Does Olive Garden Make Their Own Pasta

In this brief article we will answer the question, “does olive garden make their own pasta?” We will also tell you about the best pasta dishes at Olive Garden, which type of pasta is the healthiest, and why fresh pasta is the best way to go.

Does Olive Garden Make Their Own Pasta?

Yes, olive garden does make its own pasta. In fact, it is amongst the very few food chains that do not use a microwave to make their food and have a staff member whose only job is to cook pasta!

Instead of being frozen or microwaved, the pasta at Olive Garden is freshly prepared ahead of service. There’s no culture of using bagged soups and frozen vegetables, and even their sauces are prepared fresh.

Why Is Fresh Pasta Better Than Frozen Pasta?

Fresh pasta will always taste lighter and look more appetizing as compared to pasta that has been reheated, refrozen, or thawed. 

Moreover, frozen or thawed pasta will gradually lose its flavor and texture integrity, literally making it taste like cardboard or plastic after a few runs in the microwave. 

During the freezing and thawing of water-based systems, freezable water is successively crystallized and melted. Depending on the intrinsic characteristics of the system, freezing and thawing processes mainly impact on the number and size of ice crystals leading to the destruction of the neighboring structures and physical damage of the gluten networks, that is, affecting food texture drastically and irreversibly (1). Freezing and thawing can also lead to retrogradation of the wheat starch. Starch retrogradation refers to the reassociation or the recrystallization of the polysaccharides in starch. It occurs when the starch-based foods are exposed to freeze/thaw cycles, or when moisture migration occurs in starchy foods, impacting the textural and nutritional attributes of foods (2).

Paired with freshly made pasta sauces, a fresh pasta dish is simply incomparable in terms of flavor and taste. Freshly prepared pasta can last for up to three days after being prepared and cut into shape.

Is Olive Garden An Authentic Italian Restaurant?

Not exactly. Olive Garden is an American casual-dining restaurant chain that specializes in Italian-American cuisine. It’s parent company is Darden Restaurants, Inc., whose headquarters are located in Orange County, Florida.

What Kind Of Pasta Dishes Does Olive Garden Have?

Olive Garden features the following pasta dishes on its menu:

  • Fettuccine
  • Spaghetti
  • Rigatoni
  • Angel hair
  • Cavatappi
  • Whole grain linguine
  • Gluten-free rotini
  • Zucchini noodles (zoodles)

What Are The Best Pasta Dishes At Olive Garden?

Here is a list of the best dishes featuring pasta at the Olive Garden – any pasta lover shouldn’t miss these!

  1. Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara

This delicious and generous serving of pasta features a creamy sauce, bacon, cheese, and of course the hero of the dish, shrimp. This dish packs a plethora of flavours that will fulfil your craving for everything cheesy, meaty, and especially pasta-ey!

  1. Lasagna Fritta

This dish is served as an appetiser and will satisfy all your deep-fried needs. It is an amped-up version of the classic lasagna recipe, where the lasagna is breaded and deep-fried.

  1. Raviolo di Portobello

This is an extremely intricate and wholesome dish that will even make meat lovers forget about meat. It features freshly prepared ravioli stuffed with smoky cheese and served with a side of sun-dried tomatoes and a mild Pinot Noir sauce. 

  1. Shrimp Alfredo

This is one of Olive Garden’s tastiest dishes. The Shrimp Alfredo offers the freshness of shrimp, the smoothness of pasta, and the utter richness and creaminess of a classic sauce that makes for a truly delicious meal.

Is The Pasta Pass At Olive Garden Unlimited?

The answer to this question is yes and no. Here’s how.

The Pasta Pass allows you to create your own pasta and relish the Never Ending Pasta Bowl menu at Olive Garden for as many times as you wish in-restaurant. So that means you can eat unlimited bowls of pasta throughout the day at the restaurant! However, the pass has an expiry date of nine weeks. 

The Past Pass also includes unlimited sauce and toppings, as well as all soup options, salad, and breadsticks at the Olive Garden for nine weeks.

What is The Healthiest Type of Pasta?

 The healthiest type of pasta is whole wheat pasta due to its high fiber content which makes you feel full for longer. As compared to plain white pasta, it is also lower in calories and carbohydrates and higher in nutrients. Wheat is not only a source of energy and essential nutrients but also contains dietary fiber and numerous bioactive

components, which are beneficial for human health. A wheat kernel mainly consists of germ, endosperm, and outer branny husk. Generally, the nutritional bioactives are unevenly distributed within these parts, among which the bran faction of wheat accounts for the highest proportion. However, these three main parts of wheat kernel are usually separated during the milling process to produce flour. Most bioactive compounds are therefore missing in the refined wheat products as a result of the removal of the bran and germ fractions. Epidemiological studies have shown that more whole grain consumption is protective against the development of chronic diseases, such as obesity and cancer (3). 

 The high fiber content also promotes and maintains digestive health and lowers the risk of chronic ailments such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

 So to make any pasta dish healthier, simply substitute plain white pasta with wholewheat pasta.


In this brief article we answered the question, “does olive garden make their own pasta?” We also told you about the best pasta dishes at Olive Garden, which type of pasta is the healthiest, and why fresh pasta is the best way to go.

If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.


  1. Freschi, Jérôme, et al. Impact of freezing and thawing processes on wheat and potato starch gel syneresis. Starch‐Stärke, 2014, 66, 208-215. 
  2. Subramaniam, Persis, and Peter Wareing, eds. The stability and shelf life of food. Woodhead Publishing, 2016.
  3. Liu, Jie, Liangli Lucy Yu, and Yanbei Wu. Bioactive components and health beneficial properties of whole wheat foods. J agr food chem, 2020, 68, 12904-12915.