Emma Crist
September 14, 2016

Photo: Lynne Gilbert / Getty Images

Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Pass is back, starting tomorrow. Yes, I said all-you-can-eat pasta. As if  you weren't getting more Olive Garden than you can handle with their serving sizes alone, you can go next level with unlimited pasta, bread sticks, salad, and soda if you're lucky enough to claim one of the highly-coveted passes this year.

For a fee of $100, you can carbo-load to the max daily at any Olive Garden restaurant from October 3 to November 20--that's 7 straight weeks. Repeat, you can eat unlimited OG 7 days a week for 7 weeks. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a bear and consume enough calories to keep you insulated and alive while you sleep through the winter, Olive Garden is here to help.

This is the 21st year that Olive Garden has rolled out their fall promotion.[Remember the great tragedy of  2014 when their site crashed before the passes even went on sale? Yeah, me either.] Last year, the chain offered 2,000 passes, which sold out in one second. One. Freaking. Second. But this year... Oh, this year is a big year. This year, they're offering 10 times the passes--21,000 passes to be exact. Man, 2016--what a time to be alive.

How do you get a pasta pass?

So if you want to attempt to be one of the golden pass-holders, they go on sale on Olive Garden's website at 2pm ET on Thursday, September 15. Ready your engines, folks.

Now, you're likely in one of two camps while you read this. Either you've already got September 15th circled on your calendar, or you're completely and utterly horrified. I fall into the latter category.

While I'm all for saving money by hopping onto restaurant deals and special offers, this is a bit much. And before you discredit me as some sort of health weirdo, I'm all for indulging in a heaping bowl of pasta every so often--so no judgment there. But I can't bring myself to believe that eating what Olive Garden is trying to feed you more than like twice in a seven week period is good for anyone--even if it is a "good deal."

So before I blatantly offend anyone, let me offer an alternative plan of action. Here are some of our favorite hearty pasta dishes that you can enjoy all autumn long for a fraction of the calories and price. Bonus points for maintaining your dignity.

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Green Garlic

Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole

Bacon and Butternut Pasta

Baked Mac and Cheese

Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Spaghetti

 

And for you Olive Garden-obsessed (seriously, I'm not hatin', I know it's a thing), we cracked the secret recipe for their famous Zuppa Toscana so you can have unlimited enjoyment of that at home too. Here you go, and you're welcome.

 

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