In today’s post: I’m sharing a copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe that’s even better than the original!
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 to tell you the truth, as much as I like Olive Garden breadsticks, my mom’s breadsticks are just plain BETTER! Don’t believe me? Well, here’s what one of my readers thinks:
“These 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.”
Hey, thanks! I first published this recipe over four years ago and many of you have reported loving these breadsticks.
My children beg me to make these better than Olive Garden breadsticks as often as possible and everyone is thrilled when I serve them. Seriously, warm, soft breadsticks will cheer up even the grumpiest teenager.
I know making homemade bread can be intimidating, but these really are not hard! You’ll need to start them about 3 hours before you want to serve them, but the hands-on time is actually pretty minimal. If you’ve never made bread before and are nervous about the kneading, etc., click on over to this post – The Best Dinner Rolls – and watch the instructional video. It will walk you through every step of this recipe. The only difference is that video will show you how to shape the bread into rolls, and in this post I’ll show you how to shape the dough into breadsticks.
Olive Garden breadsticks recipe
- 1 cup water warm
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 egg
- 3 & 1/4 cup white flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- garlic salt and Italian seasoning to taste
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- Combine all ingredients (except for topping ingredients) in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix using the dough hook until combined on low.
- Continue mixing about 5 minutes, adding just a little more flour if needed.
- Dough will be soft and slightly sticky; it won't completely pull away from side of bowl.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead two or three times, forming a ball.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise one to one and a half hours, until nearly double in size.
- On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12x16 inch rectangle. Use pizza cutter to slice into 16 pieces.
- Pinched the long sides of each piece together to form a breadstick shape.
- Place sticks pinched side down on a greased cookie sheet, cover with towel, and let rise about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Brush with butter and sprinkle with seasonings.
Watch this quick video that shows how to make them (written instructions follow):
How to make better than Olive Garden breadsticks
Again, if you are unfamiliar with making bread, you can watch the instructional video in my dinner rolls post to get step by step instructions for kneading the dough and letting it rise. The first rise generally takes 60-90 minutes.
At that point, you’ll punch down your dough and roll it into a rectangle that’s roughly the size of a cookie sheet. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 16 slices:
Take each piece and pull the long sides up together and pinch closed, as shown below:
NOTE: the step above ensures you get a very smooth, round breadstick. If you’re not worried about having a perfect shape, you can just roll your dough out into a smaller rectangle, cut it into 16, and skip the shaping step.
Place all the breadsticks on a lightly greased cookie sheet and allow to rise a second time until nicely puffed. The second rise usually only takes 30 minutes. Here are the breadsticks before and after the second rise:
After the second rise, place the cookie sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown on top.
Then brush the breadsticks with melted butter and sprinkle them with garlic salt and Italian seasoning (or whatever seasoning blend you prefer).
That’s heaven right there!
Since these better than Olive Garden breadsticks are nice and buttery, I like to line whatever basket or towel I’m serving them from with wax paper.
Want more bread recipes? Visit these posts: