Just Like Olive Garden Salad

So. It's March! The 3rd month of the new year! Seems like time is flying by and before we know it, summertime will be here! Time to dig out some salads and get the good body vibes going!

It's been a LONG time since I've been inside an Olive Garden restaurant ... the unlimited salad and bread sticks used to always get me ... I am a sucker for warm, soft bread, you know? Oh, and I just love that salad too ... the dressing, luckily, is easy to replicate, as is the salad itself.

The other good news about this salad? Saving you moola ... as in a minimum of $20 ... like I said, been a LONG time since I've been to Olive Garden but I do remember that a dinner entree was at least $12.99 and that was a few years ago ... so figure two people, easily $25 AND then most likely, a beverage (or two) and there you have it ... el cheapo night out got a little more expensive ...

So go ahead! Make this for your Saturday night! Or any other night!

The salad is simple:

1 head of iceberg lettuce, rinsed, dried and torn into bite size pieces
half of a red onion, sliced thin and rings separated out
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
handful of sliced black olives
handful of banana pepper rings (or pepperoncini)
handful of shredded carrot

Layer all in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate.

The most important part of this salad is the dressing ... here's my ORIGINAL recipe, but I've since modified it as follows and personally, prefer THIS now! The main difference is NO corn syrup or garlic AND I used avocado oil instead of the previously called for vegetable oil!

In large wide mouth jar, add the following ingredients:

1 cup mayo (you can make your own, you know!)
2/3 cup distilled vinegar
2 tsp avocado oil
4 tbs of simple syrup (I made mine with Splenda AND I've also skipped it) 
8 tbs of Parmesan cheese, Romano/Parmesan blend works well too, shredded or grated
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried parsley
juice of one lemon (smallish in size)

You can either put a tight fitting lid on the jar and shake it like crazy or use an immersion blender, OR dirty up a blender and use that. Whatever you do, you really need to mix it well.

Toss the jar in the fridge for a few hours. When ready to serve the salad, you can dress the salad if you prefer, or serve the dressing on the side.  Just make sure you shake well to redistribute the cheese that will sink to the bottom ;-)


Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)


  1. This looks pretty yummy and to think it is like the Olive Garden. Thanks for sharing the recipe at DI&DI.

  2. I'm running behind!! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe on last week's What's for Dinner link up!

  3. I am a huge fan of the Olive Garden salad! Add in some breadsticks and I'm in heaven :) I can't wait to give this a go. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Dishing It & Digging It & congratulations on being featured this week!


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