21 Popular Carrabba's Menu Items Ranked From Worst To Best

When it comes to common American restaurants, some spots like Olive Garden are almost universally derided as having less-than-delicious food. However, that doesn't have to be the case at every Italian dining place, even when it comes to the ubiquitous chain joints. One Italian chain restaurant specifically offers a wide variety of delicious dishes everyone in your family is likely to love: Carrabba's Italian Grill. Is it the most "authentic" Italian food in the world? No. But does it taste great? Yes — mostly. But that also comes down to what you decide to order.

However, if you haven't been to Carrabba's before, you may have a difficult time going through the menu. There are a lot of options there (though it's not as incredibly extensive as the Cheesecake Factory menu, at least), so it's not necessarily easy choosing something to eat. We've gone ahead and done some of the hard work for you, though, by ranking some of the most popular menu items from Carrabba's Italian Grill from worst to first. The ones at the top of this list are our least favorites, sure. But as you make your way down, you'll find some seriously delicious dishes that you're going to want to come back to time and time again.

So, are you ready? Here's the 411 on some of the most popular dishes you'll find the next time you dine at Carrabba's.

21. Fettuccine Carrabba

Alright, we know this is going to disappoint some people. But, if you were to go to Italy, you likely won't find fettuccine Alfredo, well, anywhere. It's much more typical to find this dish in an Italian-American restaurant closer to home. Just because it doesn't come from the mother land, though, doesn't mean it's not good. But in this case, we think you're going to be better off if you decide not to order the fettuccine Carrabba.

It's just what you would expect: a massive plate of fettuccine with tons of that goopy white sauce. The bad news? The sauce is completely flavorless, and the chunks of chicken in the pasta do almost nothing to help boost the experience. The sauteed mushrooms and peas do add a little something extra, but these aren't enough to save this dish from tasting bland and boring. Ultimately, it's completely worth skipping. All told, we wouldn't even consider the fettuccine Carrabba when there are so many other delicious items on the menu.

20. Tuscan-Grilled Chicken

If you're looking for one of the plainest, most uninspiring meals on the menu, then we've got you covered with the Tuscan-grilled chicken. There's so much that's wrong with this meal that it's hard to know where to start. First of all, the meal begins with a very basic chicken breast. This is quite possibly the least delicious cut of chicken because it's so lean and therefore pretty flavorless. If you're watching your cholesterol, that's not exactly a bad thing. However, if you actually want to enjoy your chicken-eating experience, it kind of is. Then, they grilled the chicken, but that doesn't seem to add much flavor to the dish at all.

Lest you think seasonings will save the day, the olive oil and herbs on the chicken are doing the bare minimum here. Without them, this dish would be utterly tasteless. With them, it's just slightly better than nothing. Basically, you can make a better grilled chicken breast at your own home if that's what you really feel like eating.

When you go out to eat, it's probably because you want something a little bit indulgent, especially something that you can't easily make at home. So why bother with the Tuscan-grilled chicken from Carrabba's? There are better chicken dishes out there waiting for you, so leave this one in the dust where it belongs.

19. Cannoli Cake for Two

When you go out on a date night, you may decide to go all out and order some dessert after your main course. That's a great idea, especially if you love the thought of ending your meal with something sweet. And if you decide you want to split something with your date, then you might opt for the cannoli cake for two. That may seem like a great idea at first — after all, it's right there in the name — but when this massive slice of cake finally reaches your table, you may start to regret your decision.

The first thing you'll notice about this slice of cake is the fact that it's absolutely huge. While they say that it's enough for two people, we think that you could order this for a family of four and everyone would still get their fair share.

But it's not just the size of the cake that's a turn-off. More importantly, the taste is really lacking. As you can probably expect, this cannoli is incredibly sweet. Just imagine the sugar-heavy flavor of cannoli. Then, imagine that someone has decided to turn it into a cake for some reason, making it even sweeter and heavier.

There are lots of different desserts on the menu at Carrabba's, so maybe try one of those before you succumb to the siren call of the cannoli cake for two.

18. Salmon Saporito

When you first read the description of the salmon saporito off the Carrabba's menu, you may think that it sounds delicious. It's wood-grilled salmon that's been topped with crab meat along with lemon butter, spinach, basil, and diced tomatoes. You then get to choose a side to go with it. Sounds like a pretty solid meal, right?

But words don't always do the real thing justice, as is the case with this salmon dish when it finally makes its way to your table. The salmon itself is quite dry, so don't think that you're getting that moist, flaky texture you were probably expecting. And while we like the idea of adding crab meat on top, in reality, the two different types of seafood are a random and slightly confusing mixture at best. At worst, it's a waste of both unique flavors. The lemon butter is delicious, obviously, and the veggies at least add some freshness to the dish. But overall, the salmon saporito isn't terribly exciting. What's more, it could be a lot better if it were prepared differently.

Our advice? Just go for one of the different salmon dishes on the menu if you have to, and you'll probably end up happier.

17. Tuscan-Grilled Pork Chop

When you go to an Italian restaurant, there are several different types of iconic classics you could choose from. Pizza? Of course. Pasta? Obviously. Even steak? Sure, go for it. But what you probably don't think of when dining at an Italian or Italian-American place is a pork chop. At Carrabba's, though, you do have the option of ordering a Tuscan-grilled pork chop if that's really what you're into. But our advice? You should still skip it in favor of something else.

Why? It's all about the taste. This pork chop is suffering from a massive lack of flavor. Sure, the actual meat tastes better than the chicken breast in the Tuscan-grilled chicken, but that's really the only improvement here. The seasonings on the pork chop are so subtle that you can barely taste anything at all. Perhaps that's why you can choose to order your pork chop with a side of sauce (of which there are a few different options) in an attempt to liven up the plate. When you have a chunk of meat that's as boring and as bland as this pork chop, it makes sense that you would want to add something on top.

To be fair, we love a good pork chop, and we've definitely had worse than the Tuscan-grilled pork chop from Carrabba's in our day. But it still can't even come close to the restaurant's best dishes.

16. Mozzarella Marinara

Finally, here comes a menu item that doesn't taste bad at all. In reality, the mozzarella marinara from Carrabba's is actually pretty tasty. While it may have a different shape to make it look fancier than some other fried mozzarella varieties, it's really just your normal fried mozzarella stick that's served with a dish of marinara sauce on the side. And really, when it comes to flavor, how can you go wrong with fried cheese? It's going to taste good no matter what. It's definitely a solid order for the table, especially if you have kids.

However, would we order it at Carrabba's? Probably not. That's because Carrabba's has a fantastic selection of appetizers, where you can get dishes that you won't find at many other chain restaurants. And because of that, you'll want to take advantage of all of those options. Considering that you can get mozzarella sticks seemingly anywhere (including from the freezer section of your local grocery store), we don't think they're the best option at Carrabba's.

Of course, nobody is going to stop you if this is truly the appetizer you want! But just make sure to peruse the starter side of the menu fully before you settle on the mozzarella marinara. You may be surprised at what catches your eye instead.

15. Chicken Marsala

When you think about your favorite dishes that are cooked in wine, what first comes to mind? If you're like a lot of people, you think about chicken marsala. In this classic dish, chicken is covered in a rich red wine sauce that lends both flavor and moisture to an otherwise plain hunk of meat. It's a common enough meal, but it's still not one that you'll see at every Italian restaurant.

If you really want to try this meal, then you have the option of ordering it at Carrabba's. However, we don't think that their chicken marsala is the best of the best. Mostly, it comes down to the chicken itself. This cut of meat is super dry, which doesn't exactly make you want to swoop in for another bite. The fact that it's covered in sauce definitely helps with the texture and moisture issues, but it doesn't make up for the fact that the chicken just isn't that good to begin with.

Still, we at least have to hand it to Carrabba's for the sauce in this recipe, which is enhanced with the addition of savory, umami-rich sliced mushrooms. We just wish that we could order it without the chicken!

14. Tuscan-Grilled Sirloin

By now, you should have already figured out how we feel about the Tuscan-grilled meats at Carrabba's. Generally, they're not our favorite. The best of the bunch, though, is the Tuscan-grilled sirloin. It's basically just your average seven-ounce sirloin steak. There's nothing particularly exciting about it, but you can't really go wrong with a good steak if you're craving a hearty dinner. Are there better steaks out there in the world? Of course. Is this a bit of an odd choice when you're eating at an Italian-style place? Yes. But this one will do if you just happen to find yourself at Carrabba's and are still craving steak. We wouldn't make any special trips for it, though.

That being said, you also have the option to add sauce to your sirloin. Even though it would add some flavor, we're going to give that a serious thumbs down. That's because these sauces weren't made with steak in mind, so they're likely to be too rich and heavy to complement the meat well. If you do have to add a topping, the somewhat lighter Sicilian butter is probably your best bet.

13. Grilled Asparagus

Who doesn't love a good side dish to complement the rest of your meal? There are several entrees at Carrabba's that require you to pick a side, so it's smart to have a few ideas on standby. One of those is the asparagus. This wood-grilled asparagus is fresh and green and still has a little snap to it, meaning it's not cooked to death. The tips of the stalks offer the slightest bit of crunch, which is just what we're looking for in an appealing asparagus dish. What's more, it's just salty enough to be satisfying without overwhelming the taste of everything else on the table.

However, you shouldn't get too excited just yet. While this is a solid side, there are much better, more interesting sides you can choose from. This is, after all, just some asparagus. It's cooked well, but it's nothing you couldn't do yourself at home. Give it a try if you're in the mood for something on the fresher side, but don't expect it to absolutely blow you away — there are other side dishes on the menu that will do the heavy lifting in that regard.

12. Tiramisu

We all love going out to eat, but does it really count if you don't order dessert after you've finished with your entree? Generally speaking, we think that ordering dessert is a fantastic idea, assuming you've got the room left for a treat. You may be skipping over the cannoli cake for two, but what about the tiramisu? This subtle dessert is a classic at Italian restaurants, and it's clear why. Tiramisu, when done right, is rich and satisfying, but the flavor isn't so strong that it will knock you over. In fact, it's held up very well as a popular dessert even in the age of less-sweet treats after dinner.

So, what do we think about the tiramisu at Carrabba's? Well, if you've had your share of tiramisu before, you're probably not going to be terribly impressed by this particular offering. Don't expect the kind of quality you'd get if you were to wander into some tucked-away Roman cafe or a beloved neighborhood Italian-American eatery. But as far as chain restaurant desserts go, it's still pretty tasty. Compared to some of the other desserts on the menu, the tiramisu is easy to eat, and the flavor isn't overwhelming. And if you already love tiramisu already, it can't hurt to order it again.

11. Mahi Wulfe

Are you one of those people who wants to love seafood but can't always get down with the shrimp, clam, or lobster? Or perhaps you just want something a little different every once in a while. If you're interested in ordering seafood but want to go for something that's milder and more approachable, you may want to opt for the mahi wulfe at Carrabba's. This lightly breaded and grilled mahi-mahi is mild but still surprisingly flavorful. It has a lovely texture to it from the breading and is topped with a ton of delicious ingredients, including sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes. Then, it's drizzled all over with a basil lemon butter sauce for good measure. Sounds pretty fantastic, right?

Yet, we must admit that this is not the best seafood dish on the menu. It's certainly not bad, but there are better seafood options at Carrabba's. If you're looking for a meal that's a good middle ground between landlubber and full-on fisherman, then the mahi wulfe is a pretty good place to start. Order it with your favorite side of veggies or even fries for an elevated fish and chips experience.

10. Rigatoni Martino

Looking for a pasta dish that's not going to be packed with meat? Then try the rigatoni martino, which is practically perfect for the dedicated pasta lover. Of course, as the name implies, the base for this dish is rigatoni pasta, but the sauteed mushrooms are doing a lot of the heavy lifting here when it comes to flavor. The sun-dried tomatoes add a burst of sweet and rich umami goodness, and soon you'll see why this one is a winner. A sprinkling of Parmesan and Romano cheese on top adds even more deliciousness to the situation.

Our only real complaint about this meal is the tomato cream sauce. We wish it were brighter and more tomato-forward, but we mostly got a lot of rather dull creaminess from it. While it's definitely not bad, some acidity could have made a big difference here and really elevated the entire meal.

All in all, though, this is a delicious pasta dish that vegetarians and meat-eaters alike are sure to enjoy. As long as you like mushrooms, we can pretty much guarantee that you're going to want to order this menu item again.

9. Eggplant Parmesan

Listen, we know that eggplant Parmesan isn't always good. It's one of those foods that's pretty easy to mess up if you don't know how to cook it well, namely because eggplant is a notoriously tricky veggie to work with. It's like a sponge, soaking up any kind of liquid that's close to it for better or for worse. So achieving a nicely crispy eggplant slice isn't always the easiest task. Luckily, the eggplant Parmesan you'll find at Carrabba's gets the job done right.

The breading on this eggplant Parmesan is nice and crispy, forming a thick layer on the veggie slices. The eggplant medallions are then covered in a hearty marinara sauce and layers of bubbly, browned cheese. Get it with a side of pasta or some veggies, and you have a filling meal that tastes fantastic.

Have we had better eggplant Parmesan before? Sure. But the stuff this chain restaurant serves up is still pretty impressive, so you should give it a try if it sounds like something you would like.

8. Sauteed Spinach

Sometimes, you just want to stick to the basics. That's especially true when you're trying to eat a greater variety of healthy meals or even just trying to fit more veggies into your diet. If you're looking for a solid side option that will offer flavor with all the simplicity you want, then you can't go wrong with a serving of sauteed spinach. Now, this may be surprising. Sauteed spinach does sound like something you would have turned your nose up as a kid. But, the truth is that you're an adult now, so you may want to change your mind and give this classic side another try.

At Carrabba's this spinach is prepared with plenty of garlic and olive oil, which means that it's practically dripping with flavor. The garlic provides the perfect assertive flavor for an otherwise plain veggie, while the oil adds just enough fat to improve the texture and make this spinach something you'll genuinely crave. Of course, it's still spinach, so it doesn't have the wow factor that other sides or full meals on this list will bring.

While there are some dishes that specifically come with sides, you don't have to order one of those just to get the sauteed spinach. That is to say, you can add a side dish to any one of the other entrees you choose. That way, you don't have to miss out what is actually some top-notch spinach.

7. Lobster Ravioli

For the seafood lover, Carrabba's is a pretty great place to be. This restaurant serves up a wide variety of seafood dishes, so you'll be able to find something delicious, whether you prefer a hunk of fish on its own or you would rather eat your seafood mixed in with some pasta. And speaking about pasta dishes, you can't get much better than the lobster ravioli at Carrabba's. If you love the flavor of lobster but can't deal with all the hard work required when you get a full lobster, then this is the dish for you.

The ravioli is stuffed with both lobster and romano cheese. That's an ideal combination because the rich flavor of the cheese is fused with the distinct taste of lobster. Since lobster itself has a mild flavor, it can work well with bolder, creamier flavors like romano. The ravioli is then doused in a white wine cream sauce.

The only parts of this dish that we find a bit random are the chopped tomatoes that come on top. We love that they add a touch of freshness and a pop of color to the dish, but they're rather unnecessary from a flavor standpoint, adding very little other than some visual appeal. Of course, this means that they don't affect the taste that much, so this is still very much a must-try dish if you're a fan of lobster.

6. Johnny Rocco Salad

Unfortunately, it's not always easy to find a good salad at a chain restaurant. All too often, you're left with the choice of a boring, uninspired chef's salad or a sad, wilted Caesar salad. No wonder so many people think of salad as boring health food. But if you're at Carrabba's and you're looking for a delicious mix of greens and protein, you're in luck. That's because you'll have the opportunity to order the Johnny Rocco salad.

What makes this salad special, you may ask? Well, it all starts with a bed of romaine lettuce. On top of that, you'll find a mix of salty kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, and rich ricotta salata. The stars of the show, though, are the wood-grilled shrimp and the sea scallops that are then added to the dish. While this seafood may be light, it adds a ton of flavor to this salad and plenty of protein, to boot. Moreover, the freshness of the seafood is a perfect match for such a light salad. But by the time you finish it all, there's an excellent chance that you're going to be pretty happy.

5. Veal Piccata

It's always fun to try something new. And even if you're a regular at your local Carrabba's, there's a good chance that you haven't yet tried the restaurant's veal piccata. It's a relatively new item on the menu, but it's definitely worth a try if you want one of the best entrees from the restaurant. 

Wondering just what veal piccata entails? Basically, they take cuts of veal and lightly dust them in flour, then saute them to perfection. The veal gets nice and browned, but still remains moist and tender, which is exactly what you want from a dish like this.

While the veal is plenty tasty, the lemon and butter sauce does a lot of the heavy lifting here as well. The veal is on the heavier side, so the addition of lemon into the recipe does a lot to brighten it all up. It's all topped off with some briny capers and bright, herbal parsley. The capers add an amazing layer of saltiness to the dish that seriously takes it to the next level. And with parsley in the mix too, it tastes surprisingly fresh considering that the veal picatta is a dish of red meat covered in butter.

4. Four-Cheese and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Can't decide what kind of appetizer to get when you go to Carrabba's? If you're really flummoxed, then we ask that you consider the four-cheese and sausage stuffed mushrooms. Of course, if you don't like mushrooms, this may not be a hit in your book. But for the rest of us, it's absolutely amazing. When you order it, you're going to get a dish that's filled with four rather large button mushrooms. These aren't just any mushrooms, though. They've been stuffed with four different types of cheese: ricotta, mozzarella, romano, and Parmesan. There's also a smattering of sausage and some spinach in there as well, boosting the richness of this menu item. If that weren't enough, breadcrumbs are then sprinkled over the top of the mushrooms to give them a crispy, crunchy topping once they come out of the oven.

It all comes together in these cute, perfectly sized little bites that you can easily snack on while waiting for your main meal to come out. It's not a lot of food, though, so this may not be the best dish to split with a huge table. But if it's just you and one other person, you should definitely order them.

3. Tomato Caprese with Fresh Burrata

What do you do when you want something light and fresh to start your meal? Find the tomato Caprese with fresh burrata on the menu. We think that this is by far one of the best dishes at Carrabba's. It may be simple, but simplicity is a beautiful thing when done right. And when it comes to this Caprese, it's definitely right.

Here, fresh, flavorful tomatoes are paired with crunchy red onions and bathed in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. Fresh basil adds some greenery to the dish, but the burrata cheese is probably the most impressive part. Instead of a Caprese with sliced tomatoes and cheese, this one just comes with all of the cheese right in the center. This allows everyone at your table to cut a slice and transfer it to their own plate.

A good Caprese salad is one of the many joys of going to an Italian restaurant, so definitely order it the next time you're at Carrabba's.

2. Cozze in Bianco

We love oysters and clams, but when it comes to bivalves, we really can't get enough mussels. You don't see them on every menu, which is why we were so excited to find them at Carrabba's. And if you're not well-acquainted with mussels, the cozze in bianco appetizer at Carrabba's is a great place to start, with top-quality Prince Edward Island mussels.

The juicy, plump mussels are cooked in a bath of lemon butter sauce and wine. This is a very common preparation method for mussels, which makes them taste absolutely delicious. They take on the flavors of the wine and the butter exceptionally well, so even if you don't like seafood, these things are still worth a try. There's also some fresh basil in the mix to give it a lovely herbaceous quality that you might not expect but will surely love once you take your first bite.

1. Linguine Pescatore

Seafood (and pasta) lovers, we have just the thing for you. This dish is basically your dream come true if you can't decide what kind of seafood you want for dinner. It's the linguine pescatore, and it really is something special. When you order it, you'll get shrimp, scallops, and mussels all mixed together and sitting atop a bed of linguine. The best part is the fact that it's all dressed in a spicy marinara sauce.

We love seafood, we love pasta, and we love everything spicy. So how could we not fall head over heels for the linguine pescatore? For a pasta dish, it's on the lighter side because you're working with seafood and not heavier cuts of meat. Plus, we love that this entree is absent of the heavy and oftentimes dull cream sauce you'd see in a lot of other seafood dishes.

If we had to choose one dish from Carrabba's for you to try, it would be the linguine pescatore. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try soon.