Olive Garden falls into the sweet carb-less embrace of the zoodle

Illustration for article titled Olive Garden falls into the sweet carb-less embrace of the zoodle
Photo: The Olive Garden

The zoodle remains ascendant. After helping save the soul of Noodles & Co. in spectacular fashion, the zucchini “pasta” continues its quest to achieve total annihilation of the traditional noodle by making further inroads in a garden. The garden. The Olive Garden.


The O.G.’s latest menu addition is Zoodles Primavera, in which the non-pasta pasta is tossed in a light basil cream sauce with vegetables (five daily servings’ worth, in fact, per an email from a representative for the company). There’s a lunch-sized portion too, the Zoodles Primavera lunch bowl, which is available at lunchtime, for lunch. Both versions, provided you don’t add chicken or shrimpies, falls under the Tastes of the Mediterranean menu, which features dishes that clock in at under 600 calories. Zoodle-y doo.

This isn’t Olive Garden’s first foray into the world of the noodle alternative. As Delish reports, in January 2017, the chain introduced both spiralized zoodles and squash noodles in another low-calorie dish. That one, however, also contained some whole grain linguine, so this is a major zoodle inroad.

The Takeout’s official stance of the zoodle remains: indifferent. Pasta is delicious. Zucchini cut into noodle-shaped strips... an affront to Italian food or tolerable? If any of you have tried it, please let us know your thoughts.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!


flying wombat

*shrug* i’m fine with it, honestly. zoodles are never going to be noodles and nobody, not even die-hard low-carbers, are ever going to believe they are. but they’re a decent substitute in shape, mild in flavor, and may make it easier on your low-carb friend or the relative who’s watching what they eat if you decide to go to the OG. i guess it falls into the ‘i probably wouldn’t order it but why would i hate it if someone else did’ category for me. it’s a healthier option, and i’m not gonna get mad for someone putting that on a menu as opposed to the monstrosities of pasta-topped-stuffed pastas or whatever it is they do in the winter. and not gonna lie, one of my favorite quick and idgaf weeknight meals is a jar of tomato sauce, ground beef, onions/garlic/thyme/whatever i’ve got over roasted zuchinni. i don’t spiralize it bc i work two jobs and don’t have the time to get that finicky, but even just plain chunked up zucchini with olive oil, salt, and pepper is fine with meat sauce. i can’t hate.