You can enjoy an endless salad bowl, with homemade Olive Garden dressing, any time with this easy copycat Olive Garden Salad recipe!
Unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks: The delicious promise that brought us all to Olive Garden for lunches and dinners so many times.
I’ve perfected my copycat recipe for Olive Garden Breadsticks, and I have a few Olive Garden Soups for you to make, but up until now, I haven’t shared a recipe for the salad! I’ve been testing different things, and I’m now certain that this is the best copycat Olive Garden Salad recipe!
Fresh, crisp lettuce merges with flavorful tomatoes, pepperoncini, and black olives in a delicious Olive Garden Italian dressing, and is topped off with crispy croutons and as much parmesan cheese as you like! Do you know how the server grates the cheese until you say “when”? I love that part!
Love the salad tongs that you see in the image above? They’re my favorite and just like the ones they use at OG! Find them here.
Want to try an authentic Italian Salad? Make Panzanella Salad or Caprese!
Olive Garden Salad Ingredients
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Lettuce: You can use iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, or a mix of both to make an Olive Garden Salad. Crisp lettuce is key. Chop your lettuce into easy to eat pieces.
- Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes are the perfect choice to replicate this restaurant favorite, but feel free to use other types of fresh tomatoes as well.
- Red Onion: Thinly sliced red onion adds crunch and a spicy bite.
- Pepperoncini: These spicy pickled peppers are either your favorite part of Olive Garden Salad, or you don’t really like them. The great news is that you can leave them out if you aren’t a fan! I love the vinegary flavor that they add.
- Black Olives: Whole black olives from a can work perfectly here.
- Croutons: If at all possible, I highly suggest that you make fresh croutons for this salad. They are so much tastier than the bagged kind! Follow my recipe for Homemade Croutons, or make Air Fryer Croutons.
- Olive Garden Italian Dressing: You can buy this in a bottle, but I have a recipe for making Olive Garden Dressing at home that is just perfect and easy to mix up.
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated will give you the best flavor. Avoid buying pre-shredded parmesan because nothing beats the flavor of a block of parmesan that you shred just for your salad!
How to Make Olive Garden Salad
- Mix it up: In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pepperoncini, olives, and croutons.
- Toss: Toss the salad in the bowl, then dress with the Italian dressing and toss again.
- Serve: Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the salad and serve with breadsticks.
Chill the salad bowl before you make your salad to keep it nice and cold.
What to Serve with Olive Garden Salad
This copycat Olive Garden Salad needs to be enjoyed with other Olive Garden Favorites!
With Soup: Be sure to make up my Olive Garden Breadsticks first. Then choose one of these delicious soups: Instant Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup, Pasta e Fagioli Soup, or Zuppa Toscana.
With Pasta: I have so many pasta recipes for you to choose from, but start with one of my favorites like Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta, Lasagna Roll-Ups, or Pasta with Alfredo Sauce.
With Any Dinner: A delicious Italian salad goes with just about any meal. If everyone’s hungry, make a Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken and Boursin Mashed Potatoes, or Tuscan Salmon with Garlic Buttered Pasta.
It’s all about the dressing! Be sure to use my recipe for making Olive Garden Italian dressing from scratch. Nothing else will give you the same experience.
If that works for you, then absolutely! If you want a mix of Romaine and Iceberg, look for bagged lettuce labeled “American Salad”.
Pepperoncini are considered a mild pepper. When pickled, they keep their spice and take on a vinegary flavor too. With jarred pepperoncini, you may find that some brands are spicier than others. I suggest tasting one to check how hot your jar of peppers is.
Enjoy this copycat Olive Garden Salad recipe! Come back and let me know how your family loved it.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
Olive Garden Salad
- 6 cups chopped lettuce romaine or iceberg
- 2 Roma tomatoes sliced
- ½ cup red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup pepperoncini peppers whole
- ½ cup black olives whole
- 1 cup croutons
- ½ batch Olive Garden Dressing about 5 ounces, 150ml in total.
- ¼ cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pepperoncini, olives, and croutons.
- Toss the salad in the bowl, then dress with the Italian dressing and toss again.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the salad and serve with breadsticks.
- You can chill the salad bowl before you make your salad to keep it nice and cold.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen
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