This Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipe with Olive Garden dressing is easy to make with commonly found ingredients and tastes like it comes from your favorite Italian restaurant. Pair it with pasta and or soup and breadsticks for an easy meal the whole family loves!
Easy Olive Garden Salad
If you're a fan of Olive Garden's famous house salad, you will love this copycat recipe. It's made with iceberg lettuce, juicy tomatoes, olives, red onion slices, pepperoncinis and croutons. To keep this salad easy to make at home, I use a bottle of Olive Garden salad dressing rather than homemade dressing -- super simple!
Making this delicious salad in the comfort of your own home is perfect when you don't feel like going out. It really does taste like the famous salad at OG! I like to serve it with pasta, especially Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta.
If you want to recreate unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks, serve it with homemade Zuppa Toscana or a bowl of your favorite soup. I either serve it with homemade garlic bread or pick up some of the OG's breadsticks to heat up at home.
You can find the simple ingredients in your grocery store. Full amounts are in the printable recipe card below.
- Lettuce -- I use iceberg lettuce and a package of salad mix containing sliced carrots and purple cabbage. This is closest to what you get at OG, but you can use romaine lettuce or your favorite lettuce.
- Roma Tomatoes -- Slice them horizontally. You can sub cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes if that's wha you have.
- Black olives
- Pepperoncini peppers -- I use whole peppers, but you can used sliced peppers or banana peppers.
- Red onion -- Thinly sliced
- Parmesan cheese -- I love freshly grated Parmesan in this recipe
- Dressing -- You can make homemade Olive Garden dressing, but the store-bought creamy Italian dressing tastes exactly like the restaurant version. Plus, it's all about easy! I usually grab a double pack at Costco when I can.
- Croutons -- We love large, thick crunchy croutons in this salad, but any type of crouton will work.
How to Make Olive Garden Copycat Salad
First, wash and prep your ingredients. Make sure to dry your lettuce very well. Add the lettuce to a large bowl. Then, add the fresh vegetables, croutons and a little Parm.
Pour in a small amount of dressing. I like to pour it on the side of the salad bowl and then mix all of the ingredients together. This adds flavor without overpowering the salad. People can add more dressing and a little black pepper as they like.
Can You Store Leftover Salad?
Unfortunately, this salad does not store well and will become soggy a couple of hours after you make it. If you want to make the salad ahead of time, leave out the croutons and dressing until ready to serve.
Use fresh crisp lettuce for best results. No one likes a soggy salad! You can even chill the salad bowl to keep ingredients nice and cold when serving.
Make the salad right before you plan to serve it for maximum freshness. You can prep the ingredients earlier, but don't add them together until right before you eat.
Add a small amount of dressing before serving and allow folks to add more to taste.
If you have picky eaters, don't chop the onions too small. This way, they can pick out what they don't want. Same goes for the pepperoncini and olives. Take it from a mom who has been there and done that!
More Easy Salad Recipes
Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipe
- 1 medium iceberg lettuce chopped into bites-sized pieces
- 1 small bag salad mix iceberg or romaine
- 2 small Roma tomatoes sliced horizontally
- ½ small red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup black olives
- 8 pepperoncini peppers
- 1 cup large croutons
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese finely shredded
- 2 tablespoons Olive Garden Salad Dressing
- Add the lettuce to a large bowl
- Top with fresh veggies, croutons and cheese
- Pour salad dressing along side of salad bowl
- Toss everything together, and serve immediately
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
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