Turkey Zuppa Toscana Recipe

This turkey zuppa toscana recipe is a warm and comforting soup, perfect for the cold weather. It is a hearty, creamy dish packed with flavors from Italian sausage, turkey, and a variety of vegetables, enhanced with a touch of sour cream. This dish is a fantastic way to use up leftover holiday turkey, serving up a satisfying meal that's a delightful twist on the traditional Italian soup.

Turkey Zuppa Toscana Recipe
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All the ingredients in this recipe are commonly found in most kitchens. However, you may need to purchase ground Italian sausage and sour cream if they're not readily available in your pantry. Also, this recipe uses turkey drippings, which are the residue and juices left from roasting a turkey. These drippings add a depth of flavor to the soup. If you don't have these, you can substitute with chicken broth.

Ingredients for Turkey Zuppa Toscana

Ground Italian sausage: This adds a spicy and hearty flavor that's essential in zuppa toscana.

Unsalted butter: This is used to sauté the vegetables and turkey, adding a creamy texture to the dish.

Cooked turkey: This is a great way to use up leftover turkey, adding bulk to the soup.

Turkey drippings: These add a rich and savory flavor to the soup, enhancing its overall taste.

Garlic: This ingredient provides a punch of flavor that complements the other ingredients.

Thyme, parsley, and mustard powder: These herbs and spices enhance the flavors of the soup.

Russet potatoes: Their starchy texture helps to thicken the soup.

White mushrooms: These add a nice texture and flavor to the soup.

Onion: This adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the soup.

Kale: This leafy green adds color, texture, and nutritional value to the soup.

Sour cream: This adds a slight tang and creaminess to the soup.

Milk: This is used to lighten the soup and add a touch of creaminess.

One reader, Coralyn Donald says:

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This turkey zuppa toscana recipe is a game-changer! The combination of turkey, sausage, and kale creates a rich and hearty flavor. The creamy texture from the sour cream and milk ties everything together perfectly. It's a comforting and satisfying dish that's become a family favorite. Highly recommended!

Coralyn Donald

Key Techniques for Crafting Turkey Zuppa Toscana

How to brown Italian sausage: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook and stir the sausage until browned and crumbly for 5 to 7 minutes. Set the cooked sausage aside.

How to prepare the soup base: In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt butter and stir in the cooked turkey, drippings, garlic, thyme, parsley, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Add water and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.

How to simmer the soup: After adding the browned sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, and onion, reduce the temperature to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, stirring the soup every 10 minutes for 30 to 45 minutes.

How to add kale to the soup: Stir kale into the soup and reduce the temperature to low. Simmer until the kale wilts for about 5 minutes.

How to finish the soup: Stir sour cream and milk into the soup, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes more.

How To Make Turkey Zuppa Toscana

Turkey Toscana is a good meal to prepare for your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. This warming soup can also be paired with Italian bread for dipping.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes



  • 1lbground Italian sausage
  • ½cupunsalted butter
  • 1lbleftover cooked turkey,pulled
  • ½cupturkey drippings
  • 3tbspgarlic,minced
  • 1tbspground thyme
  • 1tbspparsley,dried
  • 1tbspmustard powder
  • 2tspsalt
  • 1tspground black pepper
  • 3cupswater
  • 3russet baking potatoes,unpeeled and cubed
  • 8ozwhite mushrooms,quartered
  • 1medium white onion,halved and sliced
  • 8ozkale,chopped
  • 8ozsour cream
  • 1cupmilk


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir sausage in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly for 5 to 7 minutes. Set cooked sausage aside.

  2. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in turkey, drippings, garlic, thyme, parsley, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Add water and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in browned sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, and onion. Reduce temperature to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring soup every 10 minutes for 30 to 45 minutes.

  4. Stir kale into the soup and reduce the temperature to low. Simmer until kale wilts for about 5 minutes.

  5. Stir sour cream and milk into the soup, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes more.


  • Calories: 465.62kcal
  • Fat: 31.43g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.70g
  • Trans Fat: 0.40g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11.10g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.20g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.42g
  • Fiber: 2.42g
  • Sugar: 3.85g
  • Protein: 26.23g
  • Cholesterol: 123.96mg
  • Sodium: 839.79mg
  • Calcium: 128.05mg
  • Potassium: 833.32mg
  • Iron: 2.41mg
  • Vitamin A: 247.42µg
  • Vitamin C: 35.54mg

Elevate Your Turkey Zuppa Toscana with This Technique Tip

To ensure your potatoes are cooked evenly in the soup, it's best to cut them into uniform pieces. Smaller pieces will cook faster, while larger pieces will take a bit longer. Also, remember to stir the soup every 10 minutes while it's simmering to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot. This will also help the flavors to meld together nicely.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Turkey Zuppa Toscana

Prep ahead: Prepare the ingredients in advance, such as chopping vegetables or cooking the turkey, to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonder: Opt for a single pot or Dutch oven to minimize cleanup and simplify the cooking process.

Use leftovers: Utilize leftover turkey and drippings to infuse the soup with rich, savory flavors and reduce cooking time.

Multitask: While the soup simmers, use that time to clean and tidy up the kitchen to save time after the meal.

Invest in tools: Use kitchen tools like a food processor to quickly chop vegetables and a potato masher to speed up the potato preparation.

Organize ingredients: Arrange all the ingredients and utensils in an organized manner before starting to cook to save time and reduce stress.

Follow the recipe: Stick to the recipe to ensure efficient and effective cooking, avoiding unnecessary steps or ingredients.

Substitute Ingredients For Turkey Zuppa Toscana Recipe

  • ground italian sausage - Substitute with ground chicken sausage: Ground chicken sausage can be used as a leaner alternative to ground Italian sausage, while still providing a similar savory flavor and texture.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can be used as a healthier alternative to butter, adding a rich flavor and smooth texture to the dish.

  • leftover cooked turkey - Substitute with cooked chicken: Cooked chicken can be used as a substitute for turkey, providing a similar protein base for the soup.

  • turkey drippings - Substitute with chicken broth: Chicken broth can be used as a substitute for turkey drippings to add depth of flavor and moisture to the soup.

  • russet baking potatoes - Substitute with Yukon Gold potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes can be used as a substitute for russet potatoes, offering a creamy texture and buttery flavor to the soup.

  • white mushrooms - Substitute with cremini mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms can be used as a substitute for white mushrooms, providing a similar earthy flavor and texture to the soup.

  • white onion - Substitute with yellow onion: Yellow onion can be used as a substitute for white onion, adding a slightly sweeter flavor to the dish.

  • kale - Substitute with spinach: Spinach can be used as a substitute for kale, offering a milder flavor and tender texture to the soup.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier substitute for sour cream, providing a creamy and tangy element to the soup.

  • milk - Substitute with coconut milk: Coconut milk can be used as a dairy-free substitute for milk, adding a rich and slightly sweet flavor to the soup.

Presentation Tips for a Delightful Zuppa Toscana

  1. Elevate the flavors: Enhance the depth of the dish by using a combination of Italian sausage and leftover cooked turkey to create a rich and savory base for the soup.

  2. Garnish with finesse: Sprinkle a pinch of freshly chopped parsley over the top of the soup to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness to the presentation.

  3. Create visual contrast: Slice the russet baking potatoes into uniform rounds and layer them in the bowl, allowing the vibrant green kale to peek through, creating an eye-catching contrast.

  4. Balance the composition: Carefully place a dollop of sour cream in the center of the soup, then drizzle a swirl of milk around it, adding a touch of creaminess and elegance to the dish.

  5. Highlight the main ingredients: Arrange tender pieces of cooked turkey and savory Italian sausage on top of the soup, showcasing the star components of the zuppa toscana.

  6. Emphasize the aroma: Just before serving, sprinkle a pinch of thyme over the soup, allowing the fragrant herb to release its aromatic essence, tantalizing the senses of the diners.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Turkey Zuppa Toscana

  • Skillet: A skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It is typically made of cast iron, stainless steel, or non-stick materials.

  • Dutch oven: A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot with thick walls and a tight-fitting lid, often made of cast iron. It is great for slow cooking, braising, and making soups and stews.

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It's great for quickly and efficiently preparing a variety of foods.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is a deep bowl used for combining ingredients, whisking, and stirring. It comes in various sizes and materials, such as stainless steel, glass, or ceramic.

  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a safe and stable surface for cutting and preparing ingredients. It helps protect your countertops and keeps your knives sharp.

  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is a versatile, all-purpose knife used for chopping, slicing, and dicing. It's an essential tool for any kitchen.

  • Spatula: A spatula is a flat, flexible utensil used for flipping, lifting, and spreading foods. It comes in various shapes and sizes, including silicone, metal, and plastic.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are used to accurately measure ingredients for recipes. They come in various sizes and are essential for precise cooking and baking.

  • Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is a sturdy utensil used for stirring, mixing, and tasting foods. It's great for cooking on non-stick surfaces and won't scratch cookware.

  • Soup ladle: A soup ladle is a large, deep spoon with a long handle, designed for serving soups, stews, and sauces. It helps portion out liquids and solids evenly.

Storing and Freezing Turkey Zuppa Toscana for Later

  • To store leftover turkey zuppa toscana, allow the soup to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate the soup for up to 3-4 days.
  • When reheating refrigerated zuppa toscana, place the desired portion in a saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. Add a splash of broth or water if the soup has thickened too much during storage.
  • To freeze turkey zuppa toscana, allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Leave about an inch of headspace to allow for expansion during freezing. Label the containers with the date and contents.
  • Freeze the zuppa toscana for up to 3 months for optimal flavor and texture. When ready to enjoy, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat frozen zuppa toscana in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. You may need to add a bit of broth or water to adjust the consistency, as the potatoes may absorb some liquid during freezing and thawing.
  • For best results, consider freezing the zuppa toscana without the sour cream and kale. Add these ingredients when reheating the thawed soup for a fresher taste and texture.

How To Reheat Leftover Turkey Zuppa Toscana

  • Stovetop method: transfer the leftover zuppa toscana to a pot and reheat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure that the soup is evenly reheated without scorching or burning.

  • Microwave method: place the desired portion of leftover zuppa toscana in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. Microwave on high power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the soup is heated through. Be careful when removing the bowl from the microwave, as it may be hot.

  • Slow cooker method: transfer the leftover zuppa toscana to a slow cooker and set it on low heat. Allow the soup to reheat for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method is ideal if you want to reheat a large batch of soup without constantly monitoring it.

  • Oven method: preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover zuppa toscana to an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Place the dish in the preheated oven and reheat for 15-20 minutes, or until the soup is heated through. Stir the soup before serving to ensure even heat distribution.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to stir the zuppa toscana occasionally to prevent scorching and ensure even heating. If the soup appears too thick after reheating, you can add a small amount of broth or water to thin it out and restore its original consistency. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed before serving.

Interesting Trivia About Zuppa Toscana

The Zuppa Toscana soup is a popular Italian-American dish that originated in Tuscany, Italy. It traditionally includes ingredients such as Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale. However, this recipe offers a unique twist by incorporating leftover cooked turkey, making it a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. This hearty and flavorful soup is a perfect comfort food for the colder months and can be easily customized to suit individual preferences. Whether enjoyed as a main course or a starter, this turkey Zuppa Toscana is a delicious and satisfying dish.

Budget-Friendly: Is Turkey Zuppa Toscana Economical?

This turkey zuppa toscana recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The use of leftover cooked turkey and simple, affordable ingredients makes it a budget-friendly option. The combination of potatoes, kale, and mushrooms provides a nutritious and filling meal. The addition of sour cream and butter adds richness without breaking the bank. Overall, I would rate this recipe an 8 for cost-effectiveness. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20, making it an economical choice for a satisfying and hearty meal.

Is Turkey Zuppa Toscana Healthy or Unhealthy?

The turkey zuppa toscana recipe, while flavorful, leans towards the unhealthy side due to several factors:

  • High saturated fat content from the Italian sausage, butter, and sour cream
  • Excessive sodium from the sausage, turkey drippings, and added salt
  • Limited vegetable variety, with only kale and onions present
  • Refined carbohydrates from the white potatoes

However, the recipe does include some nutritious elements, such as:

  • Lean protein from the turkey
  • Fiber and vitamins from the kale and onions
  • Potential for using low-fat milk and sour cream

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace the Italian sausage with a leaner option, such as ground turkey or chicken sausage
  • Reduce the amount of butter used, or substitute with a healthier fat like olive oil
  • Use low-sodium turkey drippings or broth to reduce the overall salt content
  • Incorporate a wider variety of vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and zucchini, to boost the nutrient profile
  • Swap out half of the white potatoes for sweet potatoes or cauliflower for added fiber and vitamins
  • Use low-fat milk and sour cream to reduce the saturated fat content
  • Add more herbs and spices, like rosemary and red pepper flakes, to enhance flavor without relying on salt

By making these adjustments, you can transform this comforting soup into a more balanced and nutritious meal that still satisfies your taste buds.

Editor's Take on This Delightful Zuppa Toscana Recipe

The combination of Italian sausage, turkey, and a variety of herbs and spices in this zuppa toscana recipe creates a rich and flavorful soup. The addition of kale adds a nice touch of green and a boost of nutrients. However, the use of sour cream and milk may make the soup a bit heavy. Consider using a lighter alternative such as Greek yogurt for a healthier twist. Overall, this recipe offers a comforting and hearty dish that is perfect for using up leftover turkey and creating a satisfying meal.

Enhance Your Turkey Zuppa Toscana Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with melted butter.
Garlic Bread: Warm, crusty garlic bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
Roasted Vegetables: Colorful medley of roasted carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini, seasoned with herbs and balsamic glaze.

Delicious Alternatives to Turkey Zuppa Toscana

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent chicken alfredo pasta dish that will satisfy your cravings for a comforting and flavorful meal.
Mango Avocado Salsa: Whip up a refreshing and vibrant mango avocado salsa that pairs perfectly with grilled fish or chicken, adding a burst of tropical flavors to your dish.
Butternut Squash Soup: Prepare a velvety and comforting butternut squash soup that is perfect for chilly evenings, featuring the rich and nutty flavors of this seasonal vegetable.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Your Turkey Zuppa Toscana

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. Top with breadcrumbs and bake until golden and crispy for a delicious start to any meal.
Caprese Skewers: Impress your guests with these elegant and refreshing skewers featuring cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for a burst of flavor in every bite.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate lava cake that oozes with warm, gooey chocolate when you cut into it. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and richness.
Apple Crisp: Savor the flavors of fall with a warm and comforting apple crisp. The combination of tender, cinnamon-spiced apples and a crunchy oat topping is a delightful treat for any occasion.

Why trust this Turkey Zuppa Toscana Recipe:

This recipe is a trusted classic, using Italian sausage and leftover cooked turkey to create a hearty and flavorful dish. The combination of garlic, thyme, and parsley infuses the soup with rich, aromatic flavors. The addition of mustard powder adds depth and complexity. The use of turkey drippings and butter enhances the savory profile. The inclusion of russet potatoes and white mushrooms provides a satisfying texture, while kale adds a nutritious element. The incorporation of sour cream and milk creates a creamy and indulgent finish.

Share your thoughts and experiences with the Turkey Zuppa Toscana Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Let's discuss any modifications, tips, or serving suggestions you might have for this comforting and flavorful dish!
What type of sausage should I use for this recipe?
You can use any type of Italian sausage for this recipe, whether it's mild, sweet, or spicy, depending on your preference.
Can I use fresh turkey instead of leftover cooked turkey?
Yes, you can definitely use fresh turkey for this recipe. Simply cook the turkey before adding it to the soup.
Can I substitute kale with a different leafy green?
Absolutely, you can substitute kale with spinach, Swiss chard, or collard greens if you prefer.
Is it possible to make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the soup ahead of time and reheat it when you're ready to serve. The flavors often develop even more after sitting for a day.
Can I use something else instead of sour cream?
If you prefer, you can use heavy cream or Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in this recipe. Each will provide a slightly different flavor and texture to the soup.

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