How to Eat Vegetarian at Olive Garden: The Ultimate Guide

bread fingers. To untrained vegetarians, they seem innocent enough, but to many desperate cannibals, it’s hard to find a bread stick not covered in butter or made with milk. That is why we chose the olive garden. The filling basket of delicious and never-ending vegan breadsticks can be ordered, along with a variety of other delicious items that go beyond a simple salad. Because in Olive Garden, “When you’re here, you’re family.” Includes vegetarians.

Vegetables, olives, garden, bread sticksolive garden

General advice about ordering

A few clicks navigate the Olive Garden website, diners will find a landing page dedicated to vegetarian and vegan customers. The information is comprehensive and guaranteed. He promises diligent handling of food to avoid cross-contamination of animal ingredients, peeks at botanicals as they are, and promises more accommodations upon request. Keep this tip in mind: Many items can be made vegetarian if you ask to replace the meat and cheese with more pasta or fresh vegetables. This trick is especially useful if you want to try out any of the limited-time specials.


At Olive Garden, it’s all about hot breadsticks. This delicate, garlic-covered appetizer is vegan—no adjustments required. The marinara dipping sauce is also animal-free.

vegetable soupolive garden

Soups and salads

Despite its fame for heavy pasta types, Olive Garden’s combo of soup, salad, and breadsticks easily makes for a satisfying meal. Choose vegan-friendly minestrone soup and pair it with our popular house salad. The salad is vegan when ordered with no croutons or Italian dressing – just replace it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Vegetarian NewsChristina Charles

Make your own pasta

This section gives vegans the freedom to act. The restaurant uses dried pasta, which means that vegan patrons don’t have to be wary about any hidden egg ingredients typical of the fresh variety. Vegan-friendly pasta shapes include spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccine, baby shells, and rigatoni (note: the gluten-free rigatoni contains eggs). Put marinara or tomato sauce over your favorite pasta. To add even more nutrient-dense heft to a pasta dish, ask your server to toss it with seasonal vegetables in the kitchen or add a side of steamed broccoli. The kitchen usually has asparagus, tomatoes, eggplant, and mushrooms on hand.


Like The Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden has yet to experiment with any of its tantalizing dessert options. While we wait for a vegan version of a warm Italian muffin, tiramisu, and chocolate lasagna, we’ll be looking for something sweet elsewhere (like one of these ice cream shops).

For more tips on eating out as a vegetarian, read: