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DIY Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing

March 1, 2015

DIY Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing
I thought I would bring you a little restaurant indulgence this week and I am really excited to finally share this recipe with you! It is one that I have been tweaking and working on over the last couple years and this fall I finally got it.

Olive Garden probably isn’t the fanciest restaurant in the world, but I think everyone would agree they totally nailed it when they created their house salad dressing. It is so addicting! And conveniently too, considering they do that whole all you can eat salad thing before your dinner comes!

DIY Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing
When they started selling their famous salad dressing by the bottle I used to save up to buy it (think college years…). But really that bottle that I thought I was being so healthy pouring over a nice salad for lunch, was full of blood sugar spiking high fructose corn syrup, and toxic, rancid soybean oil, among other additives.

DIY Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing
I started making my own salad dressings when I started my real food journey years ago, and as it turns out, many popular dressings at the store like Ranch, French, and Thousand Island are so fast to make at home with safer, more nourishing ingredients. This dressing comes together super quick and truly tastes just like the one from the restaurant! Don’t be afraid to serve it to the kids too – I pack it in my kindergartener’s lunch and my 3 year old devours it and likes to use it for dip with veggie sticks.

Get a pot of spaghetti going on the stove and let me show you how to make your own Olive Garden dressing for the salads and you can have an Italian night out at home!

DIY Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing
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4.5 from 2 reviews
DIY Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing
  • 1 cup avocado oil (Or combo avocado oil & olive oil. I get my avocado oil at Costco.)
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 TB mayonnaise (homemade preferable to avoid toxic oils)
  • 1 TB Italian dressing mix (this is not Italian seasoning – use salad dressing mix – my recipe is super quick to mix up! Go to the Italian dressing in THIS post and use the mix.)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Optional ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (I often make it without and it is just as delicious without if you can’t do the dairy! This batch did not have the cheese so you can see it is still creamy and delicious.)
  1. Everything into a jar and use an immersion blender to mix. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can put all of the ingredients into a food processor except the oil. Then use the oil drip spout on your food processor to add the oil in to emulsify in the dressing slowly.
  2. This recipe makes a good pint of dressing. Store the dressing in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

If you are looking for more restaurant inspired dressings, try this Caesar dressing, and this Asian dressing!

Also check out my DIY condiments pintrest board for more inspiration!

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  • Reply Jessica March 1, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    I can’t wait to try it!!!

  • Reply Raine Saunders March 5, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    This is a great post, so helpful. I remember even as long as 10 years ago going to Olive Garden and asking the servers what was in the salad dressing that comes with their “bottomless” salad as I like to call it. I wasn’t happy when I was told one of the main ingredients was soybean oil. I grew up having my mother make homemade dressing and she always used olive oil, and with a name like Olive Garden it seems completely backward that this restaurant would use soybean oil instead of olive oil!

    I am grateful for posts like this which explain just how simple it is to make your own dressing, and which emphasize the flavor and nutrition as well. Thank you Renee!

  • Reply Krystal March 5, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Ohhh Renee I think you’re gonna put Olive garden out of business here!!

  • Reply Anna @Green Talk March 5, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I can’t eat avocados so I am wondering how grape seed oil would taste? What other mild oil do you suggest?

    • Reply Ann May 27, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Try rice bran oil from Japan or Korea. Mild tasting. Grape seed oil is fine. Sunflower oil is good, too.

  • Reply linda spiker March 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Fabulous recipe! I love it. And so healthy!

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish March 5, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    This sounds absolutely delicious! I used to frequent Olive Garden all the time during my college days and I always had their salad {with breadsticks of course … before my gluten-free days}. Pinned it.

  • Reply Megan Stevens March 6, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I can tell it will be just right. Nice recipe!!

  • Reply Chloe @ How We Flourish March 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    This sounds delicious! We always make our own salad dressing, and it is good to get new ideas. Adding this to our list!

  • Reply Dena Norton March 7, 2015 at 9:58 am

    There are so few commercial and restaurant foods worth of emulating but OG’s dressing?? Yes, yes, yes!! Thanks for this – pinned!

  • Reply kait March 10, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    This salad dressing is AWESOME! thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Kait! Great 😉 Thanks for coming back to let me know!

  • Reply 10 Salad Dressings to Stop Buying and Start Making - Live Simply March 19, 2015 at 9:22 am

    […] 6. DIY Olive Garden Dressing: Boy did Olive Garden really nail it when they created their house salad, didn’t they?! It was such a hit they put it on store shelves so you could have it at home! This tastes exactly like the Olive Garden Salad Dressing you love, but it’s made with safer more nourishing ingredients! Total Time: 5 Minutes […]

  • Reply Rachel April 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    You can’t have avocados either? It’s such a random food allergy, I thought I was the only one. It makes me vomit. =( So sad because I used to love avocados on everything. I would probably just use all olive oil. It might not taste quite the same.

  • Reply 7 Tips on How to Hate Running Less, Edamame yes or no?, Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing, and More in Today's Monday Mix-up! - Kelly the Kitchen Kop April 15, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    […] you a fan of Olive Garden’s house salad dressing? Here’s how to make it even better yourself, without the GMO high fructose corn syrup or rancid soybean oil that Olive Garden […]

  • Reply Anne April 22, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I made this dressing last night and I was so upset. It tasted good, but was very runny. I did everything exactly as the recipe stated and used an immersion blender to mix it. Any idea what might have happened?

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 22, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Hi Anne! Hmmm I’m not sure – I make this dressing almost weekly and have never had it turn out super runny. What oil did you use? And what mayo?

  • Reply Italian Diakon Radish Salad - Raising Generation Nourished May 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    […] cup of my DIY Olive Garden dressing OR my Italian […]

  • Reply 30+ Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes - Healy Eats Real October 13, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    […] DIY Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing […]

  • Reply 20 Real Food Copycat recipes October 18, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    […] 3.] DIY Homemade Olive Garden Salad Dressing […]

  • Reply From Scratch Basics - The Foods That You Should Make Instead of Buy! - The Pistachio Project January 15, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    […] Italian Salad Dressing – Raising Generation Nourished […]

  • Reply Tylenol Pleads Guilty, Trick to Whiten Teeth Naturally, Internet Rage, Nutritionists in Bed with Big Food, and More in Today's Mix-Up - Kelly the Kitchen Kop April 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

    […] black olives, red onions, organic croutons, freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, the homemade Olive Garden dressing I told you about last week (so yummy!), and some homemade ranch for the kids who didn’t want […]

  • Reply Shawna Van Nuys May 5, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Would it work with a mixture of Olive oil and grape seed oil?

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