Olive Garden Salad Dressing

In the post about bread sticks, I mentioned that I don’t love Olive Garden.  I should have clarified, I do love Olive Garden salad dressing.  According to the Olive Garden website, a serving of salad has 130 calories and 4 grams of fat without dressing, and 290 calories and 20 grams of fat with the dressing.  In my venture to get healthier, I have repeatedly heard “It’s not the salad, it’s what you put on it.”  Overall, this is pretty true, because dumping 16 grams of fat on a salad probably wasn’t doing my waistline any favors.

So, as I also mentioned in the bread stick post, I like to find ways to make restaurant favorites a little healthier at home.  When searching for a recipe to replicate Olive Garden’s salad dressing, I would often find in the comments the complaint that the resulting dressing is white, and Olive Garden’s salad dressing is not white.  I decided to get past that, because if the end result is a similar flavor, I don’t care if the resulting dressing is purple.  I slightly modified a recipe from America’s Most Wanted Recipes, and I love it.  Yes, the resulting dressing is also white, but, the resulting dressing is even better than Olive Garden’s.  Even better, the resulting recipe has 50 calories and 3 fat grams per serving, which makes it a much better diet bargain than the original.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • ½ c white vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 C. water
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • ¼ c light corn syrup
  • 3 Tbs grated Romano cheese
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp parsley flakes
  • Pinch dried oregano
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a blender on low for 30 seconds.

Chill dressing in the refrigerator for 90 minutes before serving.

Makes 18 (2 Tbs) servings.

Source: America’s Most Wanted Recipes

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