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This Olive Garden salad dressing recipe is an Italian American favorite! Get all the delicious bold and tangy flavors you know and love in this simple homemade dressing.

If you’re craving more restaurant-quality favorites at home, try this Easy Chicken Gnocchi Soup, my Minestrone Soup Recipe, or Zuppa Toscana.

a jar of italian dressing being drizzled on a salad

Why you’ll love it

The house salad is actually one of the things I look forward to most at Olive Garden. That dressing is just so addictive with its zesty taste and a hint of sweetness, and I’ve tried our best to recreate it here (but we kinda like our version even better, actually).

It’s just a really great homemade Italian vinaigrette that will satisfy everyone, even those who don’t normally go crazy over salad, and it’s so easy to make at home. You can feel good knowing exactly what goes into it, essentially just a handful of pantry ingredients!

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil and mayonnaise – for the rich base
  • White vinegar – gives a tangy touch
  • Sugar – it adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance the acidity
  • Italian seasoning – grab a jar of this convenient dried herb mix from any grocery store
  • Onion powder and garlic powder – this duo enhances the savory flavor
  • Parmesan – adding parmesan to Italian dressing is a game changer. Always grate your own for freshness and texture! We like using this Microplane zester.
ingredients for olive garden salad on a marble surface

Veggies for Olive Garden salad

  • For a true copycat Olive Garden salad, the one you’re familiar with has lettuce (iceberg or Romaine), black olives, pepperoncini peppers, sliced red onions, Roma tomatoes slices, and Garlic Croutons. Toss with this dressing, add more grated parmesan if desired, and enjoy!
  • But you can totally use any vegetables you like with this vinaigrette. It’s great over mixed greens and even shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix. Add any of your favorite fresh toppings.

How to make Olive Garden salad dressing

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

mixing olive garden salad dressing with a whisk in a metal bowl

Simply add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk vigorously. I like using a metal whisk. You could also add everything to a mason jar with a lid and shake it up. Taste and adjust as need, e.g. more salt & pepper or more sugar/vinegar. That’s it!

Substitutions and variations

  • Use a packet of Italian dressing mix instead of the individual herbs and garlic powder and onion powder if you prefer. However, those often contain sugar, so you might not want to add extra if you go that route.
  • Try using fresh herbs or changing up the herb blend. Keep in mind that the more you tweak it, the less it’ll taste like the Olive Garden version. That’s ok too!
  • I recommend using the mayo as suggested for the best texture and flavor. I’ve seen others use yogurt or sour cream in its place, but it’ll taste different than intended.
close up of a salad with italian dressing being drizzled

What to serve with this dressing

Leftovers and storage

  • Keep this dressing in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for 5-7 days.
  • I wouldn’t recommend storing an assembled salad for any period of time. Instead, just keep the individual elements separate in the fridge, and make a new salad with leftover dressing when you feel like it.
a jar of italian dressing next to a salad

Are you a fan of this homemade creamy Italian dressing? Did you make it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Tag me on Instagram if you made it.

a jar of italian dressing being drizzled on a salad
4.96 from 21 votes

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

This Olive Garden salad dressing recipe is an Italian American favorite! Get all the delicious bold and tangy flavors you know and love in this simple homemade dressing.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 tablespoons

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Add all ingredients to a prep bowl and whisk together, or add them to a jar and shake vigorously until combined. Taste and adjust if needed (e.g. add more vinegar or sugar).
  • Keep dressing in a sealed container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Shake well before using as some separation will occur.

Notes

  • Makes about 3/4 cup dressing – this should be good for 1-2 large salads or more smaller ones.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbsp, Calories: 119kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 7mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 13IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4.96 from 21 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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37 Comments

  1. Cathey says:

    5 stars
    Very close to Olive Garden recipe. The only ingredients missing are the bad ones!!!!! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Natasha says:

      You are very welcome! 😀

  2. judith says:

    I have used numerous Olive Garden “copy cat “ recipes and this is definitely the best one, I’ve tried. My husband agrees totally. I didn’t change a thing except that I used white wine vinegar instead of white vinegar ( small unimportant detail) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us….Ill be trying lots more!

    1. Natasha says:

      I love that!! 😀 Thanks for letting me know, Judith!

  3. Dina says:

    5 stars
    Thank you! this was delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled you enjoyed it, Dina!! 😀 Thanks for your review!

  4. Denise says:

    5 stars
    Delicious. To make it diabetic friendly, I substitute Splenda vs sugar. It tastes just as good, but has no sugar at all.

    1. Natasha says:

      Excellent! Glad you liked it. 🙂

  5. Diana says:

    5 stars
    Delish, I actually made 3 recipes on here today and yours was the winner!! I’m making the salad tomorrow, the dressing will definitely dress it in style!!

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww I love that!! Thanks so much for your review, Diana!

  6. Judith Maness says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Judith!! 🙂

  7. Brenda says:

    Suggestion: mix the sugar & vinegar first (until sugar is dissolved), then add the remaining ingredients.

  8. Nancy says:

    Nothing like Olive Garden! Way too much oil, I had to use 7 tablespoons of vinegar and an extra tablespoon of mayo just to make it useable.

    1. Brooke Wolff says:

      I feel like the fact that you have a solid grasp on the quality of Olive Garden dressing is the real issue here 🤣

  9. Samantha says:

    5 stars
    This is such a nice dressing to bring my salad lunches to life. Thank you so much for another amazing recipe!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy you like it!! Thanks for your review, Samantha! 😀

  10. Lorena says:

    5 stars
    I think the only problem with this salad dressing will be trying not to drink it straight from the jar you have shaken it in. It is so tasty, so vibrant and delicious, hits all the tastebud notes. I don’t know how Natasha does it, but she seems to have a gift for knowing just what and how much of an ingredient to add to each and every recipe she develops.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hahaha I love that!! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!! Really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to write me this review, Lorena! 🙂