20 Copycat Olive Garden Recipes (2024)

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I have to warn you that the minute you finish looking over these incredible Olive Garden recipes, you’ll need to make a run to the grocery store.

Chances are you’ll start with the breadsticks (because, of course!), but then it’s a tough choice between so many tasty dishes.

20 Copycat Olive Garden Recipes (1)


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I used to think the chicken marsala was my favorite, then I tried the toasted ravioli and was hooked!

Having said that, I can’t say no to the smoked mozzarella fonduta either.

As I said, there are so many tasty dishes, and it will be hard to pick just one.

So I suggest working your way through this list and making it a whole month of Olive Garden recipes!

1. Olive Garden’s Alfredo Sauce

Put down that jar of sauce and step away! If you’re making alfredo, it really should be from scratch, and it really should be this Olive Garden recipe.

When it’s so simple, why not give it a go? To boost the flavors even more, try infusing your cream with herbs such as rosemary, bay, and thyme before adding to the sauce.

Just remember to strain the stalks out and let the cream cool before mixing it in.

2. Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

As if this creamy chicken soup isn’t already decadent enough, they went and threw in some pillowy gnocchi too! Genius!

Gnocchi is a big favorite in my house, especially when I fry them off in a little rosemary-infused brown butter.

But you could always substitute them for some regular pasta or chunks of potato.

3. Olive Garden Chicken Marsala

Chicken and mushrooms are a classic combination ,but add in some white wine, and you’ll have a winner!

The chicken will cook in the pan along with the mushrooms and white wine, soaking up all that flavor to make every bite juicy and bursting with flavor.

This dish works great with a simple pasta or with a big bowl of cheesy polenta.


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4. Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

This one of the prettiest dishes on this list! The colors are amazing, and I love how simple it is.

Rather than a heavy sauce, you get so much from the wine, cheese, and cream, without needing to drown the pasta.

The mix of peppers is perfect, but I also like to throw in some cherry tomatoes and grated carrot for a bit of sweetness.

5. Breadsticks Recipe (Olive Garden Copycat)

How many times have you been to the Olive Garden and not had a refill of the breadsticks? Never, is my guess! They’re soft, warm, and just too good to leave behind.

When you see just how easy these are, you’ll want to make them almost daily!

Once you have your breadsticks baked (or why not make rolls?), all you’ll need to do is brush them with melted butter and sprinkle over a salt and garlic powder mix. It’s that easy!

6. Olive Garden Toasted Ravioli

I know these are on the appetizer page, but I’ll often order them as my main course.

You can make these at home using ready-made ravioli and breadcrumbs. It’s a messy process but so worth it in the end.

When you’re done, you’ll have a big bowl full of crunchy ravioli with a deliciously creamy, cheesy filling.

They’re fantastic with marinara sauce, or with some of the alfredo, too.

7. One-Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

Soup has never looked so good! Did you know that this dish has bacon and sausage in the mix? Not to mention the potatoes, garlic, and creamy sauce.

Oh, but it also has kale… so it’s practically healthy, right? Let me believe it, please!

I actually substitute the kale most of the time since I almost always have spinach in the house. It’s just as good, and you’ll still get your greens.

8. Pasta e fa*gioli Soup (Better than Olive Garden’s)

This hearty soup is full of pasta and beef, and will fill you up right until dinner.

I like to think of it as an Italian chili since there’s chopped tomatoes, veggies, and plenty of beans.

Ditalini pasta is small tubes that will distribute amongst the beans, filling the soup out more substantially.

If you can’t find that specific pasta, feel free to use elbow pasta, or whatever you have on hand will work.

9. Olive Garden Salad Recipe

I have to admit that I’ve never had the Olive Garden salad before. If I’m eating at a restaurant, you’d better believe I’m ordering something bad for me!

But if you’re having a salad, you won’t be disappointed with this one.

I’m a big fan of pepperoncini peppers and red onion, but the dressing is where this dish really shines.

I suggest making extra because you’ll want it again and again.

10. Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi Copycat Recipe

Is there anything more appealing than a plate full of bright pink shrimp? They’re just so juicy and meaty, and they pair with everything from pasta to grits.

The key to cooking shrimp is to remember it only needs a couple of minutes.

As soon as you see that gorgeous pink on both sides, they’re ready. Anything more, and they’ll end up rubbery.

11. Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta

How can anyone resist a sizzling pan full of melted cheese?

Making and serving in a skillet is such a great option, but you could use some cute little ramekins if you want to serve individually.

This recipe is super simple. There’s no need to make a roux or be gentle with the cheese. Just mix it all together and let the oven do the work.

When it comes out, it will be bubbling and have a crispy, golden crust around the edges.

12. Copy Cat Olive Garden Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant parmigiana is a vegetarian recipe I’m sure we’ve all been making for years.

If you live on the east coast (hello, New Yorkers!), I’m positive this has been a staple in your house since you were a kid.

I love the crunchy breading and the tangy marinara. But I especially love that you can pop a whole tray in the oven and feed a crowd in just over half an hour.

13. Refreshing Olive Garden Peach Iced Tea

I didn’t find my love for iced tea until I was well into my twenties. But since then, I’ve grown more and more fond of it, choosing it over a co*cktail in some cases!

When it comes to making it at home, there’s no substitute for going 100% homemade.

The good news is, you can make a simple flavored syrup using sugar, water, and just about any fruit you like.

14. Olive Garden Spinach Artichoke Dip

Not all spinach and artichoke dips are created equal, and though most and tasty, not all are melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

Can you guess what this is?

It’s all about the cheeses here. You’ll want parmesan, mozzarella, asiago, romano, and cream cheese.

Just be sure to squeeze all the liquid from your spinach to keep the dip nice and thick.

15. Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe

Italian dressing mix has so much more in the blend than your typical Italian spice mix.

You can usually find the mix ready-made in a packet, but making your own is a cinch.

This dressing is super tangy and contains just 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. I prefer it this way, but you can add extra sugar or a dash of honey if you want it more mellow.

16. Olive Garden Bruschetta Recipe

Bruschetta is typically a slice of crusty, toasted bread with tomato salsa on top.

The salsa is made up of chopped fresh tomatoes (not canned) and some Italian seasoning – not to be confused with the kind of salsa you dip your chips into!

I like to rub garlic right onto my toast to ensure the flavor is nice and strong, and I find French baguettes work the best.

Remember to drain your tomato mix before serving, or the juices will turn the bread soggy.

17. Copycat Olive Garden Jumbo Stuffed Shells

The first time I had the stuffed shells at Olive Garden, I couldn’t believe the size of them! Seriously, you only need a few to make a full meal.

When you order this in the restaurant, it comes on a bed of alfredo sauce, with lots of seasoned bread crumbs over the top.

I love the contrast of the creamy alfredo with the marinara, but they are just as delicious without.

18. Olive Garden Tortellini al Forno

Between the cheese and prosciutto-filled tortellini, the parmesan cream sauce, and the addedbacon crumbled on top, this is one dish I won’t share.

If you have the time, I highly recommend making the tortellini from scratch at least once! Making pasta is so fun, and you can even turn it into a date night.

Otherwise, this dish will be seriously indulgent with store-bought tortellini. Just don’t be shy with the bacon.

19. Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Isn’t minestrone just the most nostalgic? I can’t be the only one to be fed this when I wasn’t feeling great. Every Mom makes the best version, I know, but this is a close second.

The veggie base is onions, carrots, celery, and zucchini, though I like to add in corn, squash, and even sweet potato if I have it.

Before you add your beans, always give them a good rinse to get rid of any excess salt, and for a really rich broth, try using beef stock and a splash of red wine.

20. Copycat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake

By the time I’ve eaten my starter and main (and at least a whole basket of breadsticks), dessert is usually a far-away dream. I couldn’t possibly manage another bite…

Well, unless it’s this lemon cream cake!

The cake itself is a simple white cake, and you could use a box if you prefer.

The real star here is the lemon and mascarpone filling! It’s just so sweet and creamy, with notes of lemon in every bite.

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20 Copycat Olive Garden Recipes (2024)


Does Olive Garden make their sauce from scratch daily? ›

Chain restaurants often have reputations for taking shortcuts when it comes to food preparation. However, that doesn't mean all menu items arrive frozen, only to be reheated when a customer orders them. At Olive Garden, many of the most beloved items are prepared fresh each day, including the sauces.

What does Olive Garden do with leftover food? ›

Every Olive Garden restaurant participates in the Harvest program, which has been in place for 20 years. Each day, restaurants collect high-quality surplus food that was not served to guests and donate it on a weekly basis to local nonprofit partners.

What pasta does Olive Garden use? ›

Spaghetti, fettuccine, angel hair, pastas you would typically buy dry is exactly what they use at Olive Garden.

What is Olive Garden's substitute for pasta? ›

If you politely ask your server to substitute the pasta, for any dish at Olive garden, with broccoli they will often times say yes NO PROBLEM.

Do they microwave the food at Olive Garden? ›

The soups are made in-house daily—but all the desserts are frozen. The pasta, however, is made to order. The restaurant only uses microwaves for heating dipping sauces and warming desserts. Otherwise, everything is pan fried, deep fried, or grilled.

Can you take home Olive Garden Never Ending pasta? ›

Never Ending Pasta Pass®

All other entrees excluded. Each meal is for one person and may not be shared. Dine-in only. Valid at any Olive Garden location in the continental United States Not valid for online or To Go orders.

Does Olive Garden use frozen food? ›

While Olive Garden does make a real effort to serve freshly prepared foods whenever possible, some menu items are indeed frozen.

Can you eat 2 day old Olive Garden? ›

However, the actual lifespan of your leftovers depends on how you store them, with some noting it's best to eat any type of cooked pasta, whether from Olive Garden or not, within two days of refrigerating.

Is Olive Garden healthy for you? ›

Healthier menu choices at Olive Garden. Olive Garden's healthiest meals come from their Lighter Italian Fare menu. Olive Garden claims that their Lighter Italian Fare menu items are inspired by Italy's Mediterranean Coast where the diet is primarily vegetables, whole grains, herbs and spices, and olive oil.

Why did Olive Garden get rid of cheese stuffed shells? ›

Stuffed Pasta On Limited Supply

The promos and the discontinuation of Olive Garden's giant stuffed shells are part of the chain tweaking its menu. In 2023, it discontinued its stuffed mushroom ravioli -- another stuffed pasta causality of the chain-shifting focus.

Does Olive Garden make their soup fresh? ›

Our soup and sauce masters create dishes by hand and from scratch, every day. With fresh, whole ingredients like kale, peppers and squash. Because they know cooking that way – the Italian way- everything tastes better. to everything they make.

Does Olive Garden make anything from scratch? ›

It wouldn't be unreasonable to guess that Olive Garden, the massive Italian-American restaurant chain with over 900 locations, follows a similar process. But by most accounts, the majority of items on Olive Garden's menu are made in-house, from scratch, on a daily basis — including its signature soups.

What kind of cheese does Olive Garden use? ›

In other words, Olive Garden employees that posted on Reddit, they use specifically Lotito Romano cheese. In fairness, it is an authentic Italian cheese. But the big difference between Romano and parm is price. Romano costs about $25 per kilogram, whereas real Parmesan is almost triple that.

Why did Olive Garden get rid of mushroom ravioli? ›

Stuffed Pasta On Limited Supply

The promos and the discontinuation of Olive Garden's giant stuffed shells are part of the chain tweaking its menu. In 2023, it discontinued its stuffed mushroom ravioli -- another stuffed pasta causality of the chain-shifting focus.

Does Olive Garden make everything from scratch? ›

It wouldn't be unreasonable to guess that Olive Garden, the massive Italian-American restaurant chain with over 900 locations, follows a similar process. But by most accounts, the majority of items on Olive Garden's menu are made in-house, from scratch, on a daily basis — including its signature soups.

Does Olive Garden make the alfredo sauce fresh? ›

Olive Garden's Alfredo sauce is made daily

The ingredients are simple: a blend of cream, milk, and butter all come together with flour to create the base, then garlic is added along with Parmesan and Romano cheeses to get that hearty Italian flavor that seems to keep customers coming back.

Is Olive Garden's alfredo sauce frozen? ›

Our signature alfredo sauce made fresh in-house every morning with ingredients like parmesan, cream, garlic and butter, served over fettuccine.

Does Olive Garden make their own fresh pasta? ›

So, although Olive Garden's pasta isn't entirely made fresh to order, it is cooked fresh that day and it never sees the inside of a freezer or microwave. The restaurant uses the same process for its sauces and soups.


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