The Best Olive Garden Copycat Recipes That You Can Make at Home

by HomeSteadHow

We realized our family of six could save nearly $100 by making Olive Garden copycat recipes at home using ingredients from Aldi's. Making meals at home always saves money, especially when you have a family.

Olive Garden is delicious but pricey, so we learned how to make Olive Garden dishes at home.

Recently we went to Olive Garden and did curbside pickup. It wasn't very good, so we thought about how we could do this better at home.

How much it costs to eat at Olive Garden:

I went to the Olive Garden website to crunch the numbers on what it would cost to feed my family of six. That's getting four chicken parmesan, two fettuccine Alfredo, six sodas, and a tip. Our grand total for that was $120.87.

We will go to Aldi's to get all the ingredients to recreate that meal and compare the costs of making copycat food at home versus eating at a restaurant.

Basting breadsticks with egg mixture

1. Olive Garden-style breadsticks

We made breadsticks from scratch, using homemade dough. As homesteaders going on year five, we are late to the game in terms of making homemade bread and dough, but we've been doing a lot more of it recently.

If you have the time, boy, is it ever worth it. It tastes so much better. You wouldn't think breadsticks made from scratch from home would be so much better than Olive Garden, but I'm here to tell you they are.  

Olive garden recipes

2. Chicken Parmigiana

We started the deep fryer so that we can make the Chicken Parmigiana. I cut the chicken breasts in half instead of pounding them, and I'm drenching them in flour, an egg mixture, and breadcrumbs.

Now we have the chicken prepped, so we are going to place it in the hot oil of the fryer. 

Rinsing lettuce in a colander

3. Italian Salad

While the chicken is cooking, we're preparing our Olive Garden salad. 

We've got Italian-style dressing, which is the same as they have at Olive Garden, along with croutons and black olives.

Adding parmesan to noodles in a pot

4. Fettuccine Alfredo

We've got the pasta going for Fettuccine Alfredo. The girls boiled the noodles and then added some butter and garlic to the pan, mixed it all in with the noodles, added some Parmesan cheese, and then we're going to finish it off with a little bit of cream.  

Mixing in kale to the Zuppa Toscana soup

5. Zuppa Toscana soup

This Zuppa soup is a great meal. We're making it in our instant pot.

We're cutting up some onions and some garlic, and we're going to add some Italian sausage, all purchased from Aldi's. We're going to try to improve the Zuppa soup by adding bacon because bacon is fantastic.  

We found that if you add the kale at the very end, it tastes a lot better because you still have some texture and crunch. 

Olive Garden copycat recipes

The final tally

That's all our olive garden take home meals done. The breadcrumbs, the flour, even the mozzarella, and the sauce going on top of the chicken were all purchased from Aldi. It was a fraction of the cost of going to Olive Garden. 

We guessed how to make some of the dishes but used these recipes for others:

Zuppa Toscana

Olive Gardens Alfredo Sauce

Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana

We purchased more than we needed. For example, we purchased a large package of chicken, but we only used half of it. So I put together a quick Google spreadsheet, and I calculated the cost from Aldi's and then the actual food we used to replicate this meal from Olive Garden. 

Spreadsheet showing the costs of ingredients for each Olive Garden copycat recipe

Above is the spreadsheet.

We also added soda. A 12-pack of soda was $5, but we only used six for the six of us, so that was $2.49. The grand total for all six of us came to $24.55. 

Cooking this meal at home saved a grand total of $96.32. Now, it's a lot more work cooking it at home. It is nice to go out to eat sometimes and have them serve you and not have to do all of that work, but is it worth $100 to you? In our case, it wasn't because the food just wasn't that great, and that was a lot of money.

Before becoming Homesteaders, we went out to eat a lot and still go out to eat, but we've been cutting back a lot more lately. The food tastes so much better, making it from scratch.

Olive Garden copycat recipes

We hope you enjoyed the recipes and save money with these Olive Garden copycat recipes.

What is your favorite Olive Garden dish? Share in the comments below, along with any recipes you use for copycat versions.

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 1 comment
  • Wenda Kennedy Wenda Kennedy on Mar 26, 2023

    Now start a yeast sponge for your bread, and that will save too. You just feed the yeast everyday with more flour and warm water. I made a loaf of bread, rolls, sweet rolls, or something everyday for years with mine. I have a young lady I mentor who has 6 kids (3 are hers and 3 are her dead-beat sister's). My daughter and I have been teaching her and now she's making all of their bread products from scratch. And in turn, she's teaching the 6 kids to make bread.