Friday, September 9, 2022

Italian Sausage Cauliflower Soup: a low carb interpretation of Zuppa Toscana

 I gotta be honest with you.  I'm publishing this recipe mostly because I want to remember what I did this time that made it taste so good.  But if you want to try it too, you should.  It's really yummy.

I first tried Zuppa Toscana on the day our previous slow cooker fell victim to inertia.  So delicious.  On that day, I modified the recipe for stovetop, and the next time I made it, this time in my new crock pot, I discovered that I preferred the stovetop method, although the slow cooker is really convenient.  I think it's because I like a thicker soup than the original recipe provided in the slow cooker.  If you prefer a thinner soup, feel free to add water or additional broth.  Later on, I found a lower carb Zuppa Toscana copycat recipe.  This recipe is inspired by both.

This low carb soup is creamy and thick, with a slight spicy kick from the sausage and crushed red pepper.

Italian Sausage Cauliflower Soup

Makes about 6 servings
Click here to print this recipe

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced (use more or less to your taste)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes (use less or omit if you don't like a spicy kick; use more if you do)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 16 oz frozen cauliflower florets
  • 12 oz frozen riced cauliflower
  • 4 c chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2-1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 10 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, or a couple of handfuls of real bacon pieces--measure with your heart
  • 2 c chopped kale or spinach, optional 


  1. In a large pot, sauté 1 lb Italian sausage with 1 diced onion until sausage is cooked through.  
  2. Add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic.  Cook and stir for a few more minutes until fragrant.  
  3. Add crushed red pepper and salt and pepper to taste*, 16 oz frozen cauliflower florets, 12 oz frozen riced cauliflower, and 4 cups chicken broth.  
  4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  
  5. Add 1/2 - 1 c of heavy whipping cream, 10 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, and kale or spinach, if using.  Heat through.  Serve and enjoy!

* I used 1/2 t pepper and 1/2 T salt, but my homemade chicken stock didn't have any salt in it. 

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