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Olive Garden broadens menu choices to offer greater variety

Olive Garden recently unveiled the most significant menu evolution in the restaurant’s history, including more than 20 new menu items that broaden the choice, variety and value it offers guests, prepared with new cooking techniques that accentuate new flavors. Olive Garden’s new menu is designed to appeal to the evolving palettes and preferences of casual dining guests, while providing guests with more options to customize their meal experience at both lunch and dinner.

Olive Garden offers numerous new menu options-slide0
Cristine Struble
New menu choices at Olive Garden
Cristine Struble

A few of the new menu items are:

  • Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich – Smashed chicken meatballs with roasted bell peppers and mozzarella on a focaccia bun. Served with garlic Parmesan fries.
  • Large Paccheri with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato and Chicken Meatballs, and Bucatini with Spicy Diavolo Sauce and Shrimp – both part of Cucina Mia:
  • Choose your pasta: New Large Paccheri, New Tri-Colored Vegetable Penne, Bucatini, New Cavatappi, Whole Wheat Linguine, New Gluten-Free Rotini
  • Choose your made-from-scratch sauce: New Creamy Garlic Alfredo, New Primavera, New Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato, New Spicy Diavolo, Fresh Tomato Pomodoro
  • Add a topping (additional cost): New Chicken Meatballs, New Sausage Meatballs, Meatballs, Sautéed Shrimp
  • Pappardelle Pescatore (Olive Garden Specialty) – Sautéed shrimp, bay scallops and clams tossed with pappardelle pasta, fresh asparagus and tomatoes in a creamy red pepper seafood sauce.
  • Chicken Abruzzi (Olive Garden Specialty, Lighter Italian Fare, under 575 calories) – Grilled chicken breast in a savory broth simmered with cannellini beans, kale and garden vegetables.
  • Wild Berry Layer Cake – Layers of moist vanilla cake and Italian cream topped with seasonal berries and white chocolate shavings.

A personal favorite is the Chicken Abruzzi. During the warmer months, I appreciate a hearty meal that doesn't seem exceptionally heavy. The Chicken Abruzzi is very filling without becoming overwhelming. The flavors from the garden vegetables come through in the delicate broth. This dish is a perfect on a warm night.

The classic pasta options benefit from new sauces. The Spicy Diavolo brings the heat in a manageable way. When added with sauteed shrimp, the meal brings a good balance of sweet shrimp and spicy sauce.

Olive Garden offers value and selection in the casual dining experience. Whether grabbing a quick bite or sharing a large family meal, everyone will have varied options to satisfy their cravings.

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