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Apr 28, 2021

Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

These copycat Olive Garden breadsticks are light, airy, soft, and fluffy, just like the ones you can't stop eating from the restaurant. 

Olive Garden Breadsticks on a plate

What is the first thing you think of when someone mentions Olive Garden? Of course, their amazing breadsticks! 

Say what you will about Olive Garden, they really do make outstanding breadsticks, the kind you just can't stop eating. It's all I can do to not to be the first one to reach into the bread basket and grab one.  Supposedly, they serve about 700 million breadsticks per year. 

Now you can make them at home! 

These breadsticks are delicious straight from the oven and are perfect for dipping in your favorite sauces. 

Serve these warm with your favorite Italian-style soup and a salad for my favorite delicious combo meal to order. Serving these as part of a light soup and salad lunch or dinner just leaves room for more breadsticks. Plus, the breadsticks are so good for dipping in your soup. 

Olive Garden Breadsticks in a basket

The minute these breadsticks emerge from the oven, you brush them generously with melted butter and then sprinkle them with a mixture of granulated garlic, salt, and a bit of dried oregano. Serve them warm, no waiting. 

In fact, you may want to secretly eat one before bringing the rest to the table... for "quality control." 

Ingredients in these breadsticks (and possible substitutions):

All purpose flour - preferably unbleached. 

Instant yeast - while it is my preference, if you only have active dry yeast, substitute it one for one. There really isn't any need to proof it these days. 

Granulated sugar - it provides "food" for the yeast. Plus, because the baking time is so short, the sugar will help the breadsticks turn golden. 

Olive oil - it adds flavor and also softens the dough. It coats the proteins that form gluten and helps keep the breadsticks tender. You can also substitute vegetable oil. 

Salt - it is absolutely essential for flavor when baking bread. If you've ever forgotten to add salt to your dough, you will know what I mean. I used non-iodized table salt. If you decide to use sea salt, be sure to substitute by weight, not volume. 

Unsalted butter - for coating the baked breadsticks. If you only have salted butter, you can just cut back very slightly on the amount of salt that you sprinkle over the buttered breadsticks. 

Granulated garlic - if you only have garlic powder, feel free to substitute. The main difference is that granulated garlic has more texture, kind of like cornmeal. 

Dried oregano - this was my extra touch for the topping. If you don't have it, you can skip it. I think it makes the breadsticks "prettier."

Olive Garden Copycat breadsticks cooling on a rack

Shaping these breadsticks is pretty easy, and even if you don't get them "just right," they still taste great. I highly recommend using a scale for dividing the risen dough into equal pieces. 

How to shape these breadsticks:

First, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Next, form each piece into a ball. 

Next, flatten each dough ball and then roll it as you would a loaf of bread. Seal the the seam and then roll the dough back and forth with your hands on your work surface into a 9-inch rope. 

How to reheat these breadsticks:

Wrap leftovers in foil and reheat in a 350 degree F for about 5 to 7 minutes. Once they are reheated, you can re-brush them with more butter if you like. So good. 

Olive Garden breadsticks side dish

For a full meal, some of my favorite recipes that go with these breadsticks include pasta and cheese with cauliflower, cheesy butternut squash pasta, and pasta carbonara torte

More dinner roll and breadstick recipes: 

Progressive Eats logo

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month's theme is Copycat Recipes.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it's a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious copycat inspired dishes!

CopyCat Recipes

Beverage Appetizer Bread
  • Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks - Karen’s Kitchen Stories (that's me!)
Main Courses Side Dish Desserts

Olive Garden Breadsticks with dipping sauce

How to stay up to date with Karen's Kitchen Stories? 

Be sure to follow me on Facebook. Do you like taking photos of the food you make? You can also join my Facebook food photo sharing group (you don't have to be a blogger).

While you’re here please take a minute to follow me on Pinterest. I’m always pinning great recipes from fellow bloggers.

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Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
These copycat Olive Garden breadsticks are light, airy, soft, and fluffy, just like the ones you can't stop eating from the restaurant.


For the Breadsticks
  • 13 1/2 to 15 3/4 ounces (3 to 3 1/2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the Topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Pinch of dried oregano, rubbed between your fingers
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Whisk together 6 3/4 ounces (190 grams) of the flour with the yeast, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
  2. Add the water and oil and stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until combined. 
  3. Add an additional 6 3/4 ounces flour to the bowl and mix with the dough hook for about 7 minutes, adding more flour by the tablespoon as necessary to achieve a slightly sticky dough. I only needed an additional 2 tablespoons. 
  4. Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes. 
  5. Deflate the dough and divide into 12 equal (about 2 ounces each) pieces. 
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  7. Form each piece into a log and roll between your hands until you have a 9 inch rope. Place the ropes on the baking sheets, 6 per sheet. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. 
  8. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  9. Let the shaped breadsticks rise for 1 hour, until puffy. 
  10. Bake the breadsticks, one sheet at a time, for 11 to 13 minutes. If the breadsticks aren't brown enough, move them to a higher rack or turn on the convection mode of your oven for the last two minutes. Do not over bake. 
  11. While the breadsticks are baking, mix together the garlic, salt, and oregano and melt the butter. 
  12. Brush the breadsticks, fresh from the oven, with the melted butter, and sprinkle with the garlic and salt mixture. 
  13. Serve warm. 
    Bread, copycat
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    Would you like to comment?

    1. You make the BEST bread, Karen. I'm saving this to make to accompany our next spaghetti dinner. These look amazing and will be a hit with my crew!!

    2. I still remember the first time I went to olive garden and ate those! I could not stop eating them. Yours look even more delicious and hence more dangerous! haha

    3. How did I guess that you would make something involving bread for Progressive Eats? :) I'm a carbaholic so these appeal even though I don't think I've ever eaten in an Olive Garden. Actually, I'd rather go to your house and eat the breadsticks you make.

    4. The thing I miss most about Olive Garden is these breadsticks and yours look incredible! You are so talented!! Thank you so much for sharing these.

    5. I don't live near an Olive Garden and haven't for years but the memory of those breadsticks is still strong. I love that you have this copycat Karen; I know I'll eat the whole basket. :)

      1. It's been a long time for me too, but these things definitely evoke lots of memories!


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