Olive Garden Serves Something Called 'Chocolate Lasagna'

No, there are no noodles involved in Olive Garden's dessert menu.

"Chocolate" and "lasagna" are two words you probably don't expect to see next to each other, but apparently at Olive Garden, aka America's utopia, it seems that anything goes. The restaurant has a new dessert option on the permanent menu called Chocolate Lasagna, and though we're morbidly fascinated by its name, it turns out to be little more than that: a name. I can't tell if I'm disappointed or not, but Olive Garden certainly got my attention.

What is Olive Garden’s Chocolate Lasagna dessert?

Olive Garden's menu describes the Chocolate Lasagna as "Decadent layers of chocolate cake, creamy chocolate mousse, and a delicate layer of crushed wafers. Topped with chocolate sauce." Once it arrives at your table, servers freshly grate white chocolate shavings on top using a green version of the viral cheese grater (don't worry, no actual Parmesan cheese on your Chocolate Lasagna).

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So... isn't this pretty much just a chocolate layer cake with a silly Italian-adjacent name? And does this mean that all cake is, in fact, some form of lasagna? I have so many questions.

Olive Garden says this is a new dessert, but in reality, it's quite similar to one that the brand introduced back in 2018: the Chocolate Brownie Lasagna, which Food and Wine described at the time as consisting of "eight layers which alternate between rich brownie fudge and sweet vanilla cream cheese." It was even "topped with chocolate shavings and chocolate drizzle"! 

But this thing must have been popular, because if you search for "Olive Garden Chocolate Lasagna" online, you'll get a plethora of copycat recipes, like this one from Taste of Home as well as those on various independent food blogs. Apparently I missed out big in 2018.

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Is Olive Garden’s Chocolate Lasagna actually... lasagna?

It's only natural to wonder, then, if the word "lasagna" relates more to an overall concept than to an actual food. Does anything with layers qualify as lasagna? There's only one way to be sure.

Trusty dictionary resource Merriam-Webster defines lasagna as "pasta in the form of broad often ruffled ribbons" or a "baked dish containing layers of boiled lasagna, and usually cheese, a seasoned sauce of tomatoes, and meat or vegetables."

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The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term similarly, noting lasagna is "pasta in the form of sheets or wide strips; an Italian dish consisting of sheets of this pasta baked with meat or vegetables and a cheese sauce."

Okay, so Chocolate Lasagna is taking more than a few creative liberties. You'd better watch out, Olive Garden, because folks can get real litigious about such things. Then again, chocolate is a pretty good stress reliever. One bite of Chocolate Lasagna and I'm pretty sure the grumps will forgive you.

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