Olive Garden Salad


Good salads are often my favorite part of a meal. That is always the case when we go to Olive Garden....in fact, I often just do the salad, soup, and bread sticks option so I can really enjoy lots of salad. Many years ago, I found a great dressing that is so similar to theirs and is really yummy!! It's a creamy Italian dressing with a little zip, and my kiddos LOVE it! We also have an awesome way to make homemade croutons that I will share in this post. Ready for a delicious salad?


Olive Garden Salad

Serves 6


2 head romaine lettuce (or combo of iceberg and romaine)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup black olives, halved

1/4 red onion, sliced thinly

1/4 cup sliced banana peppers or pepperonchini's


Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Croutons:

4 slices gluten free bread, cut into cubes

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning


Prepare salad ingredients and toss in a large salad bowl. Blend all dressing ingredients together. Just before serving, pour over salad and toss to coat.


For croutons, mix melted butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350° F for 7 minutes; flip bread cubes over, then bake for another 7 minutes. Serve over salad.


Step-by-step tutorial:


Gather your salad ingredients. You will need romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, a red onion, a can of black olives, and sliced banana peppers or pepperonchini's.


Prepare the salad ingredients. You can do as much or as little of any of these ingredients according to your family's tastes.


A really cool trick with red onions is to soak them in cold water for about 5 minutes, then drain. This takes the "bite" off and the kids like them more.


For the dressing, you will need mayonnaise, white vinegar, vegetable oil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, light corn syrup, garlic, parsley, and Italian seasoning.


Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Put into a salad dressing container and refrigerate until ready to use.


To make croutons, get 3-4 slices of your favorite gluten free bread, and cut into cubes. In a glass bowl, melt 4 tablespoons butter; add 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning.


Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350° F for 7 minutes. Take out and flip the bread pieces over. Bake for another 7 minutes. It will make your kitchen smell SO good! If you want them even more toasted, go ahead and broil for a minute or two until desired brownness.


Homemade croutons are seriously THE BEST THING EVER. You will never want to buy store-bought croutons again.


Combine salad ingredients in a bowl.


Serve salad, top with croutons, and pour dressing over.


You are going to fall in love with this salad! Can you see the heart in this picture? Perfect hidden gem for such a delicious side. Enjoy!


Recipe Source: Shanna's recipe box

Did you try this recipe?  I'd love to hear from you!  Please rate and leave a comment!

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