This Italian Salad is a copycat of Olive Garden salad that comes unlimited with an entree. This copycat salad is quick and easy, yet it has a wonderful mix of flavors and textures: tomatoes, Pepperoncini peppers and olives in a delicious homemade Italian dressing. The best part is the crunchy herb and garlic croutons!
Olive Garden Copycat Salad Dressing Recipe
So for any of you who appreciate this Olive Garden salad and want to recreate it at home, I’ve included instructions for a copycat dressing if you are unable to find the official version at your grocery store.
Olive Garden salad dressing ingredients
They are pretty simple and include mayonnaise, white vinegar, garlic powder, olive oil, salt, pepper and plenty of Italian seasoning. I repeat: plenty of Italian seasoning!
To the small bowl, add all the ingredients and mix until well blended.
Use fork to mix dressing ingredients
I whipped up mayo, Italian dressing and olive oil together within seconds with a fork to arrive at a very pleasant creamy texture:
What’s in the Olive Garden Copycat Salad?
The salad is a combination of finely chopped lettuce (iceberg or romaine), tomatoes, very thinly sliced red onion, Pepperoncini peppers, black olives and garlicky croutons.
I put the quantity of ingredients in the recipe box, but you don’t have to really measure the ingredients – I always put more olives. tomatoes and onions than the Olive Garden normally puts and less of the actual salad leaves.
Chop the lettuce
Make sure to chop the lettuce – you will enjoy it much better. The texture of the chopped lettuce somehow changes the taste of the salad. It is also easier to digest when finely chopped.
Parmesan Cheese in Italian Salad
Shredded Parmesan is a must. I add it to each salad bowl separately to keep it fresh and distinct from the dressing.
How much time does it take to make this Italian salad?
It took me 15 minutes to make this Italian salad AND dressing from start to finish! And that includes chopping the lettuce (I like my salad finely chopped), onions.
Packed with bright flavors, varied nutrients and colorful ingredients, easily found in any grocery store, it’s a great addition to any menu!
If you like a variety of salads in your menu, you might want to explore these delicious recipes:
Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Honey Mustard Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries, Apples and Pecans
Follow me on PINTEREST to get more recipe ideas!
Olive Garden CopyCat Italian Salad
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Mayonaise
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 oz salad leaves, (1 box, chopped - iceberg or romaine hearts)
- ½ cup whole black olives
- 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
- ⅓ red onion, sliced very thinly
- 20 croutons, (garlic flavored)
- 4-6 whole pepperoncini peppers
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- To the small bowl, add the olive oil, mayonnaise, white vinegar, black pepper, salt, garlic powder and Italian seasoning and mix until well blended. Set aside.
- Cut up the lettuce greens and place them in a large bowl. Top them with black olives, tomatoes, pepperoncini, olives and onions.
Putting it all together:
- Pour on desired amount of dressing on top of the salad and toss right before serving. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. This information comes from online calculators. Although whatsinthepan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Andre Madras says
Saved as a favorite, I like your website!
I loved this salad! I’ve made it 3 times so far. Twice at home, and once at a small family gathering. Everyone LOVED it. It taste just like the salad from Olive garden. Thank you for sharing !❤️💗
Lydia – I am so happy you are loving the salad!
John Walsh says
parmesan cheese? Olive Garden used Romano cheese!
I’m trying to recreate their dressing at home and I see you have mayo listed above in the ingredients. I don’t eat mayo and never dreamed it was in their dressing which is not a creamy liquid at all. What if I left the mayonnaise out, would that still be a good dressing? Thanks.
You can certainly leave mayonnaise out and compensate by adding more oil and just a bit more of vinegar.
Can you use the olive garden salad dressing? Doesn’t it have all the needed ingredients?
My husband would love this too. Making it today!
Olya at Whatsinthepan says
I hope both of you like it!