People Seriously Underestimate The Size Of Olive Garden's Unlimited Pasta Bowls

Olive Garden's Never-Ending Pasta Bowl promotion is in full swing, and, as usual, diners are excited to take advantage of the deal. It's no surprise that many customers seem to have eyes that are bigger than their bellies. While people may head into the restaurant expecting to get through multiple bowls, anecdotal evidence from TikTok suggests that many can barely get through their first — let alone the three, four, or five servings that they strive for.

Getting through that first portion of never-ending pasta may be a challenge for many people due to its sheer size. Whereas most people underestimate just how big it will be, it is actually a huge, oversized serving. But after they get the first one down, subsequent refills are technically much smaller. At half the size, those second and even third bowls aren't quite as daunting as the first — but they're still pretty big! If anything, the half-size portions would be considered a full serving for a lot of people.

Common unlimited pasta mistakes

There are a few mistakes that diners tend to make when trying to take advantage of Olive Garden's Never-Ending Pasta. The most obvious is filling up on those endless free starters before their giant servings of pasta even arrive. While avoiding the delicious breadsticks altogether does sound like an unlikely feat, many people would probably get further into their pasta challenge if they did. Perhaps that's why Olive Garden includes unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks with its Never-Ending Pasta order after all. The less customers indulge in the free starters; however, the more pasta they'll be able to enjoy. But since most people underestimate how big the bowls of pasta really are, they probably don't realize that they need to abstain from the starters to begin with.

One former Olive Garden server suggested that drinking soda with their pasta could be one reason customers weren't able to eat as many bowls as they'd hoped. She also suggested starting with a refill-size serving instead of the initial oversized bowl. But perhaps the best advice is for customers to just accept that the servings will be bigger than they expect so that they're not disappointed by overestimating how many bowls they will be able to eat.

Unlimited pasta combinations

At just $13.99, Olive Garden's Never-Ending Pasta is a good deal even if you don't actually get refills. But with the option to swap out different kinds of pasta and sauces on your subsequent bowls, it's definitely worth the challenge for many people. There are four different types of noodles to choose from, including angel hair, spaghetti, fettuccine, and rigatoni. From there, you get to pick from Olive Garden's famous alfredo sauce, five cheese marinara, traditional marinara, traditional meat sauce, and creamy mushroom. And you can top it all off with Italian sausage, crispy chicken fritta, or meatballs if you add protein for an additional $4.99.

With so many combinations, that means that if your stomach was as unlimited as the pasta bowls, you could consume 80 unique pasta dishes! Of course, it's not, and considering the hefty size of the servings, you'll probably have to pick between your top two or three at best. You have until November 19th to take advantage of the deal, so there's still time to make more than one trip to the restaurant if you want to try multiple combinations.