A couple weeks ago, I was invited to attend a tasting of Olive Garden’s new menu items which are now available to order on the OG menu starting today! After hearing that the new additions were the biggest changes to the menu in the restaurant’s history, I was very eager to find out what they were and more importantly, to try them!
Crispy Risotto Bites
The first item up that we tried was the Crispy Risotto Bites, one of Olive Garden’s new appetizers. SO GOOD. Hands down, this was my favorite item on the sampler. Kind of a reinvented version of mozzarella sticks, I highly recommend ordering these!
Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich
Olive Garden’s new Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich was the best entree I tried at the new menu sampling. It reminded me of a mini version of a chicken parmesan sub. Absolutely delish! I’m pretty confident this will be my new standard dish at the restaurant.
Lasagna is one of my favorite Italian dishes so I couldn’t wait to give the Lasagna Fresca a try – but to my dismay, the dish was topped with shrimp (I don’t eat seafood). Although I was able to eat around the shrimp, I think offering a vegetarian or non-seafood option would be helpful. Seafood is the last thing I think of when I picture a lasagna dish!
The Garlic Rosemary Chicken entree is unlike any dish I’ve ever tried at Olive Garden (no pasta involved), but still, very delicious! If you’re looking for a lighter meal option at the restaurant, this is the way to go!
Another healthy option on the menu was the Chicken Abruzzi. I wasn’t crazy about this dish (I’m not really into chickpeas or spinach), but I can definitely see healthy food enthusiasts choosing this entree. It’s not Italian enough for me though!
I didn’t think I could eat another bite after all of the amazing food we sampled but when it was announced that dessert was next up, I somehow managed to find room in my stomach (you can never be too full for dessert). The Strawberry Panna Cotta was sooo good! Tasting a bit like custard topped with strawberries, the only thing missing was some kind of cake to surround it, which would make the dessert a bit more like a strawberry shortcake. Yum!