I remember when I was about 10, our town got an Olive Garden. My family would go for the Italian faire but all I wanted to eat was the salad and breadsticks. I absolutely fell in love with their house salad and constantly requested it. They thought I was the strangest kid to actually want to eat salad as a meal. They still think I’m strange because it’s still my favorite thing on the menu. I’ve been craving it lately and pregnancy cravings come at weird hours. Since Olive Garden isn’t open at 8am, I needed to figure out a way to make it at home.
I figured out the salad part relatively easy. The salad dressing was another story. I’ve asked the wait staff questions over the years and managed to figure out that there is no mustard or dairy in the dressing. After some experimenting, I figured it out and it’s spot on!
I like using the immersion blender for this dressing as it combines all the ingredients thoroughly. The olive oil and vinegar won’t easily separate this way and makes it look and taste like a creamy Italian dressing without any dairy.
I just need to figure out how to make breadsticks and I’ll be all set!
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Olive Garden's Famous House Salad Copycat
For the Salad
- 1 head Iceberg Lettuce washed and chopped
- 1/4 small Red Onion sliced
- 1 cup Carrots about 2, shredded
- 1 cup Black Olives sliced
- 3-4 Pepperoncini mild (AIP Reintroduction)
- 1 medium Tomato sliced (AIP Reintroduction)
- 1 cup Croutons Use Pork Rinds as a AIP/Paleo Substitute
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Honey
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Homemade Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Pepper AIP Reintroduction
- To make the salad, add the lettuce, onion, carrots, and black olives in a large bowl and then toss to combine.
- Layer the pepperoncini, tomato and croutons on top of the salad.
- To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar and shake well or use an immersion blender to combine the dressing.
- Pour over the salad right before serving.
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Helpful Info for All Recipes
- I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise.
- I always use Himalayan sea salt or Celtic sea salt, unless otherwise noted.
- The majority of my recipes are strict AIP or include notations for reintroductions. However while I make every effort to label non-AIP ingredients and recipes sometimes they slip past me. If you have questions, please ask in advance.
Did you make this recipe? I love hearing your thoughts on my recipes so please rate and comment below.
Absolutely the best - better than the original!
We just made this for brunch and it was terrific! Thanks so much for posting!
Amy, that's the greatest compliment I could possibly receive about a recipe! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks!
Absolutely my favorite. 3 bowl minimum when I go. I tend to skip the breadsticks too. Rather fill that space with salad
I don't have the will power to abstain from the breadsticks but the salad is still my favorite. Let me know if you try it!