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!

    • 18

      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. 19

    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!

  5. 20

    Monique says

    For some reason mine are super dry. I had to add an extra 1/4 c of water and they still aren’t at all sticky. I was afraid to add to much. They’re rising now so we’ll see, but I’m kind of afraid the texture will be off. I’ll update in a little while!

    • 21

      autumn says

      Let me know how it goes – I bet they’ll be just fine! It’s really hard to get exact flour measurements without weighing flour (which I’m too lazy to do). Next time you can try adding less flour to start with. Anyway, definitely update me – I have my fingers crossed for you!

  6. 22

    Monique says

    They were a hit while they lasted! It’s probably the type of flour I used. I forget what its called but it’s supposed to have the nutrition of wheat but the texture/usage of all purpose. It isn’t white wheat, its finer than that. I had to get up and look, it was bugging me! Ultragrain all purpose. Anyway, its a keeper! I’m trying the french loaves tomorrow! I had planned to make the crock pot lasagna but I didn’t get started in time so I just made pans of traditional using the recipe/ingredients I had jotted down from here.

  7. 23

    Christina says

    I found this via pinterest. Made a half batch of them this eve. They were simple to do, and turned out great. They are better than olive garden. These are very light and fluffy. Like pillows. Seriously great. Last time I was at olive garden the breadsticks were tough and chewy. Again, these are much better. I did add some extra garlic powder on top of them after I brushed (rather than dip) on the butter/garlic salt mix. Thanks for a great breadstick dough!

  8. 24

    Shaza says

    i never ever write reviews but i had to write one for this recipe. 3 Words: Finger-Lickin’ Deliciousness!
    everyone loved those bread sticks and they were so easy to make!
    and they all said those r better than olive garden. i served them with 3 dips: Olive paste, Pesto, and Salsa. Yummy.
    thank you so much.

    • 25

      autumn says

      Thanks so much, Shaza! I think these would be amazing dipped in pesto – I’ll have to try that soon!

  9. 26

    Sara says

    Hi Autumn, I’m really excited to try these, but I’m gluten-free. I’ve been using almond flour recently, but I’ve only tried it in two recipes and it seems to make things really “heavy.” Would you have any insight into whether almond flour would work with this recipe? Or perhaps another gluten-free flour? I’m a total breadhead, and I’m absolutely dying for some breadsticks! Thanks in advance!

    • 27

      autumn says

      Oh, Sara, I have absolutely no experience with anything gluten free, so I’m no help at all. I know sometimes posts gluten free recipes – maybe she has a good gluten free bread recipe? Good luck!

  10. 28


    May I ask what type of yeast you use? I have Active Dry Yeast, but I’ve seen some recipes call for different amounts of yeast, depending on if you have the active dry vs. instant yeast. Thanks!

  11. 29

    Julie villegas says

    I tried this recipe today and let me tell you it is fantastic. I shaped the dough into dinner rolls and they turned up perfect! Thank you so much for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  12. 30

    Nikki Squirrell says

    Hi, I am in UK and I wonder what flour I should use, we have plain (no raising agent), self raising or bread flour(also known as strong flour)?

    • 31

      autumn says

      I just use all purpose flour, which doesn’t have a raising agent added, so I suppose that would be plain for you – good luck!

      • 32

        Nikki says

        yes they worked with plain flour, absolutely delicious. I make them all the time now and my family love them.
        thank you.

  13. 34

    Heather says

    These are amazing!! I think I ate about 6 while I was finishing up my spaghetti! Good thing it makes a ton so nobody realized i was such a piggy in the kitchen lol. Making again tonight. 🙂 Thank you!!

  14. 35

    Sally says

    Yummy! I used my bread machine on the dough setting and these turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. 36


    i made these three times and they turned out great. I tried them at my daughters house and they rose ok on the first rise but not on the second. I forgot the salt on the last batch. Any ideas what I did wrong? The dough seemed stiffer also with the same amount of flour. I use King Arthur all purpose and spoon flour into measuring cup and level off. Thanks for a reply.

  16. 37

    Tina says

    Just like everyone else my family and I thought these were the best bread sticks ever. I also made loaf bread with the recipe and it was very good. The recipe made two small loaves. Thank you for the recipe.

  17. 40

    Jessica says

    I have been making these for awhile now and just started feeling guilty that I’ve never commented about how amazing these breadsticks are! They seriously are BETTER than Olive Garden’s, and I had some serious Olive Garden fans that were major skeptics of the claim! It is the ONLY breadstick recipe we use now and I make them almost weekly. Now whenever I come across a recipe that was posted by you, I always know it’ll be amazing (and it always is!!!) This recipe was where it all began for me though, and we will never be the same. Thank you for sharing this gem!!!!

  18. 45


    After baking these can you brush them with the butter garlic mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pop them back in for a few minutes?


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