Gluten Free Olive Garden Style Breadsticks

No need to be jealous of gluten eaters. We can make our own Gluten Free Olive Garden Style Breadsticks and, ya’ll, they are TO DIE FOR!!!!! Soft, garlicky, and buttery, we’ll never have to do without them again.

breadsticks in lined basket

I can’t even remember the last time I stepped foot into an Olive Garden. I do know they have a gluten free menu, but it doesn’t really impress me much. And it’s missing the breadsticks, so there’s that.

But we don’t have to worry about that anymore because, guys, these are the REAL DEAL!!!! My daughter, who goes to Olive Garden frequently, says she can’t tell the difference between ours and theirs. I’d say that’s a stamp of approval, wouldn’t you?

tearing apart breadstick with hands

WHERE TO START

I’m forever trying to make the absolute BEST gluten free bread and goodies I can, so when I thought to try out these breadsticks, I had a couple of recipes in mind already. My Fabulous Gluten Free Italian Bread and Best Ever Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread were the main ones in the running.

I’m torn between these two breads for good reason. They’re the best of the best. Of course, my cinnamon roll dough from the Ultimate Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls is great, too, but that’s a sweet dough so it’s not even in the competition. And my Gluten Free Artisan Bread is fabulous, but we needed a little bit more enrichment to make these breadsticks. Using the tangzhong from the sandwich bread in the Italian bread was EXACTLY what was needed to make these the most incredible, soft and light breadsticks!!

bitten into breadstick

THE LIST OF INGREDIENTS

  • Kim’s gluten free bread flour blend — as with all my breads, I strongly suggest you use my bread flour blend. If you don’t, I can’t tell you what kind of results you’ll get.
  • Whole milk
  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Butter

HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE BREADSTICKS

  • Make the tangzhong. Combine a very small amount of the gluten free bread flour with a small amount of the milk from the recipe in a saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until a very thick paste develops. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In bowl of stand mixer, combine the rest of the bread flour, yeast, salt, and sugar and whisk. Add tangzhong and slowly pour in the rest of the milk and butter. Increase speed to medium high and blend for 5 minutes.
  • Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Place in warm, draft-free location to rise for 1-2 hours, or until dough has at least doubled in size. Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Knead dough on well-floured surface (using extra bread flour). Pull off 2-ounce pieces (about the size of a large golf ball) and roll into a log about 6-7 inches long.
  • Place on parchment-lined baking sheet about 2-inches apart (you may need to use two baking sheets). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Brush with garlic butter and serve warm.

Olive Garden Style Breadstick FAQs

Can These be Made Dairy Free?

Yes, they can, but you may need to play around with the liquid amounts. Those who have tried to modify other bread recipes to be dairy free have found success by reducing the dairy-free milk amounts by 1/4 cup (60ml) or more. Dairy-free butter can be substituted for the butter in both the dough and topping.

Do I Have to Refrigerate the Dough Overnight?

It really is best to let the dough chill out in the fridge overnight. The reason is this gluten free dough shapes so much better when it’s cold. Without it, the dough will be quite sticky and you’ll feel the need to add a lot more extra flour that is unnecessary.

How Long Will These Breadsticks Keep?

Because of the tangzhong method in the dough, these breadsticks will stay soft much longer than the typical 1-2 days for gluten free breads. However, for longer storage I would suggest flash freezing them individually on a sheet tray and then storing them in a freezer ziptop bag with as much air as possible removed.

What to Serve with Gluten Free Breadsticks?

  • Alfredo sauce — my Copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce is sooooooo good for dipping these breadsticks into. When I used to eat at Olive Garden years ago, we would always order an appetizer of alfredo sauce to go with the breadsticks.
  • Pasta — we all know the traditional fettuccine alfredo, but I like a short noodle, such as penne or rigatoni myself. Add blackened chicken to make it blackened chicken alfredo and serve it alongside the breadsticks.
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs — these breadsticks also go great with any pasta and sauce, and spaghetti and meatballs are one of our favorites.
  • Salad — it’s not necessary to serve any pasta with the breadsticks. Have you ever ordered just the Olive Garden salad with breadsticks and nothing else? They used to offer it (not sure if they still do) and it was a great light lunch.
breadsticks in lined basket

We don’t have to miss out on these wonderful breadsticks anymore!! It takes almost no hands-on time to make these beauties and they are SO GOOD!

breadsticks in lined basket

Gluten Free Olive Garden Style Breadsticks

No need to head out to eat and sit there staring at those around you eating those wonderful breadsticks. Gluten Free Olive Garden Style Breadsticks can be made in our own home and, ya'll, they are TO DIE FOR!!!!! Soft, garlicky, and buttery, we'll never have to do without them again.
Print Recipe
CourseAppetizer, bread
CuisineAmerican, Italian
Keywordbreadsticks, Gluten Free
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Proof and Chill Time10 hours
Total Time10 hours 30 minutes
Servings12 breadsticks
AuthorKim

Ingredients

Tangzhong

  • 3 tbsp (26 g) Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk

Dough

  • 3 cups (420 g) Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp (29 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp (5 g) whole psyllium husks (or 1 1/2 tsp psyllium husk powder)
  • cups (360 ml) milk
  • 4 tbsp (half stick or 56 g) butter, melted
  • tangzhong, cooled to lukewarm

Topping

  • 3 tbsp (42 g) butter, melted
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

Make the Tangzhong

  • Add the flour and milk to a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Whisk until the mixture thickens into a heavy paste, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Make the Dough and Bake the Breadsticks

  • Add flour, sugar, salt, psyllium husks, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk. Using the dough hook, turn mixer on low and add the slightly cooled tangzhong followed by the the milk and melted butter. Continue to combine on low until dough comes together.
  • Increase speed to medium high and knead dough for 5 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl and place in a warm, draft-free area to proof (rise) for 1-2 hours, or until doubled or even tripled in volume. A great place for rising is in an oven that's been turned on to the warm function and then turned off quickly.
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least six hours, preferably overnight (the colder the dough, the easier it is to work with).
  • Remove dough from fridge and knead on well-floured surface (using extra bread flour blend). Pinch off large golf ball-sized portions (about 2-ounces each) and roll into a log that is about 6-7 inches in length.
  • Place on parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart (you may need to use two baking sheets). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size.
  • At the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°. Throw a few ice cubes onto the bottom of the oven and bake the breadsticks for 10 minutes.
  • While breadsticks are baking, combine topping ingredients in small bowl.
  • Remove breadsticks from the oven and immediately brush with butter/garlic mixture. Allow to cool slightly before serving warm or at room temperature.

Notes

*To store leftover breadsticks, place in large gallon-sized ziploc bag and store at room temperature for 2 days.  Heat slightly to warm, if desired.  
**To freeze, place breadsticks on flat sheet tray and flash freeze until solid.  Remove from tray and place in large ziploc bag, removing as much air as possible, and freeze.  This way you can remove as many breadsticks as you’d like at a time.  
***To make half the breadsticks, only use half the dough and store the rest of the dough in the refrigerator well wrapped in plastic wrap until ready to use, up to 7 days.  The other half of the dough may be used to make a number of breads, such as English Muffins, Italian Bread, Focaccia Bread, or Mock Rye Bread.  
***DISCLAIMER:  The reason I created my own flour blends is because I could not obtain the results I wanted with flour blends that were available in stores, online, or from other gluten free bloggers.  My recipes have been developed to be used with my own bread flour blend that I created after painstakingly testing for, in some cases, YEARS to develop what I believe to be a superior gluten free bread like no other.  If you do not use my gluten free bread flour blend for this recipe, I cannot speak for the results you will obtain.    While store bought blends may give you a satisfactory result, they may NOT give you the results intended in my recipe. 



43 thoughts on “Gluten Free Olive Garden Style Breadsticks”

  • Thank you for the pea protein suggestion! I’ve ordered some and I can’t wait to try your GF bread recipes this week!

    • I can’t wait for you to try the breads! They’re my favorite things I make. Please let me know how you like them 🙂

    • You could try mixing them by hand, but it might be a pretty strenuous job. However, if you happen to have a handheld mixer I think that would work. A lot of them have dough hooks, but you could also just try to use the beaters.

      I hope this helps! I use my stand mixer on an almost daily basis, so for me it’s well worth the money and has paid for itself over time.

  • Kim, I am in love! These breadsticks were phenomenal!!! So soft and full of flavor. Totally better than the original, and I used to love them at Olive Garden. Next I need to make their alfredo sauce for dipping. I have switched over to pea protein as well, mainly as a cost thing, and it works perfectly. Thank you!!!

    • Pam, I need to hire you to be my marketing director, haha!! As always, thanks so much for your comments!! And guess what? I’m posting my copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s alfredo sauce this week!!! Stay tuned 😋

  • Hi Kim. I bought the listed flours you recommend for your gf bread flour recipe and made this dough. I massed them like your instructions suggest (grams not cups) and it is by far the best tasting gf bread recipe I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried over 10 different recipes. However, I had one problem. I followed both recipes exactly but my dough was very loose and wet. When it came time to kneed the dough it stuck to my heavily floured countertop. I used about 2 extra cups of flour to try and dry it out but in the end I formed the dough on parchment and baked it as an artisan style loaf, which came out delicious. Any tips for making the dough more manageable so it can be rolled and shaped into bread sticks?

    • Hi, Michelle! I’m racking my brain trying to figure out why your dough would be so wet. Did you make the tangzhong at the beginning? That usually will change the texture enough to be able to roll it. It IS a wetter dough than most, but not as wet as what you’re describing. And you used all the flours I recommended? I know if the rice flour is substituted for another type of rice flour, say Bob’s Red Mill or rice flour from an Asian market, it will change the consistency drastically. I had a reader once use potato FLOUR and not potato STARCH and she had the exact same problem with another one of my bread recipes. Other than that, I can’t think of what else would be wrong.

      • You’re right it was the tangzhong. The first time I tried the recipe I let it cook for 2-3 minutes over med-low heat and then added it to my mixer with the rest of the ingredients. The tangzhong wasn’t very thick but I didn’t want to over cook it and ruin the recipe. The second time I tried the recipe I let it come to a very thick paste, between 5-6 min on med-low heat, and then added it to my mixer and it made a huge difference. Thank you for your advice!

    • I’m really not sure, Nancy. I’ve only ever made any of my bread recipes with my own bread flour mix because what was on the shelves years ago didn’t ever work for me. All I can say is you could try it. It doesn’t hurt to try.

  • Hi Kim,

    I gave your recipe a go & the breadsticks turned out really hard; I did left the dough overnight in the fridge to ferment and the baked breadstick had a rather dense and compact texture. Don’t know where I have gone wrong?

    Just wondering whether can I use this recipe but instead of shaping the dough into individual breadsticks; can I just bake it in a loaf tin like a loaf of sandwich bread?

    Thanks

    • I’m so sorry they didn’t come out! Did you use my flour blend with all the ingredients I recommend? Or did you use another store bought blend? That will make a huge difference in the texture.

      You can try to make a loaf out of it, but I’ve never done it so I’m just not sure if it will work or not.

  • Hi Kim! It’s me again.
    I did use your flour blend for my first round of bread sticks baking.
    I tried using this recipe again but baked it in the loaf pan. It came out amazing!! 😋😋
    My guess is for the first attempt, I may have “over-cooked” the tangzhong??Thank you for the swell recipe. Will definitely be baking again soon.

  • It’s been 3 years since I’ve been able to eat a breadstick and I was near tears when I pulled these out of the oven and took my first bite. Thank you!!! I have never been much of a baker but was tired of missing out on the foods I used to eat. That’s when I came across your recipes. I am looking forward to making bread, hamburger buns, sweet rolls, etc… These breadsticks are truly amazing! I’ve premixed the flour blends and am ready to tackle the next recipe.

    • That’s awesome, Stephanie! I’m so glad they were easy enough for you to make and that you liked them!! I can’t wait to hear about all the other breads you try 🙂

  • I love this bread dough and use it to make Stromboli for my daughter. Can the dough be frozen after it has sat in fridge overnight?

    • Yes, it can! Just wrap it in plastic wrap that’s been sprayed with a little nonstick spray, and then either wrap that in foil or place it in a ziptop bag with most of the air removed. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. It may lose a little of its rising ability, but will still be delicious 🙂

  • Love everything I’ve made ! Thank you for doing this. Quick questions, last few times I’ve made bread its kind of heavy and I would like it to be more airy. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hmmm, maybe you’re not letting it rise long enough. Sometimes if the environment is cold, it could take hours for breads to rise properly. I always put mine in my oven that’s been heated very briefly to a very low temp, so it’s nice and toasty. Can you try that?

  • Fantastic!! I made the dough up yesterday and baked some today for our clam chowder. I thought I’d gone to heaven. You’re a genius!! Thank you so much for doing the research and sharing your recipes.

  • These were amazing! I followed the recipe exactly and was thrilled with the results. They were soft and flavorful with a “real bread” texture that I haven’t experienced since going GF. Absolutely delicious and every bit as good as the original, if not better!

  • Hi,
    I appreciate you sharing these gluten free receipes . I am anxious to try them. Do you know of a suitable replacement for yeast?. Any kind of yeast bothers us. Thank you

    • The only thing that I know of to be a substitute for store bought yeast is a sourdough starter. I have a post about how to make it and use it in any of my breads. Just search sourdough on the blog and you’ll find everything you need 🙂

  • I haven’t made this yet but would like to know if another starch can be substituted for potato starch, as I have to stay away from nightshades.
    Thanks in advance for letting me know!

    • There is nothing that will replace psyllium husk, but you can leave it out and reduce the milk by 1/2 cup (120 ml). I originally didn’t include the psyllium husk, but the dough was very sticky and hard to shape. With the addition of the psyllium husk, it makes a world of difference in being able to shape the breadsticks. You can still make a fabulous breadstick without it, but they are hard to shape so I would suggest placing the dough in the freezer for a few minutes if it becomes too sticky and hard to shape.

  • Major question. I am so anxious to try these. I have the ingredients already set out and just reviewing the recipe before I start. When do you add the psyllium husks? To the flour blend?

    • Yes! I’m so sorry, Mary. I didn’t realize I failed to put that in the step by step instructions. It’s in there now.

      Again, I apologize.

      • Thanks so much. I was wondering. I’ve had the dough in a warm oven for 2 hours now and just peeked. It seems a bit runny. We live in Colorado Springs with high altitude. I used your flour blend and measured by weight as directed. My yeast is well within the date to be used. I’m going to run an errand so will leave it in the oven while I’m gone. Any other ideas? Thanks.

        • The dough starts out pretty soft, but once it goes into the fridge for a long duration it firms up and is able to be kneaded. But without the fridge time, it will be very sticky and fluid and not able to be kneaded and shaped properly.

          • Thanks Kim for all the help! I turned the oven on 170 and let them rise on top of the stove. We had them for Thanksgiving. They flattened out when taken out of the oven and weren’t as pretty as yours, but it was nice to have a gf option for bread on the table!

  • Is there anything that can be used instead of milk? We are gluten, diary, and egg free :(. These look amazing and I would love to give it a try.

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