Olive Garden Salad

Olive Garden Salad is one of the best things about the Olive Garden. The Italian salad is so fresh and made up just for you. You can make the Olive Garden salad at home and we will show you how. It is easy to make a salad just like the restaurant.

homemade Olive Garden salad in a wood bowl

Famous Olive Garden Italian Salad

Have you ever wondered how to put together this famous salad? It is relatively easy to prepare this salad.

What makes this salad special? It is all of the wonderful extra ingredients in it that make it extra special. I don’t know about you, but when we grew up eating salad at home, we would add tomatoes, and if we were fancy we would add some sliced cucumber.

What is in Olive Garden salad?

Olive Garden salad consists of fresh lettuce, olives, peppers, cheese, croutons, and dressing. Here’s what you need to make it at home:

I like to use a bag of American salad mix to start with but then you need the special ingredients.

Pitted black olives add the right touch to this salad. I usually have a can or two of these black olives on hand.

For the peppers, you have a couple of choices. If you like the peppers hot, add pepperoncini. If you like those peppers mild, you could use banana peppers.

Red onions make this salad special. Slice your red onions very thin. When red onions are freshly sliced they can be a little hot, the air oxides them and takes away the heat.

Shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese is the perfect touch for an Italian salad.

You will want your salad piled high with croutons. If you have some leftover bread, you could always toast up the bread and make them fresh with my air fryer croutons recipe.

Finally, don’t forget the Olive Garden salad dressing. The salad dressing is sold everywhere now or you can make your Olive Garden Salad dressing with my copycat recipe.

How to Make Olive Garden Salad

  1. Chill your salad bowl in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Empty the bag of salad blend into the bowl.
  3. Top the salad with onion, olives, pepperoncini, croutons, and tomatoes.
  4. Add some freshly grated cheese, if you like.
  5. Add Olive Garden salad dressing and toss to combine.
  6. Serve immediately.
a bowl of homemade Olive Garden salad

Love Olive Garden? Try these copycat recipes!

Favorite Salad Recipes

Check out more of my easy salad recipes and the best Olive Garden recipes here on CopyKat!

homemade Olive Garden salad in a wood bowl

Olive Garden Salad

Make the much-loved Olive Garden salad at home with this easy copycat recipe.
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Olive Garden Recipes, Olive Garden Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 24kcal


  • 12 ounces iceberg salad blend
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • 6 pitted black olives
  • 4 pepperoncini or banana peppers
  • ½ cup croutons
  • 1 tomato quartered
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • ½ cup Olive Garden Salad Dressing


  • Chill your salad bowl in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Empty the bag of salad into the bowl.
  • Top the salad with sliced onion, olives, pepperoncini, croutons, and tomatoes.
  • Add freshly grated cheese, if desired.
  • Add Olive Garden salad dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.



Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 370IU | Vitamin C: 7.9mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Cherrie

    That’s a shame they use iceberg lettuce which has no nutritional value whatsoever. I would probably use romaine like someone suggested.

    • Barbara

      actually they use a mix of iceberg and romaine lettuce, along with roma tomatoes, red onion, black olives, and pepperocinis. I know this as I use to work for them. Then add your croutons. Not sure on all the spelling but you get the idea

  2. Katy, Ca

    Before OG changed their onions to raw red onions, they use to be a bright pink, thinly sliced, marinated onion that complimented the dressing wonderfully …do u have a recipe?
    And before they started cutting large tomatoes, they used cherry tomatoes, tasted better.
    I’m 53, n as a young girl these two items left a lasting impression…onions that were pretty n tasty….n learning how to fork a rolling tomato n trying not to squirt a tomato from my mouth. Lol

  3. Mike Arienti

    Why are people raving about this? It’s frickin’ ICEBURG LETTUCE, some other veggies, old bread and factory-made Italian dressing!

    • Donna

      I love their dressing. We were just there last night and I noticed they also had very tiny slivers of red cabbage. On the dressing, I’d use Agave instead of the Corn Syrup. Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe. YEA!

    • Donna

      5 stars
      Mike Arienti: When I look at a recipe, I will substitute ingredients for a similar one with a higher nutrition content. Anyone can change the lettuce, make their own croutons, but I wanted some idea of what they use in their dressing because I love the taste.

    • Stephanie

      Thank you for sharing that info. I have seen it for sale now. My recipe came out long before they started to sell this in the store. I hope you don’t mind if I keep the recipe up :-P.

  4. pammysue

    I have been making this salad for years. there is no artichokes in this salad. but there is pepperoncini peppers. after purchasing the pepperoncini at different stores, I really prefer them from Gordon’s Food Store. They are not so bitter and taste great live theres. Also the tomato is a roma tomato they serve at Olive Garden

  5. Mary Heath, Augusta, GA

    I asked 2 different people at the Olive Garden what kind of cheese do the use and both said Romano. Just thought you would like to know.

    Thanks for the update! ~Stephanie

  6. Anonymous

    The peppers are supposed to be pepperoncini peppers and roma tomatoes sold at most grocery stores- Wal-mart, Kroger, Mejiers…etc. The dressing is sold at the Olive Garden Restaurant!

5 from 11 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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