Olive Garden Salad

by Erin on May 22, 2009

This is a delicious salad recipe that my friend Katherine passed on to me. Plan on making the croutons yourself. They are incredibly easy. I’m serious. And completely 100% worth the extra 4 or 5 minutes of prep. I used some focaccia bread that I bought that was a few days old. This bread that didn’t taste fresh anymore made fantastic croutons. (Any bread would work – artisan bread, french bread, ciabatta, and of course sandwich bread… I’ve even tried homemade english muffin bread and it was great!)
Any don’t be alarmed with the long list of ingredients. It’s really easy! :)

Olive Garden Salad
submitted by Erin ~ The Sisters Cafe 

Olive Garden Salad Dressing:
½ c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tb. corn syrup
2 Tb. Parmesan cheese
2 Tb. Romano cheese
¼ tsp garlic salt – or one clove garlic, minced
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp parsley flakes
1 Tb. lemon juice
Salad:
1 large head romaine lettuce
slices red onion
black olives
2-4 banana peppers
2 small tomatoes, quartered
½ c. croutons
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Homemade Croutons:
4 slices sandwich bread
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tb. butter
salt and pepper
dried parsley flakes
For the salad:
Chill one salad bowl in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Put lettuce in bowl. Place on top of lettuce red onions, black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, and croutons. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you like, and add plenty of Olive Garden Salad Dressing on top.|
For the salad dressing:
Mix all dressing ingredients in a blender until well mixed. If this is a little too tart for your own personal tastes, add a little extra sugar.
For the homemade croutons:
Cut off crusts of sandwich bread, and cut bread into cubes. Melt butter in small saucepan and add minced garlic. Toss sandwich cubes in the butter and spread out in a pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper and parsley flakes to taste. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°, turning half way through baking.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kara May 22, 2009 at 4:14 pm

This looks so yummy that I can hardly stand it! I love homemade salads and dressing, especially during the summer. YUM!

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2 Elyse May 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm

This salad looks so darn delicious! And those croutons. I just want to snack on them right this instant. Foccacia always makes the best croutons!!

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3 Julie Summerhays May 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for posting this recipe – I am going to try in next week – I LOVE that salad…

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4 Melanie Anne May 22, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Mmm Erin this looks so good!! I LOVE homemade croutons too!

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5 teresa May 23, 2009 at 10:27 am

Oh yum, I could go to Olive Garden and eat five bowls of their salad adn be perfectly happy. I’ll be trying this soon!

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6 Brittany May 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm

WOw that looks way better than even the real thing! :) can’t wait to try it!!

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7 Maria May 23, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Looks like a great salad!

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8 Reeni♥ May 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Home-made croutons are the best! I love a good salad, and this looks delicious!

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9 Bunny May 25, 2009 at 6:42 am

Salad season is definetly here and this one just fits the bill!! I’ve never made homemade croutons, I need to try that!!

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10 Sara May 26, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Wow! Looks so yummy! I crave Olive Garden Salad often, and to now have the recipe to make at home. This is awesome! Can’t wait to make it. Thanks!

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11 Mindy May 27, 2009 at 8:34 am

Mmmm… I go to Olive Garden all the time just to buy their salad dressing. Now I guess I won’t have to! Thanks Er-Bear!

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12 Stacey May 27, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Oh boy that looks so deeelicious! I love Olive Garden’s salad… now we just need a recipe for the breadsticks!

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13 Julie May 30, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Your salad looks super! That’s my favorite part of Olive Garden, well, along with everything else :)

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14 Preeti Kashyap September 21, 2009 at 9:30 pm

thanks for posting the recipe1 I was craving for just this!

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15 disa September 22, 2009 at 7:10 pm
16 Shelley November 3, 2011 at 10:15 am

Would like to get some comments from those that have really tried it ~

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17 Jen November 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I’ve tried this recipe and, while it’s nothing like Olive Garden’s salad dressing, it was still yummy. I substituted red wine vinegar because I find distilled vinegar a little too strong. I think if you were to double the corn syrup and double the cheese you’d get a lot closer to the real thing. Still, we loved it and ate all of it.

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18 Jaycee November 7, 2011 at 5:25 am

I worked at Olive Garden for years and I know for a fact this is NOT the Olive Garden Salad Dressing recipe. However, I am excited to try this recipe and see if it comes out similar :O)

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19 Jaycee November 7, 2011 at 5:27 am

I worked at Olive Garden for years and I know for a fact this is NOT the Olive Garden Salad Dressing recipe. However, I am excited to try this recipe and see if it comes out similar. Its definitely my favorite dressing! :O)

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20 Penny January 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

It is good but there was wayyyy too much Italian seasoning. I would eliminate it all together and just add salt and pepper.

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21 Dewayne March 10, 2012 at 9:12 am

Anything that I can substitute for the corn syrup?

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