By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Wondering about Olive Garden nutrition and what's on the Olive Garden healthy menu? You're in luck, because as a registered dietitian I put together the top nutritious picks!
While OG may be known for endless bread baskets and super oily–yet truly out-of-this-world–eggplant Parm, don't be surprised when you hear there are healthy choices at Olive Garden.
When it comes to eating healthy at Olive Garden, you can absolutely accomplish this. I've got you covered, so read on!
Olive Garden Memories
When I think of Olive Garden, I reminisce back to when I was 18 and just coming off of a plane from Israel.
It was dinner time there but breakfast in Miami, where I landed with my best friend Deborah. Her grandparents took us to Olive Garden for "dinner," and we got there just as the restaurant was opening and the staff was practicing the "happy birthday" song.
All memories aside, I've been at least occasionally eating at the restaurant since I was a kid, so I definitely appreciate a healthier option (or two or three). I'm sure you do, too!
Healthy Dishes at Olive Garden
When it comes to Olive Garden nutrition, it helps to take a look at the restaurant's nutrition information. This outlines the calories, fat, saturated fat, and other
nutrition info you need to make a healthy choice.
I did the work for you and came up with a short list of smart orders. What to eat at Olive Garden? Here are some healthy meals at Olive Garden to consider:
- Minestrone Soup: 110 calories
- Pasta Figioli Soup: 150 calories
- Salad with Signature Italian Dressing: 150 calories
- Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce (lunch portion): 310 calories
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (lunch portion): 360 calories
- Shrimp Scampi (dinner portion): 510 calories
- Cheese Pizza (kids' menu): 400 calories
- Cheese Ravioli (kids' menu): 340 calories
- Steamed Broccoli: 35 calories
- Watermelon Margarita: 190 calories
- White Claw Hard Seltzer: 100 calories
- Unsweetened Iced Tea: 0 calories
- Strawberry and White Chocolate Dolcini: 190 calories
- Wild Berry Cheesecake Dolcini: 220 calories
One of my favorite menu items at OG is the house salad. To make it lighter, you can always ask for a low-fat dressing, or you can order the salad without croutons, to save calories.
Olive Garden’s menu has additional hidden gem menu items that you’ll want to get your hands on. Get the healthy scoop from health nuts across the country via my FoxNews.com article and find out what meal options registered dietitians and other health nuts order at the restaurant.
More Italian Tomato Recipe Ideas
Yup, you can recreate Olive Garden and other Italian specialties at home!
I love traveling through Italy, and one of the reasons is the food is out of this world. Of course, travel abroad is just a daydream during these pandemic days. So I must daydream. Several years ago, I explored my way across Lombardy, Florence, and Rome.
Along with visiting marvelous local sites, I sampled the many food offerings of the areas. I so love the freshness of Italian food—which is about so much more than pasta. Many of the Italian dishes I tried featured one of my favorite foods, the juicy and flavorful tomato.
Some of the dishes I tried were so delicious that I’d like to try to replicate them at home.
I’d like to recreate several of the meals at home. Here are some of my favorites:
- Paccheri pasta (shaped in large tubes) with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and Parmesan (Milan)
- Salad of lettuce, grape tomatoes, corn, carrots, and celery (Milan)
- Thin-crust porcini mushroom pizza (Milan)
- Tomato-topped bruschetta (Bellagio)
- Sliced tomatoes in olive oil (sampled during a cooking class at the Castle of Malpaga in Bergamo)
- Polenta with cheese and tomato sauce (Vineria Cozzi in Bergamo)
- Pasta with eggplant, peas, carrots, and tomato sauce (M1.lle in Bergamo)
- Pizza topped with tomato, olives, and buffalo mozzarella (eaten en route to Chiavenna)
- Tomato, pesto, and mozzarella open-faced sandwich (Florence)
Want more healthy eating and healthy takeout tips?
This blog post was updated in October 2020. A version of this content originally appeared on WeightWatchers.com.
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What are your thoughts on this topic? What are favorite healthier dishes to eat at restaurants? Do you use the online nutrition calculator at restaurants?
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