Olive Garden is a household favorite for its irresistible Italian comfort cuisine.
Americans would agree that a restaurant with the slogan “We’re all family here” is the perfect place to enjoy delicious meals and good moments with loved ones.
In fact, Olive Garden consistently ranks in the top 20 most popular restaurant chains in the United States.
Olive Garden offers seafood, vegetarian alternatives, and classic Italian cuisine, and there is a meal for even the pickiest of eaters.
Whether you’re there for lunch or supper, Olive Garden offers scrumptious discounts and filling quantities.
Although some may say that the food at Olive Garden is not true Italian cuisine, pleased patrons are aware of the most essential fact: the meal is wonderful.
Olive Garden is always adding new items to its menu and reimagining old ones while preserving popular favorites such as its famous breadsticks, house salad, and Tour of Italy sampler.
With so many options to choose from, you may have a hard time deciding what you want.
That is why we have created this list of the top 14 Olive Garden menu items for you to try (see also ‘25 Delicious Olive Garden Copycat Recipes‘)!
There will be something for everyone on this list, so keep reading to find your next favorite meal!
If there’s one thing that Olive Garden is known for, it’s breadsticks.
Made famous by a meme a few years ago, just the thought of these buttery, golden breadsticks will make your mouth water.
They have just a hint of crunch on the surface, but the bread on the interior is so tender that it practically melts in your mouth.
Every meal at Olive Garden comes with a big portion of breadsticks, and if you order the soup or salad special, you may have a limitless supply of these.
You have the option of adding either a half dozen or a dozen breadsticks to your order if you are getting it to go.
Breadsticks can be purchased either cooked or uncooked, and they come with instructions on how to bake them at home.
2. Tour of Italy
The Chicken Parmigiana, the Lasagna Classico, and the Signature Fettuccine Alfredo are the three dishes that make up the Olive Garden classics that are included in the Tour of Italy dish.
Order this meal if you’re in the mood for something different because it features three unique flavors.
Because these servings are so large, it goes without saying that you will be completely satisfied after eating them.
A chicken breast that has been breaded with parmesan and then gently fried is the foundation of chicken Parmigiana.
The chefs prepare the Alfredo sauce for the Fettuccine Alfredo dish during the day using a mixture of parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and garlic.
They then toss the sauce with extra thick fettuccine noodles.
Last but not least, the classic lasagna, which is layered with noodles, meat sauce, and rich cheeses, is considered to be the ideal Italian dish.
Try Zeppoli with some chocolate sauce for a delicious treat that will melt in your mouth.
You may not be familiar with the name zeppeli or zeppole, but these delicious fried doughnuts are truly a gift from heaven.
While donuts make for a tasty sweet breakfast meal, they are just as good as a dessert food, and the perfect way to top off your dinner.
The dough for Olive Garden’s Zeppoli is first deep-fried, and then the freshly made donuts are dusted with powdered sugar before being served. After that, they will be served to you at your table alongside the dipping sauce while they are still hot.
You have the option of selecting either the chocolate sauce or the raspberry sauce.
Picking between the two will be a hard choice because they are equally delicious.
If you want the sensation of having breakfast for dessert, make sure to add a cappuccino or espresso to the order.
4. Lasagna Fritta
The Lasagna Fritta at Olive Garden is a delectable take on one of the most well-liked Italian dishes, even if it’s doubtful that you would find a fried lasagna in a conventional Italian kitchen.
This delicious main dish is made up of lasagna noodles that have been breaded with parmesan cheese and lightly fried before being covered with meat sauce and more parmesan cheese.
It is then served atop a bed of creamy alfredo sauce.
The meat sauce at Olive Garden is made with Italian sausage and beef that has been pan-seared.
These ingredients lend an exceptional taste to the tomatoes, herbs, and vegetables.
The typical lasagna ingredients are included in the Lasagna Fritta, however, the appearance is different from what you would usually be used to, and some additional tastes and textures are added with the addition of fried noodles and silky alfredo sauce.
5. Cheese Ravioli
Cheese Ravioli is a dish that may win over both children and adults when you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing dish.
This time-honored recipe calls for high-quality ingredients to deliver creamy comfort food.
The ravioli are stuffed with a variety of different savory Italian cheeses.
You may get this meal served with homemade marinara sauce if you want it to be a vegetarian main course option.
You also have the option of selecting the meat sauce that is based on beef and sausage.
The final part of this dish consists of a big portion of ravioli covered with sauce and mozzarella cheese that has been melted into a silky consistency.
The dinner, of course, is not over until it is accompanied by a House Salad and some breadsticks.
6. Cookie Butter Cake
A mouthwatering dessert is an essential component of every fantastic dinner and is the perfect sweet treat at the end of the meal.
The Cookie Butter Cake at Olive Garden is very unique and stands out from the many other desserts that Olive Garden serves.
Your meal will be memorable for all the right reasons.
This dessert combines many delicious ingredients like cookie butter, vanilla cake, and warm caramel.
To begin making this delicious dessert, the chefs grind up some speculoos biscuits, which are typical spicy European biscuits.
Next, they mix in some powdered sugar and vegetable oil.
This wonderful dessert from Olive Garden is made up of two layers of vanilla cake, crushed cookies, and creamy sweet butter, before being drizzled in a warm caramel sauce.
7. Shrimp Alfredo
If you like seafood, you should get the Shrimp Alfredo since it will satisfy your craving.
The shrimp are served with fettuccine noodles and Olive Garden’s trademark fresh Alfredo sauce, all of which complement the shrimp’s robust taste.
In Italian, fettuccine is translated as “little ribbons.”
This pasta is long and thin like spaghetti, but it’s broader than spaghetti, so each bite is more substantial than the last.
Even though it’s made with butter and milk, the buttery and creamy Alfredo sauce feels refreshingly light.
You should choose the Shrimp Alfredo if you want a meal that won’t weigh you down despite its ability to satisfy your hunger.
8. Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara
Bacon can be added to nearly anything to improve the taste of a meal.
If you consider yourself a bacon aficionado, you can relax knowing that Olive Garden offers a mouthwatering meal that will help you satisfy your craving for bacon.
The Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara dish has bacon and red peppers in addition to sautéed chicken and shrimp that are combined with spaghetti.
The term carbonara refers to a specific type of pasta sauce from Rome.
This meal features a variety of flavors and textures due in large part to the chicken breast, which has only a mild seasoning added to it.
A delicious cream sauce is used as the medium for mixing all of the components together.
9. Eggplant Parmigiana
Parmigiana di Melanzane, sometimes known simply as Eggplant Parmigiana, is a traditional Italian meal that is both savory and satisfying.
Eggplant Parmigiana is a great option for a main meal if you are vegetarian and searching for something different from the typical veggie meals.
Even though eggplant is not one of the most commonly used vegetables in American cooking, it is a very nutrient-dense food that contains vitamin C and vitamin K, potassium, folate, and manganese.
This traditional meal from southern Italy begins with slices of fresh eggplant that have been cut very thinly. Following this step, the eggplant slices are gently breaded and cooked by hand.
After layering the fried eggplant, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese, the eggplant parmigiana is baked, which allows all of the flavors to combine and become more noticeable.
Last but not least, Olive Garden offers this delectable vegetarian meal accompanied by a straightforward side dish of spaghetti.
10. Grilled Chicken Piadina
A newer Olive Garden menu, the Grilled Chicken Pidina is based on traditional Italian sandwich wraps.
Chicken, fresh spinach, a savory cheese sauce, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil are the main ingredients that go into the Grilled Chicken Piadina.
The ingredients are encased in a crust that has a flaky texture, and the dish is served with a marinara sauce on the side.
You might say that this is similar to a panini or quesadilla that has been cooked, but instead, it is filled with fresh Italian tastes.
The piadina will satisfy your cravings for a lighter dish or for something other than pasta when you still want some Italian food.
This dish works especially well as a lunch option.
If you’re looking for another vegetarian choice at Olive Garden, you may also test out the grilled veggie option of this meal.
11. House Salad
The world-famous House Salad at Olive Garden is a customer favorite.
Served family-style in a large bowl and accompanied with fresh breadsticks, the house salad is perfect as a standalone meal or to have before your entree.
Crisp lettuce, ripe tomatoes, caramelized onions, briny black olives, and buttery croutons are the ingredients that go into making this flavorful salad.
The Olive Garden’s famous Italian salad dressing is used as the last touch on the dish.
While it’s true that Italian cuisine is commonly associated with “carbohydrate overload,” the House Salad offers a good counterbalance and makes it possible for you to incorporate some fresh vegetables into your diet.
When you go out to eat for lunch, you might want to try the restaurant’s signature soup, breadstick, and salad combination.
12. Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno
This traditional and reassuring meal blends pasta, sauce, and cheese together in perfect harmony to create an explosion of flavor that was baked to produce a lovely, crispy surface.
This dish is also known as a casserole.
Olive Garden’s Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno is characterized as a baked combination of Italian cheese, pasta, and their distinctive five-cheese marinara (which is different from their usual marinara).
The dish has a beautiful golden crust on the top, and underneath it is a large helping of pasta.
The mozzarella gives the dish its predominant taste, so if you love cheesy, creamy dishes, this is the meal for you.
The Olive Garden’s tiramisu is a classic Italian dish.
The traditional coffee-flavored dessert does not require baking and is served chilled.
Its sponge cake is soaked in coffee and liquor, then stacked with a combination of sugar, whipped mascarpone cheese, and eggs, and finally finished off with a dusting of powdered chocolate.
This dessert is the perfect way to finish off a dinner since it’s decadent but not heavy, and it has just the right amount of sweetness with a touch of bitterness.
The mild shock of caffeine offers an additional benefit as it helps you to successfully avoid falling into a food coma.
In place of the rum that is often used in the preparation method for this dish, it is instead layered with custard and ladyfingers that have been soaked in espresso.
This makes it suitable for serving children and other members of the family.
Although you may miss the tiniest hint of bitterness that the alcohol typically gives to the ladyfingers after they are soaked, the espresso did a great job of imitating it.
14. Chicken Marsala
If you want an entree but can’t decide which of the many to get, we’re here to say that this one is possibly the tastiest and best one to choose.
It is described as “floured grilled chicken covered with a delicious marsala and mushroom wine sauce”.
This one will you by surprise in all the best possible ways.
The chicken is cooked to juicy perfection, and the abundant marsala and mushroom sauce provides excellent tastes in the correct consistency.
This dish is a refreshing change from the often overpoweringly sweet varieties of marsala sauce that are typically served in a lot of other chain restaurants.
It comes with a side of their fettuccine alfredo, and the richness of the pasta is a good complement to the savory and sweet components of the main dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s The Best Olive Garden Soup?
Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana is hands down the most ordered soup on the menu.
This handmade Zuppa Toscana recipe just requires one pot and is packed full of healthy ingredients like Italian sausage, kale, bacon, and potatoes.
The Creamy Shrimp Pasta and, of course, the Chicken Madeira are two of the most popular dishes in general.
What Is Olive Garden Known For?
Breadsticks are the main reason why Olive Garden is so popular and memorable for a lot of people.
The Italian-American franchise restaurant is also noted for its infinite salads and countless pasta options.
But their breadsticks remain their most famous menu item thanks to a meme that went viral a few years ago.
What Is Piadina?
Piadina is a flavorful Italian cheese sauce seasoned with garlic, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes, as well as tangy roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and fresh spinach.
It is accompanied by a side of marinara sauce.
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