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Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

There’s something magical about the warm, buttery breadsticks from Olive Garden.

Recreating these soft, garlicky delights at home is easier than you think, and I’ll walk you through each step.

An important piece of advice is to let the dough rise until it’s doubled in size, which is crucial for achieving that airy texture.

I love this recipe because you get to enjoy freshly baked breadsticks right out of your oven, and the aroma that fills your kitchen is simply irresistible.

How to Make Olive Garden Breadsticks

olive garden breadsticks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Warm Water
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Butter (melted)
  • 4 1/2 cups Flour
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Butter (for topping)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and instant yeast.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast becomes bubbly and activated.

Step 2:

Add the salt, melted butter, and 2 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture.

Stir until the ingredients are well combined.

Step 3:

Gradually add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until a dough forms.

The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.

Step 4:

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5-7 minutes.

The dough should be smooth and elastic.

Step 5:

Place the dough in a bowl greased with olive oil, turning it once to coat.

Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Step 6:

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).

Punch down the dough and divide it into roughly 16 equal pieces.

Shape each piece into a breadstick about 6-8 inches long.

Step 7:

Place the shaped breadsticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cover them with a towel and let them rise for an additional 30 minutes.

Step 8:

Bake the breadsticks in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.

Step 9:

While the breadsticks are baking, melt the butter for the topping and mix it with the garlic powder and salt.

Brush the hot breadsticks with the garlic butter mixture right after they come out of the oven.

Tips and Tricks for Making This Recipe

Use Fresh Yeast

Always use fresh yeast to make sure your breadsticks rise properly.

Expired or inactive yeast can prevent proper rising.

Measure Flour Accurately

Make sure to measure flour correctly by scooping it into the measuring cup and leveling it off.

Too much flour can make the dough too dense.

Warm Environment for Rising

Allow the dough to rise in a warm environment for the best results.

If your kitchen is cool, you can place the bowl in an oven with just the light on.

Handle Dough Lightly

Avoid overworking the dough to maintain its light and airy texture.

Light handling ensures the best consistency.

Let Breadsticks Cool

Let the breadsticks cool for a few minutes before serving.

This helps the texture stabilize and holds the buttery topping better.

What to Serve with Olive Garden Breadsticks

Classic Soups

Pair your breadsticks with a hot bowl of tomato basil soup for a traditional Italian experience.

Another great option is a creamy chicken gnocchi soup, which adds a rich, hearty element to your meal.

Fresh Salads

A crisp Caesar salad complements the warm, buttery breadsticks perfectly.

Try a Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze.

Traditional Pasta Dishes

Serve the breadsticks alongside fettuccine Alfredo to keep the meal warm and comforting.

Alternatively, a zesty spaghetti marinara can highlight the breadsticks’ flavor.

Unexpected Pairings

For something unique, pair the breadsticks with a Greek salad featuring olives, feta, and cucumbers.

A butternut squash soup brings a sweet, earthy taste that’s surprisingly delicious with garlic breadsticks.

Another out-of-the-box idea is serving them with hummus and assorted veggie sticks for a Mediterranean twist.

Variations and Substitutions

Flours

You can substitute all-purpose flour with bread flour to provide a chewier texture to your breadsticks.

Whole wheat flour can be used for a healthier version, though it may alter the texture slightly.

Dairy-Free Options

Replace the butter in the garlic butter spread with a dairy-free alternative like margarine or olive oil.

You can also use almond milk or another plant-based milk instead of dairy milk in the dough.

Herbs and Seasonings

Try adding Italian seasoning or dried oregano to the dough for a herby twist.

Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese over the breadsticks for a cheesy flavor.

Sweet Variations

For a sweeter treat, you can mix cinnamon and sugar instead of garlic salt for a dessert breadstick.

Brush the warm breadsticks with melted butter and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Gluten-Free

Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend to make these breadsticks suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

Make sure to also use a gluten-free yeast to avoid any cross-contamination.

How to Store Leftover Olive Garden Breadsticks

Cool Down Completely

Before storing your leftover Olive Garden breadsticks, let them cool down completely.

This prevents condensation and keeps them from becoming soggy.

Place the breadsticks on a wire rack to cool.

Proper Packaging

Once they are cool, it’s time to package them properly.

Use either an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.

This keeps the breadsticks fresh and prevents them from drying out.

Freezing for Long-Term Storage

If you’re not planning to eat them soon, freezing is a good option.

Wrap each breadstick in aluminum foil.

Place them in a freezer-safe bag and store them in the freezer.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Incorrect Water Temperature

Make sure the water is warm, about 110°F to 115°F, when activating the yeast.

Water that is too hot will kill the yeast, while water that is too cold will not activate it.

Over or Under Kneading

Pay close attention to the kneading process to achieve the right dough consistency.

Too much kneading will make the dough tough, while too little will result in dense breadsticks.

A good kneading process should last around 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Inaccurate Rising Times

Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, which should take about 45 minutes to an hour.

Rising times can vary due to room temperature and humidity, so always check the dough’s size rather than relying solely on the clock.

Cover the dough with a clean cloth to maintain warmth and moisture during the rising process.

olive garden breadsticks

Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

Recreating these soft, garlicky delights at home is easier than you think, and I'll walk you through each step.
An important piece of advice is to let the dough rise until it's doubled in size, which is crucial for achieving that airy texture.
I love this recipe because you get to enjoy freshly baked breadsticks right out of your oven, and the aroma that fills your kitchen is simply irresistible.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 12 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 8
Ingredients
  
  • 1 1/2 cups Warm Water
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Butter melted
  • 4 1/2 cups Flour
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Butter for topping
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
Instructions
 
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and instant yeast.
  • Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast becomes bubbly and activated.
  • Add the salt, melted butter, and 2 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture.
  • Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Gradually add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until a dough forms.
  • The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5-7 minutes.
  • The dough should be smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a bowl greased with olive oil, turning it once to coat.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into roughly 16 equal pieces.
  • Shape each piece into a breadstick about 6-8 inches long.
  • Place the shaped breadsticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Cover them with a towel and let them rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Bake the breadsticks in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • While the breadsticks are baking, melt the butter for the topping and mix it with the garlic powder and salt.
  • Brush the hot breadsticks with the garlic butter mixture right after they come out of the oven.

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