If you love Olive Garden, you probably know that their portions are generous and delicious. Sometimes, you may not be able to finish your meal and want to take it home for later. Or maybe you ordered takeout and want to reheat it when you are ready to eat. In either case, you may wonder: are Olive Garden to go boxes microwave safe?
The answer is yes! Olive Garden’s to go boxes are microwavable. They will not damage your microwave nor compromise the food inside. This makes it a lot easier for you and also saves you on getting some dishes dirty so it really is a win-win.
Olive Garden’s to go boxes are different from your average to go containers. They are made of a type of plastic called polypropylene, which is safe to use in the microwave as long as it doesn’t have any metal parts2. Unlike many restaurants that pack up your food in cheap Styrofoam, Olive Garden provides you with a hardy takeaway dish that is safe for the microwave and also more sustainable for the environment3.
However, just because Olive Garden’s to go boxes are microwave safe doesn’t mean that microwaving is the best way to reheat your food. Depending on what you ordered and how you like your pasta, you may want to consider other alternatives to microwaving, such as reheating in an oven or on the stove.
Why Olive Garden To Go Boxes Are Better Than Styrofoam
Styrofoam is a common material used for to go containers, but it has many disadvantages. Styrofoam is not microwave safe, as it can melt or release harmful chemicals when heated. Styrofoam is also not recyclable, as it takes a long time to decompose and can pollute the environment.
Olive Garden to go boxes are better than Styrofoam because they are microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and more eco-friendly. They are made of polypropylene, which is a type of plastic that can be recycled and reused. Olive Garden to go boxes also have a better design and quality than Styrofoam containers, as they are more durable and leak-proof.
Reheating in an Oven
Reheating in an oven is the best way to make sure your food is cooked thoroughly and evenly. It also helps to preserve the flavor and texture of your food, especially if it has cheese or sauce. Cheese and sauce can become dry and rubbery when microwaved, but they can stay creamy and gooey when baked in the oven. To reheat your Olive Garden to go box in an oven, follow these steps:
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. This is a moderate temperature that can heat up your food without burning it.
2. Transfer your food from the to go box to an oven-safe dish. You can use a baking sheet, a casserole dish, or a pie plate. Make sure the dish is large enough to fit your food and has some space around it for air circulation.
3. Cover your dish with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. Aluminum foil can trap the moisture and steam inside the dish, keeping your food moist and tender.
4. Bake your food for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is hot and bubbly. You can check the temperature of your food with a food thermometer to make sure it reaches at least 165°F, which is the safe minimum for leftovers.
Enjoy your reheated Olive Garden meal! You can serve it with some fresh salad or breadsticks for a complete meal.
Reheating on the Stove
Reheating on the stove is another option that can help to add flavor and moisture to your food. It is especially good for pasta dishes that have sauce or soup. Sauce and soup can become thick and lumpy when microwaved, but they can become smooth and silky when heated on the stove. To reheat your Olive Garden to go box on the stove, follow these steps:
1. Transfer your food from the to go box to a large skillet or pot. You can use any skillet or pot that can fit your food and has a lid. A lid can help to retain the heat and moisture in your food.
2. Add some water, broth, milk, or cream to thin out the sauce and prevent it from burning. You can also add some butter, cheese, or herbs for extra flavor. The amount of liquid you add will depend on how thick or thin you like your sauce or soup. Start with a small amount and add more as needed.
3. Heat your food over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot and steaming. You can check the temperature of your food with a f
How to Store Your Olive Garden To Go Boxes
If you have leftovers from your Olive Garden meal, you may want to store them in the fridge or freezer for later. Storing your food properly can help to extend its shelf life and prevent food poisoning. Olive Garden to go boxes are designed to be easy to store and reheat, but you still need to follow some basic guidelines to keep your food safe and fresh. To store your Olive Garden to go boxes properly, follow these tips:
1. Refrigerate your food within two hours of receiving it. This will prevent bacteria growth and spoilage. Bacteria can multiply rapidly in the temperature danger zone (40°F to 140°F), so you need to cool down your food as soon as possible. You can also divide your food into smaller portions to speed up the cooling process.
2. Label your food with the date and contents. This will help you remember what you have and when to eat it. You can use a permanent marker or a sticker to write on the to go box. You can also include any reheating instructions or special notes for yourself or others who may eat the food.
3. Use your food within three to four days if refrigerated, or one to two months if frozen. This will ensure the best quality and safety of your food. Refrigerated food can lose its flavor and texture over time, while frozen food can develop freezer burn or ice crystals. To avoid wasting food, you can plan ahead and use your leftovers for other meals or snacks.
4. Thaw your frozen food in the fridge overnight before reheating it. This will prevent uneven heating and loss of moisture. Thawing your food in the fridge is also safer than thawing it on the counter or in the microwave, as it keeps your food out of the temperature danger zone. If you are in a hurry, you can also thaw your food in cold water or in the microwave, but make sure to reheat it right away.
Olive Garden’s to go boxes are microwave safe, but microwaving may not be the best way to reheat your food. Depending on what you ordered and how you like your pasta, you may want to try reheating in an oven or on the stove for a better eating experience. Either way, you can enjoy your favorite Olive Garden meals without any worries.