Copycat Olive Garden Salad

Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipes

The Copycat Olive Garden Salad is a homemade version of the classic favorite from the popular Italian-American restaurant chain, Olive Garden. This salad is known for its fresh, vibrant ingredients and its distinctive Italian dressing. It’s a perfect dish for those who want to recreate the Olive Garden experience at home. This recipe captures the essence of the original salad, with a few simple steps that any home cook can follow.

The base of this salad consists of a mix of fresh greens, including iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, and a handful of spinach for added color and nutrition. To replicate the authentic Olive Garden salad, add red onion slices, black olives, pepperoncini peppers, and tomato wedges. The salad is distinguished by its signature Olive Garden croutons and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Olive Garden Italian Dressing:
The highlight of the Copycat Olive Garden Salad is the Italian dressing. The dressing can be made at home by combining ingredients like olive oil, white wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon juice, and an array of Italian herbs such as basil, oregano, and parsley. Garlic powder, onion powder, and a hint of sugar add depth and complexity to the dressing. For convenience, one can also use the commercially available Olive Garden Italian Dressing found in many grocery stores.

To assemble the salad, start by thoroughly washing and drying the salad greens. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large salad bowl. Add the red onions, black olives, pepperoncini, and tomato wedges. Toss the salad ingredients together. Next, add the croutons and a generous amount of Parmesan cheese, tossing again to distribute the ingredients evenly.

Drizzle the Italian dressing over the salad just before serving. It’s important to add the dressing right before serving to ensure the greens stay crisp and fresh. Toss the salad once more to ensure all the ingredients are lightly coated with the dressing. Serve the salad in a large bowl or individual plates.

This Copycat Olive Garden Salad is ideal as a starter for an Italian-themed dinner or as a light meal on its own. The combination of fresh greens, tangy pepperoncini, rich Parmesan, and the bold Italian dressing creates a delightful mix of textures and flavors that Olive Garden enthusiasts will recognize and enjoy. It’s a versatile recipe that can be easily adjusted to personal taste, making it a great addition to any home cook’s recipe collection.

Copycat Olive Garden Salad
Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipe | S2Recipes

Details Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipes

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Stand Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Servings: 8

Ingredients For Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipes

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 (5 ounce) packages American salad mix
  • 3/4 cup pitted black olives
  • 3/4 cup pickled pepperoncini
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) package large seasoned croutons

Instructions: Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipes

  • Step 1: Combine olive oil, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan in a food processor, and process until thoroughly combined.
  • Step 2: Combine salad mix, olives, pepperoncini, onion, tomatoes, and croutons in a large bowl. Drizzle salad with dressing; toss to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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All Nutrifacts of Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipes

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe8
% Daily Value *
Total Fat13g17%
Saturated Fat2g11%
Total Carbohydrate8g3%
Dietary Fiber2g7%
Total Sugars3g
Vitamin C23mg114%

TOP 5+ FAQ Copycat Olive Garden Salad Recipes

✅What are the key ingredients in a Copycat Olive Garden Salad?

The Copycat Olive Garden Salad is known for its blend of fresh ingredients including iceberg and romaine lettuce, red onions, black olives, banana peppers, croutons, and tomatoes. Parmesan cheese and a signature Italian dressing complete this classic favorite.

✅How do you make the signature Italian dressing for the Copycat Olive Garden Salad?

The dressing is made by whisking together ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, garlic, sugar, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan, creating a flavorful and creamy Italian dressing reminiscent of Olive Garden's beloved recipe.

✅Can the Copycat Olive Garden Salad be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the salad in advance by chopping the vegetables and storing them separately. However, for the best taste and texture, add the croutons, cheese, and dressing just before serving to keep them fresh and crisp.

✅What variations can be made to the Copycat Olive Garden Salad?

This salad is versatile; you can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or different vegetables according to preference. Substituting different types of lettuce or adding extra toppings like cucumber or artichokes can also vary the flavor profile.

✅Is the Copycat Olive Garden Salad healthy?

The salad is a healthier option as it is loaded with fresh vegetables. However, the nutritional value can vary depending on the amount of dressing and cheese used. For a lighter version, reduce these ingredients or opt for low-calorie alternatives.

✅How do you ensure the lettuce stays crisp in the Copycat Olive Garden Salad?

To keep the lettuce crisp, rinse it under cold water and dry it thoroughly, preferably using a salad spinner. Refrigerating the lettuce until ready to serve also helps in maintaining its freshness and crunch.

✅What is the best way to serve the Copycat Olive Garden Salad?

Serve the salad in a large bowl, tossing it with the dressing just before serving to ensure all the ingredients are evenly coated. Offering the dressing on the side is also a good way to cater to individual taste preferences.

✅Can the Copycat Olive Garden Salad be made gluten-free?

Yes, to make this salad gluten-free, simply use gluten-free croutons or omit them altogether. Additionally, ensure that the Italian dressing and other ingredients used are certified gluten-free.
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