“When you’re here, you’re family.” That’s the Olive Garden’s slogan to literally everyone—except, apparently, those on the keto diet. (All that pasta!)
In all honesty though, if you decide to go keto—and aim to keep your carb intake under 50 grams a day—you’re basically signing an “I promise not to eat spaghetti for the foreseeable future” pledge.
But in doing that, do you really have to become totally estranged from your beloved fast-casual Italian chain restaurant? Not totally. While, no, you definitely can’t opt for the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl (or even just a breadstick, TBH), there are still ways to enjoy the OG.
A few things to keep in mind: Pasta of any kind is clearly a no, as is anything breaded (buh-bye eggplant parmesan). You can however, get all the buttery, cheesy sauces your heart desires—and go ahead and indulge on the chicken, fish, and steak dishes while you’re at it, along with all the veggie sides (especially the parmesan-crusted zucchini).
The next time you hit up the OG, keep this list of keto-friendly meals in mind—so you can feel like you’re part of the family and stay in ketosis.
1. Stuffed Mushrooms
Let’s be honest: The best part of going out to eat is getting an appetizer (you’re definitely not going to make yourself an app at home). These stuffed mushrooms are filled with clams and three different types of cheeses, so they’re definitely keto-friendly. Go ahead and grab an order to share.
Per serving: 380 calories, 30 g fat (8 g sat fat), 860 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 15 g protein.
2. Zuppa Toscana
I’m going to level with you here: This soup contains potatoes (yes, they have carbs). But it’s also made with spicy Italian sausage and kale—and held together with a creamy broth. It can also absolutely fit into your carb allowance for the day, so go ahead and grab a bowl.
Per serving: 220 calories, 15 g fat (7 g sat fat), 790 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein.
3. Famous House Salad with Signature Italian Dressing
Good news: You can totally douse your salad in OG’s delish Italian dressing (it’s only got two grams of carbs!). The bad news: You’ve got to nix the croutons. But you can go crazy and add an extra serving of dressing to make up for it (it’ll only bump your salad up to nine grams of carbs).
Per serving: 110 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 670 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.
4. Chicken Margherita
This dish is basically a keto dieter’s dream: chicken topped with cheese and butter. The meal is also served with a size of parmesan-crusted zucchini, which only has five grams of carbs (don’t worry—it’s already counted in the carb content below). Also: The lunch portion only has two fewer grams of carbs than the dinner option, so I think you know what to do with that information…
Per serving: 570 calories, 30 g fat (10 g sat fat), 1340 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 64 g protein.
5. Salmon Piccata
Apparently “piccata” means “doused in a delicious butter sauce and perfect for keto dieters.” This salmon version gives you even more fat than the chicken version (it’s just as tasty though). Also, FYI: There’s an Herb-Grilled Salmon dish on the menu too, but the butter sauce makes this option the clear winner.
Per serving: 580 calories, 40 g fat (12 g sat fat), 1560 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 45 g protein.
6. Chicken Piccata
No, you’re not seeing double—the OG’s Chicken Piccata dish is very similar to the Chicken Margherita dish, except it’s not topped with cheese. Instead, it’s just topped with the lemon garlic butter sauce, along with sun-dried tomatoes and capers. The parmesan-crusted zucchini makes another appearance here, too.
Per serving: 530 calories, 27 g fat (11 g sat fat), 1480 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 60 g protein.
7. Amaretto Tiramisu
Okay, this might be pushing it for some extremely dedicated keto dieters, but if you’ve got a few extra carbs in your allowance and want something sweet, this Amaretto Tiramisu dessert only has 14 grams of carbs—perfect for a nightcap with a hot cup of (black) coffee. It’s also got a good amount of fat for a “mini” dessert.
Per serving: 220 calories, 17 g fat (10 g sat fat), 65 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrates, 11 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 3 g protein.