5g | Sodium: 2038mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Net Carbs: 6.8g
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20 Comments

  1. I love a good soup regardless of the time of year! This recipe looks amazing with so many of my favourite ingredients. But I have never though to put kale in soup before! What a great idea!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was absolutely fantastic! I just love the addition of turnips. Zuppa Toscana has always been one of my favorite soups, but this might be my favorite version! 🙂 GREAT recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    This soup looks sooo full of flavour, and it would be ideal to enjoy on a cold and rainy day like today! I’m definitely trying it with pepper flakes, I love a bit of extra heat!

  4. I loved the addition of turnips here instead of potatoes! I have to admit this soup tasted so good that I had 2 huge servings in a go!

  5. 5 stars
    I had never heard of zuppa toscana, but who am I to say no to a dish with bacon and sausage, right? Great idea to vary my everyday dinners. Thanks for sharing!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner and it was a big hit with my family! what a delicious addition to my soup repitoire.

  7. 5 stars
    Such a smart idea to use turnips instead of potatoes to make this keto! I adore Zuppa Toscano, and your version is such a total winner because it’s ready super-fast … absolutely perfect for busy nights!

  8. 5 stars
    Creamy, healthy, flavorful and delicious combinations to making this awesome Soup. I love such amazing options for Dinner making it perfect.

  9. 5 stars
    Super satisfying soup. I’m not usually a fan of turnips, but wow, they tasted so good in this soup. Will make again. Thanks.

  10. 5 stars
    Kale definitely is much sturdier than spinach. This is especially useful when planning to serve this soup over a few days, as it will not self-destruct more at every reheating as spinach does. Nice to see you again, Aleta!

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