January 22, 2013

Olive Garden Salad Dressing and Italian Margaritas

This recipe was my #4 most popular recipe in 2013! View the Top 10 here

So my foodie friends, I have a secret to confess: I'm a huge fan of soup and salad! On nights when my hubby and I don't feel like making a complex dinner, soup and salad is the answer! And my favorite restaurant soup and salad is none other than Olive Garden. They serve such a simple Garden Salad with a delicious vinaigrette, garlicky bread sticks, and flavor packed soups including my favorite: Zuppa Toscana which I remade and posted here back in September. I have wanted to make the Garden Salad for a while now but I tried so many version of the Olive Garden Dressing and could never find the right one. Until now! Thanks to Food Network I now think I have finally found the perfect Olive Garden Copycat Salad recipe.

We had friends over for dinner last weekend and it was the perfect time to serve my copycat Olive Garden Salad along with my delicious homemade baked Calzones and Ashton's Italian Margaritas. Are you a Margarita fan like me? Next time you go to Olive Garden order the Italian Margarita. Olive Garden's comes with a shot of DiSaronno Amaretto and is AH-MAZING! Check out our version below!
Olive Garden Copycat Salad


4 servings

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Miracle Whip
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons water


For the salad:

  • 1 10-12 ounce bag American salad blend (with Romaine, Iceberg, carrots, cabbage) 
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 small pepperoncini peppers
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons whole pitted black olive, about 12
  • 1/2 cup large seasoned croutons
  • 2 tablespoon finely shredded Parmesan cheese


  • Combine all the dressing ingredients and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.
  • Place the salad blend in a large bowl and top with the remaining salad ingredients. 
  • Drizzle with the dressing. Toss. 
  • Add additional cheese if desired. Enjoy!
Don't have Italian seasoning on hand? 
Don't worry, you can make your own!
Simply mix equal parts dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and basil!

Olive Garden's version!

Italian Margaritas


  • 2 parts Patron Tequila (my fave!)  or you can use Sauza Gold Tequila
  • 1 part Triple Sec
  • 1 part DiSaronno Amaretto
  • 1 part Lime Juice
  • Ice
  • Salted rim
  • Lime and orange wedges for garnish


  • Mix together 3 Liquors and Lime Juice, with Ice in a shaker. 
  • Add to a Margarita glass with a salted rim. 
  • Garnish with a lime and orange slice.

 This beautiful baked delight is what I made for dinner to go with our salad and Margaritas: Cheesy Calzones. This was my first time making dough from scratch and it came out great! I made a Chicken, Mushroom, Olive, and Onion Calzone and a Spicy Sausage and Pepperoni Calzone. I know you want the recipe! I promise I will blog it soon :)
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  1. To copy the Olive Garden Italian Margarita recipe exactly, you need "sugar" - not "salt" for the rim! Thanks for the post - I will try both!

  2. Orange sugar for the rim!

  3. I think amaretto dipped rim in coarse sugar or salt would be delicious.


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