Recipe: Better than Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

olive garden breadsticks recipe

I have always adored the breadsticks at Olive Garden – and with the help of my trusty bread machine, I’ve learned to make them quickly with just a few ingredients. There’s not a person in the family that doesn’t gobble them up – we especially love them with Chicken MarsalaLemon Pasta with Chicken or spaghetti (and we look for any possible excuse to make them). If there are leftovers, I cut them in half lengthwise and the kids eat “breadstick sandwiches” for lunch the next day (just like mini sub sandwiches).

My husband always insisted they were “better than Olive Garden breadsticks” and I thought he was being nice. But in the last year or two, I think he might be right – there’s just something about these when they’re homemade, soft and fresh from the oven that beats the restaurant variety. Try it for yourself and see!

Better than Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 10-14 breadsticks

Better than Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe


  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp butter or margarine, cut in small chunks
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups flour or bread flour
  • 1 1/8 tsp yeast


  1. Add ingredients to your bread machine in the order listed above. Set machine to the DOUGH setting and run.
  2. After dough cycle is complete, place dough on a floured work surface and shape into a long rectangle. (Don't press it too thin - about 3/4" thick).
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 10-14 short vertical strips. Resting each strip on its a cut side, flatten it gently into the flour.
  4. Place dough sticks onto a cookie sheet and cover with a towel. I like to let them rise covered in a 175 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the towel, turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 8-10 minutes until breadsticks are lightly golden.
  6. Melt 1 Tbsp butter/margarine with 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp salt and brush over hot breadsticks. (Sprinkle with grated Parmesan if you like). Serve while warm!


I found it very time-consuming to roll breadsticks with the consistency of this dough - it's much easier to cut the dough and flatten them!

To make the recipe dairy-free, substitute soy margarine in place of butter. You can also choose to sub whole wheat flour.

If you're in a hurry, use the quick dough setting on your machine (if you have one) or remove the dough before the cycle ends. Your breadsticks might not be as soft, but you won't be able to tell the difference.

For special occasions, I tie each strip of dough into a knot gently and tuck the ends underneath before baking to make garlic knots.

If you don’t have a bread machine, don’t worry! Try this version from Finding Joy in My Kitchen that uses a stand mixer.

Some photos of the Better than Olive Garden Breadsticks recipe for reference:

Cut dough into strips

Cut dough into strips

Use dough strips to make garlic knots

Use dough strips to make garlic knots or breadsticks

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  1. 2

    CarrieL. says

    Ugg I don’t have a bread machine or a standing mixer. Seems like way to much work to do all the kneeding by hand.

    • 3


      Consider finding a bread machine by asking friends/family members if they’ll let you borrow theirs (many are collecting dust in storage nationwide!) or via Craigslist/thrift stores. You don’t have a spend a lot of money to get a decent bread machine.

      • 4

        lynn j says

        I got mine at an estate sale – last day everything was 75% off and it cost me $7.50
        Look on every week for local sales. This is one of my very favorite resourses!