35 minutes

Healthy Zuppa Toscana with Ground Turkey

Healthy zuppa toscana with ground turkey is a classic Tuscan soup your whole family will love. This delicious creamy soup is a lightened-up version that tastes even better than your favorite restaurant dish.

My town recently got an Olive Garden. Apparently, this was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to my children, and they begged to go on opening night. I will admit, I do have a soft spot for the Olive Garden (it’s the bread sticks), so I was happy to give in this time. Our visit was a success. The kids went to bed early, stuffed full of bread sticks and pasta, and I enjoyed a quiet glass of wine and some time to scheme up this delicious Olive Garden copycat soup.

This healthy zuppa toscana recipe is the best homemade soup for the winter months. Packed with lean ground turkey and creamy broth, this lightened up version of classic zuppa toscana is even better than the original recipe. Add this to your weekly meal plan, and it is sure to become your family’s new favorite soup. Serve this hearty soup with a simple Caesar salad or arugula burrata salad and some crusty bread for a delicious complete meal.

For more delicious soup recipes, try my vegetable orzo soup (very similar in flavor to minestrone!), creamy vegetable rice soup, or lentil tortilla soup.

A close up of a ladle of soup over a white pot of zuppa toscana on a marble background.

You Will Love This

  • This is the perfect soup for a dreary winter day. It’s hearty and filling, but still full of healthy whole foods.
  • This healthy zuppa toscana soup uses lean ground turkey instead of ground pork sausage for a lighter soup without any loss of flavor.
  • This soup reheats beautifully and is great for leftovers!

Ingredients

Ingredients for zuppa toscana on a marble background.

To make healthy zuppa toscana with ground turkey, you need the following simple ingredients (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):

  • Olive oil
  • Ground turkey: I used 93/7 ground turkey. You could substitute Italian turkey sausage, but you will want to reduce the seasonings accordingly.
  • Seasonings for the turkey, including: sea salt, paprika, Italian seasoning, and sugar. A teaspoon of chopped fennel seeds would also be great in this recipe to help mimic that sausage flavor, if you have them on hand!
  • Bacon: I like to use precooked bacon to make this recipe a little quicker. Feel free to cook your own bacon if you have some extra time!
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves: You could substitute garlic powder.
  • Chicken stock
  • Yukon gold potatoes: I chose Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe because I didn’t want to peel the potatoes, and the skin on Yukon golds is nice and thin. You could substitute russet potatoes or red potatoes if you prefer.
  • Half and half: I use half and half in place of heavy cream to lighten up the soup. You could also use 2% milk.
  • Kale: Feel free to substitute baby spinach.
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

Step One: Prepare the ingredients. Wash the potatoes very well and slice them into thin, uniform slices about 1/4 inch thick. Dice the onion. Mince the garlic. Wash the kale and remove the thick stems. Roughly chop the leaves.

Step Two: Warm the olive oil in a large dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the ground turkey. Break the turkey into small pieces with a wooden spoon, and add the sea salt, paprika, Italian seasoning, sugar and fennel (if using). Stir the seasonings in and cook until the turkey is fully cooked through. Remove the turkey to a plate and set aside.

A white dutch oven on a marble background. The pot contains browned ground turkey.

Step Three: Add the diced onion to the pot and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes, until the onion is soft and fragrant. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 more minute.

A white dutch oven on a marble background. The pot contains diced onions browning in bacon grease.

Step Four: Pour the chicken broth into the pot and use your wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits off the bottom. Add the sliced potatoes, and turn the stove up to medium-high heat. Bring the soup to a simmer, and allow the potatoes to cook for about 10-12 minutes until pierced easily with a fork.

A white dutch oven on a marble background. The pot contains sliced potatoes in broth, stirred by a wooden spoon.

Step Five: Add the half and half into the stock, and stir well. Return the turkey to the pot, and add the chopped kale. Stir those ingredients in until the kale wilts slightly and the soup is well combined.

A white dutch oven on a marble background. The pot contains browned ground turkey and kale.

Step Six: Add the cooked and crumbled bacon to the soup, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add red pepper flakes a little at a time until the soup reaches your desired level of heat. Top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese for a little extra yum!

A white pot of zuppa toscana on a marble background.

Storage

This soup is great for leftovers! Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For longer term storage, put the soup in a glass freezer container. Make sure to leave enough room at the top of the container (head room) so that the soup can expand as it freezes. Soup will keep in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. To serve, just defrost the soup in the refrigerator overnight and then warm it on the stove top or in the microwave.

A bowl of zuppa toscana with a spoon in it, with another bowl of zuppa and pot to the side.
Two white bowls with healthy zuppa toscana, with a white pot of zuppa toscana, a garnish bowl, and two spoons to the side.

Healthy Zuppa Toscana with Ground Turkey

Zuppa toscana is a classic Tuscan soup your whole family will love. This delicious creamy soup is a lightened-up version that tastes even better than your favorite restaurant dish.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 405 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds optional
  • 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes thinly sliced
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 5 cups kale thick stems removed
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • kosher salt to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the ingredients. Wash the potatoes very well and slice them into thin, uniform slices about 1/4 inch thick. Dice the onion. Mince the garlic. Wash the kale and remove the thick stems. Roughly chop the leaves.
  • Warm the olive oil in a large dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the ground turkey. Break the turkey into small pieces with a wooden spoon, and add the sea salt, paprika, Italian seasoning, sugar and fennel (if using). Stir the seasonings into the turkey and cook until the turkey is fully cooked through. Remove the turkey to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the diced onion to the pot and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes, until the onion is soft and fragrant. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 more minute.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the pot and use your wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits off the bottom. Add the sliced potatoes, and turn the stove up to medium-high heat. Bring the soup to a simmer, and allow the potatoes to cook for about 10-12 minutes until pierced easily with a fork.
  • Add the half and half into the stock, and stir well. Return the turkey to the pot, and add the chopped kale. Stir those ingredients in until the kale wilts slightly and the soup is well combined.
  • Add the cooked and crumbled bacon to the soup, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add red pepper flakes a little at a time until the soup reaches your desired level of heat. Top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese for a little extra yum!

Nutrition

Calories: 405kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 30gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 837mgPotassium: 1078mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 5985IUVitamin C: 70mgCalcium: 263mgIron: 3mg
Keyword healthy zuppa toscana, zuppa toscana, zuppa toscana with ground turkey
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5 Comments

  1. Um this sounds perfect! I’m trying tomorrow. Thanks! If I keep it heavy whipping cream, do I still only do 2 cups or lessen the amount?

    1. I can’t wait for you to try it Laura! For heavy whipping cream I would start with one cup. Add that, then taste and see how you like it. If you want it creamier, go ahead and add the second cup. I haven’t tried it with heavy cream, but I’m guessing one cup will be enough. I hope you love it!

      1. Thanks Danielle!
        I’ll let you know how it goes. 😃 great idea btw with the fennel seeds. I have some so I’ll be adding those as well.

      2. 5 stars
        Ahhh!!! My new favorite soup recipe. Seriously soooooooooo good. I could kiss you! I would rate it a 5 star but it won’t let me. It only is letting me click the 4 stars. It’s like it won’t register my click to the far right. I tried numerous times. I didn’t want your average star to go down so I didn’t click any.

        So I ended up doubling the turkey (because I wanted it to be packed with protein). I added some more water. I did 1 cup half and half and the other cup heavy whipping cream. The flavors in this are just popping! Love the bacon added touch. Thank you so much!!!❤️

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