8 Healthiest Dishes To Order at Olive Garden

8 Healthiest Dishes To Order at Olive Garden

Olive Garden is a popular destination for Italian-American cuisine, but navigating the menu for healthier options can be challenging. Whether you’re dining out with friends or enjoying a family meal, it’s possible to make nutritious choices without compromising on flavor. Here are eight of the healthiest dishes to order at Olive Garden, each offering a delightful combination of taste and nutritional benefits.

1. Herb-Grilled Salmon

The Herb-Grilled Salmon is one of the healthiest main courses you can order at Olive Garden. This dish features a perfectly grilled filet of salmon, seasoned with Italian herbs and served with a side of steamed broccoli. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. It’s also rich in high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. The steamed broccoli adds a low-calorie, fiber-rich component, making this meal balanced and nutritious. Opting for this dish ensures you’re getting a heart-healthy meal packed with essential nutrients.

2. Minestrone Soup

A classic starter, the Minestrone Soup at Olive Garden is a hearty and healthy option. This soup is a blend of vegetables, beans, and pasta in a light tomato broth. It’s low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent choice for those looking to manage their weight or improve digestive health. The variety of vegetables provides a range of vitamins and minerals, while the beans add a plant-based protein source. Starting your meal with a bowl of minestrone can help you feel full and satisfied, potentially leading to fewer calories consumed overall.

3. Grilled Chicken Margherita

The Grilled Chicken Margherita is another nutritious option that combines flavor and health. This dish features grilled chicken breasts topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil pesto, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, served with a side of parmesan-crusted zucchini. The chicken provides lean protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. The fresh tomatoes and basil pesto add antioxidants and vitamins, while the parmesan-crusted zucchini offers a tasty, nutrient-dense vegetable side. This meal is not only delicious but also packed with wholesome ingredients.

4. Zoodles Primavera

For a lighter, lower-carb option, the Zoodles Primavera is a fantastic choice. This dish substitutes traditional pasta with zucchini noodles (zoodles) and is mixed with a medley of colorful vegetables in a light, flavorful sauce. It’s a perfect option for those following a low-carb or gluten-free diet. Zoodles are low in calories and high in vitamins like A and C, while the vegetables add fiber and additional nutrients. This dish allows you to enjoy the flavors of Italian cuisine without the heaviness of regular pasta.

5. Chicken Piccata

Olive Garden’s Chicken Piccata is a health-conscious choice that doesn’t skimp on taste. This dish consists of tender chicken breasts cooked in a lemon garlic butter sauce, topped with capers and sun-dried tomatoes, and served with parmesan-crusted zucchini. The chicken provides lean protein, while the lemon garlic butter sauce adds a zesty flavor with a modest amount of healthy fats. Capers and sun-dried tomatoes enhance the dish with antioxidants and vitamins. The zucchini side dish adds a crunchy, fiber-rich element, making this meal well-rounded and satisfying.

6. Eggplant Parmigiana

The Eggplant Parmigiana is a vegetarian dish that offers a healthier alternative to meat-based entrees. Slices of breaded eggplant are baked and topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, served with a side of spaghetti. Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable that’s high in fiber and antioxidants. The marinara sauce provides lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, while the cheese adds calcium and protein. Choosing this dish can satisfy your Italian food cravings while keeping the meal relatively light and nutritious.

7. Shrimp Scampi

For seafood lovers, the Shrimp Scampi is a delightful and health-conscious option. This dish features sautéed shrimp in a garlic sauce with asparagus, tomatoes, and angel hair pasta. Shrimp is a lean protein source rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health. The garlic sauce, though rich, is used sparingly, and the inclusion of asparagus and tomatoes adds vitamins, minerals, and fiber. While pasta is typically high in carbs, the portion size in this dish is moderate, allowing you to enjoy a balanced and flavorful meal without overindulging.

8. Tuscan Sirloin

The Tuscan Sirloin is a robust yet healthy option for meat lovers. This dish features a grilled 6 oz. sirloin steak topped with garlic-herb butter, served with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Sirloin is a lean cut of beef that provides high-quality protein and essential nutrients like iron and zinc. The garlic-herb butter adds flavor with a touch of healthy fats, while the garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli round out the meal with fiber and vitamins. This dish strikes a good balance between indulgence and health.


Eating healthily at Olive Garden is entirely possible with a little bit of knowledge and careful menu selection. These eight dishes showcase that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to make nutritious choices. From the heart-healthy Herb-Grilled Salmon to the low-carb Zoodles Primavera, Olive Garden offers a variety of options that cater to different dietary needs and preferences. Next time you dine out, consider these healthier options to enjoy a delicious meal while staying on track with your health goals.

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