In the mood for a whole-30 compliant and Low-Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup that is creamy, healthy, filling, comforting, and made with a spicy and savory broth? Then this is the dish for you!! This healthy soup is also dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, and sugar-free so nothing to stop you from making a copycat version of your favorite soup!
Healthy nourishing soups like this Low-Carb Zuppa Toscana copycat recipe or my creamy orange carrot soup with coconut milk are my favorite to enjoy during the cooler months or just whenever I'm looking for a wholesome meal that is Whole30, paleo, and sugar-free. Both are incredibly creamy, filled with rich flavors, perfectly spiced, and very easy to make.
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Why This Recipe Works
- versatile – this recipe is customizable and easy to work with; use spinach instead of kale and potatoes instead of cauliflower, for whole-30.
- healthy – nutritious and made with whole foods, this copycat Zuppa Toscana is a healthy option for anyone looking to make a warm soup that does not lack rich flavors.
- satisfying – the creamy coconut milk and chicken broth create a silky and savory soup base that balances out the Italian sausage, bacon, and cauliflower.
- decent in calories - a serving of this keto, low-carb Zuppa Toscana soup has 276 calories. 15 grams protein, 6.8 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, and 18g fat. As you can see, it is pretty skinny when it comes to calorie count, is high in fat and low in carbs making it suitable for low carb or keto diets.
- full of protein– this hearty soup is filling and great for whenever you want a filling meal to keep your hunger at bay.
Where is Zuppa Toscana from?
Zuppa Toscana is a wide term that can be literally translated to mean "Tuscan soup" in English. As the name suggests, the soup originated in Tuscany. It normally has kale, cannellini beans, potatoes, carrots, onion, tomato, zucchini, extra virgin olive oil, celery, salt, powdered chili, Italian seasoning, and Italian bacon as ingredient. Traditionally, like with most Italian recipes, you can expect each family to have it's own version of the dish. Olive Garden later popularised a North American version, to give us the soup that we now know and love!
- Italian sausage (mild or hot) - Wondering what the difference between Italian sausage and your normal breakfast sausage is? Italian sausage is normally spiced with fennel (a liquorice scented herb) while your typical American breakfast sausage is spiced with sage. Both sausages have ground meat, seasoning, and fat as a base.
- Chopped kale leaves - stripped and roughly chopped. Some people like to use spinach leaves.
- Ghee (Optional) - You can also use coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil.
- Minced garlic – If you do not have fresh garlic, you can use ground garlic, but I like to use the fresh type.
- Black pepper and salt to taste
- Italian seasoning – Italian seasoning is usually a mixture of herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, sage, sometimes marjoram, and basil.
- Red pepper flakes
- Chicken broth – You can use vegetable broth if you would like.
- Yellow onion – Or a white onion
- Cauliflower – About four cups of cauliflower florets.
- Full-fat coconut milk – This is a great substitute for heavy cream and allows the soup to be rich and smooth. Be sure to use the canned type of coconut milk that is unsweetened.
- Bacon slices - This is optional and will only be used later as a topping. Other suitable toppings include parmesan cheese, turkey bacon, chopped parsley, black pepper, red pepper flakes, or Italian seasoning.
How To Make Whole 30, Paleo and Low Carb Zuppa Toscana
Below is a step by step summary on how to make the best whole 30, paleo, and low carb Zuppa Toscana Soup!
- Prepare the vegetables - Peel and slice the onion and cut the cauliflower into florets. You can also use already prepared cauliflower florets.
- Slice the bacon into small cubes or squares.
- Under medium heat, add some oil to your favourite soup pot and allow to heat. Fry the bacon until crisp for about 2-5 minutes then set aside on a plate. The bacon is a topping and is totally optional.
- Add in the Italian sausage to your pot and use a wooden spoon to break it into smaller bits. Allow the sausage to cook and brown for about two minutes, stir then allow it to cook for a further three minutes.
- Add in the onions and fry until translucent. Next, add in the minced garlic and fry for another 1 minute.
- To the pot, add in the chicken broth, cauliflower florets, Italian seasoning, and the red pepper flakes.
- Stir, cover, and allow the Zuppa Toscana to simmer at medium heat for 15 minutes. If you have small kids who do not like spicy food as I do, then simply add the pepper flakes later while serving in individual bowls.
- Next, add in the coconut milk and kale, stir, and allow it to cook for about two to five minutes. You can adjust the salt at this point.
- Serve in bowls while still hot and top with the bacon and more pepper flakes if preferred. You can serve this healthy copycat Zuppa Toscana soup with a variety of things, I like to pair it up with some paleo and low carb bread or some biscuits.
I like to enjoy soups that are heavy in fats and low in carbs such as cauliflower and broccoli-based soups made with cheeses or lighter soups with vegetables like mushrooms or onions.
You can, but make sure it is unsweetened and unflavored. I like to use canned coconut milk the best because it mixes well, but you can substitute it with dairy milk if you are not dairy-free.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for three to four days. Yes, this whole 30, paleo and low carb Zuppa Toscana copycat recipe can be frozen which makes it ideal for prepping for the wintertime or whenever you want to have a keto or dairy-free lunch ready when you desire it. It will keep in the freezer, for four months. To use the frozen soup, thaw it in the fridge overnight, or on the countertop for a few hours, and reheat on the stovetop once thawed.
- the Italian sausage can be substituted with ground turkey or chicken.
- use spinach instead of kale.
- you can use potatoes instead of cauliflower, but just bear in mind that while potatoes are whole-30 compliant, they fall in the grey area when it comes to paleo, and are certainly not low carb.
- the full-fat coconut milk can be substituted for heavy cream, for keto.
Other Whole 30, Paleo and Low Carb Recipes You Will Enjoy
- Hokkaido Pumpkin and Apple Soup
- Cheese Keto Cauliflower Soup
- Instant Pot Potato and Leek Soup
- 23 Low-Carb and Paleo Recipes
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Healthy Low-Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup | Copy-Cat | Dairy-Free
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild or hot)
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 1 small cauliflower (about 4 cups cauliflower florets)
- 2 cups full-fat coconut milk (approx.14.5 oz can)
- 1 teaspoon ghee (optional - you can use excess fat obtained from frying the sausage or bacon)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 pieces bacon (you can also use turkey bacon)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper or more, to taste
KETO ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP - CROCKPOT METHOD
- Wash the cauliflower and separate or cut it into florets. Peel the onion and slice it.
- Heat up a skillet or pan. Add some Keto, low carb or whole30 suitable oil (olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil) in the skillet.
- Fry the bacon (optional) to be used as topping and set aside. Fry the Italian sausage for about 2-3 minutes on each side and allow to slightly brown. Add in the onion and garlic and fry for about a minute. Drain-off the excess oil and transfer the Italian sausage to the crockpot.
- Top the crockpot with the cauliflower florets, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and chicken broth. Set the SLOW COOKER on LOW and cook the soup for 3 hours.
- At the end of the cooking time, stir-in the coconut milk and the kale. Check the salt and adjust accordingly then allow the soup to cook for another 2-5 minutes.
- Top with the bacon (optional), red pepper flakes and serve immediately.
KETO PALEO LOW CARB ZUPPA TOSCANA - INSTANT POT METHOD
- Slice the bacon into small squares.
- Dice the onion. Separate the cauliflower florets into huge pieces.
- Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and NORMAL temperature then fry the bacon until crisp for about 4 min then set aside on a plate.
- Add the olive oil, coconut oil or ghee to the Instant Pot at this point, if the bacon fat left in the pot is not enough. Next, add the sausage to the Instant Pot. Using a wooden spoon, break the Italian sausage into smaller bits and allow it to cook for about 3 minutes. Stir then let the sausage cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add in the onions and fry until the onions are translucent. Next, put in the minced garlic and fry for another minute. Then add the chicken broth, cauliflower florets, Italian seasoning and the red pepper flakes.
- Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and set the nozzle to SEAL. Adjust the settings of the Instant Pot to MANUAL and HIGH TEMPERATURE for 3 minutes.
- Once the set cooking time is done, adjust the sealing nozzle to VENT for QUICK RELEASE of the pressure.
- Adjust the Instant Pot back to SAUTE and add the coconut milk and kale then stir. Allow the soup to cook for about 2-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately - divide the Low Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup into bowls and top with bacon.
KETO LOW CARB ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP - STOVETOP METHOD
- Peel and slice the onion and cut the cauliflower into florets. You can also use already prepared cauliflower florets. Slice the bacon into small cubes or squares.
- Under medium-heat, add some oil to your favourite soup pot and allow to heat. Fry the bacon until crisp for about 2-5 minutes then set aside on a plate. The bacon is a topping and is totally optional.
- Add the Italian sausage to your soup pot and use a spatula or a wooden spoon to break the sausage into smaller bits. Allow the sausage to fry and brown for about 2 minutes, stir, then allow it to cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Add in the onions and fry until the onions are translucent. Next, put in the minced garlic and fry for another minute.
- To the soup pot, add in the chicken broth, cauliflower florets, Italian seasoning, and the red pepper flakes.
- Stir, then cover over your soup pot and allow the Zuppa Toscana Soup to simmer at medium heat for 15 minutes. – If you have small kids who do not like spicy food like I do, simply add the pepper flakes later while serving.
- Add in the coconut milk and kale, stir and allow to cook for about 2-5 minutes. You can adjust the salt at this point.
- Serve in bowls while still hot. Top with the bacon and more pepper flakes if preferred and enjoy!
- The time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure is not included in the total time.
This sounds fantastic! While I don't follow a Keto diet, I can't turn down anything made with cauliflower, coconut milk or bacon!