better than Olive Garden garlic breadsticks recipe

best garlic breadstick ever

One of the best parts of going out to dinner at The Olive Garden has always been the breadsticks – they’re so warm, garlicky, and delicious that I keep the server busy bringing more baskets. But honestly, they aren’t quite as soft as they could be. And they really aren’t as buttery as they could be either. As much as I like The Olive Garden’s breadsticks, my mom’s breadsticks are just plain BETTER, mostly because they are so much softer, so I decided I needed to share the recipe.

The perfect compliment to just about any meal (and divine with soup!), these breadsticks will take your dinner over the top. Serve them to guests and after they’ve forgotten everything else they ate at your house they’ll still be talking about these breadsticks.

A few notes on the recipe: I don’t proof the yeast in warm water; I just throw everything in my stand mixer and get it started on low (2). Once all the flour is incorporated, I usually let it go for about 5 minutes. The recipe calls for 3 and 1/4 C flour and I don’t generally add any more than that; the dough does not need to completely pull away from the sides (see photo below). Most of it should congregate around the dough hook, but some will stick to the bottom of the bowl. Once you turn it out onto a floured surface, however, it should be easy to knead once or twice and roll into a ball – if it’s sticking right and left to your counter you’ll want to knead in a little bit more flour. Here are some photos for reference:

how to make garlic breadsticks



This dough makes perfect rolls, too – just divide into 16, shape as rolls, as rise/bake in a 9×13 pan. But to make perfect garlic breadsticks, shape like this:

how to make garlic butter breadsticks

Last time I made these they needed the full 18 minutes in the oven. It’s good to get some golden brown color on the tops – they’ll still be plenty soft.

6 T of melted butter will be plenty to coat the tops of all the breadsticks – with maybe a little left over. Mix in 1/4 t garlic salt if you want them just barely garlicky, and up to 1/2 t for a stronger garlic flavor. I give the tops of the breadsticks a good dunk in the butter – but don’t submerge the entire breadstick or the sides will suck up too much butter (I know, hard to believe ‘too much butter’ is possible, but it is).  If you’ll be serving your breadsticks in a basket be sure to line it with wax paper so the butter doesn’t stain your basket/towel.

Get the printable recipe card you see below by clicking here.

best ever garlic breadstick recipe

better than Olive Garden garlic breadstick recipe

If you’re looking for a great meal to serve these with, try my sweet bacon chili.

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    • 4

      autumn says

      Nope! Unless you’re worried your yeast is old or something there’s no need to proof first – I’ve made these often by hand and I just start mixing everything up at once in a bowl with a wooden spoon. I usually do have to add a little extra flour when I’m kneading by hand to keep them from sticking too much – I just add it little by little and try not to mix too much extra in. Good luck!

  1. 5

    amii says

    are you at low altitude? i ask because we are well over a mile high, and recipes need to be adjusted, but I don’t want to adjust it too far if you’re not at sea level

    • 6

      autumn says

      I’m actually at a pretty high altitude now and I’ve also made this recipe at lo altitude and haven’t had to adjust it in either place!

  2. 7

    Clara says

    These look incredible! Thanks for sharing! I only have one package of yeast but really want to make these now. ;) My package says it has 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of yeast in it… will that be enough or should I wait to make this recipe when I can get more yeast?

    • 8

      autumn says

      Hi Clara! You probably already decided one way or another – but if not I bet you’d be ok with using one package of yeast. The final product won’t be quite as light, but I think they’ll still be good!

  3. 9

    tina Hanson says

    If I bake them the morning before they’re being served, do I dip right when they get out of oven or before I serve them??

    • 10

      autumn says

      Once they’re out of the oven wait until they are completely cool, then put them in a large ziplock bag. Then dip them right before serving – you could even pop them back in the oven for a few minutes to warm them back up. If you do that you’d probably want to wrap them in foil to make sure they don’t dry out. I have some going in the oven right now!

    • 14

      autumn says

      You’re welcome – my kids love them too! They also ask how many they can have as soon as they come out of the oven :)

    • 16

      autumn says

      Hi Amy! I’m sure you could decrease the sugar if you wanted, but I wouldn’t leave it out completely because I know sugar helps activate the yeast (maybe try only 1 tablespoon or something). The breadsticks don’t taste sweet with the sugar, but I think it helps round out the flavor. If you give it a try with less sugar, let me know how it works!

  4. 17

    Abby says

    Thanks for sharing. These are my go to breadsticks. I’ve made these many times having friends over and all our kids keep asking for more and will even have them for ‘dessert’. We never have any left. I’m making a batch now too. Thank you!


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