Italian Zuppa Toscana Soup
EzumeImages/istockphoto
Italian Zuppa Toscana Soup
EzumeImages/istockphoto

Garden Adjacent

Founded in 1982, Olive Garden has served up some of America's favorite Italian-inspired dishes for decades. There are now 900 locations all around the world, so you can be sure some people in Brazil and Kuwait are just as in love with the breadsticks as you are. If you're avoiding eating out because of the pandemic or you’re simply sad that your favorite dish is no longer on the menu (R.I.P. stuffed mushrooms), you can cook many Olive Garden favorites at home using these copycat recipes. 


Related: Copycat Recipes You Can Now Make at Home

Garlic breadsticks on with marinara sauce
Blurr/istockphoto

Garlic Breadsticks

There's no other place to start a list of Olive Garden copycat recipes than their famous breadsticks. You'll be dipping them into almost everything else on this list, so you may as well make a double batch. You can freeze them after baking, too. Just skip the topping, then reheat them in the oven and brush with the butter, garlic, and salt.


Recipe: Handle the Heat


Related: 16 Underrated Items to Order at National Chains

Kale Caesar Salad in Wooden Bowl from Above
PoppyB/istockphoto

Salad Dressing

I loved Olive Garden's family-style giant salad bowls as a kid — as well as using those big tongs to grab some for myself. The best part is the dressing, of course, and it's easy to replicate with a packet of Italian dressing mix plus some extra herbs and seasonings. The tablespoon of mayo gives it that slight creaminess and keeps it emulsified. 


Recipe: Family Fresh Meals 


Related: 22 Quick and Easy Cold Salads for People Who Hate Lettuce

Minestrone
olgna / istockphoto

Minestrone

Minestrone is such a simple, easy classic that there's no reason to not make this at home for your own soup, salad, and breadsticks meal. It's vegetarian, but it still has a lot of protein thanks to two kinds of beans. Follow the copycat recipe for something very close to what they serve in the restaurant, or add some more veggies from your fridge for a clean-out-the-fridge dinner.


Recipe: Momsdish


Related: 30 Easy Soup Recipes That Last for Days

cream soup with gnocchi, chicken and spinach served with bread close-up in a bowl. Horizontal
ALLEKO/istockphoto

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Gnocchi are hearty little potato dumplings, and you don't have to worry about making them because you can buy them just like you would any other fresh pasta now. This creamy soup also includes a few vegetables and lots of chicken. It's a great way to use up leftover chicken, or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.


Recipe: Creme de la Crumb 


Related: 10 Quick Recipes to Make With Costco’s $5 Rotisserie Chicken

Italian Zuppa Toscana Soup
EzumeImages/istockphoto

Zuppa Toscana

This is perhaps the one Olive Garden recipe that people whip up at home most often. It's filling and inexpensive to make because it's full of bulk Italian sausage and potatoes. Though it's creamy, it's still brothy, so it doesn't make you feel weighed down. This recipe calls for spinach, but if you'd like to make it exactly like the restaurant, use chopped kale instead.


Recipe: AllRecipes


Related: 30 Hearty Fall Soups Perfect for a Chilly Day

Pasta e Fagioli
AnastasiaKopa/shutterstock

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is the fourth soup choice at Olive Garden. It's very similar to the minestrone, but it's a little thicker with tomatoes and also includes ground beef. So if you've got a family member that doesn't think of soup as a full meal, see if they change their mind with one that’s full of beans, meat, vegetables, and pasta.


Recipe: Cooking Classy


Related: Best Place for Hearty Soup in Every State

Breaded, Pan Fried Feta Cheese with Lemon Zest, Cracked Black Pepper and Thyme also known as Saganaki
LauriPatterson/istockphoto
Creamy Crab Dip with Baked Pita Chips
LauriPatterson/istockphoto

San Remo Seafood Dip

San Remo seafood dip is a recipe that's no longer on Olive Garden's menu but was a popular appetizer for a long time. It's a creamy dip full of small shrimp, crab meat, and lots of cheeses that are baked on top of a layer of marinara sauce. When you dip a breadstick into it (go all out and make homemade), the marinara and creamy seafood mix into a lovely pink sauce.


Recipe: CD Kitchen


Related: 20 Cheap and Tasty Ideas for Chips and Dip

Toasted ravioli
bhofack2 / istockphoto

Toasted Ravioli

They serve meat-filled ravioli at the restaurant, but there's no reason you can't use cheese or any other variety, either. It's a pretty simple process of breading refrigerated or frozen ravioli, then frying until they're puffed and gooey inside, chewy and crispy outside.


Recipe: Damn Delicious


Related: 50 Best Old-School Italian Restaurants in America

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are no longer available on Olive Garden's menu, but they had been around for decades. Interestingly, they were stuffed with a clam filling, which gave them a savory and briny flavor. Copious amounts of cheese and butter make them extra delicious too, so if you miss this app, make this recipe at home.


Recipe: CD Kitchen


Related: 25 Dishes Under 100 Calories Per Serving

Spinach Artichoke Dip
cobraphoto/istockphoto

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hot spinach and artichoke dip is a standard appetizer at tons of chain restaurants. The Olive Garden version is a little different because of all the cheese included. It uses mascarpone, a type of Italian spreadable cheese, along with cream cheese and a ton of Parmesan for a sharp bite. Garlic, onions, and herbs give it extra flavor.


Recipe: Refinery 29


Related: Here’s How Long You Have to Eat 25 Unrefrigerated Foods

Baked Artichoke and Asiago Cheese Dip with Crispy Pita Chips
LauriPatterson/istockphoto

Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta

Another cheesy, hot dip, fonduta hasn't been on the Olive Garden menu in a while. It's simple to make at home if you miss it though: Just mix sour cream, seasonings, and massive amounts of Italian cheeses together before baking them until browned and bubbly. A mix of fresh chopped tomatoes and parsley on the top adds freshness.


Recipe: Tastes of Lizzy T


Related: The Funkiest Cheeses in the World

Fettuccini Alfredo
Robm57/istockphoto

Alfredo Sauce

I don't know what the most popular pasta dish at Olive Garden is, but I'd be willing to bet it involves Alfredo sauce in some way. Many Alfredo recipes rely on cheese and mixing pasta into the sauce for thickening, but this version uses a roux to thicken cream and milk, which makes it more stable and able to be poured onto anything. Add seasoned, chopped chicken or shrimp to recreate your favorite pasta bowl, or just use it to dunk your breadsticks. 


Recipe: The Cozy Cook


Related: 45 Comfort Foods for a Cozy Fall Meal

Lasagna
boblin/istockphoto

Lasagna Classico

Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food, so it's no wonder that practically every Italian restaurant serves it. This recipe for it comes directly from Olive Garden, so it's going to be pretty close to what they serve. The meat sauce has ground beef and Italian sausage, plus a full pound of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses for extra richness.


Recipe: Pop Sugar


Related: Where to Find Good, Cheap Pasta in Every State

Baked Ziti
wsmahar/istockphoto

Five Cheese Ziti al Forno

OG's ziti al Forno is a baked pasta dish full of cheese and topped with breadcrumbs. It uses the chain's creamy five-cheese marinara sauce, which is replicated in this recipe by mixing jars of marinara and alfredo sauce, but you can use homemade if you like. The five cheeses are ricotta, mozzarella, Fontina, Parmesan, and Romano, and an extra thick layer of breadcrumbs on top gives it texture.


Recipe: Gonna Want Seconds


Related: 21 Cheap and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Shrimp Scampi
LauriPatterson/istockphoto

Chicken Scampi

Scampi is most commonly a shrimp dish (more on that later), but Olive Garden has popularized a chicken version. It's got garlic, white wine, and lemon sauce that scampi lovers will recognize, but it's also got colorful bell pepper and onion strips, Italian herbs, and cream. It's perfect for coating angel hair pasta.


Recipe: Dinner, Then Dessert


Related: 20 Chef Secrets for Crisp, Juicy Fried Chicken

Creamy Tuna, Vegetable and Noodle Casserole
LauriPatterson/istockphoto

Garlic Herb Chicken con Broccoli

I used to order this dish many years ago, but it hasn't been on the menu in a long time. It uses orecchiette pasta, which looks like little ears, in a light garlic cream sauce with chicken and steamed fresh broccoli all around. The herb seasoning is key, especially the rosemary, which was always a prominent flavor in the dish.


Recipe: Epicurious


Related: Target, Walmart, and Aldi: Which Cheap Pasta Sauce is the Winner

https://blog.cheapism.com/best-cheap-pasta-sauce/

Shrimp Carbonara
LauriPatterson/istockphoto

Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara

Traditionally, carbonara doesn't include chicken, shrimp, or bell peppers, but don't let that stop you from making this dish that's also delicious. Bacon, shrimp, and panko-crusted crispy chicken are coated in a creamy egg and cheese sauce and tossed with spaghetti. Don't skip the red bell pepper because it adds color and cuts the richness.


Recipe: CopyKat


Related: 100 Cheap and Easy Dinners

Pasta Pomodoro
nitrub/istockphoto
shrimp scampi with linguini pasta asparagus and savory garlic sauce
LCBallard/istockphoto

Shrimp Scampi with Asparagus and Tomatoes

This is Olive Garden's version of the classic shrimp scampi, and similar to the chicken version, it's got more components than most. It's got garlic, white wine, and lemon sauce, along with plump shrimp, asparagus spears, and chopped fresh tomatoes. The extra vegetables are a great addition and eliminate the need for a side dish.


Recipe: Saving Room for Dessert



Chicken Marsala
rudisill/istockphoto

Stuffed Chicken Marsala

Stuffed chicken Marsala is no longer on the menu, but it was a really popular dish. It's got a rich, savory mushroom and Marsala sauce, but instead of plain chicken, it coats a chicken breast with a creamy stuffing made with sundried tomatoes, breadcrumbs, and lots of cheese. If you're a fan of chicken Marsala, this is a great upgrade to try.


Recipe: The Cozy Cook


Related: Cheers to Julia Child: 11 Recipes for Leftover Wine

grilled chicken breast  topped with melted mozzarella cheese, basil  pesto, tomato  and caper
MarynaVoronova/istockphoto

Chicken Margherita

Another one of the lighter dishes offered, chicken Margherita combines basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella just like a Margherita pizza. Brine and grill chicken breasts, then top with fresh basil pesto, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a simple garlic and lemon sauce. Bake it for a few minutes to get the cheese melted and serve with Parmesan broccoli like Olive Garden does, or try it with pasta on the side.


Recipe: Carrie's Experimental Kitchen


Related: 50 Cheap and Easy Chicken Recipes

Fettuccine com cogumelos e carne 1
Luiz Henrique Mendes/istockphoto

Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo

Steak isn't generally something you think of when you think Olive Garden, especially pasta dishes. But this former menu item is for the red meat lovers. A simple Alfredo pasta with spinach and gorgonzola cheese mixed in is topped with sliced steak, more gorgonzola, and a drizzle of sweet and tangy balsamic glaze. 


Recipe: Three Olives Branch


Related: How to Make 24 Fast Food Sauces with Copycat Recipes

Chocolate Mousse Cake
DebbiSmirnoff/istockphoto

Black Tie Mousse Cake

This might be the most complicated recipe on this list, but the show-stopping result is worth it, especially for celebrations. A layer of chocolate cake sits on the bottom, followed by chocolate mousse, white chocolate mousse, and then a coating of silky chocolate ganache on top. Plan to make this one the day before you eat it so it sets up in the fridge.


Recipe: Mindee's Cooking Obsession 


Related: 20 Most Decadent Chocolate Desserts Across America

tiramisu
hakule/istockphoto

Tiramisu

It's hard to resist a good tiramisu. Ladyfinger cookies are soaked in espresso and coffee liqueur for a kick and layered at the bottom of a serving dish. On top of them is a sweet, custard-like mixture of egg yolks, vanilla, cream cheese, and mascarpone. A sprinkle of cocoa powder on top gives it just enough chocolate flavor to complement the coffee.


Recipe: Chef Pablo's


Related: A Surprising Ingredient Makes Three Dessers Irresistable 

Pecan Turtle Brownies at a Party
skodonnell/istockphoto

Chocolate Brownie Lasagna

Everyone loves the chocolate brownie lasagna at Olive Garden that even the Food Network has developed a recipe for it. The 8-layer festive dessert is simplified for home cooks with a box of devil's food cake mix that's cut into four layers. It's sandwiched back together with copious amounts of cream cheese frosting with chocolate syrup and shavings for decoration. 


Recipe: Food Network


Related: Relive Your Childhood By Making These 13 Classic Ice Cream Truck Treats


For more great meal ideas and grocery tips,
please sign up for our free newsletters.

Peach lemonade
Karaidel/istockphoto

Bellini Peach-Raspberry Iced Tea

Olive Garden always has some fancy non-alcoholic drinks available. The current rage is a peach-raspberry iced tea inspired by bellinis, the brunch staple. To make it, you need to start with raspberry and peach simple syrups, which are easy to make. Once you have those, just add some to brewed iced tea to taste. Float some fresh raspberries or peach slices for a gorgeous edible garnish.


Recipe: Snacks and Sips


Related: The Best Non-Alcoholic Beers to Get You Through ‘Sober September’