woman brings own dairy to olive garden

@samikatherinee/TikTok George Sheldon/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Real baddies have milk allergies’: Woman brings own dairy-free cheese to Olive Garden for never-ending pasta deal

‘It truly hits different at Olive Garden.’


Jack Alban


One of the biggest joys of dining at Olive Garden is when the server comes with the cheese grater (which one person excitedly discovered that they can purchase in-store) and begins to fill your bowl of pasta with Parmesan cheese.

However, if you’re lactose intolerant or have a severe dairy allergy, you’ll never know the joy of having someone sprinkle your dish with cheese. In fact, this also means that if you’re out with a group of people getting their Olive Garden grub on, you won’t be able to enjoy a lot of the brand’s offerings, like its “pink sauce” aka the five-cheese marinara sauce.

But one TikToker, Sami Harris (@samikatherinee), who is unable to eat dairy herself, says that she’s found a way to still enjoy some Olive Garden cheesy goodness without suffering from the crippling pain of lactose intolerance: bringing her own dairy-free cheese to dust her dishes with.

Harris writes in a text overlay of her video; “pov: you have a dairy allergy so you started bringing your own non dairy cheese and butter to Olive Garden.”

In her clip, she shows off a tub of dairy-free cheese crumbles, which she uses to garnish her pasta, along with a package of butter alternative, which she presumably uses on the franchise’s beloved breadsticks.

And while Harris writes that she has “done this at other restaurants” there’s something about sneaking cheese into the Olive Garden that just “hits different.”

@samikatherinee i have done this at other restaurants too but it truly hits different at olive garden #fyp #dairyallergy #olivegarden #vegan #dairyfree #followyourheart #neverendingpastabowl ♬ SkeeYee – Sexyy Red

If you’re living that dairy-free life, there are reportedly some menu options at the Olive Garden you can safely enjoy. According to the appropriately named outlet, Go Dairy Free, every single appetizer at the Olive Garden contains milk, as do all of the desserts.

But you can still order yourself a number of options, combined with various grilled proteins using the build-your-own pasta combo to get an order that is completely devoid of milk. Here are the options:

  • Breadsticks
  • Minestrone soup
  • Pasta Fagioli Soup
  • Salad with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar (no croutons, no dressing)
  • The following pastas are good to go: Angel Hair, Fettuccine, Rigatoni, Small Shells, Spaghetti, Gluten-Free Rotini
  • Sauces: Marinana, Meat Sauce, Tomato Sauce
  • Proteins: Grilled Chicken, Italian Sausage, Sauteed Shrimp
  • Entrees: Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Rotini with Marinara, Rotini with Meat Sauce
  • Kids Meal: chicken fingers with pasta
  • Broccoli
  • Grapes
  • French Fries
  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce

The outlet also mentions that parents can also request kids get a pepperoni pizza without cheese if their kids aren’t about that nuggets and pasta life.

While Olive Garden does offer a guide that lists several vegetarian and vegan options for diners, it doesn’t seem as if the franchise, at large, offers dairy-free cheese as an available menu item. A full list of Olive Garden’s allergen information can be found here.

Several Olive Garden customers have helped the chain to go viral after documenting their experiences with the brand’s popular never-ending pasta bowl promotion. In one clip, a customer shared how they were able to effectively sneak out 11 servings of pasta for her to eat at a later time at home. Another TikToker broke down exactly how much pasta one would need to eat in one sitting in order for the deal to be financially viable, as opposed to just making it at home for yourself.

The Daily Dot has reached out to the Olive Garden and Harris via email.

The Daily Dot