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South Beach Diet Phase 2 at Olive Garden

Updated on June 17, 2008

As with any Italian restaurant, the menu at Olive Garden is heavy with bread and pasta. And they have those really delicious all-you-can-eat breadsticks. I'm sorry to say that you can't enjoy those breadsticks on Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, but you can have a few more items on the Olive Garden menu than you can on Phase 1.

Take a look at my hub on Phase 1 choices for the Olive Garden, and then add these options in if you have made it to Phase 2. And feel free to pat yourself on the back for doing so!


Chianti Braised Short Ribs-Braised in red Chianti wine and served with mushroom risotto and steamed vegetables. Just ask for twice the amount of veggies or a side salad instead o the risotto, because rice is still not allowed on Phase 2 unless it's brown rice.

Steak Toscano-This one is also okay for Phase 1 if you keep the potatoes off your plate, which you'll also have to do for Phase 2. It's a 14 oz. center cut strip steak, brushed with herbs and olive oil. It's served with roasted potatoes and bell peppers. If you can get the peppers by themselves, fine, but if not, order steamed vegetables instead.

Venetian Apricot Chicken-Since fruit is allowed on Phase 2, this chicken breast served with an apricot citrus sauce is okay. It's also served with South Beach champs-broccoli, asparagus and diced tomatoes.

Stuffed Chicken Marsala-A chicken breast stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and Italian cheeses, and topped with mushrooms and a creamy Marsala wine sauce. It's served with garlic mashed potatoes, so just ask for some type of vegetable or a side salad instead.

And now for the best part. Just like Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden offers whole-wheat linguine in place of pasta on any of their dishes that call for regular (not stuffed) pasta.

Here are the choices available.....

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce-Pasta served with a tomato-based meat sauce

Linguine alla Marinara-Pasta with a zesty blend of tomatoes, herbs and onions. Perfect for Phase 2 with the whole-wheat linguine.

Cappellini (Linguine) Pomodoro-Pasta with Roma tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil.

Grilled Shrimp Caprese-Grilled marinated shrimp is served over pasta with mozzarella, basil and tomatoes with a garlic butter sauce.

Seafood Portofino-Mussels, scallops, shrimp and mushrooms are served over linguine with a garlic-butter and wine sauce.

Note: If you're on any diet, you should steer clear of Alfredo sauces. They are loaded with butter and full-fat cheeses.


You can enjoy the same beverages as on Phase 1, but also can have red wine on Phase 2. Just keep it to no more than 1-2 glasses.


Some Olive Gardens offer fresh berries, in season, with a creamy Italian custard. I believe this type of custard is laced with alcohol other than red wine, so if you do go this route, ask for the sauce to be omitted.

They also offer a no-sugar-added Torta di Chocolate, which should be fine on Phase 2, and maybe even on Phase 1.


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