Vegan Butternut Squash Zuppa Toscana

An overhead shot shows a bowl of vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana. The soup is creamy and pale orange in hue with chopped parsley, bits of cooked vegan veggie sausage, and kale. An antique spoon is sticking out of the bowl.

This recipe for stovetop-simmered vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana tastes as good as the original, with a unique Fall season twist. It combines a quick, homemade cashew cream with plant-based spicy Italian sausage, chopped kale, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, vegetable stock, and tender cubes of butternut squash for a rich and creamy vegan soup recipe that will satisfy all types of eaters. This pot of goodness comes together in one pot in about 1 hour.

An overhead shot shows a pot of vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana. The soup is creamy and pale orange in hue with chopped parsley, bits of cooked vegan veggie sausage, and kale. A wooden spoon is sticking out of the pot.
An overhead shot shows a bowl of vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana. The soup is creamy and pale orange in hue with chopped parsley, bits of cooked vegan veggie sausage, and kale. An antique spoon and a piece of crusty bread are sticking out of the bowl.
An overhead shot shows ingredients used in a vegan butternut squash zuppa Tosacana on a rough wooden board.
An overhead shot shows prepped ingredients for a vegan soup: chopped veggie sausage, cashew cream, minced garlic, chopped parsley, chopped onions, and minced sun dried tomatoes; all on a rough wooden board.
An overhead shot shows a hand emptying a bowl of spices into a pot with sautéed onions.

I love making a totally plant-based version of zuppa Toscana with vegan sausages, especially when I know that a cold snap is coming. I try to eat mostly whole foods when I can, but veggie sausages are a thing that I just crave sometimes. For this recipe, I recommend either Field Roasts’s Italian Garlic & Fennel or Beyond Meat’s Hot Italian options.

The inspiration for this recipe:

  • Zuppa Toscana translates to Tuscan soup. Of course there are many different styles of soup that are made in this region of Italy. When trying to learn about the origins of this soup, websites point to a variety of soups that include hearty greens, potatoes, sometimes beans, stale bread etc. 
  • But mostly, the popularity of The Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana seems to be what most recipes are pointing to when discussing this recipe. This is my inspiration as well.
  • The restaurant’s version (and recipes inspired by it) uses sausage, kale, potatoes, and a dairy-based creamy broth as the main components. I veganize this easily with veggie sausages and cashew cream.

For an extra Autumnal bowl of goodness, I used diced butternut squash in place of the potatoes. The sweetness of the squash plays off of the spice in the veggie sausages really nicely. If you want something that sticks to the original, replace the squash with chopped potatoes. The cooking time will be roughly the same.

Cashew cream gives us a lush texture, but 1 ¼ cups of your favourite unsweetened non-dairy creamer or rich, unsweetened oat milk (like this one) will work in a pinch. To give this vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana recipe deeply savoury flavour, the veggie sausages do a lot of heavy lifting. But I also use chopped sun dried tomatoes, garlic, nutritional yeast, dried herbs, and smoked paprika.

I hope that you enjoy making this next time you need a hearty soup to warm you up. Fans of this may also like my butternut minestrone with sage, chickpeas & chard, or community fave creamy white bean soup with kale, rosemary & lemon.

An overhead shot shows a hand emptying a bowl if minced sun dried tomatoes into a pot with sautéed onions and spices.
An overhead shot shows vegetable stock being poured into a pot with onions and butternut squash pieces.
An overhead shot shows bright white cashew cream being poured into a pot of vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana
An up close, overhead shot shows a pot of vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana. The soup is creamy and pale orange in hue with chopped parsley, bits of cooked vegan veggie sausage, and kale. A wooden spoon is sticking out of the pot.
An up close, overhead shot shows a bowl of vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana. The soup is creamy and pale orange in hue with chopped parsley, bits of cooked vegan veggie sausage, and kale. An antique spoon and a piece of crusty bread are sticking out of the bowl.

Vegan Butternut Squash Zuppa Toscana

Vegan butternut squash zuppa Toscana is a creamy, satiating, robustly flavoured, and autumnal twist on the classic Italian soup with plant-based sausage and cashew cream. Flavour from dried oregano and thyme, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, and nutritional yeast makes for an ultra savoury profile.