Olive Garden Salad Dressing is a zesty Italian salad dressing that is so easy to make at home. Try this easy copycat recipe to make this famous salad dressing!
Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe
If you have ever been to Olive Garden you have probably had their famous salad and breadsticks. They are known for their large, flavor packed salads with a perfectly tangy and creamy salad dressing.
Making your own salad dressing at home is a great option if you are looking to control exactly what goes in your dressing. Whether you are on a low sodium, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian or vegan diet, making your own dressing means you can customize it to your needs.
I have always loved Olive Garden but being in Canada I only get to have it on the rare occasion I am in the USA. Having my own copycat recipes means I can enjoy my favorite Olive Garden dishes at home any day of the week.
What is Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing?
Olive Garden Salad Dressing is essentially a zesty Italian with a bit of creaminess, lots of fresh herbs and garlic. The secret to this salad dressing is the perfect ratio of vinegar, oil, lemon juice and mayonnaise for a creamy texture. The dressing is a bright yellow color with specks of red from red pepper flakes and pops of green from herbs.
What to Serve with Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing
One of my favorite meals at Olive garden is their endless soup, salad and breadsticks! You can also serve this salad as a side for pasta, chicken cutlets, or really any dinner! Try one of my most popular Olive Garden Copycat recipes below:
- Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
- Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
- Olive Garden Chicken Scampi
- Olive Garden Breadsticks
- Olive Garden Stuffed Mushrooms
- Fettucine Alfredo
- Chicken Romano
- Chicken Marsala
What is in Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing?
- White Wine Vinegar – the most commonly used vinegar in salad dressing is white wine vinegar. It is less acidic than white vinegar and it has a beautiful flavor as it is made from white wine.
- Olive Oil – store bought salad dressings are often made with low quality oils to keep the cost down. Making your own dressing is great because you can use whichever oil you prefer.
- Garlic – this dressing is packed with flavor from garlic. The garlic is added into the dressing raw but the vinegar and lemon juice pickled the garlic so you do not have a raw overpowering flavor.
- Parmesan – this salty and rich flavored cheese adds the signature Olive Garden flavor to the dressing.
- Honey – a little bit of honeys adds a sweetness to the dressing. You can swap for agave for a vegan dressing.
- Lemon Juice – for an extra pop of flavor and tang lemon juice is added to the dressing. It pairs perfectly with the white wine vinegar.
- Mayonnaise – a small amount adds a creamy texture to the dressing. You can swap for Greek yogurt or Icelandic Skyr for a healthier option, or a vegan mayonnaise or yogurt for a vegan and dairy free recipe.
- Chili Flakes (Red Pepper Flakes) – adds the signature red specks in the dressing.
- Herbs – Basil, Oregano, Fresh Parsley – you can use store bought Italian seasoning if that is what you have on hand, but I personally love the mix of just basil, oregano and fresh parsley for this dressing.
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
1 Add all the ingredients to a mason jar or salad dressing bottle, cover and shake vigorously until evenly combined. Or combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until evenly combined.
2 Taste the dressing by dipping a piece of lettuce into the dressing. Adjust according to your personal taste (ex. for less acidity add more honey or agave, for less tang add more olive oil or mayonnaise, for more tang add more vinegar).
3 Cover and refrigerate. Dressing can be served immediately or stored in the fridge for a few hours before serving. As the dressing sits in the fridge the flavors will develop.
4 Before serving, shake or stir the dressing well to recombine. Enjoy
Tips for the Best Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing
- Mixing – it is very important to ensure that the dressing is evenly mixed together. My favorite way to mix a dressing together is in a jar. Just add all the ingredients to the jar, secure the lid on the jar and shake! By shaking the dressing it evenly combines the ingredients and emulsifies the oil with the vinegar and lemon juice. Homemade dressing may still separate when stored in the fridge but all you need to do it simply shake the dressing together again and it will be ready to use.
FAQs Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing
Store the prepared salad dressing in a jar or air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (adjust accordingly based on the best before date of each ingredient used).
Yes! This dressing is perfect for make ahead. Prepared dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (adjust accordingly based on the best before date of each ingredient used).
This salad dressing recipe is vegetarian.
For a vegan copycat Olive Garden salad dressing swap the honey for agave and use a vegan mayonnaise and parmesan cheese.
This recipe is gluten free.
For a dairy free copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing, use a vegan or dairy free mayonnaise and parmesan cheese.
Looking for More Salad Recipes
- Strawberry Panzanella Salad
- Dill Pickle Chopped Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Italian Tortellini Salad
- Avocado Corn Tomato Salad
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
Olive Garden Salad Dressing Copycat
- 3/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin, or neutral oil of choice
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic , finely minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp chili flakes, red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
- 1 tbsp honey, or agave for vegan dressing
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise , optional, or Plain Greek Yogurt, or vegan yogurt for vegan/dairy free recipe
- Add all the ingredients to a mason jar or salad dressing bottle, cover and shake vigorously until evenly combined. Or combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until evenly combined.
- Taste the dressing by dipping a piece of lettuce into the dressing. Adjust according to your personal taste (ex. for less acidity add more honey or agave, for less tang add more olive oil or mayonnaise, for more tang add more vinegar).
- Cover and refrigerate. Dressing can be served immediately or stored in the fridge for a few hours before serving. As the dressing sits in the fridge the flavors will develop.
- Before serving, shake or stir the dressing well to recombine. Enjoy!