- May 26, 2023
- by Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
- 0 Comments
Olive Garden’s Best Vegan Options You’ll Love
Looking for vegan options at Olive Garden? Try out some of the best plant-based menu options, like garlic breadsticks and yummy pastas.
Olive Garden is a well-known Italian restaurant, with locations all over the globe. It’s the spot for savory pasta and soft breadsticks. If you eat plant based, you won’t miss out on tasty vegan options at Olive Garden!
It’s always helpful to know ahead of time which options are available so you can plan on enjoying a delicious vegan meal.
At Olive Garden, there’s something for everyone, even those looking for healthier options. Check out Olive Garden’s vegan and vegetarian menu for a full list of meat-free options. Now, let’s have a look at Olive Garden’s selection of vegan dishes.
One note: Usually, I provide an ingredients list so you can know exactly what’s in your food. Unfortunately, Olive Garden doesn’t supply this information.
Did you know the breadsticks at Olive Garden are vegan? You can order them plain or with garlic topping, since it’s made with vegan margarine. If you like dipping sauces, the marinara is vegan, too. Dining in? Breadsticks are unlimited!
Create Your Own Pasta
Pasta is a classic dish at Olive Garden, and there’s no missing out when it comes to vegan options. If you’re looking to enjoy a satisfying plate of pasta, the Create Your Own Pasta option is the one for you.
First, choose your favorite type of pasta from their selection: angel hair, fettuccine, rigatoni, small shells, or spaghetti. The gluten-free rotini is not vegan, as it contains egg.
Then, choose marinara sauce. You can stop there, or add on steamed broccoli for more color and nutrients.
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
Creating your own pasta is a great option, but if you’d like to order an entrée directly from the menu, spaghetti with marinara sauce is vegan as well.
One serving of marinara has 1,250 milligrams (mg) of sodium, so keep this in mind if you’re watching your sodium intake.
For reference, the recommended daily intake of sodium is a maximum of 2,300 mg per day—so this one dish is more than half your daily allotment.
This one can be made vegan by requesting it without the cheese. You’ll be served breaded and lightly fried eggplant topped with marinara sauce, and the dish comes with a side of spaghetti.
Eggplant Parm is cooked in a shared fryer, so if you’re cautious about cross contamination with animal, dairy, or egg products, you can decide whether this one is for you.
If you’re not new to scouting out vegan options at restaurants, you know that salad is usually on the menu.
At Olive Garden, the house salad can be made vegan by omitting the croutons and asking for an oil and vinegar dressing instead of the Italian.
It comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, olives, and pepperoncini peppers. If you’re dining in, you can get endless salad refills, which is a great way to dig into fresh veggies.
Minestrone soup is a hearty blend of vegetables, beans, and pasta in light tomato broth. It makes for a comforting side or starter, or perhaps a light meal served along with a house salad. Never-ending refills are available for dine-in.
Fries are part of the kid’s menu, but adults can order them, too. Olive Garden uses shared fryers, so the fries maybe subject to cross contamination from meat, dairy, or egg products.
Olive Garden has a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcohol beverages. Alcoholic beverages include cocktails, sangrias, wines, and beers. Alcoholic drinks aren’t always vegan, so double check before you order.
Non-alcoholic beverages include fountain drinks, coffee, teas, lemonade, iced tea, and fruit juice. The majority of these drinks are vegan, but I’d still double check when you order if you’re uncertain.
More restaurant guides
Want more great vegan options at popular restaurants? Check these out:
- McDonald’s Best Vegan Options You’ll Love
- 6 Best Vegan Options at Chili’s in the US
- The Best Vegan Options at Arby’s
Final thoughts on vegan options at Olive Garden
Based on the options above, you can make a comforting and satisfying vegan meal at Olive Garden by ordering pasta with marinara sauce and steamed broccoli, with a house salad on the side, and of course, a breadstick on the side.
Olive Garden not be a popular place for plant-based protein, but this meal still contains 26 grams of protein. So the next time you visit Olive Garden, you can feel confident about finding a delicious vegan meal.
- The FDA’s website
- Olive Garden’s website
- Olive Garden’s nutrition website
- Olive Garden’s vegan and vegetarian menu
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