Copycat Olive Garden Salad

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hi!  Hope your week is off to a great start!

One of the ministries I participate in at my church is preparing dishes for funeral lunches held at our church.  I usually like to bake a dessert....because I love baking desserts :)
When I went to sign up to bring a dish for an upcoming luncheon, all the desserts were covered, but there were plenty of "empty slots" for salads- so that is what I signed up to bring.  I started thinking about what I could make and decided I wanted to do something other than a pasta salad or potato salad.  I decided to make Copycat Olive Garden Salad!! 

Um. Please tell me you love Olive Garden's salad as much as I do?!? It is the only reason I ever want to go out to eat at Olive Garden :)  Anyway...there are a ton of recipes out there for the Olive Garden Salad.  

This one has GREAT reviews!

Here is another one...although this recipe uses more oil than I prefer to use.

This recipe is the one that I use and now my mom is using too! It is light and tastes very, very similar to the Olive Garden original recipe.  You can see this recipe uses 3/4 oil and 1/4 water, versus the recipe linked above which uses 3/4 canola oil and 1/4 olive oil. 

What I love about making this salad is that it is SO easy!  The dressing can be made ahead of time...I like to store mine in a mason jar with a lid so I can shake it up really well before I am ready to serve it.  Putting together the salad is a cinch- you just need the salad mix with shredded red cabbage and carrots, a can of black olives, a sliced roma tomato, some whole peppercinis (or sliced would be fine too!), thinly sliced red onion, and some croutons.  To make it super authentic- get some freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Toss all those ingredients in a salad bowl and mix with your dressing right before you serve it.  I always go lighter on the dressing and then put the rest on the that way people can add more if they want it.  I love serving this salad with pizza or any kind of pasta.  Also- I think it would be so delicious with some grilled chicken or shrimp on top for a light, summer entree!

I absolutely LOVE I would be so excited if you would share your favorite salad recipe with me!!  

Hope you have a great day!

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