Olive Garden GF Penne with Marinara

Olive Garden GF Penne Rigate with Marinara

The other night we went out to Olive Garden. Usually I just opt for their grilled chicken, but I was in the mood for pasta and I knew they had some gluten free options. So, after perusing the gluten free menu, I decided on the lunch size portion of their Penne Rigate with marinara.

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Taste: Couldn’t really taste the pasta itself, kind of blan, but it made a perfect vehicle for the pasta sauce. That marinara was out of this world. It tasted like a happy blend of tomatoes and onions, without being too spicy or salty. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Texture: I think they may have overcooked the pasta a bit because it fell apart a lot. It was also kind of chewy, like it had been microwaved. But I kind of expected that based on other reviews I’ve read. The sauce was filled with chunks of real tomatoes though, very tasty.

Smell: Like lasagna or fresh made tomato sauce.

Gluten-filled counterpart: Any marinara pasta

Price: around $10

Nutrition: I got the lunch portion, which was the perfect size compared to their giant dinner plates. It made an awesome carb-load for my workout the next day. According to their website nutrition, it had the following stats:

Calories Total Fat Sat. Fat Carbohydrates Sodium Fiber
520 10 1.5 98 1570 9

Ingredients: I couldn’t find the ingredients online, but the description of the dish says: “Marinara sauce made with a blend of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and Italian herbs.” And I know the pasta is a corn-quinoa blend.

Overall: Not the best gluten free pasta I’ve ever had, a bit overcooked and chewy, but it was a delicious option if you’re a gluten free eater in the mood for Italian. I would recommend requesting the lunch portion if possible–it’s the perfect size and very satisfying!

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