Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing (Copycat)

12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing copycat recipe made with Romano cheese, vinegar, oil and garlic in just seconds with all the flavors you love.

We’ve had a lot of copycat recipes on the site, this salad dressing recipe is one of my favorite ones because its spot on and so easy to make. We serve this with Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno (Copycat) and breadsticks as the perfect Olive garden copycat meal.

Olive Garden Italian Dressing Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing (Copycat)

Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing has a cult following and for good reason. the dressing is full of flavor from the Romano cheese to the spices, and you can enjoy it at home with little effort. This version of the Olive Garden Salad Dressing has no mayo in it, but it does call for similar ingredients including raw egg. If you’re uncomfortable using raw eggs buy pasteurized ones.

If you’re looking for your favorite copycat recipes, that’s actually one of the things the site is most known for, we LOVE a good copycat recipe. If you have any requests please let me know below in the comments section.

How to Thicken Salad Dressing:

The only ingredient in the mix here that may take any effort at all is the pectin. The use of pectin in the recipe is to create a thicker, viscous dressing that pours like a creamy dressing would. You are welcome to leave out the pectin if the consistency of the dressing is not important to you.

It is important to note that when working with a copycat recipe, you have to stay close to the original. In the case of this one we use pectin and corn syrup where I normally wouldn’t use either. In my The Best Caramel Popcorn recipe I actually make a homemade version of corn syrup using the recipe below:

Homemade Corn Syrup (½ cup)

  • 8 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  1. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan on low heat and stir until the grainy texture is gone and the sugar has melted into the water.
  2. Do not allow the sugar mixture to brown, turn it off as soon as the sugar is melted.

How to safely cook with raw eggs:

You can either purchased pasteurized raw eggs or you can bring a pot full of water to a temperature of 140 degrees (use a thermometer) and allow the eggs to cook in the water for 3 minutes. If you’re using extra large eggs, increase the time to 4 minutes. Do not allow the temperature to go past 140 degrees as you may inadvertently start cooking the interior of the eggs.


Olive Garden Copycat Italian Dressing

How do you make an Olive Garden Salad?

Olive Garden salad is an easy mix of ingredients:

  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Sliced Tomatoes (I use grape)
  • Pepperoncini Peppers (I use sliced so it’s easier to share and eat)
  • Croutons
  • Sliced red onions
  • Pitted Black Olives
  • Italian Salad Dressing

Here’s some of my favorite copycat recipes you can serve with this Italian Salad Dressing:

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

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Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing

Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing copycat recipe made with Romano cheese, vinegar, oil and garlic in just seconds tastes exactly like the restaurant version you love.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons Romano cheese grated
  • 1 tablespoon instant pectin
  • 2 tablespoons raw egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove  garlic minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Process all the ingredients in a food processor until the chili flakes are tiny specks.
  • Refrigerate for an hour before serving.


Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 3mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Olive Garden Dressing Copycat
Olive Garden Homemade Dressing

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This dressing is delicious! So glad I found the recipe. I have tried copycat recipes using mayonnaise and Italian Dressing Seasoning, but they don’t compare to this! Instead of corn syrup I used a drop of liquid Stevia. This is the real deal…thanks!

  2. For those who can’t find ‘instant’ pectin at their store, and don’t want to order it online, I have a suggestion that I think will work, and this is what I will be doing: take the 1/3 C of water (cold) and add 1 tablespoon of corn starch into a microwaveable bowl. Mix well and microwave for 20 sec increments until the corn starch is completely homogenized with the water. Let cool slightly and proceed with adding everything into the processor as stated. This should work and the dressing is white anyway, so no harm, no floury taste, and no grittiness. Good Luck!!

  3. I made this yesterday. It is very tasty. I didn’t have pectin so I tried the hard boiled egg yolk suggestion to thicken. That did not work at all. I had some xanthan gum so I used that. I have since ordered pectin. This recipe is very similar to Olive Garden. I’m so glad I found this recipe. For anyone that doesn’t use sugar I replaced it with xylitol and water (same ratio) to make corn syrup. Worked perfect. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Hi Judy, glad you loved it! Sorry the hard boiled egg trick another commenter mentioned didn’t work. I haven’t tested that method.

  4. Sabrina, I just made your dressing & it’s so thin like water..but then I noticed the recipe said *instant* pectin, I accidently bought regular..do you think it may still thicken with a little time.
    Thank you! Here’s hoping!!

    1. Oh no! I don’t think it’ll set because usually the “regular” pectin needs a high sugar ratio to set properly. I’ve not tried it before though.

  5. An Olive Garden Ad on Facebook has me desperately searching for copycat recipes to re-create a soup salad and breadsticks lunch for us at home (we currently live in Argentina and its been well over a year since we’ve been back to visit – needless to say we are missing very specific food items from home haha). I liked this recipe because it doesn’t use italian dressing mix like all other recipes (not available here in Argentina). That being said, I likely won’t find pectin either. What other ingredient could I use to thicken up the dressing? (main goal is taste and consistency – with copycat olive garden on the table I don’t think anyone will mind some extra calories haha) Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you found this recipe!! I have an Amazon link in the recipe card for instant pectin (highlighted in green). Hopefully you can order directly from there and not have to worry about trying to find it locally. Enjoy!

  6. I was just at Costco today and passed by the Olive Garden Italian Salad dressing. I’ve bought it before and I love it but not too thrilled about some of the bad ingredients. I’m used to making my own salad dressings. I’m sure glad I did NOT buy any today after stumbling upon this recipe for it! I will substitute the corn syrup with truvia sweetener. Thank you for this! I love to cook!

  7. If you want to use egg yolk for the thickener but do not want to use raw egg…take the yolk from a hard boiled egg. It will emulsify your dressing and you can skip the pectin…
    I like be the Olive Garden dressing…
    I also add 1/4 teaspoon herbs de Provence…take the dry spice and crush smaller between your fingers…

  8. Looking forward to trying this recipe. In your post it looks like you were going to suggest a substitute for the raw egg for those uncomfortable with it, but the sentence wasn’t finished? What can you sub for the eggs? Thank you!

    1. I haven’t used it before so I’m not sure. If you decide to substitute and try it, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!

      1. It’s Kathleen Maloney
        I just wanted to let you know that I’m not able to register an account with saving recepies on the Olive Garden’s salad dressings if you could try to help me if you can that would be great please let me know thanks. Km

  9. I can’t wait to try this. I just love their version and I am positive yours will be much better 🙂

  10. Oooooo…. I just love getting their soup, salad, & bread sticks! Their dressing is so good. 🙂

  11. I know this sounds crazy but I usually go to the Olive Garden for the salad and breadsticks. I could probably drink that salad dressing, it’s the perfect combo of flavors that dance around on my tongue. I love each one equally.

  12. Olive garden’s salad reminds me of college days and the all you can eat pasta. I could never get enough of the salad, breadsticks or the pasta–LOL! I have to make this dressing to take me back to those memories.

  13. I have been trying without success to copy Nothing Bundt Cakes chocolate chocolate chip cake.
    Nothing Bundt Cakes is bakery chain with stores across the U.S. Their cakes are unique in their
    texture. They are very light and spongy but the cake is not super moist or wet looking. I’ve already tried many
    of the copy recipes on Pinterest, etc. and none of them are the right texture. I have made a chocolate cake that has a very similar taste, but the texture is too dense. Can you come up with
    a close copy? I’d appreciate any suggestions.