This copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe that can be on your table in less than an hour.
Does anyone go to Olive Garden for anything other than the endless breadsticks? OK, we’ll admit the zuppa Toscana is pretty tasty and the Alfredo is pretty darn good, too…and of course, their chicken Parmesan.
What were we talking about again?
Oh! Yes, the breadsticks. If you’re like us, then you probably find yourself craving those warm, buttery, garlicky breadsticks at least once a month. And while an invitation for a dinner date at Olive Garden is something we’ll never decline, we’ve also always wondered how to make copycat Olive Garden breadsticks at home.
What’s the best part about our recipe? You can have a basket of breadsticks fresh from the oven in less than 60 minutes. That’s faster than placing a curbside order for pickup from your local Olive Garden!
How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Bread sticks
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3-1/2 cups high quality all-purpose flour or bread flour
For the garlic topping:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon popcorn salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Baking sheet: Great quality bakeware doesn’t have to break the bank. Our Taste of Home baking sheets have a special embossed design that strengthens the pan and promotes airflow for even baking.
- Food scale: Not just for breadsticks, a digital food scale is a crucial item to have in your kitchen for accurate and consistent baking. We always recommend weighing your ingredients, especially flour.
- Pastry brush: How else are you going to baste those golden breadsticks with garlic butter? Pick up an affordable pastry brush for this recipe and use it again when slathering ribs or chicken with homemade barbecue sauce.
Step 1: Preheat and prepare
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Step 2: Melt butter and warm milk
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then, stir in the milk and warm to 105-112°F. Alternatively, you may also melt and warm the milk in the microwave for 30-60 seconds at 50% power.
Editor’s note: Don’t overheat the milk mixture. Doing so will kill the yeast and inhibit your dough from rising sufficiently.
Step 3: Combine with yeast and sugar
Next, add the yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Slowly add the warmed milk to the yeast and sugar and gently stir to combine.
Editor’s note: If you’re using instant yeast, you can move onto the next step. If using active dry yeast, let the yeast, sugar and milk/butter mixture proof for five minutes until foamy. Then, proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Add egg and dry ingredients
Next, with your stand mixer on its lowest speed, stir in the egg and salt before adding in 2-1/2 cups (300g) of flour. Continue to mix, adding the remaining 1 cup (120g) of flour until dough clings to the hook and the sides of the bowl are clean. The dough should be smooth and soft.
Step 5: Knead
Increase your mixer to its second speed and knead the dough for 3-4 minutes. Alternately, you may knead by hand for 6-8 minutes on a lightly oiled surface.
Step 6: Shape
With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, approximately 65 grams each.
Then shape dough into 12 breadsticks, and place them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
Step 7: Proof
Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let the dough proof for 10-15 minutes in a warm place. The breadsticks should rise and puff slightly during this period.
Editor’s note: If you have a proof setting on your oven, feel free to use it for this step.
Step 8: Bake
Uncover the breadsticks and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Step 9: Make the garlic butter
While the breadsticks are baking, prepare the garlic butter by melting the butter on your stovetop or in the microwave. Remove from heat and then stir in the salt and garlic powder. Set aside.
Step 10: Baste
Remove the breadsticks from the oven when golden, and immediately baste with the melted garlic butter. Serve warm with copycat Olive Garden soup and salad.