Fazoli's Pasta Dishes Ranked From Worst To Best

When it's time to really put the elasticity of your stomach to the test, there are few better meal options than a heaping bowl of pasta. The noodles alone do a perfectly fine job of stretching your belly to its breaking point, but once you ladle on a sauce, you have a gut-busting but super delicious meal that'll leave your appetite fulfilled for hours after you shovel in that last bite. And one company that is certainly keeping our bellies full with great pasta dishes is Fazoli's. Created in 1988 by a multi-brand restaurant group called Jerrico, Inc., the restaurant quickly grew in popularity, and today the brand proudly boasts approximately 217 locations across 26 states.

The menu at Fazoli's offers an array of Italian-American dishes, but it's the pasta selections that reign supreme. If you're a fan of noodles and sauce, chances are you'll find something on the menu that not only piques your interest but leaves your stomach more than satisfied. But which direction should you point your attention to when perusing the pasta options? Fret not, friends. We've compiled a list of the pros and cons of all the pasta dishes Fazoli's offers to ensure you spend your money wisely. These are Fazoli's pasta options ranked worst to first.

15. Spaghetti with Marinara

There are times you want a meal packed with so many different flavor profiles your stomach might just get dizzy from the influx of different tastes. But there are other times that sticking to something super basic with just a few ingredients is what the doctor ordered. When it comes to pasta, you'd be hard-pressed to find a dish simpler than spaghetti with marinara sauce. Fazoli's offers customers its version of Spaghetti and Marinara, but let's be honest, if you're making the trip to the restaurant, you might as well order something with more depth of flavor.

The dish comes with a bowl of al dente spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and sprinkled in shaved Parmesan cheese. The marinara sauce is made using vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic, basil, and oregano, and although the flavor is decent, it's a bit thinner than it should be. You want a sauce to cling to the pasta as opposed to run off and pool up on the bottom of the bowl, and this dish does the latter. Sometimes the al dente spaghetti can feel a little too chewy, as well. It's a very basic bowl of pasta you won't regret not ordering.

14. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

For those seeking a sauce that packs a bit more of a punch than a basic marinara but not something as rich and filling as a cream-based alfredo, meat sauce sits perfectly in the middle of that spectrum. At Fazoli's you can up your spaghetti and marinara sauce game to the Spaghetti with Meat Sauce dish. You get a whole pile of spaghetti topped with a ground-beef meat sauce before getting dusted with a handful of Parmesan cheese.

The first thing you notice when this dish appears in front of you is that it's not that chock-full of ground beef, which is disappointing. You order a meat sauce because you want that hearty punch of protein to accompany each bite of pasta, but you get a flimsy amount of meat here. The flavor of that sauce is tasty, but the fact Fazoli's skimps on the meat means the sauce's flavor is overshadowed by frustration. Best to get your protein intake another way than through this dish.

13. Baked Spaghetti

When you think about your basic spaghetti and marinara sauce dish, there aren't many ways you can prepare those few ingredients differently to create a varied texture and flavor. However, Fazoli's seemed to figured something out by baking the dish in the oven to create a heartier dish with richer flavors. The Baked Spaghetti dish is a simple bowl of spaghetti noodles and marinara sauce covered in mozzarella cheese and baked until the cheese melts. It's tastier than the regular spaghetti and marinara sauce dish, but it still might leave you craving more.

The addition of the mozzarella here really takes the dish to another level. The cheese comes out super melty, glistening a great golden color thanks to the baking. However, the flavor of the cheese is really all you taste with each bite because it's so plentiful. The marinara sauce adds a slightly sweet flavor thanks to the vine-ripened tomatoes, but you're still left feeling like you're eating only baked cheese for a meal.

12. Spaghetti with Meatballs

When it comes to spaghetti and meatballs, there's a lot of pressure resting on the meatballs to make the meal a satisfying experience. Everyone knows how the noodles and marinara sauce will taste, but not every meatball is created equal, which means they can make or break a dish of pasta. The Spaghetti and Meatballs dish offered at Fazoli's uses meatballs made from both beef and pork, so you get multiple flavors in each bite. The meatballs are quite tasty, but it's the rest of the dish that's rather lackluster.

Imagine yourself as a meatball and getting told you need to elevate a whole dish of spaghetti and marinara sauce without any help. That's a stressful and difficult situation to pull off, but that's what happens here. The meatballs pack rich flavor but they're accompanied by an overly thin marinara sauce and noodles that are sometimes cooked a little too al dente. The meatballs deserve tastier friends to join them in the bowl.

11. Loaded Fettuccini

Before you order any dish that comes loaded, you better have a stern talking with your appetite to ensure you can handle the onslaught of food that's about to attack it with full force. This is exactly what you can expect if you order the Loaded Fettuccine at Fazoli's. It's a no-holds-barred barrage of ingredients testing your stomach capacity. However, that doesn't mean it's worth ordering. In fact, it might mean exactly the opposite for many customers.

To say this dish appears totally overwhelming is an understatement. You get fettuccine pasta tossed in alfredo sauce and filled with chunks of chicken, bacon, broccoli, and garlic-roasted mushrooms. It's a lot of food crammed into one bowl, and after only a few bites it's easy to throw in the white flag and admit defeat. Fettuccine alfredo on its own is super filling, so the addition of all these ingredients makes for a bowl of pasta almost too much to handle. Plus, there are so many flavors happening at once that they overwhelm each other instead of helping each other stand out.

10. Baked Spaghetti with Meatballs

While spaghetti and meatballs on their own can be an awesome pasta option, there are ways to crank those flavors up to another level. Fazoli's recognizes that some people might crave an enhanced version of the dish, and that's why Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs sits comfortably on the menu. It's a bowl of spaghetti noodles covered in marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and topped with meatballs. Then, the whole thing is baked for a sizzlingly gooey experience.

The two ingredients that work together really well in this dish are the mozzarella cheese and the meatballs. The cheese does a wonderful job of creating a salty rich layer of meltiness on the meatballs that already have deep hearty flavors thanks to both the beef and pork. However, the spaghetti underneath it all can tend to overbake and take on an unappealingly tough texture that's difficult to bite through. It makes you wish this dish was only comprised of meatballs and mozzarella cheese.

9. Loaded Baked Spaghetti

Nobody really sets out to achieve the meat sweats after a meal. But sometimes it's unavoidable based on what entrée hits the table in front of you. Some proteins are really rich on their own, but pair them up with a few other kinds of meat and you have a roundhouse kick of heartiness sure to activate those sweat glands post meal. At Fazoli's, one meal that's basically the meat sweats in a bowl is the Loaded Baked Spaghetti.

This bowl is teeming with rich flavors. The spaghetti is topped with a heaping amount of meat sauce, meatballs, chunks of Italian sausage, pieces of bacon, and mushrooms. If that doesn't get your cholesterol rising, the whole bowl is also covered in a layer of mozzarella and provolone cheese before being baked in the oven. This is another dish that's too filling, too quickly. All the proteins are super juicy and tender, but each bite is an overwhelming amount of them. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms hardly comes through, too. The cheese only adds to the staggering amount of richness in each bite.

8. Chicken Carbonara

Those who are familiar with authentic carbonara pasta might scoff in the direction of this dish offered at Fazoli's. The authentic stuff doesn't use alfredo sauce, but instead uses eggs and cheese to create a creamy consistency. The Chicken Carbonara dish Fazoli's serves comes with spaghetti noodles tossed with alfredo sauce, chopped bacon, chunks of roasted chicken, and parmesan-roasted broccoli. The whole bowl is finished off with a hefty amount of freshly ground black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese. The fact that alfredo sauce is used might bother some carbonara perfectionists, but there's also another factor that might prove a turnoff to some.

Besides the issue of authenticity, the broccoli will definitely be a problem for some people. There's just so darn much of it that it totally takes over the dish (don't let the photo on the menu fool you). But all of the flavors on their own are great. The alfredo sauce is rich and cheesy, the bacon is crunchy, and the chicken is moist and seasoned really well. However, there's so much broccoli that it overpowers everything else. You almost feel like Fazoli's overdoes it on the broccoli so they don't have to use as much chicken or bacon since those are more expensive ingredients. If half the amount of broccoli was removed, this would be a solid option.

7. Baked Ziti

Ziti pasta is one variety that does a great job of holding onto a rich sauce so you get a hearty forkful of flavor with every bite. The ridged tubes can hold whatever sauce you're using in the center like little pasta cannoli. That's why a heavier sauce is preferable when cooking with ziti. At Fazoli's, you can order up the Baked Ziti dish for a hearty meal of penne pasta (yes, it's made with very similar-looking penne even though the name indicates otherwise) covered in both marinara and meat sauce, and two kinds of cheese, mozzarella and provolone.

The doubling down of sauces and cheeses works out really well. Both the mozzarella and provolone lend a gooey saltiness and complement each other nicely. The addition of the meat sauce adds a rich punch of protein paired with the slightly sweet marinara sauce. One of the downsides is that the penne pasta along the edges of the bowl can toughen up to an almost inedible consistency, which definitely detracts from the rest of the flavors. However, most of the pasta is cooked well and holds onto the sauce and cheese tightly.

6. Baked Lasagna

If pasta was a sandwich, its name would be lasagna. Lasagna, much like sandwiches, comes layered with ingredients so as you bite into it your palate is hit with an array of flavors delicately placed in delicious tiers of tastes. Lasagna is a super hearty pasta dish that can contain a variety of sauces and proteins for one heck of a great meal. At Fazoli's, the Baked Lasagna is layered with meat sauce and both mozzarella and provolone cheese, and it packs a hearty punch.

The real stand-out ingredients in this dish are the two types of cheese. They melt really well between the layers of lasagna pasta, and they give every bite a lovely salty burst that complements the chunks of ground beef in the meat sauce. The top of the lasagna has a great layer of golden bubbly cheese that's a little warmer than the pasta itself, so it offers a nice contrast of temperatures that elevate the flavors of every ingredient.

5. Spicy Baked Ziti with Chicken or Sausage

All too often when a dish's name has the word spicy in it, the level of spice included isn't enough to really hit home for those who truly like heat dancing across their palate and leaving that tingly sensation afterward. Fazoli's offers a dish to entice those craving spice in the form of the Spicy Baked Ziti with Chicken or Sausage. While you might expect the spice level to come across as subpar, it actually does pack enough heat to warrant the spicy title.

The pasta used here is penne even though the name implies you'll be getting ziti, but that's fine. The penne is ladled with a spicy pepper tomato sauce and topped with chunks of either chicken or sausage and then both mozzarella and provolone cheese. The pepper sauce really has a hit of spice in every bite, and it adds an additional welcome layer of flavor to every other ingredient. Both the chicken and sausage are super juicy and full of great seasoning, so whatever option you choose only gets better with the sauce. The cheeses add a salty bite that's only enhanced with the spice the sauce offers.

4. Chicken Parmigiano

Ah, Chicken Parmigiano. It's one of the staple items at any Italian restaurant, which means in order to be taken seriously in the restaurant game, the chicken parmigiano should always act as a solid go-to option when nothing else looks appealing. Fazoli's offers customers its version of the classic fare, and all those chicken parm enthusiasts out there can bask in the knowledge that the dish here is totally worth their time and money.

The dish comes with pieces of crispy chicken breast covered in alfredo sauce and both mozzarella and provolone cheese and served over spaghetti with marinara sauce. The chicken is cooked perfectly. The outside has a gentle breaded crunch that leads to a super succulent piece of meat. The cheeses and the alfredo sauce offer a super creamy and salty layer of flavor on the crispy filets that also work so well together texturally. The semi-sweet marinara sauce cuts through all the rich and salty flavors and makes for one great version of this dish.

3. Gluten Friendly Chicken Pesto Rotini

When someone who loves pasta hears the words "gluten-free" so often, they may start to make the judgment call that whatever gluten-free version of noodles being served to them won't ever live up to the authentic starchy stuff. However, gluten enthusiasts shouldn't instantly write off the Gluten Friendly Chicken Pesto Rotini at Fazoli's. It's actually an option that's packed with really good flavor that might just make you completely forget you're avoiding gluten.

The gluten-friendly rotini pasta used here is tossed with roasted chicken and covered in alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil pesto before a trip into the oven for baking. The result is a grand slam concoction of flavors. The spiraled rotini pasta does an awesome job of trapping the alfredo sauce and melted mozzarella cheese into every nook and cranny so your palate is walloped by awesome tastes with each bite. The chicken is really juicy and packed with flavor, but it's the pesto sauce and takes everything to new heights. It's a bright burst of basil-forward flavors and aromas that shine through every bite.

2. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

If you love the rich, cheesy flavor of a bowl of freshly prepared fettuccine alfredo, then you're aware that tinkering with it too much is a huge mistake. The stuff is awesome on its own, so why go ahead and try to fix something that isn't broken? Well, Fazoli's does tinker around with fettuccine alfredo in a few of the menu options, and one version where the tooling around pays off dividends is the Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.

There's no funny business when it comes to the ingredients in this dish. You get chunks of chicken tossed with a hearty bowl of fettuccine alfredo, and that's all you need. The chicken is breaded on the outside, which makes for a great crunch to offset the wonderfully salty creaminess of the garlic and Parmesan alfredo sauce. The chicken even absorbs a lot of the sauce, so each morsel is extra juicy and explodes with rich cheesy flavors. The fettuccine alfredo wasn't broken, but this dish manages to fix it nevertheless.

1. Fettuccine Alfredo

It's one of the most famous pasta dishes in the world, and when it's made with the love and care it deserves, almost nothing rivals a bowl of Fettuccine alfredo. This is exactly why this item sits in the number one spot in the Fazoli's pasta ranking. It's far from the most intricate dish on the menu, but that's absolutely okay because all the amazing flavors you want are present and envelope your palate with a torrent of creamy robust tastes and textures.

The fettuccine is perfectly cooked, and the thick noodle works wonders when it comes to clinging to the alfredo sauce. You never end up with a pool of thin sauce on the bottom of the bowl. The sauce itself is packed full of garlic and Parmesan flavors, so you get this perfectly salty punch from the cheese and the zesty bite of the garlic. The shaved Parmesan cheese grated over the top just makes everything here better. You get even more of those nutty flavors that are already super present in the pasta and sauce. If you want a pasta dish that'll knock your socks off, this is the menu item to order.