Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

If you love the garlic breadsticks at Olive Garden, then you’ll love these homemade breadsticks even more! They’re light, fluffy, buttery and finished with a subtle dusting of garlic and salt. Just like Olive Garden breadsticks, this made-from-scratch breadstick recipe goes well with all of your Italian favorites — like spaghetti and meatballs, chicken gnocchi soup, lasagna, and stuffed shells. They’re truly a perfect, family-friendly side dish!

Close up side shot of Olive Garden breadsticks wrapped in a blue and white cloth

Olive Garden Breadsticks

Olive Garden breadsticks are always soft, warm, brushed with butter and sprinkled with a bit of garlic. I’m pretty sure that those endless breadsticks are the main reason that so many people love the popular Italian chain! Fortunately for those of us who don’t actually live near an Olive Garden restaurant, this easy homemade breadstick recipe makes it possible to enjoy the delicious treats in the comfort of our own kitchen. You can bake a batch whenever a craving strikes…and stash any leftovers in the freezer for another meal.

Whether you serve them alongside your next pasta dinner or pair them with soup and salad for a classic combination, these homemade breadsticks come out perfectly every time! You can also adapt the recipe to suit your preferences, like adding fresh herbs, extra garlic, or a sprinkling of cheese. Have fun experimenting with your favorite varieties and get ready to sink your teeth into the best breadstick recipe ever!

Overhead shot of a basket of homemade breadsticks wrapped in a blue towel

Ingredients for Homemade Breadsticks

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need to make a batch of homemade breadsticks. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Bread flour: you can substitute with all-purpose flour, but I prefer the bread flour which has a higher protein content and therefore yields a slightly higher rise and a chewier texture.
  • Granulated sugar: feeds the yeast.
  • Salt: for flavor.
  • Instant “rapid rise” yeast: the leavening agent that helps the breadsticks rise.
  • Warm water: to activate the yeast. Make sure that it’s not too hot and not too cool — somewhere in the range of about 110°F  – 115°F is ideal.
  • Canola oil: this added fat in the dough keeps the breadsticks nice and soft.
  • Melted butter, salt and garlic powder: finishing touches to take these breadsticks over the top.
Overhead shot of ingredients for homemade garlic breadsticks

How to Make Breadsticks

A breadstick is essentially just a little loaf of bread, so I adapted my favorite easy homemade bread recipe to create these delicious garlic breadsticks. It’s a simple dough that’s easy to work with, so they come out perfectly every time!

  1. Mix and knead the dough.
  2. Transfer to a lightly-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 ½ – 2 hours.
  3. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.
  4. Knead each piece lightly and shape into a 7-inch long breadstick.
  5. Arrange the breadsticks on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise again until it’s nice and puffy, about 1 hour.
  7. Remove the cover and bake the breadsticks in a 400° F oven until they’re a light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
  8. Brush the breadsticks with melted butter, then sprinkle with a combination of garlic powder and salt.
  9. Serve them warm, just like at Olive Garden!
Dough for homemade breadsticks
Process shot showing how to make a breadstick recipe
Square side shot of a bundle of homemade breadsticks

What to Serve with Homemade Breadsticks

Garlic breadsticks are a perfect companion for a warm bowl of soup or stew, and they’re also delicious served with any of your favorite Italian entrees. Don’t forget some warm marinara, pizza sauce, or herb-seasoned olive oil for dipping, too! Here are a few ideas to pair with your homemade breadsticks:

Storage

The homemade breadsticks are best served warm, straight from the oven. Leftover breadsticks will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for about 1 day, or wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat Homemade Breadsticks

If you have leftover breadsticks that you’d like to reheat, place them in a 350° F oven just until warmed through (about 5 minutes). If they’re frozen, they will require a few extra minutes. Don’t leave them in for too long or they’ll become dry and toasted. You can also microwave individual breadsticks for about 15-30 seconds, or until warm.

Make Ahead Garlic Breadsticks

Since it’s not always convenient to make the dough just before serving, you can prepare the dough in advance and then bake the breadsticks when you’re ready to enjoy them.

To prepare the dough ahead of time, shape the breadsticks as instructed in the recipe and arrange them on the lined baking sheets. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 day. About 2-3 hours before you plan to bake the breadsticks, pull them out of the refrigerator and let them rise on the counter before baking.

How to Freeze Breadstick Dough

If you plan to make the dough more than 1 day ahead, it’s best to freeze the dough. To freeze breadstick dough, shape the breadsticks as instructed in the recipe and arrange them on the baking sheets. Cover tightly and freeze until firm. Transfer to airtight freezer containers; freeze up to 4 weeks. When ready to bake, remove the breadsticks from the freezer, arrange on baking sheets, and cover. Place them in a warm spot and let them thaw and rise for 3-4 hours (or until they look puffy). Bake according to the recipe instructions.

Overhead shot of homemade breadsticks with a side of marinara for dipping

Recipe Variations — Homemade Breadsticks

  • Homemade Cheesy Breadsticks: Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle with garlic, and add shredded cheese on top before baking. Use any combination of cheeses, such as cheddar, Parmesan and mozzarella.
  • Pull-Apart Breadsticks: If you prefer pull-apart breadsticks, arrange the dough close together on the baking sheet so that the sides are touching.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Breadsticks: Bake the breadsticks as instructed, brush with melted butter, and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Seasoning: Sprinkle the breadsticks with other seasoning blends (besides the garlic and salt). For instance, try everything bagel seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or ranch seasoning.
Side shot of garlic breadsticks in a bread basket

Tips for the Best Breadstick Recipe

  • Bake in the center of the oven to prevent excessive browning on the top or bottom of your breadsticks.
  • Store yeast in the freezer. Even unopened packets of yeast with a good expiration date can go bad at room temperature, so I always keep the yeast in the freezer. Old yeast will impact the dough’s ability to rise.
  • Rise in a warm spot. If your dough isn’t rising, check the temperature of your kitchen. Ideally, you want to find a spot that’s about 75° F, but this doesn’t have to be exact.
  • Properly measure the flour. Always spoon and level the flour — do not scoop it out of the package. Incorrectly measuring the flour will result in dense, hard breadsticks.
  • Instant Yeast vs. Active Dry Yeast: This recipe calls for instant (or rapid-rise) yeast, which you can add directly to your dough. By contrast, active dry yeast must be dissolved in warm water (“proofed”) before combining with other ingredients. If you’d like to adapt the recipe to use active dry yeast, check out these tips.
  • Make sure that you use warm water when preparing the dough — not too hot and not too cold. You want the water to feel like warm bath water (about 110°F  – 115°F). If it’s too hot you will kill the yeast; too cold and the yeast will not be activated.
Side shot of homemade breadsticks wrapped in a dish towel

More Homemade Bread Recipes to Try

Close up side shot of Olive Garden breadsticks wrapped in a blue and white cloth

Homemade Breadsticks

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Rising Time 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 37 minutes
Servings 12 breadsticks
Calories 151 kcal
These homemade garlic breadsticks are light, fluffy, buttery, and just like Olive Garden's!

Ingredients
  

  • 3– 3 ½ cups bread flour (or sub with all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant “rapid rise” yeast
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (about 110° F – 115° F)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

For Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups of bread flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. Stir in warm water and oil and beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft dough. It should come together in a ball.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or on a floured surface, knead the dough until elastic and smooth, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ – 2 hours.
  • Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick. Arrange the breadstick dough 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm spot until puffy and almost doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Remove cover and bake the breadsticks until they’re a light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the salt and garlic powder. Immediately brush the warm breadsticks with melted butter and sprinkle with the garlic and salt.

Notes

  • Bake in the center of the oven to prevent excessive browning on the top or bottom of your breadsticks. I like to bake one tray at a time for even cooking, but you can rotate the trays halfway through, if desired.
  • Store yeast in the freezer. Even unopened packets of yeast with a good expiration date can go bad at room temperature, so I always keep the yeast in the freezer. Old yeast will impact the dough’s ability to rise.
  • Rise in a warm spot. If your dough isn’t rising, check the temperature of your kitchen. Ideally, you want to find a spot that’s about 75° F, but this doesn’t have to be exact.
  • Properly measure the flour. Always spoon and level the flour — do not scoop it out of the package. Incorrectly measuring the flour will result in dense, hard breadsticks.
  • Instant Yeast vs. Active Dry Yeast: This recipe calls for instant (or rapid-rise) yeast, which you can add directly to your dough. By contrast, active dry yeast must be dissolved in warm water (“proofed”) before combining with other ingredients. If you’d like to adapt the recipe to use active dry yeast, check out these tips.
  • Make sure that you use warm water when preparing the dough — not too hot and not too cold. You want the water to feel like warm bath water (about 110°F  – 115°F). If it’s too hot you will kill the yeast; too cold and the yeast will not be activated.

Nutrition

Serving: 1breadstickCalories: 151kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 406mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 59IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: breadstick recipe, garlic breadsticks, homemade breadsticks, Olive Garden breadsticks
Course: bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.