Yes, there’s lettuce under there. 😂 This Olive Garden Inspired Italian Salad is tossed with Cheesy Garlicky Croutons and Homemade Italian Dressing. It’s the perfect side for Italian Night, Pizza Friday, or any time you are in the mood for a delicious and filling salad.

Olive Garden Inspired Italian Salad
Olive Garden Inspired Italian Salad
Olive Garden Inspired Italian Salad on YouTube ⬆️


  • 1/2 of a head of Iceberg Lettuce, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of Baby Lettuce
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes, sliced in half, sprinkled with olive oil and seasoned with garlic parsley salt
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, sliced thin, and soaked in ice water for 10 minutes, then drained and dried
  • 1/3 cup of pitted Italian olives, I used Leccino Olives
  • Peperoncini, as many as you like, I used Mezzetta Golden Greek Peperoncini
  • Grana Padano cheese, freshly grated (can substitute Pecorino Romano, or Parmesan cheese)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Homemade Cheese Garlic Croutons (or store bought, if you prefer)

Italian Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Whisk all Italian salad dressing ingredients in a bowl, or shake in a mason jar until dressing is emulsified.
  • In a large salad bowl, add both lettuces.
  • Next, add the carrots, tomatoes, onions, olives, and Peperoncini.
  • Top with salt and pepper, and freshly grated Grana Padano cheese.
  • Add croutons and dressing and toss salad just before serving.
  • Top individual servings with more cheese, if desired.


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Published by Carla

Carla is a married Mom of 3 who lives in Pennsylvania and loves all aspects of crafting, home projects, cooking, baking, and shopping.

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