The Olive Garden Salad Recipe

  • Yield : 1 Lg. Bowl
  • Servings : 4-6
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 0m
  • Ready In : 60m

I’m not sure why, but the Olive Garden Salad Recipe seems to be better then most salads. Maybe it’s because they mix it up for you at the table, tossing in their special Olive Garden Salad Dressing recipe, which I’ve included here as well.  Maybe it’s because of the fresh grated Parmesan cheese they put on top.  Regardless, this is wonderful salad which could serve as a side or even the entree.

Investigating the Olive Garden Salad Recipe

When it comes to restaurant recipes, this one is one of the easiest to figure out, except for that signature Olive Garden salad dressing. That takes some work, but I think we’ve got a very close copy cat recipe here.  We’ve build this based on your feedback, so please leave a comment if you know of a way to improve on this recipe.

The Secret of the Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe

The Olive Garden salad dressing recipe is a simple base of mayonnaise and vinegar. We achieve the unique Olive Garden tangy and sweet blend with the addition of corn syrup and lemon juice. The Italian flavors come from the Romano and Parmesan cheeses added to the dressing as well as the herbal blend.

Creating Your Own “American Blend” Salad.

You’ll notice, we’re just using a basic “American Blend” salad found in the prepackaged bags in your produce department.  If you’d like to create your own fresh blend, it’s fairly simple. The main ingredients are the Iceberg and Romain lettuce.  Mix in some grated carrot, chopped red cabbage and sliced or even slivered radishes.  Again, the bag is a much simpler option for the Olive Garden salad recipe, but some people love the process of making their own.

Note: make sure you’re mixing this up in a chilled salad bowl.  This will add greatly to the fresh and crispy texture of the salad.


  • 1/2 Cup - Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup - White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp - Olive Oil, for salad dressings
  • 2 Tbsp - Light Corn Syrup
  • 4 Tbsp - Romano Cheese
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp - Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp - Parsley Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp - Lemon Juice
  • Sugar to taste (optional)

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 Bag – American Salad Blend (Dole brand works well)
  • 4-5 Rings – Red Onion, sliced
  • 4-6 Black Olives
  • 2-4 Pepperoncini’s
  • 1/2 Cup – Croutons, large
  • 1 small Tomato, sliced thick
  • Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated


Step 1

Before you begin, place your salad serving bowl into the freezer to get it well-chilled.

Step 2

Place all of the dressing ingredients (mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, corn syrup, Romano cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley flakes, and lemon juice) into a blender or food processor. Mix these until they're well blended, about 10-15 seconds should be enough

Step 3

Taste the dressing and determine if it's a bit too tart for you. If so, add a bit of sugar, one dash at a time and blend again. I don't use any sugar, but some had said they prefer it.

Step 4

Pour the dressing into a carafe or other container and place into the refrigerator until it's chilled, about 30 minutes, at least.

Step 5

Remove your serving bowl from the freezer and put the entire bag of salad blend into it.

Step 6

On top of the salad blend, arrange the red onion slices, black olives, pepperoncini's, tomato slices and croutons.

Step 7

Serve this right away with the dressing on the side or toss it in at the table. Offer the fresh parmesan cheese for those who prefer it.

Recipe Type: Tags: Ingredients: ,

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