Olive salad recipe

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Every time I go to the Olive Garden, I order their minestrone soup, chicken shrimp, and of course I have a generous portion of their famous salad. In my opinion, this homemade version is even better than the one you'd get at the restaurant.

Olive Garden is a popular restaurant for good reason: who can resist all those hearty and cheesy Italian food options? My favorite part of eating at Olive Garden has to be the soup and the salad. I learned how to make this salad at home, and it turns out it's pretty simple to make!

How is the Olive Garden salad made?

This recipe starts with a bag of iceberg lettuce mix, which contains the lettuce along with carrots and some red cabbage. Lettuce goes into a bowl along with tomatoes, olives, pepperoncini, red onion, croutons, and Parmesan cheese. The last step is to pour your homemade dressing on top, mix, and then serve.

Tips for the perfect salad.

  • It is more 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 of grated carrots for the same effect.
  • I use a mandolin to finely chop my red onions for this recipe.
  • The dressing recipe produces enough salads for 2-3 days. You can store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • I like to use shaved parmesan in this recipe because it resists the other ingredients and dressing well, but in the restaurant they often use grated cheese. You can use the variety that you prefer.
  • This salad is best served right away as the croutons will soften as they sit in the dressing.
  • If you want to prepare the salad in advance, you can prepare the dressing 3 days before planning to use it. Put your lettuce in a bowl along with all the other salad ingredients except the croutons. Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Add croutons and dressing just when ready to serve salad.

Olive salad variations

This salad is the classic version you'd get at the restaurant, but sometimes I like to add other ingredients to the mix to make it even more special.

  • Protein: Top your salad with grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak to make it a main dish.
  • Vegetables: I like to add other vegetables like roasted red peppers, artichokes, and marinated cucumbers.
  • Beans: Try adding 1/2 cup of canned chickpeas or white beans to your salad.
  • Cheese: Add some mini mozzarella balls or fontina cheese cubes for a fun touch.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Olive Garden salad dressing has a fairly long list of ingredients, but it combines in just minutes. The base of this dressing is a package of Italian dressing mix, which is mixed with olive oil, vinegar and many seasonings. A little mayonnaise adds a creamy texture. I make a bottle of this dressing at the beginning of the week and pour it over salads all week.

There's no need to set foot in Olive Garden when you can make this legendary salad in the comfort of your home!

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More Italian favorites

  • Carbonara Pasta
  • Zuchini's Lasagna
  • Alfredo Baked Chicken
  • Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce
  • Caprese chicken

Olive Garden Salad Video

Olive garden salad

This Olive Garden salad recipe is a restaurant copy of your favorite with lettuce, tomato, olives, onion, and croutons, all mixed with a creamy Italian dressing. Serve this salad as a hearty dish or add a little grilled chicken to make it a meal!

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1 minute Total time: 21 minutes

Servings: 6 Calories: 167kcal


For the salad

  • 12 oz bag of iceberg salad mix
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced ​​red onion
  • 1/2 cup whole pepperoncini peppers
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 3/4 cup croutons
  • 1/4 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

For the dressing

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


For the salad

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

For the dressing

  • Beat all ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour 2/3 cup dressing over salad. Mix to combine, then serve.


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

Olive salad recipe

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