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Does Olive Garden have vegan options? Let’s check the menu

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Olive Garden is a well-loved American restaurant chain that brings Italian-American cuisine to the casual dining scene. It started in 1982 in Orlando, Florida, by General Mills and has grown to over 850 locations across the United States by 2021. Now part of Darden Restaurants, Inc., Olive Garden shares its parent company with other popular chains like LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille. The restaurant aims to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for families and casual diners.

Olive Garden’s menu offers many delicious Italian-American dishes, including favorites like Fettuccine Alfredo, Lasagna Classico, and Chicken Parmigiana. Many people love its “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” and “Unlimited Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks” promotions, which offer great value, keep customers returning for more, and combine generous portions with a focus on traditional Italian recipes that suit American tastes. But does it suit for vegans?

Olive Garden has also made strides to accommodate vegan and plant-based diners, recognizing the growing demand for such options. While traditionally known for its cheese-laden kinds of pasta and hearty meat dishes, Olive Garden offers several vegan-friendly choices. Guests can enjoy the famous breadsticks, which are vegan as they contain no eggs or dairy. The salad, without the dressing and croutons, is another option, and many pasta dishes can be customized by choosing the marinara sauce and adding vegetables. But is it enough? Let’s see!

what is vegan at olive garden

What are the vegan options at Olive Garden?

My expectations were high for Olive Garden since it looks like a healthy, greener place. However, my experience there wasn’t exceptional. Here is the whole list of the vegan options at Olive Garden:

  • Breadstick with garlic topping,
  • Minestrone Soup,
  • Our Famous House Salad with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar instead of Italian dressing and no croutons.
  • Spaghetti marinara,
  • Make your own paste (details later),
  • Side broccoli,
  • Wines, beers,
  • drinks.

Honestly, that’s all, which is a huge disappointment.

vegan options at olive garden

Make your own vegan pasta at Olive Garden

Choose one of the vegan pasta:

  • Rigatoni,
  • Angel hair,
  • Spaghetti,
  • Small Shells,
  • Fettuccine.

(Gluten-Free Rotini contains eggs)

Choose one of the plant-based sauces:

  • Marinara,
  • Tomato.

The only vegan topping is broccoli so you can choose between it and nothing.

Choose one of the soups or salads.

  • Our Famous House Salad with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar,
  • Minestrone.

In short, it is nothing more than marinara sauce with broccoli served with your choice of pasta.

how to make vegan pasta at olive garden

What else is plant-based?

Almost nothing, to be honest. But at least, there is a vast selection of fine wines. Also, there are some pleasing beers as well. However, besides that, there is nothing—so many missing opportunities.

Questions regarding Olive Garden’s vegan offer

These are the most frequently asked questions:

  • Are Olive Garden breadsticks vegan?
    • Yes, luckily you can enjoy the crispy breadsticks with garlic as a vegan at Olive Garden.
  • Is Olive Garden dressing vegan?
    • No, unfortunately, the signature Italian dressing at Olive Garden isn’t vegan. You have to substitute it with olive oil and vinaigrette.
  • Are Olive Garden croutons vegan?
    • No, and it that case, you must exclude it from the salad.
  • Are Olive Garden chocolates vegan?
    • No, it isn’t. Every dessert contains dairy at Olive Garden.
  • Is Olive Garden minestrone soup vegan?
    • Yes, it is! It is not only vegan but also the best plant-based item on the menu, in my opinion.

Olive Garden vegan options in a nutshell

I hate to say this, but Olive Garden was mediocre as a vegan. Breadstick is pretty good, and also minestrone is very hearty, however, this is the end of the vegan menu items. Pasta dishes are dull since the only option is spaghetti with marinara sauces. furthermore, you can hardly make it better with the “make your own pasta” option, since there is still only one acceptable sauce option and you can’t do anything to it besides broccoli. At least you can choose from 5 different pasta, which is nice.Olive Garden’s vegan options are very similar to Buca de Bippo. I recommend going to Old Spaghetti Factory if you’re eyeing an Italian restaurant. At least there are two different sauce options

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