7 Olive Garden Secret Menu Items to Try

You can’t do better than Olive Garden regarding reliably delicious Italian food. Almost everyone has a favorite Olive Garden dish that they routinely order but few people even realize that cheesy goodness doesn’t end with the items on the menu. 

Olive Garden restaurant exterior in Humble

Like many restaurants, Olive Garden has many recipes beyond the menu offerings that the chefs are happy to prepare for guests. However, you still have to know what to request, and we can help you with that. 

While not every Olive Garden restaurant can accommodate every special request, this list contains items that the chef is most likely to have available in the kitchen to prepare your desired secret menu item.

Read on to learn about the Olive Garden secret menu and the seven dishes you should request next time you visit. 

Sampler Italiano

Guests can sample some of Olive Gardens’ most popular appetizers with the Sampler Italiano.

The dish is available in two and three choice sizes and includes some great selections.

Current selections include calamari, served lightly breaded and fried with two dipping sauces, the fried chicken fingers, crispy fried mozzarella, and the toasted ravioli with either pork or beef filling. 

The Sampler Italiano is a great way to try out several appetizer items to find your favorite.

By keeping the sizes small, you can try the recipe out without committing to a larger serving and permit everyone at the table to sample.

Chicken Fettuccine Florentine

The Olive Garden’s Chicken Fettucine is a true classic for the tastebuds.

The restaurant chain’s take on this time-honored dish pairs up a perfectly grilled and sliced chicken breast served golden brown on a bed of fluffy fettuccine noodles.

The entire dish is then covered in a thick, creamy alfredo sauce. 

Adding spinach to the alfredo sauce takes the meal over the top. While the chicken fettuccine is on its own, spinach gives the dish a deep flavor profile while enhancing the other flavors.

The spinach enhances the nutrient profile by adding vitamin A, vitamin K, and fiber to this cheesy, decadent dish.

Chicken Fettuccine Florentine is served yar-round in most Olive Garden restaurants by ordering Chicken Fettuccine with spinach. The cooks in the kitchen are familiar with the recipe.

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Stuffed Ravioli

Cheese Ravioli is offered on the menu in most Olive Garden restaurants, and for a good reason, the specially made cheese filling served inside the warm pasta tastes incredible.

But what most diners don’t realize is that you can take a few liberties with the ravioli stuffing. 

If Cheese Ravioli is on the menu at your favorite Olive Garden restaurant, but you have a craving for ravioli, you can switch things up. Instead of cheese, how about a meatball filling?

If meatball is not your thing, how about  Italian sausage and ricotta? The choices are almost as unlimited as your imagination.

Chicken Parmesan Alfredo

Many diners have been able to breathe new life into the classic

Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo by swapping out the grilled chicken and replacing it with the battered, golden fried chicken parmesan topped with marinara and cheese on the bed of warm pasta and alfredo sauce. 

Creamy Minestrone

The Olive Garden Minestrone is a true nutritional powerhouse packed with four grams of dietary fiber, five grams of protein, and an incredible 17 grams of energy-producing carbohydrates packed into 110 calories of warm deliciousness. 

Creamy minestrone enhances the nutrient and calorie profile by adding the restaurant’s signature creamy mushroom sauce to the bowl, giving it an even richer taste. 

Zeppole Dipping Sauces

The Zeppole or Warm Italian Doughnuts, sometimes named on the menu, are similar to sweet beignets.

The Zeppole will arrive at the table with powdered sugar coating and warm chocolate dipping sauce.

But what most diners don’t realize is that they can ask the server for additional flavored sauces such as raspberry to accompany the chocolate sauce and bring a new flavor profile to the dessert. 

Vegetarian Substitutes

Most restaurants do all they can to accommodate diners with specific food sensitivities, and the Olive Garden is no exception.

The vast majority of Olive Garden’s stand-out entrees can be prepared vegetarian-friendly, but there are several dishes that you’ll want to be sure to try out on your next visit. 

While the breadsticks, along with the garlic topping, the salad without croutons or dressing, and the minestrone are all delicious vegan-friendly ways to start your meal, let’s take a closer look at some pasta. 

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Olive Garden angel hair, fettuccine, rigatoni, and spaghetti are all vegan and do not contain animal meat, stock, or gelatin. Olive Garden vegan products also do not have any honey or animal by-products. 

Some other pasta dishes containing alfredo sauce, creamy mushroom sauce, five cheese marinara sauce, and the gluten-free rotini are vegetarian and do not include any animal meat, stock, or gelatin. 

In addition to an impressive listing of vegan and vegetarian appetizers and plates of pasta, Olive Garden has some delicious vegan and vegetarian entrees for you to check out the next time you stop by for lunch or dinner.

In a delicious surprise to many, the Olive Garden Spaghetti with marinara sauce is a vegan dish containing no dairy and no egg, allowing those with food sensitivities to enjoy one of the best dishes Olive Garden has to offer.

But the list of great-tasting, filling entrees doesn’t end there. The decadent Fettuccine Alfredo, Eggplant Parmagiana, and the Cheese Pizza are delicious vegetarian offerings. So, we’ve covered vegetarian options for appetizers, pasta, and entrees. The only thing left to cover would be dessert!

The mouthwatering desserts prepared at the olive garden are legendary and include some surprising options for vegetarian and vegan diners. However, some items listed are considered seasonal and may not be available year-round in all locations. 

The Pumpkin Cheesecake and the Sicilian Cheesecake are seasonal and vegetarian offerings, so be sure to check those out at your next opportunity.

The Warm Italian Doughnuts and the iconic Olive Garden Tiramisu are vegetarian options offered year-round in most locations, so you can enjoy dessert at Olive Garden too.

Exploring the Olive Garden secret menu can take you on a delectable journey and help you explore some delicious food. Why not give one (or more) of these items a taste the next time you stop in? Trust us; you won’t regret it!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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