★★★★★

Soft Garlic Breadsticks (like Olive Garden)

Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks taste just like the ones you can’t stop eating at the restaurant! Make these soft garlic bread sticks as a side dish for your next Italian dinner.

Marble counter with breadsticks laying on top with small bowls of marinara and oil.

Is it possible to go to an Olive Garden and actually save room for your meal?

Let me be honest for a moment: The only reason I like going to Olive Garden is for their breadsticks and big salad.

The entrees are fine but I can never resist that basket of unlimited breadsticks. By the time my food arrives I’m too stuffed to eat my lasagna and wind up taking it home in a box.

Olive Garden Breadsticks

While you CAN go to Olive Garden and just order unlimited salad and bread sticks, you could also save yourself the time and the dough (if you forgive the pun) by making your own at home.

This Copycat Olive Garden recipe makes bread that’s perfect to dip in a marinara sauce, or eat alone.

As an appetizer, snack or side dish for any meal, it received rave reviews.

And in case you’re wondering? I have the same problem with these homemade bread sticks as I do with the ones at Olive Garden.

Only because I’m not spending the money to go out to eat, I don’t feel the least bit guilty if I just wind up eating a plate of bread sticks for dinner!

Glass bowl with yeast dough for breadstick recipe.

Yeast Dough

What makes Olive Garden bread sticks so good is the soft texture and perfect amount of garlic seasoning. I like my easy Puff Pastry Breadsticks too but they produce a crunchy bread stick that’s very different.

To make soft garlic breadsticks, you knead a yeast dough together until soft and stretchy. Letting the dough rest–once before shaping into sticks and once after–makes the finished bread sticks soft and puffy.

I also make sure not to bake them for too long to ensure they stay soft. The tops get lightly golden brown then brushed with melted butter and garlic salt.

If you love Garlic Bread you are going to go nuts for this recipe!

How to make Breadsticks

Proof the yeast:

Stir active dry yeast in warm water with a bit of sugar and let stand until it’s foamy.

( If your yeast doesn’t get foamy after 5 – 10 minutes, that means it’s dead and won’t work in any bread recipe. Toss it out and get some new yeast!)

Mix the dough:

Combine the yeast mixture with flour, salt and olive oil in a stand mixer and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough for 7 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Depending on the humidity levels and altitude of your kitchen, you may not need the full amount of flour listed in the recipe. I add it a little bit at a time until I get the dough to the right consistency.

You can knead by hand on a clean surface or in the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. If you choose to knead by hand, it may take a few minutes longer to get the right elasticity.

PRO TIP: You know the dough is ready when you can pinch a section with your fingers and stretch it a few inches without the dough breaking!

Next, cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.

Dough shaped into breadsticks on a baking sheet prior to baking.

Shape the bread sticks:

Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, then slice it into about 10 strips. I make mine 8 – 9 inches long. Use a gentle touch to fold the sides of the strips in to make the edges more rounded.

Place the raw bread sticks on a baking sheet and cover. Let them rest another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake:

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the bread sticks for 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

While the bread sticks are still warm brush them with melted butter and sprinkle each one with garlic salt.

Serve them warm right away! These are at their best when they’re fresh from the oven.

I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints about having to finish a basket of buttery garlic bread sticks while they’re hot and fresh, do you?

Baked breadsticks on a metal baking sheet being brushed with butter using a red pastry brush.

What to serve with Breadsticks

Make it a complete Italian Meal by making your favorite lasagna recipe.

Start with a delicious batch of bruschetta and don’t forget to finish with some homemade cannoli.

Tips and Tricks

  • What kind of yeast to use: You need active dry yeast for this recipe. 1 packet is perfect. If you’re using the active dry yeast from a jar, measure out 2 teaspoons.
  • Even cutting: The best way to ensure evenly sized breadsticks is with a kitchen scale. Weigh the whole ball of dough first, then divide that number by 10 to figure out how much each breadstick should weigh. If you don’t have a kitchen scale or aren’t fussed about some slight size discrepancies, just eye ball it as best as you can.
  • How to store: Keep these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm, if you like.
Breadsticks in a wooden bowl with dipping bowls of marinara and oil on the side.

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: 16 servings

Soft Garlic Breadsticks (like Olive Garden)

Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes

Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks taste just like the ones you can't stop eating at the restaurant! Make these soft garlic bread sticks as a side dish for your next Italian dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water, warm (about 90 - 110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups bread flour, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. In a small glass bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in the water. Let stand until frothy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 ½  cups of flour with the salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and oil. Stir, or mix on medium-low in mixer, until combined.
  3. Gradually add more flour as you mix until dough pulls away from side of bowl and forms a ball. Knead on a well-floured surface, or with dough hook, adding more flour if needed, until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rest for about 45 minutes. It will have nearly doubled in size.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully roll out dough on a well-floured surface into a 8 - 9 inch wide rectangle. Cut into 10 even sized strips, 8 - 9 inches long. (See Tips for how to get even-sized sticks.) Gently, and ever so slightly, roll strips to make them more rounded.
  6. Place bread sticks on the prepared sheet, about 1.5 to 2 inches apart. Cover and let rest until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake uncovered for 12 to 14 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven. Brush sticks with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt. These are best served warm.

Notes

  • If you buy yeast in the packets, use 1 packet for this recipe. (1 packet = 2 ¼ teaspoons) The extra ¼ teaspoon will not affect the recipe, except that it may rise slightly faster.
  • You may not need to use the full amount of flour. Flour in baking is very finicky, and varies greatly depending on several factors, including the humidity level in your kitchen and altitude. 
  • To ensure even-sized bread sticks, if you have a kitchen scale, weigh the dough then divide by the number of bread sticks you want (i.e. 10). You should easily get at least 10 out of this recipe.  When you cut the dough into sticks, you can weigh each one to check the size.
  • This recipe can be doubled, if 10 bread sticks is not enough for you! To do this, increase the yeast to 1 tablespoon, and double the rest of the ingredients.
  • Can store in air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 497mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

No need to go out to eat to get your breads stick fix! Give this copycat Olive Garden recipe a try alongside a tossed salad and Italian Chicken for a crowd pleasing dinner.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on June 22, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. I made these tonight and let me tell you…. they were a big hit! They were soft and so delicious! I sprinkled parmesan cheese on half and the others just brushed the melted butter. I will be making these again and again. I def have to practice making them a bit prettier, they were more rectangular vs a OG breadstick. Thank you!!!!

    1. Hmmm, I make these all the time with no problems. I use my kitchen aid mixer and the dough hook and it comes together just fine.

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  4. My family tried these breadsticks not too long ago at Olive Garden and we loved them. How wonderful that this recipe turns out just like them.

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