Do you know the best way to pick a delicious appetizer at a restaurant? Choose the cheesy fried one! Olive Garden offers an incredible cheese-filled, fried noodle appetizer, and it’s about as wonderful as you can imagine. They’re even served with alfredo and marinara sauce for dipping. It might look like a complicated dish, but it’s not, and today, we’re going to show you how in this Copycat Olive Garden Stuffed Ziti Fritta recipe.
The most important thing is the noodle. You’ll want to choose one that has a big enough hole for you to fill with the cheese filling. We’d recommend either Rigatoni or Ziti pasta. While the noodles are cooking, you’ll want to prepare the cheese filling. Make sure the cream cheese is softened first, which will make it easier to mix with the other ingredients. You’ll prepare two bowls for the breading- one for the seasonings, and the other for the egg wash. Once the noodles are filled, you’ll dip them into both bowls and fry them in a regular frier. Be sure to put a lid on top to keep the grease from popping. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side, and serve with marinara and alfredo sauce for dipping. Just like Olive Garden’s recipe, but better because you can make as many as you’d like!
Copycat Olive Garden Stuffed Ziti Fritta
- 1/4 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup Parmesan and Romano, shredded
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 tbsp basil, chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cups Parmesan, grated
For the Pasta
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the box of noodles and cook for 12 minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles and set them aside.
For the Cheese Filling
- While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the cheese filling. Mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, romano, cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, and chopped basil until well-blended. Place this filling in a ziplock bag and put it in the refrigerator.
For the Stuffing and Breading
- In one bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the Italian seasoning. In another bowl, combine the Italian breadcrumbs with parmesan cheese.
- Remove the cheese mixture from the refrigerator. Snip the very end of the Ziploc bag, and squeeze the cheese mixture into the noodles. Place each stuffed noodle onto a cutting board.
- Dunk each stuffed noodle in the egg wash and then roll it in the breadcrumb mix to coat thoroughly. Set the noodles back onto the cutting board.
- Preheat the oil to 375 degrees. When the oil is hot, fry the stuffed, breaded noodles for about 3 minutes or until they become dark golden brown, flipping halfway through. Keep them a couple of inches apart, so they don't get too crowded.
- Serve with sides of alfredo and marina for dipping.
- You can use Ziti or Rigatoni – you just want it to have a large opening for stuffing.
- Soften the cream cheese so it's easier to mix.
If you enjoyed this Copycat Olive Garden Stuffed Ziti Fritta, check out Olive Garden’s 11 best menu items. Which one is your favorite?