Olive Garden’s Newest Menu Item is Something You Need To See To Believe

If it's decadence you seek, then head on over to Olive Garden to try their newest menu item, which transforms their already-delicious pizza dough into an edible bowl that can barely contain a mountain of meatballs and a river of cheese.

Olive Garden pizza bowlPhoto: Olive Garden

The newest menu option at Olive Garden is called the Meatball Pizza Bowl and takes decadence to new heights. Here’s how the chefs at Olive Garden create this ode to Italian generosity:

They start with a mound of pizza dough, which they flatten and then shape around a cup filled with Italian cheeses. This process turns the pizza dough into a dough bowl which can retain its shape while it bakes. Once the dough bowl is done baking, the cup o’ cheese is inverted so that the cheeses, now bubbling and molten, can be poured into the center, followed by a veritable mountain of meatballs and meat sauce. But the decadence doesn’t stop there. According to what an Olive Garden spokesperson told TODAY, the edges of the bowl are then brushed with oil and even more cheese (which is similar to how Olive Garden makes its breadsticks) and run back under a broiler to caramelize and crisp up.

The Meatball Pizza Bowl comes with unlimited soup or salad and “unlimited never-ending” (their words!) breadsticks. At $8.99, it is, as Olive Garden says, an example of “plentiful portions” served along with as much soup or salad and breadsticks you can eat. And here’s the amazing, honest-to-goodness truth: it’s not even close to the most decadent dish on the menu. At 860 calories, it’s going to make a significant dent in your daily caloric needs, but not much different from the dent you’d make if you chose any Olive Garden pasta and paired it with just about any sauce. In fact, it’s significantly LESS calorically dense than an order of Rigatoni with Asiago Alfredo sauce (the sauce alone comes in at 940 calories!).

If you have a craving for this Italian restaurant’s specialties but don’t want the mound of calories, try our 28 Olive Garden copycat recipes.

Try these Olive Garden dishes at home.
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Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.