Feeling like Italian? Olive Garden has new selections

Posted on 17 February 2018 by JLusk

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Loaded Pasta Chips

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Parmesean Zucchini Bites

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Salmon Piccata

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Chicken Giardino

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Meatball Pasta Bowl

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Spicy Calabrian Chicken Breadstick Sandwich

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Chicken Parmesean

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Fettucine Alfredo

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin


(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Their popular salad always paired with breadsticks…

Photos & story by Rachel Galvin

Have you been to Olive Garden lately? This inexpensive family restaurant has added some new selections to their popular traditional items. Maybe it is time to give them another try.

Perhaps their most well-known combination is their soup and salad with breadsticks. You can get unlimited for only $10.99. The Chicken Parmigiana is one of their classics, as is the Chicken Alfredo, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Rigatoni with Five Cheese Marinara and Lasagna Classico. You can mix it up when you go are done eating and ready for more. These classics are only $11.99.

Some of their entrees, like Braised Beef Bolognese, are available for a limited time. They also have your lasagna, ziti, ravioli, you name it. You want eggplant parm? They make it. They have choices for meat and pork lovers, or those who prefer chicken or seafood selections – something for everyone. They even have specials for early birds – early dinner duos for $8.99.

If those sound a little too ultra for your taste, you may want to try one of their lighter selections. Their newest items are possibly the tastiest yet. Their Taste of the Medeterranean items are all under 600 calories! Try the Salmon Piccata. Flaky and perfectly pink salmon is paired with thinly sliced Parmesan-crusted zucchini, topped with sun dried tomatoes and capers and a lemon butter sauce. It is hard to believe it is only 590 calories. They also have a Chicken Piccata. Their Chicken Giardino has creamy Pappardelle pasta, flavored by a light, lemon chicken herb sauce, on top of slices of grilled chicken with fresh vegetables mixed in. Their Spiralized Veggie Pasta is perfect for pasta lovers who want something lighter. It only has 560 calories and the pasta is made from zucchini and yellow squash. That pasta is mixed with whole grain linguine and topped with tomatoes and garlic in a scampi herb sauce. The Shrimp Scampi and Chicken Margarita round out the selections.

Before you even begin your entree, you might want to try an appetizer. They have so many to choose from, including their new Loaded Pasta Chips. Pasta… chips? Yes, believe it or not, they have made chips from lasagna pasta and they load it up with meat sauce, cheeses, a few cherry peppers and a drizzle of Alfredo sauce to make a great Italian alternative to nachos. For those who love cheese, you might want to grab a few Parmesean Zucchini Bites, a fun pop of fried-up flavor while waiting for your entree. They also have items like stuffed mushrooms, calamari, spinach artichoke dip and more.

If you stop by at lunchtime, you may want to partake in their new Meatball Pizza Bowl — speaking of cheese… Loaded with cheese and meat sauce, these meatballs are nestled in pizza dough that has been crafted into a bowl. This is a choice that both parents and kiddies will enjoy. Kids may also want to try the new Spicy Calabrian Chicken Breadstick Sandwich. It is the classic breadstick with the spicy breaded chicken placed inside tossed in their Calabrian sauce with gorgonzola and over Italian cheeses spread upon it. It is served with parmesean-garlic fries. Note, when they say spicy, they mean it. There are other items crafted into breadstick sandwiches as well. Their lunch duos pair an item with soup or salad. Their lunchtime entrees start as low as $6.99.

Of course, no matter what your choice, you just can’t leave without having dessert. They have plenty to choose from, from tiramisu to cheesecake to zeppolis… and now cannolis. You could choose vanilla, chocolate or strawberry filled, whatever suits your fancy.

Note: They also have gluten free options for those who have sensitivities.

Olive Garden is a fun place to go because there are so many different choices. You can even create your own pasta combinations. They have inexpensive options like the lunch duos or the never ending classics for $11.99 if you are really hungry.

Olive Garden also has a full bar. Try their delicious Watermelon Moscato Sangria!

[Media was invited to a complimentary meal to try some of these options on Feb. 5. This reporter’s favorite entree was the Salmon Piccata. But I liked the lightness and great flavor of all of the Taste of the Mediterranean options best… and the amazingly good Watermelon Moscato Sangria for its light sweetness!]

Olive Garden is a national chain. The closest one to the local area of The Observer is at 5550 N Federal Hwy, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308. This locale from the 1980s just did some remodeling. For more information on Olive Garden and to see their menu, visit www.olivegarden.com. #OGTastes

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