Olive Garden Breadsticks – copycat

People ooh and ahh over the Olive Garden Breadsticks.

I’m going to be brutally honest and tell you . . . “I’ve never been that impressed.” 

It could be because they have never been hot, when they plop them on our table.

O.k. . . . I can feel you hissing at me right now.

f.y.i.  They are much more impressive from my own oven!

I found this recipe at  Jamie Cooks it Up. Her blog is fabulous, and you really should visit her soon.

I think the recipe originated from Food Network.

They are really quite fast and simple to make.

Hop into your kitchen and we’ll go through some of the steps together.

Start by getting 1 1/2 cups of hot tap water – hot, but not uncomfortable to touch.

Add the sugar – stir it in – add the yeast – stir it in.

Note:  I do this slightly different that the recipe. Either way will work.

(I let this sit and bubble up for about 5 minutes before proceeding.  The pic above is about 3 minutes in)

Once the yeast mixture has risen and is bubbly, I added the softened butter and the salt.

(Note:  To me, 1 tablespoon of salt sounded like a bit too much.  As you can see, I added one scant Tablespoon)

It was plenty for our tastes.

Add two cups of the flour.

I started mixing with the paddle attachment on low speed to begin with.

Continue adding the flour a cup at a time.

Once all the flour has been added, I replaced the paddle with the dough hook.

Let the hook or even the paddle work extremely hard for at least 5 or 6 minutes on medium speed.

Make sure the dough isn’t sticky – add a touch more flour if it is.

The dough should scrape the sides of the bowl clean, and be very ELASTIC!

You don’t want a STIFF DOUGH, but not sticky to the touch.


Grease 2 cookie sheets.

 Spray your working surface with cooking spray and form that nice ball of dough into a long roll.

Now cut it in half.

Just eyeball it . . . I’m suddenly in a huge hurry . . . sweet half is on his way home much earlier tonight . . . yikes.

Now mark off sections of dough with a knife or pizza cutter.

I made 7 balls with each half.

7  + 7 = 14.

Take a ball of dough and roll it into a long rope.

Roll it an inch longer than you really want it.  Why?  It will spring back and shrink slightly.

(see that towel in the background – It is covering all the little balls of dough – so that it doesn’t dry out!)

I positioned the sticks so that they ran down the long side of the pan.

These breadsticks are going to be big hummers and very rustic looking.

If you want them smaller and pretty, simply roll them into long lengths, twist the dough into braided strips.

If you are in a hurry:

Cover each pan with a clean towel. Place the pans in your oven with the temperature PREHEATED to 170. Let them rise for about 15 minutes, or until doubled in size.  Once the breadsticks have risen, remove them from the oven. Not in a hurry:  You can cover the pans with a clean towel, and let them rise (out of the oven) until they are double in size.

Once the breadsticks are double in size, prepare the butter mixture.

Put the butter in a small microwave safe bowl.  Add the garlic powder.  Melt the butter.

 (Note:  I used garlic salt instead, since It’s not quite as strong in garlic flavor)

This . . . I do for my hubbie.

Now . . . Brush that beautiful dough with about half of the butter mixture and sprinkle them with the sea salt. (Go easy on the salt if you used garlic salt instead of powder.)  Put them back into the oven that is still at 170 degrees.  The recipe says to turn the temperature up to 400 degrees.  I always buck the system, and decided that 375 degrees would be hot enough in my oven.  I have a Wolf convection range and it gets a bit hotter than non convection ovens.  375 worked well for me. Bake them for 12 to 15 minutes until they are golden brown.

Oh geez . . . look how rustic.

If I were to take these somewhere, I would have made them a bit lovelier.

yummy though.

Brush them with the rest of the melted butter and sprinkle with parmesan . . . if you like.

And there you have it.

Olive Garden Copycat Breadsticks  . . . better when made at home!



Time: 1 hour
Yield: 14 breadsticks 
Recipe adapted from The Food Network

1 1/2 C hot water
2 T sugar
1 T salt
2 T butter, softened
4-5 C flour
1 T yeastTopping:
3 T butter melted
sea salt
1/4 t garlic powder

1. Turn your tap water to hot. It should feel hot, but not so hot that it’s uncomfortable to touch.
2. Fill up your handy measuring device with 1 1/2 C hot water.
3. Pour the water into your stand mixer. Add the sugar.
4. And the salt.
5. Add the softened butter.
6. Pour in about 2 cups of flour.
7. Using the paddle handle start to mix the dough on low.
8. Add the yeast.
9. Add the rest of the flour about a half cup at a time, until the dough scrapes the sides of the bowl clean.
10. Mix the dough for 5 minutes on medium speed. (Don’t scrimp on this, the dough needs to be nice and elastic.
( If you were to touch it, it should spring back just a bit. That is what you want!)
11. Spray your counter top and your hands with cooking spray. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and roll it into a long log on your counter top.
12. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut the dough into 12-14 pieces.
13. Roll the pieces into long snakes. Roll them slightly longer than you want them to be. Once you set them in the pan, they will shrink a bit.
14. Spray 2 large cookie sheets with cooking spray, and lay the breadsticks out leaving about 2 inches between each one.
15. Place the pans in your oven with the temperature turned to 170. Let them rise for about 15 minutes, or until doubled in size.
16. Once the breadsticks have risen, remove them from the oven. Brush them with the 1 1/2 T of the melted butter and sprinkle them with the sea salt. (Go easy on the salt)
17. Return them to the oven and turn the heat to 400 degrees. Your dough will rise a bit more as the oven temprature increases. Once it has hit 400 degrees the breadsticks should cook for about 12 -15 minutes, or until golden brown. Half way thought the baking period  open up your oven and switch the bottom pan to the top, and the top to the bottom. This will ensure they cook evenly.
18. While the breadsticks are baking combine the rest of the melted butter with 1/4 t garlic powder.
19. When the breadsticks are golden brown, remove them from the oven and brush them with the melted butter/garlic mixture. I also sprinkled parmesan over ours.

Note:  These are best served hot from the oven.


  • Erin @ Texanerin Baking - 03/24/2012 - 2:11 pm

    Quite pathetically, I’ve never been to Olive Garden or had their breadsticks. I love the rustric look of these! And that’s a mighty fine looking Kitchenaid you have there. 🙂 These look awesome. I wish I could just eat bread-like stuff all day. And white bread-like type at that. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - 03/24/2012 - 3:51 pm

    What a fabulous idea! Yum!ReplyCancel

  • colleen - 03/25/2012 - 7:54 am

    Olive Garden is an awful excuse for an Italian restaurant :O) They hype up their all you can eat salad and breadsticks because the rest of the food is so bad they hope you are full and don’t really notice. :O) These look really good i will def have to try them :O)ReplyCancel

  • colleen - 03/25/2012 - 7:55 am

    I love the new pic of the fruit by the way ! Very cute and spring-yReplyCancel

  • Teresa O - 03/25/2012 - 8:05 am

    Olive Garden breadsticks are ok, but yours look delicious.

    I never thought I’d switch from my mom’s old pie crust recipe, but I tried yours last Sunday and was amazed…the crust was flaky,crisp and delicious. I didn’t have enough shortening though, so I used butter to fill in and it still came out perfect. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Karen L - 03/25/2012 - 8:41 am

    Actually I’ve never been a fan of Olive Garden breadsticks. I’ve never understood all of the hype. Yours look fabulous and I’m going to make them soon! Thanks for posting the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • jules p - 03/25/2012 - 3:04 pm

    Oh..I totally agree with you. O.G’s breadsticks are just okay. Years ago, they seemed much better than what they are today. I have always said it looks like a hotdog bun instead of a breadstick! 😉ReplyCancel

  • jules p - 03/25/2012 - 3:05 pm

    …and yours look A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Virgin - 03/25/2012 - 3:13 pm

    I have to be different…but I LOVE Olive Garden AND their breadsticks! But I have a feeling I am going to love your’s more! You always have the BEST recipes! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren @ Girls Gone Food - 03/26/2012 - 11:30 am

    The only reason I like to go to Olive Garden is to get salad and breadsticks. The breadsticks are so yummy! Thanks for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Rosa - 03/27/2012 - 1:09 am

    Those look wonderful! I bet they are extremely addictive.



  • Devynn - 04/16/2012 - 6:55 pm

    Best breadsticks I have EVER made. YUMMMMMMYYYY!!! I can’t stop eating them! Thank you so much for this!ReplyCancel

  • tommy - 10/16/2012 - 11:20 am

    As a former flowers foods employee I can state for a fact that olive garden gets their breadsticks from flowers foods. Look around your area for a thrift store and they will most likely have them in stock. If they don’t but you see cobblestone mill bread sticks they are the same thing only pre prepped with olive oil and basil. Pop em in the oven at 450 for 3 minutes brush melted butter or margarine on them and sprinkle garlic salt. That is how olive garden preps them. Mind you they have a convection oven.ReplyCancel

  • Tawni - 03/10/2013 - 5:26 pm

    My husband and I loved these! My mom also sent me a copyccat recipe for Olive Gardens Zuppa Toscano Soup, both are so much better than those. Simply Delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!ReplyCancel