​Creamy Italian Parmesan Sausage Soup Recipe: Zuppa Toscana Has Some Competition by Donna John

​Creamy Italian Parmesan Sausage Soup Recipe: Zuppa Toscana Has Some Competition

My daughter who lives in California called and we were chatting about our dinner plans. When I told her about the new soup recipe I was making and read her the ingredients, she said, "It's zuppa toscana but with spinach and pasta instead of kale and potatoes." Light bulb! Yes, that's exactly what this delicious creamy Italian Parmesan sausage soup recipe is. It's also amazingly tasty and now one of my favorite soups.

This creamy soup is super easy to make and prep. The only ingredients that need chopping are the onions and garlic. Everything else is dumped into the pot and simmered. This Italian-inspired soup cooks up in less than 20 minutes. Here is your shopping list of ingredients you'll need: Italian sausage, olive oil, onion, garlic, chicken broth, heavy cream (see Recipe Notes), short pasta, crushed red pepper flakes, frozen or fresh spinach and Parmesan cheese.

This hearty sausage and pasta soup does not lack in the flavor department. Serve this creamy soup for lunch or dinner with your favorite soup side dishes. I served mine with a fresh salad. I think it'll be soup night more often after you try this easy recipe!

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Cuisine: Italian / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 - 1 1/2 pounds bulk Italian sausage (mild, regular, sweet or hot)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream (you can use evaporated milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups short pasta (ditalini, elbows, mini penne, rotini, etc.)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 10 ounces (1 bag) frozen whole leaf or chopped spinach or 4 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

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Recipe Notes

  • I usually grate my Parmesan fresh, but for this recipe I chose pre-shredded Parmesan in a tub.
  • If you can only find Italian sausage in links, simply remove the casings and crumble.
  • You can use evaporated milk instead of heavy cream. 
  • Use any short pasta you like. I used elbow macaroni.
  • I used a 10-ounce bag of frozen whole leaf spinach.
  • I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven, but any large soup pot will work. 
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
  • You can freeze this soup in freezer bags or freezer containers.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven brown the sausage, breaking it up as you stir, until cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Leave the drippings!
  2. In the same pot add the onion. Cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the heavy cream, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper, to taste, and a pinch of salt (to taste).
  5. Add the pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  6. Add the spinach and return the sausage to the pot.
  7. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Taste and add more seasonings, if needed.
  8. Serve hot with more Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes on top.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 281

Total Fat: 17.9g

Saturated Fat: 8.3g

Cholesterol: 49mg

Sodium: 658mg

Total Carbohydrate: 16.6g

Dietary Fiber: 2.4g

Total Sugars: 1.8g

Protein: 14.9g

Vitamin D: 9mcg

Calcium: 239mg

Iron: 3mg

Potassium: 552mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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That looks delicious.
Elisa Schmitz
My mouth is watering, Donna John . What a great alternative to zuppa toscana! #yum

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