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Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana {Whole30, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free}

You'll fall hard for this healthy Zuppa Toscana.
a bowl of dairy-free instant pot zuppa toscana with kale

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You will fall hard for this healthy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana recipe. You can make this dairy-free soup in the Instant Pot, crockpot, or on the stovetop. 

a bowl of dairy-free instant pot zuppa toscana with kale

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You’re in for a real treat with this Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana, my friends! Made in the Instant Pot (or slow cooker OR on the stovetop. I mean, seriously, ya got options) you’ll never even believe it is dairy-free and secretly healthy.

What Kind of Kale Should I Use?

Between you and me, the common curly kale you see everywhere makes me feel like a cow chewing its cud. No thanks. My preference is lacinto kale which is also called dinosaur kale. It’s a flatter leaf and the ribs are easier to remove. Kale also holds up really well in the soup when reheated.

You can also sub in spinach instead of kale. It will wilt considerably when introduced to the hot soup, but if that is what you want to use, go for it! You can also add fresh spinach to each bowl and ladle hot soup over it. This will prevent the spinach from getting overly soft when reheating.

Need frozen greens? Throw in some frozen spinachfrozen swiss chard, or frozen kale at the end of the cooking time.

three photos showing the process for making dairy-free instant pot zuppa toscana

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • This soup is meant to have a thin broth with a hint of creaminess. It’s delicious and so good but it is not a thick cream-based soup like a chowder. If you want to make the texture thicker, mash some of the potatoes and stir them into the broth or use full-fat coconut cream.
  • I made this in an 8-quart Instant Pot. It will work in a 6 quart without issue. You would need to make adjustments to the measurements (slide the servings lever on the recipe card) to make it in a 3 quart.
  • If you’re not dairy-free, you’re welcome to use your favorite milk or heavy cream. 
  • Need a low-carb option? Sub in cauliflower florets or radishes. Yep, you read that right – radishes!
2 bowls of zuppa toscana with potatoes.
a bowl of dairy-free instant pot zuppa toscana with kale
Print Recipe
5 from 24 ratings

Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Pressurizing/Depressurizing15 mins
Total Time40 mins
You'll fall hard for this healthy Zuppa Toscana.



Instant Pot

  • Set the Instant Pot to saute. Add the bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes. 
    4 strips bacon
  • Add the sausage and break it up, stirring often. Drain excess fat if needed. 
    1 lb ground sausage
  • Add a splash of chicken broth and use a scraper to deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot. Don’t skip this step as anything stuck to the bottom can prevent the Instant Pot from coming up to pressure.
  • Add the onion, garlic, broth, and potatoes. If using red pepper flakes, add here.
    1/2 cup white onion, 6 cloves garlic, 5 cups chicken stock, 4 russet potatoes, 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Lock the lid into place and set the steam release handle (valve on top) to “Sealing”. Press Manual>High Pressure>5 minutes.
  • When the IP beeps, turn to “off”. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes and then do a quick release with the nozzle set to venting.
  • Add milk and kale and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
    3/4 cup coconut milk, 2 cups kale, salt and pepper to taste

Zuppa Toscana on the Stovetop

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan set to medium, cook the bacon and break it up, stirring often. Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, broth, and potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened. If using red pepper flakes, add here.
  • Add milk and kale and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Zuppa Toscana in the Slow Cooker

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan set to medium, cook the bacon and break it up, stirring often. Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. Transfer to a slow cooker.
  • Add the onion, garlic, broth, and potatoes and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the potatoes are softened. If using red pepper flakes, add here.
  • Add milk and kale and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


If you’re not dairy-free, you’re welcome to use your favorite milk. Skim milk will lead to a thinner broth, and heavy cream will result in a thicker broth.
You can sub in spinach for the kale, but it wilt considerably when reheated.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 412 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 64mg21%
Sodium 312mg14%
Potassium 1186mg34%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 770IU15%
Vitamin C 37.8mg46%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 5.2mg29%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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51 comments on “Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana {Whole30, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free}”

  1. Oh, delicious. I pre-cooked some yellow sulfur beans in the IP in chicken broth, wiped out the pot, and resumed the recipe, added the beans back with their broth and more broth to cover – just fabulous!5 stars

  2. Sooooooo good!  Easy and fast as well.  Yum!5 stars

  3. I was sooo sick this week that I modified this soup down to stock, (homemade frozen) chopped up potato’s and prewashed kale. Thrown into a pan till it melted the stock chunk and cooked the potatoes. I think it saved my life. 5 stars

  4. Can’t see the recipe

  5. I made this tonight! It took me longer to find the recipe rating button than it took to prep the soup. HA.

    Seriously though, I LOVED it. I got a little overzealous with my red pepper flakes (on top of using “hot” sausage), but it was awesome. I did the Instant Pot version, and now I have dinner for myself for the rest of the week. Thank you!!5 stars

    • Ha! So glad you loved it Sydnie. But I contest the too much red pepper flakes comment because things can never be *too* spicy. 🙂

      Enjoy the leftovers!

      • Oh, I didn’t think my comment posted, which is why I went to facebook to tell you how freaking awesome this was! You’re seriously helping me with my “Be a grownup and cook for your self!!” goal! Next I need to go to the grocery store so I can make your Nutella breakfast quinoa. 🙂5 stars

      • Getting to chat with you again is twice as nice. 🙂

        Dude, rock on with your bad cooking self. Nice work! Can’t wait to hear what you think about the quinoa.

  6. I just l-o-v-e this soup!!! I’ve made it over and over, and no matter who is with us, or where I take it, everyone else just loves it too! I’ve made it with kale, with spinach, with chard, with silverbeet – anything green, could probably really finely shred cabbage in a pinch! I use Italian sausages – a few hot and a few mild. I’ve pre-prepared all the ingredients and then just dumped it all into simmering stock when we’ve been camping. It’s our family’s favourite!5 stars

  7. I will make this asap.
    If you tell me what I can substitute kale with! because kale can be found NOWHERE in Greece! I have absolutely no idea what it tastes like!
    Also ground sausage…is it sausage opened and cut very thinly? any type of sausage?
    thanks!5 stars

    • I wonder if it is too hot to grow there? Kale is a hearty thick green that almost has a waxy flavor. I would either leave it out or sub in spinach if you can find that. Spinach is much more delicate than kale so it will wilt. But you’re still getting greens in which is part of the goal.

      My local butcher sells ground sausage like they would ground chicken, beef (hamburger), or turkey. It is meat that has been processed very finely. Most sausage comes in casings but I buy it without that.

  8. Hear! Hear! I’m all for a year-round National Soup Month. It’s the best way to clean out the fridge of questionable aged veg and I’m all for the simplicity of “dump it all in a pot” cookery. Yet, you are convincing me more and more every day that I need an Instant Pot (and an AirFryer, it would make it easier to fry tofu). 🙂5 stars

  9. We got back from a sunshine holiday to cold weather last Monday. Since then I have done BNS and sweet potato with ras el hanout and ginger, mushroom soup, pea and mint soup and now leek and potato. Using all the bits and pieces in them that I can too. Every day is Soup Day!5 stars

  10. I am a fan of soups because you can come up with a soup no matter what is in the pantry or refrigerator! It’s also a great way to use not-quite-enough of things – together, they can make magic!5 stars

    • I’m sure the first time someone made soup it was to repurpose leftovers or something. It’s the freaking best.

      • You might have been korean in another life… Koreans have soup at EVERY meal. no joke. if you order something that isn’t soupy, it often comes WITH a soup!

      • I was a waitress at a Korean restaurant when I was in high school. Not only do I love soup every day, but I loooooooove Korean food!