Is Olive Garden Made Fresh? (Is It Reheated/Microwaved?)

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An Italian restaurant with amazing breadsticks and salad, Olive Garden is a favorite place to eat for many people. Their food is delicious (depending on your perspective) and it is a great restaurant for a date night or a dinner with family or friends. 

A rumor has been circulating that Olive Garden’s meals were all frozen and reheated in a microwave as customers ordered them. Is this true?

Olive Garden makes their food fresh to order or daily (depending on what it is). They do not heat up frozen meals in a microwave or oven. 

The rumor of Olive Garden using a microwave to reheat all their food was a misconception of how the restaurant operates. Take it from former employers. 

According to them, their soups and pastas are made fresh every morning. The pasta is cooked al dente, portioned and then stored. When someone orders pasta it is put into boiling water from the required time it needs to be cooked and then prepared for the particular recipe.

Many of the parts of Olive Garden’s meals are made fresh every morning and then reheated as the customer orders it. This way you get your food faster than waiting for them to cook every single item as the customer orders it which just wouldn’t be possible. 

The customer would likely get annoyed at how long they were waiting for their food. By preparing some food in the morning, Olive Garden is better able to fix the food in a timely manner for all their guests.

Is Olive Garden’s Food Just Microwaved?  

Sitting down at the many tables in the dining area of the restaurant you glance over the menu. If you have ever been to Olive Garden you probably already have a good idea of what you want to eat. 

The waitress takes your order and brings out those delicious breadsticks with soup or salad. Then your food comes to the table hot and ready for you to dig in. 

Is this food heated up in a microwave at all or did they cook it that fast? 

Olive Garden doesn’t heat any food up in a microwave. Portions of their meals are made fresh daily to allow them to get the dishes out faster. 

Several Olive Garden employees debunked the statement that their meals were just all frozen and then reheated in the microwave to serve customers. This just isn’t true. 

However, some of the food is made and prepared in the morning so the guest doesn’t have to wait too long for their food once they order it. They still cook the pasta and meat according to each order but the pasta is not made fresh at the time of your order. 

The meats are frozen but it would be virtually impossible for them to keep a bunch of unfrozen meat without it all going bad. An employee of Olive Garden stated that the only items that are heated up in a microwave are the dipping sauces and some of the warm desserts. 

All the other food is pan fried, deep fried, or grilled. The microwave is also used to steam veggies or to heat up some coffee or soup. By preparing food before you order it, Olive Garden can keep their costs low as well as the time you wait for your dinner short as well. 

Is Olive Garden Food Cooked Fresh? 

Olive Garden is famous for their breadsticks and Italian food. Their food comes to the table hot and delicious. Is all this yummy food really made fresh?

Some of Olive Garden food is made fresh when you order it while some of the items that aren’t have been prepped earlier in the day for a faster delivery.

Did you know Olive Garden started back in 1982 in Orlando, Florida? Today they have over 800 locations and are very successful. The restaurant experienced a fast growth in just 39 years. 

This comes as no surprise since so many people enjoy their pasta meals. The service is fast so you can eat quickly. One of the reasons you get your food quickly is because many of the items have been prepared in the morning to be cooked according to each order.

If a restaurant is using a microwave to reheat frozen food, it is unlawful for them not to tell the public. Olive Garden’s food is cooked fresh and then only items that are heated in a microwave include some dessert that are supposed to be warm and dipping sauces heated for your salty and garlic breadsticks. 

A successful restaurant like Olive Garden knows how to please you with the dishes they  make so you can eat your pasta knowing it was made fresh and delivered quickly.

What Is Microwaved At Olive Garden?

I mentioned earlier that some of the Olive Garden’s food is made fresh and some is heated up. Which food is fresh and which is reheated? 

Having already talked about how the myth of Olive Garden heating up all their food in the microwave is just not true, let’s look into what actually is heard in the microwave.

At Olive Garden they reheat some dipping sauces and also warm dessert in the microwave. They will also sometimes microwave coffee and soup that customers want extra hot. 

All the food is still made fresh. If the food mentioned needs to be a little warmer then it will be put into the microwave so you can enjoy them hotter and not lukewarm. 

According to Olive Garden employees, the soups such as the Pasta e Fagioli, Chicken Gnocchi, Zuppa Toscana, and Minestrone are all made by hand and from scratch every morning and they also use fresh whole ingredients such as kale, rappers, and squash.

Soup isn’t the only menu item that is made fresh. I already mentioned how the pasta is cooked al dente and then boiled for your dish when you order it. The meats are also cooked according to what you ordered. 

So the next time you are at Olive Garden know that your food is made fresh with some being prepared slightly ahead of time to meet your needs.

Final Thoughts 

Olive Garden is a great restaurant with wonderful food. Most of Olive Garden’s food is made every day. 

The only reason why they would need to microwave your food would be if the soup needed reheating or if a dessert needs to be served warm. 

Foods that aren’t made fresh in the morning are ones that need to be prepared beforehand. Olive Garden is a successful restaurant chain that knows how to please their customers with delicious meals served conveniently and quickly while still being made mostly fresh.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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