How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks (in Under 60 Minutes)

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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 Breadsticks

copycat olive garden breadsticks olive garden breadstick ingredientsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home


  • 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

Essential Tools

  • 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

copycat olive garden breadsticks testing milk and butter temperature prior to adding yeastLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

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

copycat olive garden breadsticks mixing olive garden breadstick doughLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

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

copycat olive garden breadsticks kneading olive garden breadstick dough until smoothLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

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

copycat olive garden breadsticks dividing olive garden breadstick dough into equal ballsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, approximately 65 grams each.

copycat olive garden breadsticks shaping breadstick dough into rodsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Then shape dough into 12 breadsticks, and place them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).

Step 7: Proof

copycat olive garden breadsticks olive garden breadsticks after a 15 minute proofLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

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

copycat olive garden breadsticks making garlic butter topping for olive garden breadsticksLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

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

copycat olive garden breadsticks basting olive garden breadsticks with garlic butter after bakingLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Remove the breadsticks from the oven when golden, and immediately baste with the melted garlic butter. Serve warm.

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.