Does Olive Garden Have Gluten Free Options? (& GF Breadsticks)

Last Updated on September 21, 2022

Today, we’re going to be answering the question: does Olive Garden have gluten-free options? And taking a look at whether some of Olive Garden’s most infamous dishes are suitable for those following a gluten-free diet. Eating out can be tricky to navigate when you’re unable to eat gluten, but nowadays, more and more restaurants are offering alternatives free from gluten. But does Olive Garden have gluten-free options? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Olive Garden?

If you’re from the US, you’ll no doubt already be familiar with Olive Garden. It’s one of the most popular casual dining restaurants in the US, and it’s not difficult to see why. They’ve been around for almost 40 years, and they don’t look set to go anywhere anytime soon! In fact, they have over 900 locations across the globe, including the US, Canada, South America and Europe.

The restaurant is best known for it’s Italian-American cuisine. They serve foods such as pasta, seafood, chicken and salads. However, they’re probably best known for their unlimited soft breadsticks, which are absolutely incredible.

Does Olive Garden Have A Gluten Free Menu?

While Olive Garden do not have a menu that is exclusively gluten-free, they do offer a gluten-sensitive menu. Their options that are free from gluten are not tested for gluten, and there is always a chance of cross-contact, as the food is all prepared in the same area.

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Gluten-sensitive simply means that those particular menu items do not contain any gluten ingredients, and should therefore be safe. However, there is not a 100% guarantee because of how it’s prepared.

 Are Olive Garden's breadsticks gluten-free?

What Precautions Does Olive Garden Take With Gluten-Free Food?

Olive Garden state that their staff are up to date with the latest guidance on handling gluten-free orders. Always tell your server of any allergies or intolerances you have so they can take extra precautions when preparing your order. For example, their gluten-free pasta options are cooked in a sanitized kettle, rather than a pasta cooker. It’s kept inside until ready to serve, massively minimizing any risk of cross-contact.

Gluten Sensitive Menu At Olive Garden

I’ll be honest, the gluten-sensitive selection at Olive Garden isn’t huge, but there are a few options to try. Let’s take a closer look.

Adults

  • Zuppa Toscana
  • Famous House Salad (With No Croutons)
  • Grilled Chicken Parmigiana
  • Herb-Grilled Salmon
  • 6oz Sirloin
  • Rotini Pasta with Marinara
  • Rotini Pasta with Meat Sauce

Kids

  • Grilled Chicken with Rotini Pasta and Marinara
  • Rotini with Marinara
  • Rotini with Meat Sauce

You can find more information about their gluten-sensitive menu, along with full ingredients and nutrition, here.

Gluten-Free Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

Let’s be honest, the one food you really want to enjoy at Olive Garden is the unlimited breadsticks. However, they contain wheat and are definitely not gluten-free. For this reason, you may want to try recreating them at home. This recipe is inspired by one from Let Them Eat GF Cake, and tastes just like the ones served at Olive Garden! Let’s take a look.

Ingredients

The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are:

for the Tangzhong (Milky Flour):

  • 3 tablespoons of gluten free bread flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk

for the Dough:

  • 3 cups of gluten free bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (plus 1 teaspoon extra) of granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of whole psyllium husks
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter
  • tangzhong mixture (cooled)

for the Topping

  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter

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Step-by-Step to Make Gluten-Free Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

Now all you need to do is:

Step 1: Make the Tangzhong

Add the milk and bread flour to a pan. Over a medium heat, whisk for a few minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Once it looks like a paste, remove from heat and leave to cool. It should be lukewarm

Step 2: Make the Dough

Grab a bowl and the flour, husks, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix well. Now add the wet ingredients (the tangzhong, milk and butter). Mix together until a dough begins to form. Once you have a dough, knead the dough for around 5 minutes. Leave in a warm area covered to prove for a few hours (it should have at least doubled in size). Once risen, leave overnight (or at least 6 hours), in the refrigerator

Step 3: Bake

Place dough onto a surface covered in flour. Take golf ball pieces off the dough and roll into a breadstick shape. Once shaped, place onto a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) and leave to rise. Now preheat your oven to 425F. Place the breadsticks into the center of your preheated oven for around 10 minutes

Step 4: Serve

Add the melted butter and garlic powder to a bowl while the breadsticks are cooking. Once removed from the oven, brush the breadsticks with this mixture and serve warm. Enjoy!
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Conclusion

I hope this post has helped to answer the question: does Olive Garden have gluten free options? And given you an idea of the foods you can enjoy when eating out at Olive Garden. It’s also worth mentioning that menu items can vary location to location.

What’s your go to order when eating at Olive Garden? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Sharing is caring!

FAQs

Are Olive Garden’s Breadsticks Gluten-Free?

No. The breadsticks at Olive Garden contain wheat and should not be consumed when following a gluten free diet. Check out the recipe above for a great substitute for the Olive Garden breadsticks.

Does Olive Garden Italian Dressing Have Gluten?

While the Italian dressing at Olive Garden does not contain any gluten ingredients, there is a "may contain" on the ingredients. This means that it's been made in an area where gluten was present. 

Is the Herb Grilled Salmon at Olive Garden Gluten-Free?

Yes! Herb grilled salmon is one of the very few dishes at Olive Garden that is naturally gluten free. However, always make your server aware of any intolerances and allergies you have.