Olive Garden Salad Recipe (2024)

This Olive Garden salad recipe is a copycat of the restaurant favorite with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, onion and croutons, all tossed with a creamy Italian dressing. Serve this salad as a hearty side dish, or add some grilled chicken to make it a meal!

Whenever I go to Olive Garden, I order their Zuppa Toscana, minestrone soup, chicken scampi and of course have a generous helping of their famous salad. In my opinion, this homemade version is even better than what you’d get at the restaurant.

Olive Garden Salad Recipe (1)

Olive Garden is a popular restaurant for good reason – who can resist all those hearty, cheesy Italian food options? My favorite part of eating at Olive Garden has to be the soup and salad. I’ve learned to make copycat recipes like Olive Garden salad at home, and it happens to be quite simple to make! This salad recipe pairs well with so many different main course options, including favorites such as chicken primavera, lemon thyme chicken, pan seared chicken breast, and chicken with spinach artichoke pasta.

Table of Contents

  • Olive Garden Salad Ingredients
  • How Do You Make Olive Garden Salad?
  • Tips For The Perfect Salad
  • Quick Tip
  • Olive Garden Salad Variations
  • Recipe FAQs
  • Olive Garden Salad Dressing
  • More Italian Favorites
  • Olive Garden Salad Video
  • Love This Recipe?
  • Olive Garden Salad Recipe

Olive Garden Salad Ingredients

To make this salad, you will need iceberg salad mix, tomatoes, red onion, pepperoncini peppers, black olives, croutons and parmesan cheese. The dressing is made with Italian dressing mix, extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, water, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and mayonnaise.

How Do You Make Olive Garden Salad?

This recipe starts with a bag of iceberg lettuce mix, which contains the lettuce along with carrots and a little red cabbage. The lettuce goes into a bowl along with tomatoes, olives, pepperoncini, red onion, crunchy croutons and parmesan cheese. Whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined. The final step is to pour your homemade dressing over the top, toss, then serve.

Olive Garden Salad Recipe (2)

Tips For The Perfect Salad

  • It’s most convenient to buy a bag of pre-prepared iceberg lettuce mix, but you can cut your own lettuce if you prefer, and mix it with 1/4 cup shredded carrots to get the same effect.
  • I use a mandoline to thinly slice my red onions for this recipe.
  • I like to use shaved parmesan in this recipe because it stands up well to the other ingredients and the dressing, but at the restaurant they often use grated cheese. You can use whichever variety you prefer.
  • This salad is best served immediately as the croutons will soften as they sit in the dressing.
  • If you’re looking to assemble the salad in advance, you can prepare the dressing 3 days before you plan to use it. Store the dressing in a jar or airtight container. Place your lettuce in a bowl along with all the other salad ingredients except for the croutons. Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Add the croutons and dressing just as you’re ready to serve the salad.

Quick Tip

The dressing recipe makes enough for 2-3 day’s worth of salads. You can store any leftover dressing in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Olive Garden Salad Recipe (3)

Olive Garden Salad Variations

This salad is the classic version that you’d get at the restaurant, but sometimes I like to add other ingredients to the mix to make it even more special. It’s easy to customize the flavors to your taste!

  • Protein: Top your salad with grilled chicken breast, garlic butter shrimp or grilled flank steak.
  • Vegetables: I like to add other veggies such as roasted red peppers, green olives, corn, marinated artichokes and cucumbers. You can also use cherry tomatoes instead of Roma tomatoes. Try romaine hearts instead of iceberg lettuce!
  • Beans: Try adding 1/2 cup of canned chickpeas or white beans to your salad.
  • Cheese: Add some mini mozzarella balls or cubes of fontina cheese for a fun twist.
Olive Garden Salad Recipe (4)

Recipe FAQs

What is Olive Garden salad made of?

Olive Garden salad starts with a base of iceberg lettuce, and contains tomatoes, olives, cheese, croutons, red onions and pepperoncini peppers.

What kind of dressing does Olive Garden use?

Olive Garden uses a creamy Italian dressing for its signature salad. This dressing is made with olive oil, white wine vinegar, plenty of seasonings and mayonnaise.

How long does Olive Garden salad last?

This salad is best when consumed within 2 hours of preparation. If you’re making extra salad to have some for another night, store the lettuce, vegetables in cheese in one container, and add the dressing and croutons right before serving.

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Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Olive Garden salad dressing has a fairly long ingredient list, but it comes together in just minutes. The base of this dressing is a packet of Italian dressing mix. The dressing mix is blended with olive oil, vinegar and plenty of seasonings. A bit of mayonnaise adds a creamy texture. I make a bottle of this dressing at the beginning of the week and pour it over salads for days.

Olive Garden Salad Recipe (5)

There’s no need to set foot in Olive Garden when you can make this legendary salad in the at home! Serve up a full Italian meal, or use this salad to round out other main course options such as chicken and rice bake, sausage and rice casserole and one pot chicken with tomato basil risotto. You’ll find yourself making this versatile salad all the time.

More Italian Favorites

Olive Garden Salad Video

Love This Recipe?

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5 from 42 votes

Olive Garden Salad

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AuthorSara Welch

Olive Garden Salad Recipe (11)

This Olive Garden salad recipe is a copycat of the restaurant favorite with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, onion and croutons, all tossed with a creamy Italian dressing. Serve this salad as a hearty side dish, or add some grilled chicken to make it a meal!

Time

Prep Time20 minutes minutes

Cook Time1 minute minute

Total Time21 minutes minutes

Course Salad

Cuisine Italian

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 12 ounce bag iceberg salad mix
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini peppers whole
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 3/4 cup croutons
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded or shaved

For the dressing

  • 1 packet Italian dressing mix
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Instructions

For the salad

  • Place the salad mix, tomatoes, red onion, pepperoncini, olives, croutons and parmesan in a large bowl.

For the dressing

  • Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.

  • Pour 2/3 cup dressing over the salad. Toss to combine, then serve.

Notes

  1. The dressing recipe makes enough for 2-3 day’s worth of salads. You can store any leftover dressing in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  2. I like to use shaved parmesan in this recipe because it stands up well to the other ingredients and the dressing, but at the restaurant they often use grated cheese. You can use whichever variety you prefer.
  3. This salad is best served immediately as the croutons will soften as they sit in the dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe?Tag @dinneratthezoo on Instagram and hashtag it #dinneratthezoo

Originally Posted January 11, 2024

CategoriesItalian Food Salads Vegetarian Dishes

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