Ask any American family where they’d like to go for dinner, and there’s a good chance that the name “Olive Garden” will be thrown into the mix. This casual dining restaurant chain is hugely popular and this is proven by the fact that there are 900 Olive Garden restaurants around the world.
One of the best things about Olive Garden is it’s variety of vegetarian options. However, as more and more people begin to turn to veganism as a way of life, the question of how many vegan options does Olive Garden have comes into play.
Unlike a lot of restaurants, Olive Garden has taken note of the rise of veganism and has ensured that there are lots of vegan options available. Below, we’ll take a look at 7 of the best vegan options Olive Garden has to offer.
7 Vegan Options at Olive Garden
1. Bread Sticks
A basket of bread sticks is always a welcome sight at any dining table, and Olive Garden has gone the extra mile by ensuring that theirs are vegan. The soy-based garlic topping contains no butter, milk, or any other animal-derived ingredients.
What’s more, Olive Garden’s Marinara and Tomato sauces are both vegan too, and these are the perfect accompaniment to a delicious vegan bread stick.
2. Salad (With Substitutions)
It’s no surprise that a salad is vegan, however, the standard Olive Garden salad usually features croutons and Italian dressing, neither of which is vegan. But, thanks to Olive Garden’s versatility, you can make their salad vegan-friendly with a couple of changes.
When you place your order, simply ask your server to make sure there are no croutons on your salad. And, as far as the dressing is concerned, ask them to swap it for some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Two easy swaps for a 100% vegan meal.
3. Minestrone Soup
Olive Garden’s minestrone soup is one of their classic vegan dishes. Delicious and hearty, it’s packed with fresh vegetables, beans, and vegan pasta that all mingle together in a gorgeous tomato broth.
This is the perfect choice for a cold, winter night when you want something a little more comforting. It’s also super delicious as an accompaniment to a vegan salad.
4. Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
This spaghetti with marinara sauce is the only vegan-friendly pasta dish available at Olive Garden (aside from their minestrone soup, of course). The herby, tomato sauce will transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean and it’s ideal when you want something a little more substantial.
You can even use the aforementioned vegan bread sticks to mop up any leftover sauce in the bottom of your dish once you’ve eaten all of the spaghetti!
5. Create Your Own Pasta
While we’re on the subject of pasta dishes, it may interest you to learn the Olive Garden offers a ‘Create Your Own Pasta’ option. This gives you more versatility by allowing you to select specific ingredients, and it’s a welcome choice if you’re craving a pasta dish but don’t fancy the spaghetti with marinara sauce.
When creating your own pasta dish, you can choose from the following vegan pasta options:
- Angel Hair
- Small Shells
- Whole Grain Linguine
Once you’ve chosen your pasta, simply choose between marinara sauce or tomato sauce. Then, finish the dish with a choice of garden vegetables.
6. Steamed Broccoli Side
This is the only vegan side dish option available at Olive Garden. OK, so it’s not particularly exciting, but it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a way to pack your chosen meal out a bit more without using any animal-based ingredients.
Let’s not forget, also, that broccoli is full of vitamins and nutrients, so it’s a good way to ensure you’re getting one of your five a day!
You’ll need a nice drink to go with your meal too, and, luckily, Olive Garden has a range of vegan-friendly drink choices. However, the options available do vary between locations and you may find that you’re able to get a lot more choice from one Olive Garden restaurant than you can at another.
Following a vegan diet doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice your food choices when you go out to eat, and Olive Garden is here to prove that! With 7 delicious vegan choices on offer, you’re almost guaranteed to find a vegan meal that you love.