You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of or tried Zuppa and Toscana soup. Olive Garden restaurant chain was the first one to make it, loaded with potatoes, kales, sausages, etc. Since it became famous, people started recreating it at home, especially for special occasions.
But you can’t expect to serve your guests this soup without any side dish, would you? To make Zuppa and Toscana soup a complete meal, you will have to experiment with your culinary skills to prepare the best side dishes.
If that decision confuses you, you might want to look at some of the options mentioned below. Read along and find out the best side dishes that complement Zuppa and Toscana soup flawlessly.
Is there any specific reason to Serve Side Dishes with Zuppa Toscana Soup?
There are several reasons why Zuppa Toscana soup is served with side dishes.
First, it is easy to add nutritional value to your meal. Many soups can be high in calories, and having a side dish helps balance out the meal’s nutrition.
Second, serving side dishes can also help your meal be more filling. Zuppa Toscana soup is a hearty, delicious dish for any occasion. It has the creaminess of potatoes, the softness of the sausage, and the crunch of the bacon.
While it is filling enough on its own, you’ll want to serve side dishes with Zuppa Toscana soup to balance out the flavors and textures present in this soup.
13 Best Side Dishes To Serve With Zuppa Toscana
1. Caprese Salad:
For something lighter to balance the soup’s richness, try serving a Caprese salad along with Zuppa Toscana soup. It has olives, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and basil. You can present it as an appetizer or side dish.
Take a platter to decorate it with tomato slices, mozzarella, and basil leaves; now drizzle this excellent platter with olive oil and sea salt, topped with black pepper for a savory taste.
You can also drizzle balsamic glaze on top, which is an Italian way to dress up this dish.
2. Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks
We would ask you to make these breadsticks at home, as it comes out to be perfect! Majorly the delightful soup, Zuppa Toscana has diced potatoes, pork, and kale cooked in a lovely stew.
If you need a side dish that’s so buttery, you should go for this Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks, and it takes only 40 minutes to be prepared.
To make your delicious garlic breadsticks:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup butter (room temperature), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/8 tsp onion powder.
- In a separate bowl, combine 3 cloves of finely minced garlic, 2 tbsp chopped basil, and 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese.
- Make 12 equal sections from one frozen loaf of bread dough.
- Dip each section into the butter mixture and then into the garlic mixture.
- Place on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or golden brown.
- Serve hot with your favorite soup!
3. Italian green beans
Italian green beans, also known as Fagiolini in Italian, are a tasty side dish recipe that complements many meals.
These green beans are served with Italian soup, like Zuppa Toscana soup. One of the great things about these Italian green beans is that you don’t need to peel or clean them in advance.
One of the healthiest side dishes, also best for those who are pretty lazy and don’t like to spend too much time in the kitchen, it would take only five to ten minutes, and bravo! It’s done!
The Italian green beans are such a savior from embarrassment; suppose you have guests at your place, and you are so confused about what you should serve them!
Just take some fresh beans, boil them for five minutes, drain the extra water, and put the beans in the pan. Add salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh basil and stir-fry them until you get the crisp! That’s it, ready to be served with Zuppa Toscana soup.
4. Pan-Fried Artichokes
Looking for a versatile side dish?
Pan-fried artichokes are the answer you are looking for! People who want to be healthier, replace pasta or pizza toppings with these delicious artichokes!
But since you want to pair them up with the Zuppa Toscana soup, you can cheat a little, right!
There are two favorite ways to cook them, in oil or pasta sauce, the choice is yours, whatever you want to go with.
How to pan-fry artichokes?
Slice the artichokes in half, squeeze some fresh lime juice on them, cover them with breadcrumbs and fry them in olive oil. If you want to cut off the fats, you can steam-fry them.
How to cook artichokes in pasta sauce?
Prepare a delicious, quick vegetarian puttanesca with tinned tomatoes, onion, garlic, capers, and kalamata olives. Serve it over lentils instead of spaghetti for a healthy supper with artichoke hearts and a splash of wine.
Lemon, wine, onion, mushrooms, spinach/greens, salty stuff like capers/olives/Parmesan, white beans, chickpeas, chicken, and various types of fish work nicely with them as well.
5. Bavette Verdi
The recipe for this dish is inspired by a recipe I first tasted in a restaurant in Prato, Tuscany, based on seasonal ingredients. The sweetness of the raw zucchini cut into thin ribbons, flavored and marinated in an emulsion of olive oil and lemon contrasts nicely with the pepperiness of “peperoncino di Fiume.
The Bavette Verdi is the green part of the leaf, which is taken from the inside of the curly kale, so it doesn’t look exactly like a smooth sub-leaf. It is perfect for “misshaping” the Toscana Soup! It has a pleasant taste and green color to add to our menu for the next dinner party.
6. Creamed spinach
Creamed spinach is a quintessential holiday side dish with some dinners.
This dish is rich, delicious, and goes well with your Zuppa Toscana soup. Unlike many of the other side vegetable dishes, this one is not as healthy and lean. This dish has quite some calories and fats, so you need to monitor your intake.
The flavor of creamed spinach is subtle and smooth, with a delectable creaminess that seems to melt in the mouth. Besides Zuppa Toscana soup, It’s an excellent accompaniment to seafood or chicken dishes and is also well served chilled as a salad.
If you have picky-eating little monsters, this is a great way to introduce them to greens! However, it’s only suitable for a few occasions, dont make it a staple food option! The creaminess will make them forget that they are eating spinach and watch them become fans of this veggie!
You have to boil the spinach in salt water for 30 seconds, drain, and put it in a bowl of cold water. After a few minutes, remove the extra water, take a large skillet, melt butter on it, add onion, and cook for 5 minutes. Now it’s time to add garlic, add milk, heavy cream, and cream cheese!
Let the cheese melt, and season it with salt, cheese, and pepper. The last step is to add the spinach to it!
7. Olive garden salad
This tricky olive garden salad comes out to be a blessing! We are not talking about just another regular salad, but it’s olive garden salad! Imagine being hungry, but not too hungry to crave a heavy side dish, and not too full to have only a bowl full of Zuppa Toscana soup!
So if you want to taste something different with your soup, go for this salad. Let us show you how to make it.
- Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 cup croutons
- 5-7 black olives
- Few pepperoncini
- bag Dole American Blend Salad
- Few slices of red onion
- Refrigerated a bowl for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- In the salad bowl, place the salad bag.
- Then top it with lettuce, red onion, black olives, pepperoncini, tomatoes, and croutons.
- Drizzle the salad with Olive Garden Salad Dressing.
How to make olive garden salad dressing?
With only 5 ingredients, you can make the olive garden salad dressing. Mayonnaise, water, white vinegar, olive oil, and Italian dressing mix.
Put all the five ingredients in a bowl, whisk and let the flavors rest in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours before using it.
This adds a zingy taste to your salad, making it unique and unforgettable.
8. Scalloped potatoes
You can’t go wrong with scalloped potatoes. They are made by covering sliced potatoes in a sauce with rich flavor and a tender texture. The texture is kind of like mashed potatoes—but with more flavor. The dish is served with a lot of butter. You can also add cheese or bacon to make it even more delicious!
Most people make them the same way: slice up a potato put it in water, add salt and butter, and bake in the oven until they’re tender. And while it’s possible to vary the toppings—maybe throw in some cheese?
Generally speaking, they are crowd-pleasers, and their popularity is undeniable. If you’re looking for something to serve at Thanksgiving or Passover, or if you want to make a potluck dish that’s accessible to all different levels of culinary experience, give these babies a shot.
9. Crusty baguette
Crusty baguettes are toasted bread with a crispy crust and a soft, chewy inside. They’re made with multi-grain flour and water and have a pleasant, slightly sweet taste.
The best part about making this side dish at home is you dont have to be an expert baker! Who thought water, yeast, flour, and salt could make such an excellent and famous baguette! The crusty baguette is a four-ingredient dish, the more crusty, the more appealing.
You can have a crusty baguette as a side dish when you are in the mood to eat something with a neutral, lightly salted flavor.
10. Oyster crackers
Here’s a unique side dish for you all! The oyster crackers are bit-sized and vaguely oyster-shaped, served in oyster stews, which is also one of the reasons why they have been named oyster crackers!
The oyster crackers are very commonly served with different types of soup, and Zuppa and Toscana soup are one of them. Now the funniest part is these oyster crackers have no oysters in them! They have a saltine flavor similar to crackers but surprisingly less salt.
They have a very bland or buttery taste and are crunchy and sometimes even flaky, making them very appealing to have with soups. Even after sitting in liquid for a few minutes, they won’t lose their crunch; that’s why they make the best side dish to have with Zuppa Toscana soup.
11. Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
Just three things can make your regular roasted asparagus into fantastic asparagus, fresh lemon juice, garlic, and Parmesan cheese! We won’t ask you to go for other fancy asparagus side dishes, as this one is enough to do its job and is unbeatable!
A single serving of Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus contains only 50 calories, which can be important for losing weight while still eating healthy and delicious food.
A crisp texture is achieved by roasting these asparagus spears in the oven. Additionally, they are coated in freshly squeezed lemon juice, making them taste tangy. Finally, they are topped with Parmesan cheese shavings that add a salty and nutty taste to the dish.
Preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit is all you need to do.
Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese over the asparagus. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until tender and crispy. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the roasted asparagus before serving.
12. Garlic Knots
If you have some extra homemade dough and garlic butter is where your heart lies, garlic knot is the ideal side dish option for you. This classic Italian pizzeria snack, baked and topped with melted butter, garlic, and parsley, will immediately take you and your guests to your happy places.
Not only are they delicious, but popping them in one sitting will not be an issue since they are extremely small. We’d rather refer to them as compact dollops of happiness, owing to their delicious flavor.
Once the dough is cut into 16-inch logs, it can be tied into 8-inch knots. Don’t worry; the shape doesn’t matter, so have fun with it. Season them with garlic butter herb and Italian seasonings right before popping them into the oven. You can also garnish them with parsley and fresh parmesan.
13. Potato Wedges
Since Zuppa and Toscana soup and potato wedges share their star ingredient- potatoes, this side dish shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Moreover, this side dish works well for fussy eaters as well.
All you need to do is cut potatoes in the shape of wedges and boil them. Once they are soft, bake them to get a crispy texture. You can add any seasonings of your choice, but we’d prefer to prepare seasoning with oil, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, and thyme. Mix well and toss the potato wedges in this mixture. This shall give your potato wedges some spiciness and edge.
What is the most popular soup at Olive Garden?
Out of all the delicious soups available at Olive Garden, the Zuppa and Toscana soup is the most renowned option. It is considered to be a hearty and wholesome meal made with Italian sausages, potatoes, kale, and bacon.
Can I freeze Zuppa Toscana?
Yes, if you have prepared some extra Zuppa Toscana soup, you can freeze it to use later. But ensure that the soup has cooled down before popping it in the refrigerator.
How long does Zuppa Toscana last in the refrigerator?
Zuppa Toscana soup will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, after which it will lose its quality and taste.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a few you’ve dishes to serve with the most popular Zuppa and Toscana soups! They include many ingredients, so make sure you have everything ready before you start cooking.
For our health-conscious readership, we’ve also included healthy side dishes! Everything is qualified for a complete supper, no matter what you choose to create!
Let us know if you try any of these recipes and how you like them in the comments section!
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.