Last updated on May 11th, 2023
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Olive Garden is a great sit-down restaurant that the whole family loves! From the signature bread sticks to the pasta dishes, there’s something for everybody.
When sitting down at any chain restaurant, you may wonder if the food is made fresh to order or if it’s frozen.
When it comes to Olive Garden, they do not use hardly any frozen food. The only things that are ever frozen are meat, desserts, and some appetizers.
Since Olive Garden is a chain restaurant with a high flow of traffic, many people assume that the food is frozen, however that actually isn’t the case. Although a lot of the food is made the morning of so it isn’t exactly prepared “fresh” it is prepared the same day.
Are Olive Garden’s Breadsticks Frozen?
Olive Garden is probably most well-known for their delicious breadsticks. They are buttery, warm, soft, and with just the right amount of garlic salt. The amount of breadsticks that Olive Garden serves to their customers is so numerous that one would probably assume that the company would resort to frozen breadsticks in order to save on time and effort.
Surprisingly, they do not!
Olive Garden breadsticks are not frozen. The dough is pre-made though, and the kitchen bakes them fresh from the pre-made dough.
After they have been baked, they are topped with fresh butter and garlic salt to give them their signature taste.
Does Olive Garden Use Frozen Pasta?
Olive Garden does not use frozen pasta. Their pasta is not actually made fresh though. It is boiled in the morning and cooked al dente to prepare for the lunch and supper rush.
When the pasta is freshly cooked in the morning, it is given an ice bath and then sectioned off into containers.
When it’s time for the pasta to be served to a customer, the prepared pasta is boiled for a short amount of time and served. This way the pasta has a fresh taste while still cutting down time by preparing it in advance.
Does Olive Garden Use Frozen Soup?
Another Olive Garden favorite is their soup. They sell a variety of classic Italian soups that are tasty and filling. These soups taste so fresh because they are just that; freshly made that morning!
Olive Garden soup is made every morning with raw, unfrozen produce! This is a big component to their hearty and homemade taste.
What Food Does Olive Garden Cook From Frozen?
Now that we have discussed the different things that Olive Garden serves that are cooked fresh, let’s discuss what frozen foods Olive Garden actually uses.
The main thing that is cooked from frozen is the meat. This is to be expected since it would be extremely difficult to keep that much meat fresh in a commercial kitchen.
Olive Garden’s desserts are also frozen. They come pre-made by an outside company, and they get heated up in house.
Some of their appetizers are also made from frozen to save on preparation time in the kitchen. When considering the volume of food that Olive Garden produces, to have these select items be made from frozen is fairly reasonable.
Does Olive Garden Use Microwaves In Their Kitchens?
There has been a rumor circulating throughout social media that Olive Garden uses microwaves in their kitchens. The assumption here is that the pasta and meat dishes that they serve are not cooked to order and instead simply “warmed up” in the microwave.
Though it is true that microwaves are used in Olive Garden kitchens, they are only used rarely. The desserts and sauces are warmed up in the microwave but no other food is warmed this way.
This may lead you to believe that the sauces are packaged or frozen, but they actually are not. The sauces are made fresh every morning, and they only get warmed up in the microwave right before being served.
Is Olive Garden Real Italian Cuisine?
After discussing the menu items offered at Olive Garden, you might be curious if these dishes are authentically Italian.
Unfortunately, the cuisine at Olive Garden is not authentic. The dishes served at Olive Garden are variations of authentic Italian dishes but very few of them would actually be found in Italy.
Even then, the dishes that would actually be found in Italy would most likely taste very different. Olive Garden is Americanized Italian food which simply means that it is catered to American tastes and preferences.
For this reason, Olive Garden has been very successful in America because it offers a variety of Italian cuisine that is made to appeal to an American audience.
Does It Matter If Food Is Premade Or Frozen Beforehand?
Olive Garden does prepare some of their food in advance, and not all of their food is made fresh. Though these could be seen as shortcomings for the restaurant chain, premade and frozen food can actually benefit you as it cuts down wait time and allows for more menu options.
However, your food may possibly suffer in quality a bit compared to cooked to order food.
Frozen and pre-made food, when prepared correctly, can still taste delicious and homemade! If you are particular on only having fresh food, you can always politely ask your waiter which dishes are made fresh in the kitchen.
Most of Olive Garden’s vegetarian pasta dishes have been made that day, and you can trust that they will taste fresh.