Home » Instant Pot » Healthy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana (Dairy free!)

Healthy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana (Dairy free!)

This Healthy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana is a lightened up version of a classic soup! Homemade turkey “sausage” and fresh vegetables like kale, potatoes, carrot and celery combine beautifully with a cashew cream broth. You will love this healthier, dairy-free version in the Instant Pot!

zuppa toscana in a white bowl viewed from overhead

This healthier version of zuppa toscana is not an Olive Garden copycat. I’ve lightened things up by swapping out some ingredients for healthier options:

1) I use ground turkey and spices to make homemade “sausage” rather than using cured meat
2) I use cashew cream instead of heavy cream (lower in calories and saturated fat).

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Zuppa toscana is ideal for the Instant Pot, because you don’t need to worry about whether your carrots and potatoes are cooked through. Just 8 minutes on manual high pressure and the veggies will be cooked perfectly, every time.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make it. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions.

for the Homemade Turkey Sausage

  • Ground turkey – one pound
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dried parsley
  • Dried basil
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Sea salt
  • Fennel seeds
  • Paprika
  • Red pepper flakes

for the soup

  • Olive oil
  • Homemade turkey sausage (above)
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Potato – I used yellow potatoes
  • Carrot – 5-6 medium
  • Celery – about 3 ribs
  • Cannellini beans – also called white kidney beans
  • Cashew cream – 3/4 cup soaked unsalted cashews + 1 cup broth
potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, kale, garlic and white beans on a wooden cutting board viewed from overhead

How to Make it

Step one: Make the turkey sausage

Mix together the spices in a small bowl. Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Add the ground turkey and while it’s still fairly uncooked, add the white wine vinegar and spice mix. Get it all mushed together so the spices stick to the meat while it cooks! Once the turkey is browned, add the onion and garlic and continue to sauté another minute or so, until fragrant.

browned ground turkey and spices in an Instant Pot

Step two: Deglaze the insert

Turn off the Sauté function and add a small amount of the broth and use a wooden or plastic spatula to deglaze the bottom of the insert (scrape off any cooked on bits). This is always a good idea when using a pressure cooker because you don’t want to get a burn warning.

Step three: Add the broth, vegetables and beans

Add the rest of the broth, kale, potatoes, carrots, celery and cannellini beans and give it a good stir. I don’t suggest adding salt at this step because the amount you need depends on the type of broth you’re using. Also, add the kale first for easier stirring (when I made the video the kale kept falling out, so do as I say, not as I do!). If you’re using baby spinach instead of kale, reserve it for after pressure cooking. Put the lid on, set to sealing and cook on Manual High pressure for 8 minutes. It will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure.

turkey, broth, onion, garlic, kale, potatoes, carrot, celery and white beans in an Instant Pot

Step four: Make the cashew cream

Combine the soaked cashews with 1 cup of broth in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Tip: if you’re short on time or forgot to soak the cashews earlier in the day, soak them in boiled water for 20-30 minutes while you’re prepping the other ingredients!

Step five: Mix in cashew cream and season to taste

At the end of cooking time, quick release the pressure (I like to use a wooden spatula to vent the seal in case there’s any splatter). Add the cashew cream and salt and pepper to taste. If you’re using spinach, add it now. Stir until everything is well combined and serve immediately or cool quickly and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

cashew cream being added to soup in an Instant Pot

Can I make this without cashew cream?

Absolutely! Although the cashew cream adds lovely colour and texture, this soup is still delicious with a clear broth.

Can I make this soup vegan?

Yes! Simply leave out the turkey and use vegetable broth. Add the spices and vinegar along with the vegetables.

What is lacinato kale?

Lacinato kale is a variety of kale often used in Italian cuisine. You may also find it called dinosaur kale, black kale or Tuscan kale.

a spoonful of soup being held above a full bowl of zuppa toscana

Other Instant Pot Soups You may enjoy

zuppa toscana in a white bowl viewed from overhead

Healthy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

Laura Lawless, BASc
This Healthy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana is a lightened up version of a classic soup! Homemade turkey "sausage" and fresh vegetables like kale, potatoes, carrot and celery combine beautifully with a cashew cream broth. You will love this healthier, dairy-free version in the Instant Pot!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 6
Calories 346
Prep Time 20 mins
Inactive Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins

Ingredients

Turkey Sausage

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the soup

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups lacinato kale, torn into bite-size pieces (or baby spinach, see note 3)
  • 5 cups diced potato
  • 2 cups diced carrot (5-6 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 ribs)
  • 1 19oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (also called white kidney beans)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

For the cashew cream

  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashews, soaked (for time-saving tip, see note 4)
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • Make the turkey sausage spice mix. In a small bowl, mix together the dried parsley, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, fennel seeds, paprika, and red pepper flakes.
  • Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil, then add the ground turkey. While the turkey is still mostly uncooked, add the white wine vinegar and spice mix. Break the turkey into smaller pieces as it cooks and combine well with the spices to create turkey "sausage".
  • Once the turkey is browned, add the diced onion and minced garlic and sauté another minute or so until fragrant. Turn off the Sauté function.
  • Next, deglaze the insert. Add a small amount of the broth and use a wooden or plastic spatula to scrape up any food that's stuck to the bottom of the insert (this will help prevent a burn warning).
  • Add the remaining broth, torn kale (if using spinach, do not put it in yet), potato, carrots, celery and cannelini beans. Give it a good stir (if you're using a 6-quart model, the insert will be very full, so stir carefully!) then close the lid and set to sealing. Cook on the Manual setting on high pressure for 8 minutes. It will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure.
  • Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. Add the soaked cashews and 1 cup of broth to a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the end of cooking time, quick release the pressure (I like to use a wooden spoon to turn the knob in case there's any splatter). Carefully open the lid, add salt and pepper to taste then stir in the cashew cream and spinach (if using instead of kale). Serve immediately or cool quickly and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Notes

  1. Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure + release pressure at the end of cooking.
  2. This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot model. 
  3. If you use spinach, stir it in after cooking. Spinach is too delicate to stand up to pressure cooking. 
  4. To soak cashews quickly, soak in boiled water for about 20 minutes. 

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Equipment

6-qt Instant Pot
Measuring Spoons
Chef’s Knife
Blender

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1073mg | Potassium: 1465mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8752IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 8mg
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I’d love to hear from you!

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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. This looks great! I’m cooking it now, so can’t comment on taste (although the turkey smelled great with the seasoning mix), but I think you forgot to write down where the diced onion and minced garlic go. I assume they go in when browning turkey, but I didn’t realize there weren’t listed until later. I will have to try that next time!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Rachel, you are absolutely right! Thanks so much for telling me. I’ve fixed it now. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. I’ll definitely have to try this. I had just rediscovered Zuppa Toscana when I had to go Dairy Free… I was so sad. Is there any downside to boiling the cashews for speed versus the soak?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Shari, you can absolutely boil the cashews instead. Or, if you have a really good blender, you could probably get away with not soaking altogether. I have a Vitamix and have skipped soaking before and just let it blend a bit longer. Enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing soup! I’m dairy-free and this is the best creamy, dairy-free soup ever. Really hearty and filling. Love all the flavours in this soup. Would definitely recommend this recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Loved this soup! Will be a regular in our household. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Laura Lawless says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Amelia! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!