Quick and Easy Pasta Toscana Recipe

One-Pot Instant Pot Pasta Dish: Pasta Toscana

Inspired by a guilty pleasure, Olive Garden’s creamy Zuppa Toscana soup filled with kale and Italian sausage, I’ve come up with another one-pot wonder that you can whip up in your Instant Pot. This dish brings together the hearty flavors of the soup with the convenience and comfort of pasta. While I already have two recipes inspired by this dish on my site—the classic soup and a low-carb roasted cauliflower version—this pasta adaptation is sure to become a new favorite.Quick and Easy Pasta Toscana Recipe

Quick and Easy Pasta Toscana Recipe


  • 1 lb cauliflower florets, tossed with 1 T olive oil and 1/2 t salt, roasted at 450°F for 20 minutes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, chard, or spinach
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb vegan Italian sausage (I like Impossible spicy ground sausage or Field Roast), broken into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/2 t Italian seasoning
  • 2 t Better Than Bouillon or salt to taste
  • Black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lb pasta of choice (I like rotini or farfalle)
  • 12 oz evaporated milk or unsweetened milk of choice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions: Pasta Toscana

1. Roast the cauliflower:

  • Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  • Toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes until golden and tender. Set aside.

2. Prep the Greens:

  • If using kale or chard, de-stem and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Sauté the greens in olive oil for about five minutes until wilted. Set aside.
  • If using spinach, reserve it until the end of cooking as it will wilt immediately.

3. Saute the Onion and Sausage:

  • Turn on the Instant Pot to sauté mode.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the diced onion and Italian sausage until browned.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

4. Add Remaining Ingredients:

  • Add the Italian seasoning, Better Than Bouillon (or salt), black pepper, red pepper flakes, and 4 cups of water.
  • Stir in the pasta, making sure it is submerged in the liquid.

5. Pressure Cook:

  • Seal the Instant Pot and set it to high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is up, perform a quick pressure release.

6. Finish the Dish:

  • Stir in the roasted cauliflower, sautéed greens (or fresh spinach), evaporated milk, and grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Mix thoroughly and let it sit for a few minutes. The spinach will wilt, and the milk and cheese will melt to form a creamy sauce.

Update: A Kale-Abundant Twist

My friend Carrie has been doing a low-key CSA out of her backyard this year, providing me with a steady stream of kale and chard. This dish has become our go-to for packing a lot of kale into a meal. I’ve been skipping the cauliflower and just going heavy on the kale (about 12 oz), and it’s been delicious and versatile every time.Quick and Easy Pasta Toscana Recipe

Enjoy Your Pasta Toscana!

This Pasta Toscana dish is a satisfying, creamy pasta that brings the flavors of Olive Garden’s beloved Zuppa Toscana soup to your table in a fun and easy way. Whether you stick to the classic ingredients or take advantage of fresh greens from your garden, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Bon appétit!

This Pasta Toscana is a comforting, flavorful dish that’s sure to become a family favorite. It’s easy to make, adaptable to what you have on hand, and perfect for packing in plenty of nutritious greens. Whether you follow the recipe as written or make your own adjustments, this one-pot meal is a winner. Enjoy the creamy, savory goodness of Pasta Toscana, and bring a taste of Olive Garden’s classic soup to your home kitchen with this delightful pasta dish.

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