Five Cheese Marinara Sauce Recipe (Olive Garden) (2024)

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Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti is one of those pasta dishes you won’t soon forget! The homemade sauce, including the signature five-cheese marinara blended with fontina cheese and other secret ingredients, will have your mouth watering. This top-secret recipe from the famous Olive Garden restaurant is so easy to make from home! Filled with meat sauce and other cheese blends you will have a high-quality meal in no time!

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One of our favorite restaurants in Olive Garden – especially for our oldest child.

I always love trying to recreate their original recipes at home (such as their discontinued chicken alfredo spaghetti pie or giant stuffed rigatoni), so when our oldest requested his favorite pasta dish from them- their five cheese marinara- for his birthday…well, I figured I was up for the challenge. And it ended up being a huge hit!

It turned out SO delicious. Like, it tastedexactlylike the five cheese marinara that our son always insists on getting whenever we go there. Next time all I will need to do to make this Olive Garden recipe a complete meal would be to add their famous house salad!

Be sure to read to the end for all our best tips for making this meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 jars marinara
  • 1 jar alfredo
  • 2 cups shredded Kraft Italian Cheese Blend
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
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What cheese should you buy?

This ziti pasta dish was so creamy with just the right amount of tomato-y flavor…but more importantly, tons of cheesy goodness!

I’ll be the first to admit that Ido not like ricotta cheese – however, it does add a wonderful creaminess to this dish that I’m not sure could be achieved otherwise.

Our recipe calls for an Italian Cheese Blend but you can always add additional cheeses. For instance, try adding one cup of mozzarella cheese with one cup of Italian Cheese Blend. If you want it to be even creamier you can pour in a few tablespoons of heavy cream or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, too!

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Can you use homemade marinara and alfredo sauce?

I always use jarred marinara and alfredo sauce. I just find it easier to grab a bottle or two at the grocery store. But you can absolutely make your own homemade alfredo sauce or marinara.

Here is a great homemade alfredo sauce recipe!

What protein can you add to the sauce?

There are so many options for this dish to up the protein content:

  • Meatballs
  • Ground beef
  • Grilled chicken
  • Italian sausage

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil. Sautée onion and garlic.
  2. Add marinara sauces and alfredo and mix. Bring to a simmer
  3. Whisk in ricotta, Italian cheeses, and Italian seasoning and stir until smooth. Simmer 10 mins.
  4. Serve over pasta.
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What are the best ways to store leftovers?

If you have leftovers you will want to place them in an airtight container in your fridge. Be sure to consume in about 3-5 days. Simply reheat it in your microwave!

You can definitely freeze the sauce, too. Just place leftovers in a large freezer Ziploc bag. It should stay good for about three months. If you freeze it with the noodles be aware they may come out mushy when you defrost them.

What noodles do you use?

We have used different kinds of noodles and it is always delicious! Our favorite is ziti or penne pasta but truthfully you can use whatever you want! When have a delicious ziti sauce like this one- it doesn’t matter what noodles you use.

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Variations for this dish include:

The sky’s the limit with this one.

You can throw everything into a baking dish or skillet making it a one-pot meal and make baked ziti. Or you can cook noodles ahead of time and simply pour the sauce over them.

Add some fresh basil, or breadcrumbs on top for a ziti topping and it will make this cheese marinara sauce go the extra mile.

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Olive Garden Five Cheese Marinara Recipe

Yield: 6 people

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Olive Garden Five Cheese Marinara Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 jars marinara
  • 1 jar alfredo
  • 2 cups shredded Kraft Italian Cheese Blend
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil. Sautée onion and garlic.
  2. Add marinara sauces and alfredo and mix. Bring to a simmer
  3. Whisk in ricotta, Italian cheeses, and Italian seasoning and stir until smooth. Simmer 10 mins.
  4. Serve over pasta.
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 279Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 441mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g

Olive Garden Copy Cat Recipes

If you are a big fan of Olive Garden, here are all our copycat recipes from them:

  • Olive Garden Loaded Pasta Chips
  • Copycat Olive Garden Giant Sausage Stuffed Rigatoni Recipe
  • Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Pie
  • Pressure Cooker Bolognese Sauce: Olive Garden Copycat

This super simple recipe can be made in under 30 minutes – but it will taste like you’ve been working on it for hours! Serve it over your favorite pasta, in a baked pasta dish, or any way you please!

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Katie Clark

Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.

Five Cheese Marinara Sauce Recipe (Olive Garden) (2024)
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