Courtesy of Olive Garden

Four sauces and six toppings are available to let you design your own dish.

Mike Pomranz
May 31, 2018

Burger King famously started saying you could “have it your way” back in the 1970s, but the burger joint isn’t the only chain that understands the power of offering customers customization. Olive Garden is another successful brand that’s embraced giving diners plenty of options from “create your own lunch combinations” to “create your own pasta bowls” to a “Never Ending Pasta Pass” that pretty much gave its holders free reign over the restaurant for eight weeks.

Now, the Italian casual dining chain is bringing that same “create your own” mentality to its lasagna, offering up Lasagna Mia, billed as Olive Garden’s “first ever create your own lasagna.” But be forewarned, the extent to which you’re actually “creating” lasagna may be a point of contention to some lasagna purists.

The Lasagna Mia experience starts with Olive Garden’s new Four Cheese Lasagna—which, as the name implies, is a vegetarian lasagna made from only “baked layers of lasagna pasta and Italian cheeses.” From there, diners choose one of four sauces—meat sauce, marinara, alfredo, or five cheese marinara. Then, to top things off, literally, you choose one of six toppings: garden veggies, cheese ravioli, mini meatballs, chicken fritta, grilled chicken, or sautéed shrimp—though if you decided on one of those final four options, you’ll have to pay an additional price. Otherwise, the dish has a suggested starting price of $12.99.

Going back to that “creating” quibble, both your sauces and your toppings go on top of the Four Cheese Lasagna, thereby depriving diners of that baked-in lasagna goodness we associate with the dish. But it’s easy to see why Olive Garden would take this approach: Baking lasagna, especially to order, is a notoriously time-consuming process. And starting with a simple cheese lasagna allows plenty of meat-free options. But at the same time, a lasagna with meat sauce baked in simply isn’t the same as a cheese lasagna covered in meat sauce. However, all that being said, you can still get a lasagna topped with freakin’ raviolis which is a wonderfully aggressive move.

This Lasagna Mia promotion is taking place at participating Olive Garden locations until July 22, 2018. And yes, it comes with unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks.

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