How to Eat Vegan at Olive Garden

If you have ever been on a diet or have thought about eating healthier, there is a good chance that you have heard about the vegan diet. In case you have not heard about it, the vegan diet is a diet where you don’t eat any animal products or by-products. This means that besides not eating any meat, you also avoid eating anything that was produced by an animal as well.  This can include milk, eggs, cheese, etc.

For those who are on a vegan diet, it can potentially much more difficult to eat out while still abiding by the vegan guidelines.  While some places are more vegan friendly with their menus than others, it can be done. You can go to restaurants and still enjoy some of the items on the menu.

One of the absolute best places that you can go to for an all vegan meal is none other than the Olive Garden.  This is because Italian food is already some-what vegan friendly to begin with, but with the vegan diet gaining more mainstream popularity, restaurants such as the Olive Garden are starting to recognize and cater to those who do follow a vegan diet.

Here is exactly how you can order a vegan feast the next time you are at the Olive Garden.  As with any restaurant, you are going to want to start out with appetizers.

Vegan Appetizers

  • Salads:  You simply can’t go wrong with a nice salad.  Just be sure to avoid the dressing and croutons that come with it as they are not vegan friendly.  So do yourself a favor and skip the croutons and use oils and vinegar as salad dressing instead. Plus, the oil and vinegar is healthier for you than the regular dressing anyways.
  • Breadsticks:  Don’t forget to eat some of the best breadsticks in the world.  And in case you were wondering, the topping is not made with any type of diary products, but rather with soy.  If you really want to step it up, you can always get the Bruschetta Caprese, just make sure that you order it without any cheese.
  • Soups:  Boasting some of the absolute best minestrone soup in all the lands, this soup is also completely vegan, no matter which Olive Garden location you are at.  With that being said, you can no make a feast out of the soup, salad, and breadsticks meal that is oh so delicious.
  • Artichokes:  Who doesn’t love a good artichoke?  But if you are going to be going this route, be sure that when you do order the Artichoke Fritti, that you make sure and do it without any aioli sauce or cheese.  The cheese and aioli are not vegan and you will have to do without them. Instead though, if you are in need of a dipping sauce, you can always ask for a side of tomato sauce.  You will still get the dipping sauce that you are looking for, but a vegan version that you can eat.

Now that you know exactly what to order for your appetizers, what are you to do for your main course?  Lost of the dishes come with meat sauce or chicken, so it can be quite overwhelming to try and make a dish vegan when it originally has meat in it.  But not to worry, simply follow these guidelines and you will have a delicious main course that is vegan friendly.

Vegan Main Courses

When it does come to your main course at the Olive Garden, all you need to do is follow the simple steps below and you will be good to go.

  • Pasta, pasta, and more pasta:  If you are vegan and at the Olive Garden, one of the toughest decisions you are going to need to make is to decide which type of pasta that you want for your meal.  With a plethora of options to choose from, some of your choices include: cavatappi, gluten-free rotini, spaghetti, capellini, fettuccine, tri-colored vegetable penne, ziti, and whole-wheat linguine.  With all of these choices, it can be a tough decision for you to make. However, so you know, no matter which pasta you do decide to go with, know that they are all vegan friendly.
  • Sauce time:  Now that you have made what is ultimately going to be the toughest decision of the entire meal, which noodles you are going to be having, it’s time to choose the sauce for those noodles.  Unlike the noodles however, this decision is going to be much easier as there is actually only one vegan friendly option that you are able to choose from, that being the marinara sauce. All of the other sauces are not vegan friendly and you should stay away from them.
  • More veggies please:  If you wanted to get your veggies in, you could order the Garden Primavera.  However, it does come with a basil garlic marinara sauce that is not vegan friendly.  So all you would need to do is switch out the marinara sauce that comes with it and get a side of tomato sauce instead.  And be sure that you request that no cheese be put onto it either. You now have a nice vegan meal that is going to taste delicious.

Don’t forget about dessert!

Once you have finished your vegan friendly meal, you have to finish with dessert.  Unfortunately, Olive Garden does not actually have any desserts that are vegan friendly.  But all is not lost. You can easily make a quick stop at the store on the way home after your meal and pick up some kind of vegan ice cream or another vegan friendly dessert that you can enjoy.

While it is not always easy to eat out and follow vegan guidelines, it can still be done.  Just be sure that you let your waiter know that you are trying to eat vegan and they will be able to help you choose the foods that will not break your diet practices.  Happy vegan eating!