This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

This super simple Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana is the perfect cold-weather dinner…great for nights when I’m craving Italian, but want something warming too. Spicy Italian chicken sausage simmered in a creamy basil pesto broth with potatoes, kale, a little lemon, and even a little bacon. Finish each bowl off with a sprinkle of cheese and serve with crusty bread. It’s hearty, full of greens, and so delicious. Great for just about any night of the week. And the leftovers the next day make for the best lunch!

This post is sponsored by Instant Pot. 

overhead photo of Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana with spoons in bowls

This Italian soup is a recipe I’ve been wanting to create for a while now. I’m not sure what took me so long to test this out, but I’m so happy I finally did, because wow, this is hands down a new family favorite.

Technically this is soup, but it’s definitely hearty enough to serve for dinner on these cold November nights (it’s been snowing here since yesterday…and I could not be happier about it). But the best part? This is SO EASY.

I worked with my Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus to create this creamy soup in just about 30 minutes. I’m sure you guys have noticed, but I’ve been loving my Instant Pot this fall. I’ve found it so useful during this insanely busy time with the launch of HBH Super Simple and all things holiday 2019. It’s really been a lifesaver and I’ve already remade this soup three times since returning home from Chicago last week.

Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana in instant pot while cooking, before adding cream

The backstory…

As with a lot of recipes, this idea came from my brother. This time though? It was my oldest brother, Creighton.

He was telling me about one of his favorite soups that he used to get at the Olive Garden – Zuppa Toscana. I’d never heard of it, so of course, I did a little Googling and discovered that the recipe actually sounds quite delicious. A lot of times Creighton can throw some rather interesting recipes at me, but this soup was one I knew I needed to put my own spin on. It took me a while to finally create the recipe, but here it is, and I think you’ll find it’s delicious.

And yes, it’s inspired by the Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden…next up…their breadsticks.

Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana in instant pot, before serving

The Details…

As you might guess, this recipe is pretty straightforward and simple.

Start with your Instant Pot on sauté and cook off the bacon. Then add in spicy Italian sausage (I always prefer to use chicken sausage, but pork sausage is great too). Next add in some onions, garlic, celery, and all the usuals.

The key to a good Zuppa Toscana is the spicy sausage and the potatoes. Once you add in the potatoes, stir in some basil pesto. This may not be traditional but it really adds so much to this hearty soup. I’ve found that both the addition of pesto and fresh lemon really lighten things up and truly enhance the Italian flavors.

At this point, simply seal the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure…just eight minutes. Then release the steam using the quick release.

overhead photo of Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana in soup bowls

Once the base has finished cooking, simply stir in some cream, parmesan, and kale.

And that’s it, just 30 minutes later you’ll have a creamy bowl of classic Italian soup. AND, you’ll have only used ONE pot and likely made very little mess. Oh, and be sure to have extra parmesan, fresh thyme, and crusty bread for serving. They really do complete the soup.

See, Super Simple yet so much flavor. This will be great for serving guests over the holidays, or just your family on a cold night. The leftovers reheat well and are delicious the following day for lunch or dinner. I haven’t had a chance to serve this to Creighton just yet, but I know that once he arrives on Friday he’ll be begging me for it. So yes, I will be making this yet again. No complaining here though…love this soup!

close up side angled photo of Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana

Looking for other warming HBH soups? Check out the soup section on HBH’s recipe page.

If you make this Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

watch the how to video:

Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 332 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes and access them on any device! You can keep track of your favorite recipes and generate a shopping list for recipes in your collections.

Register & Save

Already Registered? Login Now

Ingredients

Instructions

Instant Pot

  • 1. Set Instant Pot to sauté. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the chicken sausage and onions, and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, and potatoes, and cook 2 minutes. Turn the Instant Pot off.
    2. To the instant pot, add the broth, pesto, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
    3. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function. Set the Instant Pot to sauté. Stir in the kale, cream, and parmesan. Cook until the kale is wilted, about 10 minutes. Turn the Instant Pot off. Stir in the reserved bacon.
    4. Serve the soup topped with additional parmesan and fresh thyme, if desired.

Stove-Top

  • 1. Cook the bacon in a large soup pot set over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the chicken sausage and onions, and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, and potatoes, and cook 2 minutes. Add the broth, pesto, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
    2. Stir in the kale, cream, and parmesan. Cook until the kale is wilted, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the reserved bacon.
    3. Serve the soup topped with additional parmesan and fresh thyme, if desired.

Slow Cooker

  • 1. Cook the bacon in a large soup pot set over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the chicken sausage and onions, and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken sausage to the bowl of your crockpot.
    2. To the crockpot, add the the garlic, celery, potatoes, broth, pesto, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5.
    2. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in the kale, cream, and parmesan. Turn the heat to high and cook until the kale is wilted. Stir in the reserved bacon.
    4. Serve the soup topped with additional parmesan and fresh thyme, if desired.
View Recipe Comments

horizontal photo of Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana

{This post is sponsored by Instant Pot. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}

You May Also Like

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These recipes always hit the spot. My only worry is that Guy Fieri might sue her for stealing flavor town.

    This soup made the whole house smell amazing and warmed us up after a long fall hike. Will be making again.

    1. Hey Tanja,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have the best day! xTieghan

  2. Made this tonight and it is absolutely delicious! Thanks for always pumpin’ out great recipes. Do you think it would freeze well?

    1. Hey Lexy,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! This should freeze well for you. Have the best day! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    This was really good. I made mine on the stove top and the flavors were amazing. My family loved it. We will keep this one on rotation. Thanks Tieghan!

    1. Hey Jacquelyn,
      I am thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe, thanks a lot for giving it a try. I hope you have an amazing week! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    We made this soup for the first time about a month ago and have not stopped talking about it since! Our second batch is cooking on the stove right now- the smell alone is amazing and we are so excited to dig in. Thank you for sharing your gift!

  5. 5 stars
    This soup.. oh my gosh.. this soup is AMAZING!! So delicious. Cannot wait to eat leftovers tomorrow. On the other hand, the idea that this can easily be made in an instant pot is just short of psychotic. Either I have the crappiest instant pot ever or Tieghan just loves pain (I’m being sarcastic of course.. a little… I adore you Tieghan!!!). Every time I opened the instant pot to add the next ingredients it would have to warm up again. This recipe that supposedly can take 30 minutes took me an hour… and I was chopping the next thing while the other things were cooking so prep wasn’t the problem. Will 100% be cooking again but in a noooormal pot lol

  6. This was delicious!! Thank you ☺️ I used almond milk instead of the heavy cream as I’m allergic to both coconut and milk dairy! As per a suggestion I saw from you on another comment, I added cornstarch to thicken it, however it didn’t turn out as creamy or golden as yours looks. Do you want have any suggestions on how much cornstarch to add? Or any tips on how to mix it in? I decided to blend it as it looked grainy. Thanks so much!!💛

  7. 5 stars
    This is seriously my favorite soup. It’s hearty and SO flavorful – the sausage and pesto come together in such a delicious and addictive combo that’s just unbeatable. And it’s the one soup I can make for my bf that actually fills him up! Every time I make it it’s such a massive hit. I love this soup! Thanks HBH!

  8. Made this for the first time today on the stove top and it was delicious! Easy to follow recipe and will definitely become a staple this winter. Thank you for sharing! <3

  9. I’m really looking forward to making this soup but I’d like to double it. I’ll be using a Ninja Foodi instead of an Instapot but pressure cooker recipes are the same. Can you recommend any change to the cooking directions if I double the recipe? Do I need to add time?

  10. So good! I made a lot and shared it with my neighbors. My household loved it and my neighbors all wanted the recipe. Thank you!

    1. Hi there! If you continue to scroll all the way to the bottom of the recipe you will see slow cooker instructions 🙂 Enjoy! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    This soup was so yummy. I think the pesto addition is genius and creates a depth of flavor is not present in a traditional Zuppa toscana. Delish!