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Copycat Olive Garden Pasta con Zucchini Recipe


Photos of Copycat Olive Garden Pasta con Zucchini Recipe

Homemade tomato sauce can’t beat this restaurant favorite. Take a trip to Italy with this rich and flavorful dish.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 40 mins


For Sauce:

  • cup olive oil
  • cup onion, chopped
  • ½ lb swiss mushrooms, fresh, divided
  • tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fennel bulb, sliced into strips
  • 16 oz tomatoes, (1 can), diced and drained or 3 cups fresh tomatoes, crushed, or 1½ cups of tomato puree
  • 1 cup black olives, sliced, drained
  • 2 tsp capers, drained
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil, dried
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
  • ½ tsp salt

For Zucchini:

  • 2 zucchini, large
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried basil, to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano, to taste
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta, cooked
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Cut roughly half or 3.5 ounces of the mushrooms into quarters then finely mince the remaining 3.5 ounces. Set aside.

  2. Slice the zucchinis lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices then sprinkle the sliced zucchinis with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Toss to combine then set it aside.

  3. Heat olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and minced mushrooms. Cook and stir frequently for 10 minutes or until onions are very soft.

  4. Add the fennel bulb, garlic, and mushroom quarters and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

  5. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer.

  6. Reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

  7. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

  8. Place zucchini slices in one layer in the pan. Saute for about 3 minutes per side just until tender. Remove to a heated platter and cover to keep warm while sauteing the remaining zucchini. Add remaining olive oil as needed.

  9. Ladle sauce over pasta and top with zucchini slices.

  10. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, garnish with basil and serve!


  • Sugar: 17g
  • :
  • Calcium: 99mg
  • Calories: 579kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 81g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Iron: 4mg
  • Potassium: 1663mg
  • Protein: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Sodium: 615mg
  • Vitamin A: 2112IU
  • Vitamin C: 70mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
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