Olive Garden Low Calorie Options

Olive Garden is a wonderful place to hang out when you aren't dieting due to the incredible house salad and breadsticks that they are so very generous with, but when dieting you do need to be very cautious. As I mention later on, the Fresh Garden salad is almost 300 calories per serving and the breadsticks are, well, bread. Bread is a huge no-no. Especially when steeped in butter. So tread softly in the area of the lovely salad and breadsticks.

Shared Appetizers

Olive Garden has a few appetizers that, if you share them, don't cost too terribly dearly. Think half or third portions to keep the calories low on these. 
  • Stuffed Mushrooms- Half portion - 140 calories
  • Chicken Fingers - Half Portion - 165 calories
  • Toasted Beef and Pork Ravioli - Half Portion - 180  calories 
Soups at Olive Garden

Olive Garden's soups are very low calorie and can all be enjoyed if paired properly. Avoid those breadsticks, though! 

  • Chicken and Gnocchi Soup - 250 Calories
  • Minnestrone - 100 Calories
  • Pasta e Fagioli - 130 Calories
  • Zuppa Toscana - 170 Calories

Salads at Olive Garden

The typical garden salad with dressing that the waiters bring as an appetizer is my favorite thing about Olive Garden. Between the super zesty dressing, the piles of parmesan and the gorgeous pepperoncini peppers, this is a winning salad. The dressing makes it a bit high on the calorie count though, at 290 calories per serving. If, however, you eat one serving of salad then you still have room for two bowls of soup for the soup, salad and breadsticks lunch. Nice. 

  • Fresh Garden Salad with Dressing - 290 calories
  • Chicken Ceasar Salad - 610 calories
Paninis and Flatbreads at Olive Garden

The grilled paninis are all three under 600 calories, but that's only a safe number if you remember to go light on the salad and avoid the breadsticks! The pizzas, on the other hand, are just out of the question. They start at 1000 calories and everything you top them with adds to the count. 

  • Grilled Chicken Caprese - 560 calories
  • Grilled Chicken Florentine -570 calories
  • Grilled Steak and Portobello -580 calories
  • Caprese Flatbread - 600 calories

Olive Garden's Classic Pastas

There are several lunch portions that are within acceptable range, while dinner portions are not. Only a few of these pastas can be eaten at dinner- unless you choose to leave half of your food on your plate and save it for lunch the next day!

Lunch Portions: 
  • Capellini Pomodoro - 480 calories
  • Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce -530 calories
  • Cheese Ravioli with Meat Sauce - 600 calories
  • Eggplant Parmagiana -620 calories
  • Lasagna Classico - 580 calories
  • Linguine alla Marinara - 310 calories
  • Ravioli di Portobello - 450 calories
  • Spaghetti with Meat Sauce- 550 calories
Dinner Portions
  • Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce - 660 calories
  • Linguini alla Marinara - 430 calories
  • Ravioli di Portobello - 670 calories
  • Spaghetti with meat Sauce - 710 calories
Chicken and Seafood at Olive Garden
Some of the half portions served at lunch time are acceptable here, while the dinner portions are not. A few of these plates don't vary in size between meals, therefor there is no difference in calorie count and I have listed them in the lunch and dinner sections both. 

Lunch Portions

  • Chicken Parmagiana - 570 calories
  • Mediteranean Grilled Chicken - 670 calories
  • Venetian Apricot Chicken - 290 calories
  • Herb Grilled Salmon - 510 Calories
  • Parmesan Crusted Tilapia - 590 calories
  • Capellini di Mare - 650 calories
  • Seafood Alfredo - 670 calories
  • Seafood Brodetto - 480 calories
  • Shrimp Mezzaluna - 630 Calories 
  • Shrimp Primavera - 510 calories
Dinner Portions
  • Mediterranean Grilled Chicken -670 calories
  • Venetian Apricot Chicken - 400 calories
  • Capellini de Mare - 650 calories
  • Herb Grilled Salmon - 510 calories
  • Parmesan Crusted Tilapia 590 calories
  • Seafood Brodetto - 480 calories
  • Shrimp Mezzaluna - 630 calories
Olive Garden's Beef and Pork 

Red meat is much higher in calories then light meat, so it's hard to find low calorie beef dishes. Here are the two options from this section of the menu that are under the 800 calorie mark-

  • Parmesan Crusted Bistecca - 690 calories
  • Steak Toscano - 590 calories
Olive Garden Dessert Options

Olive Garden has a Dolcini selection with desserts under 250 calories. These include: Amaretto Tiramisu, Chocolate Mousse, Dark Chocolate Cake, Lemoncello Mousse and Strawberry Mousse. 


Drinks at Olive Garden 

Olive Garden carries Coca Cola products and also offers a few specialty drinks that are low calorie:
  • Skinny Pomegranate Limetta (Alcoholic) -50 calories
  • Bellini Peach Raspberry iced tea -70 calories


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you thank you thank you! Did I say thank you already? Now I can figure out what I want prior without worrying about breaking my diet! :-)

    ReplyDelete