How to Make Salad Dressing Like Olive Garden’s, or Not!

There are so many copycat recipes out there today, I have to wonder if any of them are from disgruntled employees who have snagged these recipes for revenge. One thing I like, well I guess the only thing I like about Olive Garden is their soup, salad, and bread stick lunch. It is hearty, endless, and very filling. Their soup may have been made in vats from their distributor but it hits the spot. But I must say their salad dressing is tops, probably also made in large vats no where near Italy. This is a delicious dressing and if it was served to me without the “hey this is just like Olive Garden’s!” I would still love it.

Creamy Italian Dressing (sorta like Olive Garden’s)
1 Pkt Good Seasons Italian Dressing made according to package directions
3 T. mayonnaise
2 T. sugar
2 T. good extra virgin olive oil
3 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Serve over your favorite Salad. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

What are some of your favorite copycat recipes? Please comment!


  1. Cindy and Co.
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    You kinda have to be from GA to really appreciate this, but the Varsity is an old drive in downtown that just rocks…This is their Chili recipe…it goes on the Chili Cheeseburger too…and OH YUM:

    Varsity Hot Dog Chili

    1 lb. ground beef
    2 cup water
    3 tbsp chili powder
    2 tsp garlic powder
    1 to 1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper

    Bring water to a boil and add ground beef. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes until meat is brown. Add chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until water is evaporated. Blend with a hand mixer until meat is chopped fine.

  2. Veronica
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    I love the recipe for “Burger King” chicken tenders in Devin Alexander’s cookbook “Fast Food Fix”. They’re not as fatty as the fast food version, but they do manage to capture the same flavors.

  3. That Girl
    Posted September 5, 2008 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    I used to work at a restaurant known for their Guacamole. I seriously made it a million times a night. As soon as I started working there I began getting requests from friends and family. Now I’m asked to make it at every part I go to. I have the recipe in my blog.

    • Cheri
      Posted June 10, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

      Where can I find your blog?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

      you are here!

    • wanda ll
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

      I’ve looked this site over top to bottom and can’t find the Guacamole stuff anywhere. Can you direct me to it or put short cut here. Thanks so much.
      wanda ll

    • Robin Sue
      Posted April 3, 2013 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

      Not sure I know what you are looking for. I do not have a guacamole recipe on here.

  4. MrOrph
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    I make a pretty good Penne Rustica from the Macaroni Grill. It’s on my site.

    This dressing looks delicious, though I don’t like much at OG, I do like the salad and breadsticks.

    • kathy
      Posted September 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

      oh, how i would love to have the recipe for the penne rustica from the olive garden! how do i get to your website?

    • kate
      Posted September 15, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

      MrOrph – where is your website?

  5. Lisa
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Oh thank you! I am not a big Olive Garden fan but like you LOVE their dressing and breadsticks.

    I love PF Changs lettuce wraps and make them with the copycat recipe. It is all over the internet.

  6. Robin Sue
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    Cindy and Co- Thanks for the recipe. I love chili on burgers as well. In NC we put chili and coleslaw on our burgers.

    Veronica- A fast food cookbook, you can’t get any better than that! Thanks!

    ThatGirl- I love a good Guac. I will come on over and get it from your blog! Thanks a lot!

    MrOrph- Will have to check out your recipe. I am a sucker for pasta and I do like Mac Grill over OG.

    Lisa- I do love PFC lettuce wraps but did not know of a copy cat. Will have to seek this one out for sure. Thanks for letting me in on this one.

  7. Kristen
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    I adore the Sonic strawberry cheesecake shake copycat recipe. To die for!

  8. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    I made this using balsamic vinegar, so it was a lot darker than the one you have pictured. I used it to top a salad of bibb lettuce, sharp white cheddar cheese, and shaved apples. Heavenly! Danielle

  9. Robin Sue
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Danielle- Glad you liked it. Tonya told be about you making it but I am glad you commented to give the particulars! I love apples with Sharp cheddar! And nothing beats a good balsamic dressing!

  10. Anonymous
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 12:50 AM | Permalink

    Soup is hearty–not hardy

  11. Robin Sue
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    Anon- Thanks!

  12. Anonymous
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    that starwberry cheescake shake sounds so delicious!!!:)

  13. Robin Sue
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    Anon- doesn’t it though, will have to hunt down that recipe!

  14. Anonymous
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Robin – Was skeptical..tried it..LOVED it!! I rarely buy store-bought dressings and have tried to duplicate OG dressing to no am impressed!! Thank you. I did use white wine vinegar for my base vinegar.

  15. Yvonda Hawkins
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    Love recipes, keep me cooking!

  16. Posted September 9, 2012 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    does anyone have a copycat recipe for carrabas minestone soup as well as their sicllian chicken sou[p. Have tried some that are on the internet buy they are in no way like theirs. thanks

  17. anonymous
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    Hi Robin,
    I’m a former Olive Garden employee. I worked there for 5 years while in college. Just to make you aware….the soup is actually made in house daily from scratch. The prep cooks get there at 6 am to start it. At the end of the shift, we would seal the extra soup up, freeze it, and donate it to charitable organizations. The dressing is not scratch made, but comes prepared like bottled dressings many people buy from the grocery store. And not too different than using a packet of seasoning either.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted December 4, 2014 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

      Good to know! Thank you!

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