Have you ever had the Zuppa Toscana from the Olive Garden? Here is a dairy-free, meat-free vegan version of the Zuppa Toscana, made with vegan sausage and coconut milk.
This vegan Zuppa Toscana recipe might just become your favorite new comfort food soup this winter!
This soup is ready in under 25 minutes, meaning you can have a belly-warming, soul-warming soup any night of the week, even busy weeknights! It's loaded with rich savory flavors and will please anyone - vegans and meat eaters alike!
Chunky hearty soups – the ultimate comfort food
I absolutely love really chunky soups filled with lots of hearty ingredients. They are the ultimate comfort food for me, especially when served with a fresh warm dinner roll.
This soup has potatoes and vegan sausage to give it that really nice savory, satisfying flavor. The broth for this soup is made of canned coconut milk and vegetable stock, giving it a rich, tasty flavor and mouthfeel without any dairy.
How to make vegan zuppa toscana
Start by browning the vegan sausage with the minced garlic and diced onion in a skillet. The vegan sausage will release liquid, so continue to cook it until the liquid evaporates and the sausage browns slightly. Stir frequently!
Remove the sausage from the pot and add your vegetable broth and diced potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are mostly fully submerged in the broth! Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
Add the coconut milk, spinach (or use kale, see below!), basil, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and your cooked sausage. Season with salt and ground black pepper, if your soup broth is not salty enough. Bring to a gently boil to heat everything through and wilt the spinach, then remove from heat.
Using kale instead of spinach? Add torn kale to the soup about 3 minutes after adding the potatoes, so the kale has a chance to really soften and cook down.
What kind of coconut milk to use
I use canned lite coconut milk for most of my soup recipes. I find that it has a good balance because it has a rich and creamy flavor but it is not as fatty as full-fat coconut milk. And no, it doesn't make the soup taste like coconut in the end!
If you want to lighten this soup up a little bit, use any unsweetened plant-based milk alternative - coconut milk in a carton, almond milk, or soy milk.
Vegan sausage crumbles
You can use any vegan sausage crumbles you like for this soup - I used Pure Farmland sausage crumbles.
I really like cooking with Pure Farmland sausage crumbles because it doesn’t fall apart too much while cooking and you end up with really hearty, nicely browned sausage chunks. They give the soup lots of flavor and a nice texture.
Other add-ins for zuppa Toscana
You can switch things up by doing one of the suggestions below, or all of these! You might need to add another ½ cup to 1 cup of vegetable stock (or coconut milk) to the soup if you're adding all of these extra solid ingredients, otherwise you'll have a very thick soup (which might not be a bad thing!).
- White beans. You can add a drained can of white beans, such as great northern or navy beans to the final step of the soup recipe, when you're adding the spinach. This adds a nice boost of fiber to this soup.
- Carrots. You can add ~1-1.5 cups chopped carrots (about 2 small/medium carrots) at the same time that you're adding the diced potatoes - let the carrots cook through with the potatoes. This adds a nice boost of veggies to the soup. Just make sure the carrots are chopped pretty small, since they typically cook longer than potatoes!
- Celery. Add some thinly sliced celery while you are browning the vegan sausage and onions. This also adds a nice boost of vegetable to the soup, and bulks up the soup - meaning you end up with bigger servings with more veggies (not a bad thing!), or more servings (also not a bad thing!).
- Swap kale for spinach. If you prefer kale because it has more of a bite, you can swap the same amount of kale leaves torn into 1-2 inch pieces, and add the kale about 3 minutes after adding the potatoes - this gives kale time to soften and cook down a bit.
- Splash of white wine. Add a couple of tablespoons of dry white wine after you remove the cooked sausage from the pan - this will deglaze the pan and add more flavor to the soup.
Whatever you decide to add to this soup, I hope you love it!
Looking for other vegan soups?
- Vegan minestrone soup
- Vegan Italian sausage soup with white beans and kale
- Vegan taco soup (this one is truly the best!)
- Creamy vegan cauliflower soup
- Vegan black bean soup (Instant Pot!)
- Vegan broccoli and cheese soup
- Vegan cream of zucchini soup
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- 1 lb vegan sausage, or vegan sausage crumbles (such as Pure Farmland)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups vegetable stock, (or use my vegan chicken broth)
- 3 medium potatoes, (about ¾ lb), peeled and cubed into ½ inch pieces
- 14 oz lite coconut milk
- 4 cups baby spinach
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, or parsley
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
- 5 quart soup pot
- Prepare all the vegetables: Dice the onion, peel and dice the potatoes into ~½ inch pieces, mince the garlic, wash the spinach (or kale) and basil. (Time-saving tip: dice the potatoes while the sausage is cooking)
- In a 4-5 quart soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the vegan sausage crumbles, diced onion, and minced garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, using a spatula to crumble the sausage. The vegan sausage will release liquid - continue to cook until the liquid evaporates and the sausage browns, stirring frequently.Stir in the dried oregano, then remove the cooked crumbled sausage mixture to a plate and set aside.
- Add the vegetable broth and diced potatoes to the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Add the coconut milk, spinach (or kale, see notes), basil, red pepper flakes, and the cooked sausage. Season with salt and ground black pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil, make sure to wilt the spinach, then remove from heat. Serve hot.
- This soup is great with spinach OR kale. The kale has more of a chewy bite. If using kale, clean the kale leaves and tear them into small pieces. Add the kale about 3 minutes after adding the potatoes, to give it down to soften and cook down.
- Coconut milk from a can gives this soup a rich flavor. Use canned lite coconut milk for less calories, or use unsweetened coconut milk from a carton or unsweetened almond milk for even fewer calories.
- Try these other additions, too!
- White beans. Add a drained can of white beans during the last step to give this soup more bulk and fiber.
- Carrots. You can add ~1-1.5 cups finely chopped carrots at the same time that you're adding the diced potatoes - let the carrots cook through with the potatoes. This adds a nice boost of veggies to the soup.
- Celery. Add some thinly sliced celery while you are browning the vegan sausage and onions.
- Splash of white wine. Add a splash of dry white wine after you remove the cooked sausage from the pan - this will deglaze the pan and add more flavor to the soup. Then continue with adding the vegetable broth and potatoes and cooking the rest of the soup.