Specializing primarily in Italian-styled cuisine, Olive Garden isn’t generally a great restaurant chain to visit if you’re trying to stick to a low-carb, keto diet.
With endless supplies of breadsticks and pasta dishes to tuck into, you are likely to look elsewhere for more keto-friendly food.
However, when done right, sticking to a keto diet at Olive Garden is quite easily done. Ordering side salads and meat instead of starchy pasta is a great way to keep carbs low.
In this article, we want to show you the low-carb options Olive Garden has and exactly what to order. Next time you visit with friends and family, you’ll know just what to order.
Here are the lowest carb dishes you can order at Olive Garden in order from the lowest carb to the highest, according to the nutrition information.
Make sure you avoid those heavy pasta dishes and sides if you want to keep carbs low!
Steamed Broccoli And Grilled Chicken
The best thing you can order at Olive Garden when sticking to a strict, low-carb, keto diet is steamed broccoli and grilled chicken.
Both of these dishes are ordered as a side, so you will have to add the two together when it arrives.
Olive Garden’s grilled chicken has less than 1 g of carbs per serving. As if that wasn’t enough, this chicken also only contains 150 calories and 5 g of fat.
You can expect the side of broccoli to contain 7 g of carbs and 35 calories. This broccoli will contain 0 g of fat.
What To Ask For: One side of the steamed broccoli and the grilled chicken side. You can increase calories by asking for an extra piece of chicken.
The grilled salmon at Olive Garden contains 9 g of carbs, 460 calories, 45 g of protein, and 29 g of fat.
Offering you a great opportunity to eat out but not ruin your diet, the restaurant’s grilled salmon comes with parmesan garlic broccoli and herb butter. This dish is actually also one of the most popular dishes you can order in an Italian restaurant, so it could be a great one to go with.
What To Ask For: To stick to your keto diet, make sure you get the grilled salmon filet with herbs and a side of parmesan broccoli.
House Salad (Minus The Croutons)
Next, we have the house salad. Generally speaking, Olive Garden doesn’t offer a salad entree, but with a little imagination, you can create your own.
The house salad, minus the croutons only contains 7 g of carbs and 110 calories. You can then add your choice of meat to the salad to boost calories, but still, keep carbs to a minimum.
We highly recommend choosing a slice of low-calorie meat like steak or grilled chicken. The salad can be completed with a low-carb salad dressing like Caesar, vinegar, or ranch.
What To Ask For: The house salad with either grilled chicken or steak. Hold back on the croutons. Complete your order by picking a low-carb salad dressing. We recommend a tasty ranch dressing.
Another salmon dish that contains a lower amount of carbs than other options available at Olive Garden is the salmon piccata. The salmon piccata comes with a beautiful piece of grilled salmon, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic butter. You can also choose a side of parmesan zucchini if you’re feeling peckish.
This lunch option will set you back 360 calories, 11 g of carbs, 21 g of fat, and 32 g of protein. The bigger dinner option contains up to 510 calories. 12 g of carbs, 26 g of fat, and 59 g of protein. It’s probably best to stick to the lunch option!
What To Ask For: A salmon piccata meal (whichever size you want).
The next, low-carb, keto-friendly option Olive Garden has to offer is chicken margherita.
When you order this dish, you can expect to receive two chicken breasts (grilled) covered in mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, a garlic lemon sauce, and basil pesto. You’ll also receive a side dish of parmesan zucchini.
Like the salmon piccata, this option is available in both lunch and dinner sizes. The lunch size contains 10 g of carbs and 380 calories. The dinner-sized portion has 12 g of carbs and 550 calories. The dinner option also comes with 29 g of fat. The lunch option only contains 23.
What To Ask For: The dinner or lunch chicken margherita. Change the zucchini for a side of steamed broccoli to reduce carbs further.
Zoodles And Alfredo Sauce
Very few restaurants offer a keto-friendly option like zoodles, but Olive Garden does. When ordered plain, Olive Gardens zoodles contain just 7 g of carbs, 3 g of protein, and 40 calories. This makes them perfect for a variety of different diets, not just a keto diet.
A delicious side of alfredo sauce will add 440 calories to the dish and 5 g of carbs. The dish will also contain 8 more grams of protein and 43 g of fat.
When ordered together, the whole dish will contain 480 calories and 10 g of carbs.
The alfredo sauce may seem like a lot, but when compared to other Olive Garden sauces, it is one of the best low-carb options.
What To Ask For: Zoodles and a side order of the alfredo sauce.
Next up, we have Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. For those that don’t know, Zuppa Toscana is a type of soup. The best thing about this Italian soup is that unlike other types of Italian soup, it doesn’t contain any pasta. This makes it much more keto-friendly.
Zuppa Toscana comes with kale, russet potatoes, creamy broth, and Italian sausage.
One bowl of this soup contains just 220 calories and 15 g of fat. However, it also contains 15 g of carbs. This is arguably too much for those sticking to a keto diet, especially when the dish contains such a small number of calories.
What To Ask For: Order the Zuppa Toscana without any crackers or breadsticks. Increase calories by asking for the house salad.
One of Olive Garden’s low-carb, keto-friendly options also happens to be a great option for anyone that has to follow a gluten-free diet.
Your 6-ounce steak comes with steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and a variety of herbs, one of which is garlic butter.
The whole dish contains 26 g of carbs, 420 calories, 46 g of protein, and 16 g of fat. With this option, we are starting to get into options that are far too high for a low-carb, keto diet.
Having said that, carbs can be reduced by asking for no potatoes.
What To Ask For: Make sure you ask for the Tuscan sirloin with double broccoli and no potatoes.
Grilled Chicken And Zoodles Primavera
Our second to last low-carb, keto-friendly option at Olive Garden is the grilled chicken with zoodles primavera.
The grilled chicken and zoodles primavera may contain 27 g of carbs in total, but compared to other pasta dishes Olive Garden offers, it is a perfect choice. Zoodles are a type of noodle made from zucchini.
Thanks to these quirky noodles, you can enjoy any of Olive Garden’s pasta dishes without totally destroying your diet.
Having said that, we advise only ordering this option if you are using Olive Garden as your cheat meal. Your chicken and noodles will come with broccoli, tomatoes, a cream sauce, and red peppers.
This comes to 720 calories, 27 g of carbs, 54 g of fat, and 37 g of protein.
What To Ask For: Ask for zoodles and grilled chicken. You can reduce calories and carb intake by asking for it without a sauce.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Finally, we have Olive Garden’s spinach artichoke dip. Served as an appetizer and accompanied with flatbread, this dish contains a whopping 1,100 calories and 70 g of carbs. This will most likely be split between you and your friends. However, even when split with friends, this dish is too much for a keto diet.
You can cut down on carbs by ordering the artichoke dip as a topping for your grilled meat instead, but you will have to cut out the flatbread completely too.
What To Ask For: The spinach dip without the breadsticks. You should then ask for a side of steak or grilled chicken.
Though it can be difficult to find an option at Olive Garden that doesn’t contain some sort of bread or pasta, if you do get it right, you can still find a number of great options that are low in carbs.
To stick to a keto diet when eating at Olive Garden, you need to avoid starchy sides and pasta, sticking to grilled meats and salmon instead.
In this article, we have shown you what Olive Garden has to offer when it comes to keto diets. We’ve even shown you how to order each option we have discussed.
Everything we have looked at should help you pick the most suitable option next time you visit this hugely popular chain restaurant.