Easy Instant Pot Keto Zuppa Toscana is thick, creamy and full of Italian flavor. It’s a delicious soup your whole family will love. And even better, this low-carb version fits right in with a keto-friendly lifestyle.
I really love soup and my instant pot! I use the instant pot for soups more than anything else. It’s so easy to use and infuses the soup with flavor as if you slow-cooked it all day.
What is Zuppa Toscana soup?
If you’ve never heard of Zuppa Toscana, it’s an Italian phrase that means Tuscan soup. The Olive Garden version of this soup is very popular. For many years I made instant pot Zuppa Toscana soup using potatoes, traditionally used in this recipe.
Adapting it to fit my keto lifestyle was easy using simple swaps. Cauliflower is the perfect replacement for the potatoes. And I definitely don’t miss peeling all of those potatoes!
Another reason this keto soup recipe is so easy is the use of frozen veggies. I like to use spinach in my version but of course, you can use kale. I hope you enjoy!
Why you’ll love Keto Zuppa Toscana soup
If you like savory comfort food in a bowl, Keto Zuppa Toscana will be right up your alley. Perfect for chilly nights, this low carb version is a quick and simple recipe. Since it has a short cook time, you can have it on the table in under an hour. An ideal meal for the nights you’re short on time.
Italian sausage, bacon and veggies give it tons of flavor. And the best part? It’s so good, you’ll never realize it’s low carb. It’s one of my favorite soups and I think you’ll love it as much as I do!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Avocado oil – to keep the meat from sticking to the instant pot. Substitute olive oil if you prefer.
Mild Italian sausage – spicy sausage, ground pork or even turkey sausage are all great substitutes. If you’re not using Italian sausage but still want that Tuscan taste, add a little Italian seasoning and some fennel seed while you brown the meat.
Bacon – for the best smoky, salty flavor I like to use thick cut bacon. Real bacon bits (pre-cooked bacon) will work if you want to skip the step of chopping and cooking bacon.
Onion and garlic – cook along with the meat for added flavor. They will also make your house smell amazing!
Broth – vegetable broth is what I use, but chicken stock or chicken broth works equally well.
Cauliflower and spinach – frozen veggies cook up quicker than fresh and taste just as good. You can substitute chopped kale for the spinach if you prefer.
Italian seasoning – oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary add a ton of classic Italian flavor.
Heavy whipping cream – creates a creamy broth without being too rich. I don’t recommend using low-fat milk, since it can curdle when added to the hot soup.
Grated Parmesan cheese – optional, but I love the nutty, fruity taste it adds.
Crushed red pepper – sprinkle in some red pepper flakes if you want a little spice.
Salt and black pepper – to taste
How To Make Low Carb Zuppa Toscana
The first step is to brown the meat. Turn the instant pot to saute mode and drizzle in the oil. Add the ground sausage and bacon pieces along with the diced onions and minced garlic.
Break apart the sausage with a wooden spoon and cook until all the meat is brown and cooked through. Drain excess fat from the meat and return to the pot.
Next, stir in the broth, cauliflower florets, spinach and Italian seasoning. Turn the instant pot to manual mode for six minutes. When done, let it naturally release the pressure.
Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Then garnish with Parmesan and crushed red pepper. And that’s all there is to it! Refrigerated leftovers are easy to reheat the next day.
How to make stovetop Zuppa Toscana
If you don’t have an instant pot, or would rather make this soup on the stovetop, it’s easy to do. Just follow all of the instant pot recipe steps but omit the oil and boil everything on the stove.
Add the ground sausage and bacon pieces to a heavy pan over medium heat, along with the onions and garlic. Cook until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain off the grease if necessary and return to the burner.
Next, stir in the broth, cauliflower florets, spinach and Italian seasoning. Boil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender. This will take about 15 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for 15 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper if desired and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Then dig in and enjoy your Tuscan vegetable soup!
Tips for Success
- It’s important to drain the bacon and sausage well after it’s cooked. To remove as much grease as you can, blot the meat with a paper towel after you’ve drained it.
- If your finished soup still has excess grease, turn off the heat and let it sit in the pot for 10 minutes or so. At that point, you can easily skim the extra fat off the top of the surface with a large spoon.
- Check to make sure the cauliflower is cooked before adding the cream. Insert a fork or skewer to check for doneness. The cauliflower should be easily pierced.
- It’s best to taste the soup before seasoning with extra salt. The bacon, sausage and broth are already quite salty and you may not need to add any more.
What does Zuppa Toscana taste like?
Zuppa Toscana is a hearty, creamy and comforting soup. With flavors of Italian sausage, crispy bacon, veggies and some cream, this is the perfect cozy soup for a cold day.
How many carbs are in keto Tuscan soup?
Because this keto version of Zuppa Toscana omits the potatoes, the net carbs are only 4.7 grams per serving.
Can this soup be frozen or reheated?
Soups with dairy generally don’t freeze well, as the milk separates when frozen. I recommend storing leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.
More keto recipes
Instant Pot Keto Zuppa Toscana
- Turn instant pot to saute mode and add oil to pot. Put sausage, onion, garlic and bacon in pot. Cook until sausage and bacon are browned. Drain if necessary and return to pot.
- Pour in broth and add cauliflower, spinach and Italian seasoning. Set instant pot to manual mode – 6 minutes. After it finishes allow it to natural release pressure. When it’s finished the lid will unlock.
- Stir in heavy cream. Serve soup garnished with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is included as a courtesy and is calculated to the best of my ability, using my preferred brands. I recommend calculation your own macros, as they can widely vary depending on the brands of ingredients you use.
Author: Natasha Newton (Natasha's Southern Flavor)
Natasha is the founder of Natasha’s Southern Flavor. She has a passion for sharing delicious family friendly low-carb recipes that are easy to make and use readily accessible ingredients. Natasha has published three bestselling cookbooks. Her books and recipes have been featured by CNET, Delish, Mindbodygreen, Parade and Women’s Health. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, two adult children, and three furbabies.
Read more about Natasha here.