Olive Garden in the big kid’s favorite “grown-up” restaurant (aka they have cloth napkins). He saw a commercial for this deal the other day and told me I had to tell the internet about it.
Olive Gardens Buy One, Take One deal is back for a limited time. The complete list can be found here.
The basics of the deal are that you order a meal to eat in the restaurant from the list above (complete with the soup or salad and breadsticks that you all know and love), and you get to take home another prepped meal (Spaghetti with Meat Sauce*, Fettuccine Alfredo, Five Cheese Ziti al Forno, or Cheese Ravioli) sans soup/salad and breadsticks (although you usually can snag a couple extra breadsticks in a doggy bag if you ask your waitperson nicely).
And don’t forget that Olive Garden has a loyalty club too! You earn points with every purchase, and points can be redeemed for freebies like non-alcoholic drinks, appetizers, entrees, kids meals, and desserts. You can sign up on their website, or in the restaurant at your table on the little Zoosk kiosks.
This is one of my favorite recipes to make and freeze. It makes a great meal to take to someone who is sick, bereaved, or just had a baby.
I discovered the recipe while I was pregnant with Lil’ Man and craved soup. I’ve tweaked it a bit from the original that I discovered online to fit more of our families tastes and sensibilities (the original recipe called for a lot of butter, half and half, and pork Italian sausage).
It’s gluten free naturally, and can be easily made vegetarian. I’ll include substitutions under the recipe.
Creamy Tuscan Soup
(Zuppa Toscana Copy Cat from Olive Garden)
1 lb turkey Italian sausage, crumbled (not in the casing)
1½ tsp crushed red peppers (that’s 1/2 packet of the pepper flakes that come with take out pizza)
1 large diced white onion (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup bacon crumbles (I like the ones from Costco)
2 tsp chopped garlic
4 large cartons of chicken broth (your favorite brand/variety)- it’s about 12-ish cups of liquid. You could also do boullion cubes and water if you prefer.
1 can evaporated milk
3 large potatoes sliced (skin left on)
1/2 bunch Kale or spinach, roughly chopped
Cook sausage in a large stockpot, crumble it up as you cook it.
Once sausage is cooked, add bacon, onions, and garlic, and cook until onions are soft and clear (about 10 minutes).
Add the broth, and cook on medium until the soup boils.
Lower stove to low add sliced potatoes and cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
Stir in the milk, red pepper, and the kale/spinach and cook on low for 10-15 minutes, until kale/spinach is tender.
Makes about 10-12 servings.
To make this dish vegetarian, use soy italian crumbles and vegetable stock.
To make this dish vegan, use the variation above, and also substitute the evaporated milk for your choice of non-dairy milk.
As you store this soup in the fridge, it will become spicier, so I recommend no more than 2 days in the fridge before freezing it.