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Staying Keto at Olive Garden: Tough, But Not Impossible

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  Published on August 31st, 2021
  Reading time: 3 minutes
  Last modified June 29th, 2023
Olive garden building and sign

Carbs and Olive Garden go hand-in-hand. After all, almost the entire menu is composed of pasta and bread! So is it even possible to order a keto-friendly dish at Olive Garden? Or do you have to shy away from Italian food altogether?

Luckily, not only is it possible to stay keto at Olive Garden, but the low-carb dishes are actually quite delicious! 

What to Avoid at Olive Garden

Let’s start off simple and go over what you should avoid at Olive Garden. Obviously, you are going to want to avoid any pasta-based dish. This includes everything from spaghetti, to lasagna, to even tortellini and ravioli.

Additionally, you are going to want to avoid the breadsticks. Yes, we know they are free and unlimited, but unfortunately, just one breadstick has 25 grams of carbohydrates and less than 1 gram of fiber. 

Keto Dishes to Order at Olive Garden

Now that we’ve gotten what to avoid out of the way, here are 6 tasty keto dishes that you should try next time you are at Olive Garden. For the full list of nutritional information, you can reference Olive Garden’s list here.

keto at olive garden

Grilled Chicken Margherita (9g net carbs)

Enjoy grilled chicken breast topped with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, pesto, and a lemon garlic sauce!

This tasty chicken dish has 540 calories, 27 grams of fat, 14g of carbohydrates, 6g of fiber, and a whopping 65 grams of protein!

Herb-Grilled Salmon (3g net carbs)

Who doesn’t love grilled salmon? This omega-3 fatty acid-packed food is herb-crusted, grilled to perfection, and then topped with garlic herb butter sauce.

Enjoy this entree without the guilt because it’s only 460 calories, 8g of total carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 45g of protein!

Steak Alfredo (Sub: Broccoli)

You can never go wrong with steak and broccoli on the ketogenic diet! Traditionally, the steak dish offered at Olive Garden comes with pasta alfredo but you can simply swap the pasta for broccoli for a low-carb, healthy dish!

The exact nutrition facts for this dish are unavailable on the website; however, it will be very low in net carbs since the only source of carbohydrates is coming from the steamed broccoli.

Shrimp Alfredo (Sub: Brocolli)

Similar to the steak alfredo, enjoy shrimp with delicious alfredo sauce and a side of broccoli instead of the carb-packed original dish!

The exact nutrition facts for this dish are unavailable on the website; however, it will be very low in net carbs since the only source of carbohydrates is coming from the broccoli.

Grilled Chicken Parmigiana (Sub:Broccoli)

The grilled chicken parmigiana (without rotini) is a great alternative for individuals who are low-carb or gluten-free! This entree combines juicy grilled chicken, with tangy marinara, and a blend of Italian cheeses.

The exact nutrition facts for this dish are unavailable on the website; however, it will be very low in net carbs since the only sources of carbohydrates are the broccoli and marinara sauce.

Famous House Salad, No Croutons (4g net carbs)

Did you know that you can order the house salad without croutons? The salad is inherently low-carb once these little bread pieces are removed and thus is a great low-carb meal option, offering a serving of nutritious greens.

One serving of the Olive Garden house salad has 110 calories, 8g of fat, 7g of total carbs, 3g of fiber, and 2g of protein.

Try adding in grilled meat (like chicken, steak, or shrimp) for extra protein for your keto diet.

Want to Try Making Your Own Keto Olive Garden Inspired Dish at Home

Try making this Zuppa toscana recipe! It combines Italian sausage, bacon, and kale in a creamy soup with cauliflower instead of potatoes.

Plus, this low-carb version only has 7g of net carbs (as compared to 15g in the original lunch portion).

keto soup

Do You Eat at Olive Garden While Following a Keto Diet?

If so, what’s your go-to order? Or do you avoid the temptation altogether? Comment below and share your thoughts with the community!

At ketogenic.com, we are committed to supporting, inspiring, and educating people on the benefits of living a ketogenic lifestyle. We do this by bringing together the top researchers, practitioners, and thought-leaders who provide resources, experience, and awareness associated around the Ketogenic diet. Utilizing the latest cutting-edge research along with practical experience, the team at ketogenic.com aims to foster awareness, understanding, and connectedness in helping others optimize their life on a ketogenic diet.


  1. MelE says:

    You do realize that Olive Garden uses flour in their Alfredo (gasp!), right? Therefore there are carbs in the sauce. Lots of them.

    1. Aimee Aaristotelous says:

      Hello! According to their nutrition menu, a serving of alfredo sauce has five grams of carbohydrates. Please share if you see something different as we would love to know!

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