Keto at Olive Garden? You might think that would be impossible, thanks to this chain restaurant’s carb-heavy signature offerings such as pasta, chicken Parmesan, and breadsticks.

However, it’s surprisingly easy to follow the low carb, high fat keto diet at Olive Garden.

Most people on this diet try to limit their carb intake to 50 grams of total carbs or 25 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per day. So we’ve assembled a list of Olive Garden dishes that each contain fewer than 25 grams of total carbs and 15 grams of net carbs.

Still, you may need to carefully count your other sources of carbs throughout the day if you decide to eat some of these meals.

Here are the 7 best keto-friendly choices at Olive Garden.

1. Minestrone Soup

Olive Garden’s Minestrone is a light, vegan-friendly soup made with vegetables, beans, and pasta in tomato broth.

While it fits a carefully planned keto diet, this dish offers little in the way of protein or fat while comprising a significant amount of your daily carb allotment.

One serving contains (1):

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Total carbs: 17 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 13 grams

2. Pasta Fagioli Soup

This hearty Pasta Fagioli contains ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and pasta.

Like the Minestrone, it’s not the best choice because of its fairly high carb content paired with its relatively low protein and fat content. However, you can definitely have a bowl if it’s what you’re craving and you’re careful with carb intake for your other meals.

One serving provides (1):

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Total carbs: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Net carbs: 13 grams

3. Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana is made with Italian sausage, kale, and potatoes served in a creamy broth.

It’s the most keto-friendly soup that Olive Garden offers because it contains more fat and calories than the Minestrone and Pasta Fagioli, despite having the same number of net carbs. Thus, it’s a more substantial meal.

One bowl contains (1):

  • Calories: 220
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Total carbs: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Net carbs: 13 grams

4. Salad with Signature Italian Dressing and No Croutons

Olive Garden’s appetizer salad — made with lettuce, tomato, onion, olives, and pepperoncini — is perfectly keto as long as you order it without croutons.

The restaurant’s Signature Italian Dressing is low in carbs as well.

One serving of this salad — with dressing but without croutons — provides (1):

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Total carbs: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Net carbs: 5 grams

5. Grilled Chicken Margherita

The Grilled Chicken Margherita is an ideal keto option — and it’s large enough that you may even be able to get two meals out of it.

This dish contains two grilled chicken breasts topped with mozzarella cheese, pesto, lemon garlic sauce, and tomatoes and is served with a side of broccoli.

One portion (containing two chicken breasts) provides (1):

  • Calories: 540
  • Fat: 27 grams
  • Protein: 65 grams
  • Total carbs: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Net carbs: 8 grams

6. Herb Grilled Salmon

The Herb Grilled Salmon plate is another excellent keto option.

It features a grilled salmon fillet with garlic herb butter and a side of broccoli.

This dish contains (1):

  • Calories: 460
  • Fat: 29 grams
  • Protein: 45 grams
  • Total carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Net carbs: 3 grams

7. Gluten Sensitive 6 Ounce Sirloin (without pasta)

The Gluten Sensitive 6 Ounce Sirloin typically comes with a side of pasta, but you can replace the pasta with broccoli to drastically reduce the carb count.

One serving, which features a 6-ounce (170-gram) steak, contains (1):

  • Calories: 310
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Protein: 46 grams
  • Total carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 4 grams

With its pasta- and bread-heavy menu, Olive Garden may seem difficult for keto dieters at first glance. However, it’s easy to modify the menu to drastically reduce your meal’s carb count.

In addition to the options above, here are three ways you can make your Olive Garden meal keto-friendly:

  • Turn your salad into an entree. Ask for a side of grilled chicken or steak, which you can then slice and add to your salad to turn it into a complete meal.
  • Add extra protein to your soup. While all of Olive Garden’s soups offer 13 grams of net carbs per serving, they don’t have much protein or fat. Ask for a side of grilled chicken or steak to make your soup a more complete, filling meal — with no extra carbs.
  • Ask for broccoli instead of pasta. I do this regularly at Italian restaurants. Find the pasta dish that sounds most appealing, and then simply ask for broccoli instead of pasta. Most restaurant staff are happy to oblige, although you may have a slight surcharge.

Surprisingly enough, Olive Garden offers several keto-friendly options in addition to its signature pastas.

Although the restaurant’s Minestrone, Pasta Fagioli, and Zuppa Toscana soups aren’t ideal for a standalone meal, they all contain 13 grams of net carbs per serving. You can add a salad with no croutons for 5 grams of net carbs.

Additionally, Olive Garden’s grilled chicken, salmon, and steak dishes — when served with broccoli instead of pasta — are very low in carbs, so they’re the best keto choices.

If you’re craving pasta, try ordering your favorite noodle dish with broccoli or another veggie instead of the pasta.

Just one thing

Try this today: Want to make a keto-friendly pasta at home? Here are 11 low carb pasta alternatives. I personally love zucchini noodles because they’re a great noodle replacement in nearly any recipe — including spaghetti, ramen, and pad thai.

Was this helpful?