Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Better than Olive Garden Salad

When we would go up to Utah to visit my husband's grandparents, all the family would discuss where to to go for dinner.  I'd always want to go to Fuddruckers or this really good Mexican restaurant.  Where did we always end up going?  Olive Garden.  Now, I used to love the place.  I love their salad and the breadsticks dipped in Alfredo. Mmmm... I'm not too keen on the rest of their dishes though.  The past few times I've eaten there, I've gotten some nasty gritty chicken and fatty parts on meat.  eww!  Back to the salad though... Yum!  I love it.  Well, when I was a substitute teacher back in the day, I bought a cookbook that was compiled by teachers, staff, and students in the school.  This was one of the recipes, and for me, it made the 10.00 totally worth it.  It's so easy, and it's the closest recipe I've found for the salad dressing.  Eat it up! 
Better than Olive Garden Salad
source: Estes McDoniel Cookbook

1 head romaine lettuce, torn
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 of a purple cabbage, shredded
1 c black olives
1 tomato, chopped
parmesan Cheese

1/4 c Newman's Own Family Italian Dressing
1/4 c pepperonicini juice (from the jar with the pepperoncinis)

Combine the dressing ingredients and stir to combine.  Make sure you shake the Italian dressing before pouring it.

Add the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle about 1/2 of the dressing on the salad and toss it.  Add more dressing if you'd like.  Some people drench their salad.  Others like it light on dressing.

Sprinkle on the Parmesan Cheese.


  1. Seriously? My daughter goes to Estes McDoniel!! How fun! I LOVE Olive Garden Salad, so this is going to be great! Thank you :)

  2. Lisa- I was a long term substitute for Andrea Taylor about six years ago. I know her, Mrs. Wilson, and Mrs. Olsen. I love those ladies! It's a small world! And you're welcome for the recipe. It's a good one. I hope you like it!