I think many of us grew up going to eat at Olive Garden with our families and friends. I know I did! I loved going to Olive Garden and munching on the salad and breadsticks and then getting an amazing plate of pasta.
This list is filled with Olive Garden recipes that will make you feel like you’re eating at the classic restaurant, but because you’re making your meal at home, it is much more affordable.
A few nights ago, I got a craving for the Zuppa Toscana, my favorite soup from Olive Garden I ate throughout college, and that’s when my hunt for copycat recipes began! I found everything from soups to salad and alfredo to gnocchi.
Whatever you loved at Olive Garden, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here. Make your way through this list and take a trip down memory lane!
1. Pasta e Fagioli Soup
This soup is the definition of comfort! It has a rich, beefy broth with creamy kidney and white beans and perfect aldente cooked pasta.
The best part? It’s easy and affordable to make! This is a great soup to serve on a cold winter night. It’s warm and filling.
I love to top this with extra parmesan cheese! If you have access to fresh herbs, I prefer to use them over-dried. Either way, make this soup anytime you’re looking for a savory winter dish.
2. Five Cheese Ziti al Forno
This recipe reminds me of a recipe my mom used to make when I lived back home.
It’s cheesy, tomato-filled, and scrumptious! This is the recipe I would pull out when you’re looking for a luscious and rich dinner.
You can lighten this recipe up with a salad (try one of the salads on this list!).
This is a great dish to make if you have kids eating at the table. It never fails. They love it! Secret tip: if you have really picky kids, you can sneak some vegetables in this by mixing spinach in before baking. They’ll never know it’s there!
3. Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana
Olive garden soup recipes were the first recipes I started hunting for, and this recipe specifically I knew I had to include in this list!
I used to love to go to Olive Garden and get the bottomless soup and salad and eat as many bowls of this soup as I could.
It has a great spiciness from the sausage, the potatoes are tender and creamy, and you feel healthy thanks to the kale.
If you want to make this dairy-free, swap out the cream for coconut milk and skip the parmesan.
4. Alfredo Sauce
This recipe is simple and can be paired with any pasta shape or type, protein, or even pizza sauce!
This alfredo sauce is creamy and dreamy! It gets a great salty cheesiness thanks to the parmesan, and the garlic adds that umami.
I love to make this for my kids and toss pasta, broccoli, and chicken in it.
It gets them to eat a serving of vegetables, and they don’t complain one bit! How could you when it’s coated in this cheesy sauce?
5. Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
I love gnocchi! I learned how to make gnocchi from a chef taught by her great-grandma, and every time I make it, I feel like I’m making something special.
This recipe includes instructions for handmade gnocchi. No time for that? Don’t worry!
Grab some potato gnocchi from the frozen section at the grocery store, and nobody will know the difference!
This soup is creamy and has plenty of great vegetables in it. You can even make this in the slow cooker if you want!
6. Olive Garden Salad
This is one of my favorite Olive Garden copycat recipes! I love the olive garden salad; let’s be honest, it’s really the salad dressing and pepperoncini that make it special.
This recipe makes it easy by using a pre-made Italian dressing seasoning packet and creaming it out with some mayonnaise.
The salad portion is straightforward but does not skip out on the croutons or the peppers. They make the salad!
You can serve this salad as a side to any dinner, and it goes great, especially with any of the dishes on this list!
7. Chicken Scampi
Here’s a take on chicken scampi! I love this recipe as a fresh option for craving pasta, but I don’t want a heavy dinner.
Pro tip: instead of taking the time to bread chicken tenders, grab a bag of frozen chicken strips at the store and use those!
It really speeds up this dinner. You can make this dairy-free by substitute coconut milk and using vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast. You’ll love this dish!
8. Olive Garden’s Famous Chicken Parmesan
The chicken parmesan was the first recipe I learned to make when I was on my own and in college.
It’s a great way to impress company or make on a night you want something special.
The mozzarella on top is stretchy and delicious, and the breading on the chicken is crispy and flavorful.
I like to serve this over penne or spaghetti to sop up all of that delicious tomato sauce. Serve with some roasted vegetables for a full meal!
9. Slow Cooker Chicken Pasta
This recipe isn’t exactly a copycat recipe, but it uses all the wonderful flavors from Olive Garden and uses them in a delicious chicken pasta.
You can find Olive Garden salad dressing in most grocery stores now, and this recipe cooks chicken in it until it’s perfectly tender.
Toss some cream cheese and parmesan cheese in there, and you have the most amazing pasta sauce in the world! Who knew you could cram this many Olive Garden flavors into one dish?
10. Olive Garden Breadsticks
We all know that Olive Garden breadsticks go with a wide array of dishes. They are garlicky, fluffy, and buttery, perfect for dipping into soup or a sauce.
This recipe does take a little time. It’s baking bread from scratch. But the process of kneading, watching your dough rise, and then seeing the beautiful, finished product is soothing.
I love baking bread on a calm weekend day when I have time to savor the steps. Make sure you make extra to eat for a few nights!
11. Toasted Ravioli
My favorite appetizer at Olive Garden has always been this crispy ravioli! Does it get any better?
The deliciousness of ravioli, breaded and then toasted until crispy and then dipped in marinara.
I love to make this for parties or events. You can stick toothpicks into each ravioli and make them easy for grabbing and eating while standing.
I love to sprinkle with some parmesan cheese for both added flavor and a pretty garnish. You probably won’t have any leftovers, so maybe hide some on the side for yourself.
12. Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
This alfredo recipe is similar to the others on this list, but it uses shrimp flavors! One reason I love shrimp with alfredo is it tends to feel lighter to eat, and alfredo can be a heavy meal.
This recipe uses cream cheese to add richness and provides the thickening for the sauce instead of roux.
If you want to include a vegetable in this dish, try tossing some sauteed zucchini in the pasta and sauce.
13. Salad with Olive Garden Dressing
This is another take on the classic and beloved Olive Garden salad.
The dressing piece of this recipe is slightly different, so if you don’t have access to a pre-made Italian dressing packet, this is the recipe for you!
If you have some leftover breadsticks from the breadstick recipe up above, you can use those to make the crunchy, delicious croutons. They’re the best.
I like to mix in some red leaf lettuce amongst the romaine lettuce for a little color. Make a big batch of the dressing and use it for the rest of the week!
14. Chicken Gnocchi Soup
This chicken gnocchi soup is similar to the last but slightly thicker, so it’s more like chowder.
I like to make this version during the colder months when I crave a thicker and more comforting soup.
There’s a lot of great vegetables in this soup, like spinach and carrots.
Sometimes I like to add shredded kale to this recipe for some added leafy greens. Serve this soup with the Olive Garden copycat breadsticks for a great dipping combo!
15. Tortellini al Forno
Tortellini is like a ravioli but in a cuter shape. Sometimes I prefer tortellini because it has a bit more bite to the pasta because of the way they’re folded.
This tortellini al forno gets a wonderful saltiness from the bacon and parmesan and is smothered in an amazing, creamy alfredo sauce.
Sometimes I like to mix some sauteed mushrooms into this casserole for some added flavor and vegetables.
Make sure to top this with fresh chives. They add a great finishing flavor!
16. Chicken Alfredo
This recipe is one of the best ideas for a quick dinner.
Olive Garden chicken alfredo was what my brother got every time we went to Olive Garden, and every time I make this, I think of him.
The chicken is moist and flavorful, and the noodles hold up the creamy, rich sauce wonderfully.
You can make this gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and a gluten-free flour alternative.
Don’t skip out on topping this with fresh herbs. It adds a lightness to this dish!
17. Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta
I love anytime a recipe uses my slow cooker! It makes everything so much easier, and I love coming home to a dinner that is already ready to go with little effort.
This recipe uses lean chicken breast and cream cheese to make it rich and delicious.
It also uses Olive Garden Italian dressing as a base for the sauce, which cuts the creaminess from the cheese perfectly.
To complete this meal, all you have to do is throw together a quick salad, and you’re good to go!
18. Ravioli di Portobello
These mushroom-filled ravioli are absolutely divine. I like to make these for my husband and me on special occasions because we both adore this recipe.
The sauce these are doused in is a combination of cream and sun-dried tomato sauce, capturing both that richness and the acidity of tomatoes.
I love to top this with some fresh basil and chopped tomatoes to add some freshness and some fresh ground peppercorn for a kick of heat.
19. Chicken Carbonara
Chicken Carbonara is one of the best copycat Olive Garden recipes on this list.
If you haven’t had chicken carbonara, it’s sort of like alfredo, but much lighter. Instead of being solely cream-based, it also uses chicken stock and tomatoes.
This recipe includes chicken, shrimp, and bacon. All served over pasta: yum!
If you want to make this recipe even quicker, skip breading the chicken and sauté it. Just because this dish is lighter doesn’t make it any less tasty!
20. Jumbo Stuffed Shells
Jumbo stuffed shells are just fun to eat! These are saucy and cheesy, stuffed with a combination of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan.
This recipe has you top the shells with alfredo sauce, but you can top them with whatever pasta sauce you prefer.
I’ve topped these with both tomato-based sauces and pesto. They are always amazing!
If you can’t find Italian breadcrumbs, get plain breadcrumbs and toss in some Italian seasoning for an easy fix.
21. Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce
This alfredo sauce is probably my favorite on this entire list, but it does take the most time and effort.
The combination of parmesan and Romano cheese is the secret here, so don’t skip or substitute those.
This sauce is rich and creamy, everything you want from an alfredo.
I’ll pair this with just about any pasta shape and some shrimp or grilled chicken and steamed broccoli for a satisfying and tasty dinner. I always make sure to have enough leftovers because one meal is never enough!
22. Olive Garden Chicken Scampi
Chicken scampi is such an easy and fresh dinner to throw together for a weeknight dinner. It’s a one-pot wonder!
It has protein from the chicken, carbohydrates from the noodles, lots of fiber and nutrients in all the vegetables, and a bit of fat from the cheese, a perfectly balanced meal!
If you don’t drink wine, you can substitute the wine for chicken or vegetable stock. Don’t have angel hair pasta?
You can use any long pasta you have on hand! Some of these recipes are for special nights, but this recipe is perfect to have inconsistent rotation.
23. Olive Garden Salad
This is another take on the famous Olive Garden salad. This one is even easier. It uses a pre-mixed salad mix, pre-made croutons, and an easy dressing.
All three versions of this salad are similar in flavor. They just use different ingredients to get there, so choose the recipe you have the ingredients for.
If you want to make this salad a meal, top it with some grilled chicken or shrimp.
Pro tip: you can also use this dressing as a protein marinade! So make a big batch and use it on different salads and meats.
23 Copycat Olive Garden Recipes
- ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1 ½ tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 (5-oz.) pkg. American salad mix
- ¾ c pitted black olives
- ¾ c pickled pepperoncini
- ½ c thinly sliced red onion
- 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
- 1 (4.5-oz.) pkg. large seasoned croutons
- Add mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic, and parmesan to a food processor. Run the food processor until all the ingredients are fully combined and garlic is fully minced, then drizzle the oil in slowly.
- Combine the lettuce, olives, pepperoncini, onion, and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Pour half of the dressing on top and then toss to coat. Add the rest of the dressing and toss to coat again, so everything is equally coated. Top with croutons and give one last toss. Set in the fridge for 5 minutes to let all the flavors meld together.