Healthier Crockpot Zuppa Toscana

5 from 7 votes
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This healthier crockpot friendly Zuppa Toscana will blow you away with flavor. It’s creamy, full of nutrients and way less caloric than the classic.

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Why Make This Healthier Zuppa Toscana

This soup is delicious. It’s truly a household favorite around here. My husband loved it and had no idea it was a healthier version of the tuscan classic.

This soup is easily made in the crockpot or on the stovetop. You can choose your own journey and both cooking methods are excellent. The Zuppa Toscana is creamy, thick and so hearty. There are nutrients from the veggies and lots of protein from the ground meat. I call for lean ground meat instead of sausage to lighten things up.

This is a great meal to use up leftover veggies with, you can extra veggies if desired and it will still taste scrumptious.

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients needed to make this soup on a grey counter. Small plates and bowls with broth and veggies,

Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey. Both are great interchangeably folr this dish. It replaces the high caloric sausage that is traditionally used in this soup.

Russet Potatoes. These add a great starchiness and they are mashed up to thicken the sauce.

Cauliflower. This is to take the place of half of the potatoes! Cauliflower offers a similar texture with less calories and lower in carbs (plus extra nutrients-yay!)

Seasonings. Seasoning does a lot of heavy lifting in this soup. Salt, pepper, oregano, dried basil, thyme.

Bacon. The bacon is one of my favorite additions, you can use turkey bacon to cut back on calories but I love the real deal bacon. I like to use some of the bacon grease to add a little extra “yum” to the broth ( this is optional).

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card below. 

Recipe Variations

Ground Turkey. Ground sausage or ground chicken will work as well.

Cauliflower. You can use all potatoes and skip cauliflower if needed.

Kale. Collard greens will also work well.

Sour Cream. Use heavy cream if wanted, or you can make it dairy free and use unsweetened almond milk.

Bacon. Turkey bacon will also work.

Steps To Make This Healthy Zuppa Toscana

Step One. Fry bacon and set aside on a plate (photo 2). Keep about 1/4 cup of the bacon grease for flavoring the soup (optional). While bacon is cooking prepare ingredients. Heat large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil and brown the ground turkey.

Step Two. Add the chopped onions, seasoning, and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes and take off heat (photo 3).

Step Three. If cooking Healthy Zuppa Toscana in a crockpot: Add the ground meat mixture, peeled and cubed potatoes, cauliflower, broth and set on high for 3-4 hours or until the potatoes are cooked through and softened. Before serving, using a slotted spoon, pull out about 1/2 cup of potatoes and cauliflower and blend into a paste (this is to thicken the soup) Photo 4.

Step Four. Add the sour cream to the soup, stir, add kale, 2-3 Tbsp of bacon fat (optional) and stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes until soup has thickened slightly. Season with more salt if needed, serve and top with crispy diced bacon and parmesan.

Step Five. If cooking Zuppa Toscana on the stove top: add peeled, diced potatoes to a large pot. Add in broth, meat mixture, cauliflower, bacon grease. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and can pierce with a fork. Using a slotted spoon, take about 1/2 cup of the potatoes and cauliflower out and add them to a small blender.

Step Six. Blend into a paste, add it back into the soup. *this is to thicken the soup! Add the kale and sour cream and simmer for another 6-8 minutes. Season more with salt/pepper if needed, serve and top with crispy diced bacon and parmesan.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze these for up to 2 months.   

Recipe FAQs

How can I make my healthier Zuppa Toscana thicker?

This soup is traditionally somewhat brothy, but if you prefer a thicker soup (like me), you can either mash some of the potatoes/cauliflower in the soup (which the recipe suggests), or mix 1 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch with 2-3 Tbsp of additional sour cream, and stir it in when you add the cream.  Stir occasionally for the next 5-7 minutes and it’ll thicken up.

Can this Crockpot Zuppa Toscana be frozen and reheated?

Yes! It’s excellent reheated throughout the week. I have froze this soup and it heats back up great, just be mindful that the sour cream can separate a bit.

Can I make this low carb or dairy free?

Yes! Just use all cauliflower and skip the potatoes if needed. You can make this dairy free by using a vegan sour cream.

Healthy Zuppa Toscana Tips

To make this even healthier, skip adding any bacon grease and ditch the Parmesan. You can also skip the bacon but in my opinion, this soup is SO GOOD with the cripsy bacon bits on top.

Taste as you go! With all recipes, be sure to taste the soup before serving. Everyone has different taste buds and you may want to add a pinch more salt or red pepper flakes or even a bit more bacon grease to the broth.

Be patient with the potatoes. They can go from almost done to overdone pretty quickly, just keep an eye on them and be patient with the cooking process.

Recipe Pairings

This soup goes great with my Overnight Bread, or Lemon Kale Caesar Salad on the side! Healthy Italian Stuffed Peppers would pair well.

For appetizers with this meal try my Balsamic Bruschetta or Margherita Pizza.

Other Cozy Soups To Consider

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Grey pottery bowls filled with creamy soup and crispy bacon on top. Garnished with parsley and a gold spoon.
5 from 7 votes

Healthier Zuppa Toscana

This healthier crockpot friendly Zuppa Toscana will blow you away with flavor. It's creamy, full of nutrients and way less caloric than the classic. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • large soup pot or crockpot
  • deep skillet
  • knife

Ingredients 

  • ½-1 lb bacon , *see notes
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey , *see notes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • cup yellow onion, diced
  • ½ tsp salt, *more as needed
  • ½ tsp black pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 2 small russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream , *see notes
  • 3-4 cups kale, chopped, stems discarded
  • ¼ cup parmesan , for garnish, more as needed

Instructions 

  • Fry bacon and set aside on a plate. Keep about 1/4 cup of the bacon grease for flavoring the soup (optional). While bacon is cooking prepare ingredients. Heat large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil and brown the ground turkey. 
  • Add the chopped onions, seasoning, and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes and take off heat. 
  • If cooking in a crockpot: Add the ground meat mixture, peeled and cubed potatoes, cauliflower, broth and set on high for 3-4 hours or until the potatoes are cooked through and softened. Before serving, using a slotted spoon, pull out about 1/2 cup of potatoes and cauliflower and blend into a paste (this is to thicken the soup)
  • Add the sour cream to the soup, stir, add kale, 2-3 Tbsp of bacon fat (optional) and stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes until soup has thickened slightly. Season with more salt if needed, serve and top with crispy diced bacon and parmesan.
  • If cooking on the stove top: add peeled, diced potatoes to a large pot. Add in broth, meat mixture, cauliflower, bacon grease. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and can pierce with a fork. Using a slotted spoon, take about 1/2 cup of the potatoes out and add them to a small blender. 
  • Blend into a paste, add it back into the soup. *this is to thicken the soup! Add the kale and sour cream and simmer for another 6-8 minutes. Season more with salt/pepper if needed, serve and top with crispy diced bacon and parmesan.

Notes

*ground chicken will also work. 
*save some bacon grease to add into the soup for flavor (optional!) 
*heavy cream or whole milk will work in place of sour cream.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze these for up to 2 months. Thaw soup completely before reheating slowly on the stovetop. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 619kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1730mg | Potassium: 1236mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5493IU | Vitamin C: 78mg | Calcium: 311mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 619
Keyword: crockpot, soups
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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was very easy to make. A huge win for my family with several picky eaters. Thank you we love your recipes and make them weekly.

  2. 5 stars
    This really hit the spot with the snow today great recipe. My kiddos loved it.

    1. Hi Carmen! So happy to hear this. Thanks so much for making it.