Copycat Olive Garden Breadstick Recipe

There are few restaurant offerings as quintessential as the Olive Garden breadstick. Truly, have you ever met a person who didn't love Olive Garden breadsticks? No, we haven't either.

Breadsticks have been on the menu at Olive Garden since the restaurant chain opened its first location in 1982. And people have been going crazy for them ever since. There's just something so magical about sitting down at the table and having a beautiful basket of breadsticks delivered right to you. They're soft, they're warm, and they're garlicky. They're ridiculously delicious, and let's face it, trying to only eat one breadstick is a daunting task.

What if you could make your own version of Olive Garden breadsticks at home? If you're the person who orders from Olive Garden and asks for extra, extra breadsticks, then this one is for you. But it's also the perfect recipe for those looking for a complement to a delicious pasta dish for dinner or perhaps a hearty winter soup. With a bit of patience, you'll have those dreamy copycat Olive Garden breadsticks coming straight out of the oven in your own home. And the best part? You control the garlic butter topping in this situation, and you can add as much as you could ever want.

Gather the ingredients for these copycat Olive Garden breadsticks

First thing's first, you'll want to gather all of the ingredients for this copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe. Not surprisingly, Olive Garden keeps the ingredients of their coveted breadsticks pretty close to the chest, so basing this recipe off of actual ingredients used by the restaurant was challenging. However, it's safe to say that Olive Garden utilizes a pretty simple bread recipe for their breadsticks. It's all about nailing down the topping that makes them unique.

To make your own copycat Olive Garden breadsticks, gather one package of active dry yeast, milk, water, sugar, oil, and flour. For the topping, you'll want to be sure you have butter, garlic salt, and garlic powder on hand and ready to go.

We utilized active dry yeast for this recipe because of the way it interacts with the milk and water. Instant yeast can just be mixed into the dough, but we opted against it for this particular recipe. Be sure you're utilizing active dry yeast for best results for these copycat Olive Garden breadsticks.

Activate the yeast for this copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe

The first and perhaps most important step of this copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe is to activate the yeast. The yeast needs to come in contact with liquid in order to dissolve and be reactivated.

Mix the 1 ½ cups milk and ½ cup water together and microwave for about 30 seconds. It's important that your liquid is just on the warm side, rather than boiling hot. Dump the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Stir in the sugar, and then sprinkle the yeast over the liquid. 

Part of the reasoning for this step, and for utilizing active dry yeast, is so that you know you're utilizing yeast that's still alive and well. You'll know your yeast is still good to use when it starts to slightly foam in the bowl. Allow the yeast a few minutes to become fully activated before moving onto the next step.

Mix the dough for this copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe

To make the dough for these copycat Olive Garden breadsticks, turn your mixer speed on low and start gradually adding in the flour to the yeast and milk mixture. Add in two cups of flour, and allow it to be fully incorporated into the dough mixture. Mix in the two tablespoons oil, and then increase the speed of your mixer. Continue gradually, adding in the rest of the flour.

The flour brings the dough together as you balance it with the moisture of the milk and yeast mixture. As the dough mixes in the mixer, it will start to pull away from the sides of the bowl once enough flour has been incorporated. This won't be a wet dough. Continue to knead the dough with the dough hook until it's smooth but still elastic.

Once your dough is ready, pick it up out of the bowl, and spray the bowl with cooking spray or grease it with butter. Put the dough back into the mixing bowl and allow to rise for one hour.

Knead and form the dough for this copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe

Once you've let your dough for your copycat Olive Garden breadsticks sit to rise for at least one hour, it should be just about doubled in size. This time to proof should have given your dough great shape. Once risen, transfer the dough to a flat surface, such as your countertop, and be sure it's well-floured so the dough doesn't stick.

Using your hands, knead the dough and begin to flatten it. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin on your countertop. You'll want to roll the dough out until it's about a half-inch thick.

Once your dough is rolled out, cut your breadsticks using a dough scraper or a knife. Cut 7-inch long strips, each about 1-inch thick. Transfer the breadsticks to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees to allow it to preheat. Set your breadsticks on the stovetop to allow them to rise for an additional ½ hour before baking.

Form and bake these copycat Olive Garden breadsticks

Once your breadsticks have risen for another ½ hour, it's finally time to bake your copycat Olive Garden breadsticks. This is the moment you've been waiting for. But before baking your breadsticks, brush the top of each one with a bit of cold water. This will mimic the process of adding steam when baking bread. Be sure not to add too much water when brushing so your breadsticks won't be soggy.

Once brushed with a bit of water, put your breadsticks in the oven at 425 degrees. Allow them to bake for 5 minutes, and then turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees. Let your breadsticks bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes until the bottoms and tops are lightly golden brown.

Once your breadsticks are baked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly before adding the garlic butter topping to finish them off.

Brush these copycat Olive Garden breadsticks with garlic butter

The real secret to classic Olive Garden breadsticks is that wildly delicious and totally addicting topping. For the topping, you'll need butter, garlic salt, and garlic powder.

Melt the two tablespoons of butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the garlic powder and garlic salt. Utilizing both options gives that classic salty flavor to the breadsticks without going overboard on the salt. Be sure to whisk the garlic powder into the mixture well so it doesn't clump. This adds a great additional dash of garlic flavor.

While your breadsticks are still warm but not completely piping hot, brush the tops with the garlic butter. Utilize a pastry brush or a basting brush for this step. If you love super-salty, garlicky breadsticks, sprinkle a bit more garlic salt on top after the garlic butter has been added.

Copycat Olive Garden Breadstick Recipe
4.7 from 12 ratings
If you're the person who orders from Olive Garden and asks for extra, extra breadsticks, then this one is for you. Try it out today.
Prep Time
2
hours
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
11
breadsticks
Copycat Olive Garden breadsticks
Total time: 2.25 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups milk, warm
  • ½ cup water, warm
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 to 5 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Directions
  1. Mix the 1 ½ cups milk and ½ cup water together and microwave for about 30 seconds. Add the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Stir in the sugar, and then sprinkle the yeast over the liquid. Allow the yeast a few minutes to activate before moving onto the next step.
  2. Turn your mixer speed on low and start gradually adding in the flour. Add in two cups of flour, and allow it to be fully incorporated into the dough mixture.
  3. Mix in the two tablespoons of oil, and then increase the speed of your mixer. Continue gradually adding in the rest of the flour. Continue kneading your dough in the mixer until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Once your dough is ready, pick it up out of the bowl, and spray the bowl with cooking spray or grease it with butter. Put the dough back into the mixing bowl and allow to rise for one hour.
  5. Using your hands, knead the dough and begin to flatten it. Roll out the dough to about ½-inch thick using a rolling pin on your countertop.
  6. Cut your breadsticks using a dough scraper or a knife. Cut 7-inch long strips, each about 1-inch thick.
  7. Transfer the breadsticks to a cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees to allow it to preheat. Set your breadsticks on the stovetop to allow to rise for an additional ½ hour before baking.
  8. Brush the tops of your breadstick with a bit of cold water before baking. Put your breadsticks in the oven at 425 degrees. Allow to bake for 5 minutes, and then turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees. Let your breadsticks bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes until the bottoms and tops are lightly golden brown.
  9. Melt the butter and then whisk together with garlic salt and garlic powder. Brush the tops of the warm breadsticks with the garlic butter mixture.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 269
Total Fat 6.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 8.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 44.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 4.1 g
Sodium 18.2 mg
Protein 7.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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