Here’s Every Vegan Option at Carrabba’s Italian Grill (2020)

Italian restaurants are not too bad for vegans. You can typically get pasta with marinara sauce if nothing else. The real question is whether they’ll have vegan bread and some sides to help fill out the meal. Luckily at Carrabba’s, the answer is yes!

Vegan options at Carrabba’s Italian Grill:

  • Bread with Oil and Herbs
  • House Side Salad (Substitute Dressing)
  • Italian Side Salad (Substitute Dressing)
  • Linguine Positano
  • Spaghetti with Pomodoro Sauce
  • Whole-Grain Spaghetti with Pomodoro Sauce
  • Gluten-Free Casarecce with Pomodoro Sauce
  • Penne Pomodoro
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Sautéed Broccoli
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Sautéed Spinach
  • Steamed Spinach
  • Beverages

Below, I’ll share the details of how to order these items vegan. I’ll also answer common questions about the minestrone soup and the pasta and bread. I’ll end with a whole-food plant-based (WFPB) guide to Carrabba’s—for vegans also avoiding processed food!

Carrabba’s Vegan Menu

The following vegan menu was compiled mainly from the Carrabba’s website. They are one of the few major chain restaurants that offers a vegan and vegetarian menu. So if you’re visiting in person, you may want to ask if they have any printed copies!

I also cross-checked the official menu with common wisdom from some of the vegans I know who eat at Carrabba’s. It’s actually a decent place to eat for a vegan, compared to most chains.

Bread with Oil and Herbs

Thank goodness the bread is vegan! It’s such a shame at some restaurants when it’s not. This is a great way to start off your meal at Carrabba’s: Bread dipped in some oil with herbs. Love it!

Salad

Carrabba’s has two nice vegan side salads, as long as you substitute the dressing:

  • House Side Salad: Romaine, carrots, shredded red cabbage, pepperoncini, kalamata olives.
  • Italian Side Salad: Romaine, garden vegetables, kalamata olives.

These are the vegan salad dressings you can choose to substitute in:

  • Light Balsamic Dressing
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Red Wine or Balsamic Vinegar

Pasta

Most vegans will want to get a pasta dish at Carrabba’s. They actually have several options that are pretty good. Here’s the official list of vegan pasta dishes from Carrabba’s website:

  • Linguine Positano
  • Spaghetti with Pomodoro Sauce
  • Whole Grain Spaghetti with Pomodoro Sauce
  • Gluten-Free Casarecce Pasta with Pomodoro Sauce

There is also the Penne Pomodoro, which is technically a side (it’s smaller).

I get the sense that the exact options vary a bit depending on your Carrabba’s location and how the menu changes over time, however. And I suspect that other pasta options like the rigatoni could also be made vegan if you ask.

Vegetable Sides

There are a bunch of vegan veggie sides you can get, as well:

  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Sautéed Broccoli
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Sautéed Spinach
  • Steamed Spinach

These are all listed as vegan on the Carrabba’s website, so they should be good to go. That said, you may want to double check at your own Carrabba’s location to make sure they aren’t using butter or animal fat in the grilled/sautéed sides.

Beverages

Plenty of vegan drink options at Carrabba’s:

  • Coke
  • Diet Coke
  • Sprite
  • Sweet Iced Tea
  • Unsweetened Iced Tea
  • Root Beer
  • Dr Pepper
  • Minute Maid Lemonade
  • San Pelligrino (Italian sparkling water)
  • Acqua Panna (Italian bottled water)

But What About…

I wanted to also answer some common questions about the vegan and vegetarian options at Carrabba’s.

Is Carrabba’s Minestrone Vegan?

Carrabba’a Minestrone soup is not vegan, although it is vegetarian according to Carrabba’s website. Unfortunately, Carrabba’s does not offer any vegan soups.

Does Carrabba’s Pasta Have Eggs?

Most of Carrabba’s pasta does not have eggs. Carrabba’s lists spaghetti, whole wheat spaghetti, linguine, penne, and gluten-free casarecce pasta dishes as vegan on their website, which also means they do not have eggs.

That said, check with staff at your Carrabba’s location to be sure. I’ve seen some people comment that certain pastas at Carrabba’s—the “fresh” pastas—do contain eggs.

Does Carrabba’s Bread Have Dairy?

Carrabba’s bread does not have dairy. Their website confirms that the bread with oil and herbs is a vegan option.

Does Carrabba’s Have Whole-Wheat Pasta?

Carrabba’s usually has whole-wheat pasta available. Typically, they offer whole-wheat spaghetti as an option. But this may vary by location and may change over time.

Whole-Food Plant-Based Options

I also wanted to cover the whole-food plant-based (WFPB) options at Carrabba’s, for those vegans who are also avoiding processed food. Can you get a full WFPB meal at Carrabba’s?

Without full ingredients lists on all of Carrabba’s dishes, I’m not able to know with 100% certainty which dishes are WFPB, but here are the likely options I see:

  • House Side Salad w/ Light Balsamic Dressing
  • Italian Side Salad w/ Light Balsamic Dressing
  • Whole Grain Spaghetti
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Steamed Spinach

As you can see, there is enough here to actually get filled up. You can’t say that about all chain restaurants! I think in one of my restaurant guides, the only WFPB option was literally just water.

Keep in mind that the Light Balsamic Dressing may contain a small amount of oil, so you may want to ask. And the Pomodoro Sauce for the pasta could contain (or sugar) oil, too.

Here’s one last tip for eating vegan or WFPB at Carrabba’s: Consider bringing some nutritional yeast to sprinkle on your pasta! It can potentially add some more flavor, protein, and B vitamins, and a shaker of it can easily fit in a purse or backpack.

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

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