Classy Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana in one pot

Overhead view of a healthy Zuppa Toscana without heavy cream garnished with bacon and ready for serving.

5 from 4 reviews

This amazing Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana features chewy kale, crispy bacon, Italian sausage, and potatoes in a smooth savory broth. It's a favorite paleo one-pot soup recipe perfect for weeknight dinners. It's also the ultimate cool-weather comfort food. With only 10 ingredients plus a few common spices, this hearty soup recipe will win over your heart in no time!


Units Scale
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch (can sub corn or arrowroot starch)
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, divided
  • 1 pound ground Italian Sausage
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups curly kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 medium bay leaves


  1. Fry Bacon: In a large pot on medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, mix starch with 1/2 cup cold broth by whisking or shaking in a sealed jar.
    Overhead view of 1-inch pieces of bacon frying in a 5 quart dutch oven.
  2. Set Bacon Aside: Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Remove all but a tablespoon of bacon fat from the pot.
    Overhead view of bacon pieces freshly crisped on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Add Mushrooms, Onion, Sausage, Spices: Turn the heat to medium-high and add mushrooms, onion, and sausage. Cook, stirring on occasion until the sausage is browning and the onion begins to soften. Add splashes of broth as needed to deglaze the pan. Then add garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.
    Overhead view of onion and ground Italian sausage cooking in a dutch oven on the stovetop.
  4. Bring to a Low Boil: Add remaining broth, potatoes, bay leaves, and starch mixture. Stir well to mix it all together. Adjust the heat to bring to a low boil. Cook until the potatoes are soft (15-20 minutes).
    Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana simmering on the stove with all ingredients except kale and coconut milk.
  5. Coconut Milk and Kale: Add coconut milk and kale. Simmer for 5 minutes to wilt the kale.
    Overhead view of Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana with all ingredients simmering in a dutch oven on the stove.
  6. Serving: Serve hot with bacon sprinkled on top.
    Final Healthy Zuppa Toscana soup served in a bowl with bacon pieces sprinkled on top.


Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Italian Sausage: Use ground Italian sausage for smaller pieces in the soup (my partner’s preference). For larger pieces, start with Italian sausage links and remove the casing (my preference). Choose mild or spicy Italian sausage based on your personal preference. Chicken and pork sausage work well in this recipe. I prefer chicken sausage because it's a little lighter.

Potatoes and Onion: I recommend a small dice when preparing these ingredients so they cook quickly. Boiling time can vary by a full 10 minutes depending on the size of the dice. White onion is more traditional. I used a yellow onion for one of the trials and both taste great.

Keywords: healthy zuppa toscana, zuppa toscana without heavy cream, paleo sausage and kale soup, zuppa toscana coconut milk,