A copycat recipe for the famous Olive Garden Salad, complete with juicy sweet tomatoes, tangy pepperoncini peppers, savory black olives, zesty Parmesan cheese, sharp red onions, and garlicky croutons. The salad is dressed in a homemade creamy Italian dressing (or pick up Olive Garden's dressing at the store).
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword olive garden salad
Prep Time 25minutes
Total Time 25minutes
Servings 4-6 servings (as a side)
8ouncesromaine lettuce,coarsely chopped
1/2cupwhole black olives
2largeRoma tomatoes,thinly sliced
1/4of 1 largered onion,very thinly sliced
6whole pepperoncini peppers
1cupgarlic-herb flavored croutons(store-bought or homemade)
1/3cupParmesan cheese,freshly grated
1/3cup (73g)red wine vinegar
1 and 1/2teaspoonDijon mustard
1teaspoongranulated white sugar
1/2cup (104g)olive oil
2tablespoonsgood quality full-fat mayo
SALAD: Coarsely chop the lettuce, wash, and thoroughly dry (I love a salad spinner for this step). Place lettuce in a large bowl. Top the salad with black olives, thinly sliced tomatoes, very thinly sliced red onion, and pepperoncini.
DRESSING: Add all the dressing ingredients to a large glass jar. Put on the lid and shake to combine. It might take a minute of good vigorous shaking, but the mayo should completely integrate (keep shaking until it does). If you have time, make this ahead and chill in the fridge to intensify the flavors. Shake again right before mixing into the salad.
ASSEMBLY: Right before eating (See Note 1), toss the salad with the dressing (you probably won't use all the dressing -- See Note 2). Add the croutons and freshly grated Parmesan cheese right on top and enjoy immediately.
Note 1: Freshness: Only add dressing, cheese, and croutons to the amount of salad that will be eaten the same day you make it. The salad ingredients will get quite soggy if they sit too long in the dressing.Note 2: Dressing: This makes a lot of dressing! You can halve it if you'd like, but I like to make this full batch and use it on other recipes throughout the week. It will last up to a week stored in an airtight container in the fridge.