Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks

Jump to Recipe
Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks on Half Size Baking Sheet

Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks can taste even better than Olive Garden’s breadsticks. They are light, fluffy, and topped with butter and garlic salt.

Olive Garden is famous for their breadsticks. To tell you the truth, it’s one of my favorite things about going there. Inevitably, I’m always asking the waiter to bring more breadsticks to the table. Ready for the good news? With this Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks recipe you can make them at home. Plus, they are are very inexpensive to make!

You’ll need to start them about 3 hours before you want to serve them, but the hands-on time is only about 30 minutes. The rest of the time needed is the time it takes for the bread to rise and bake.

In my opinion, the best thing about these breadsticks is the topping. The light and fluffy breadsticks are topped with melted butter, garlic salt, and Italian seasonings. They are so yummy!

Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks Equipment

Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks Stacked on a White Plate

Whenever I make homemade dough, I use my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. For me, it’s so much easier than doing it by hand. It’s okay if you don’t have one though. You’ll just need to mix everything with a strong wooden spoon. Then, knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes.

Next, you’ll need an Instant Read Thermometer. It is used it to ensure the water is the perfect temperature for proofing the yeast. Seriously, it is such a small investment, but it will make your life so much easier! Plus, you will have less chance of killing your yeast.

After the dough has risen for the first time, you’ll need to roll out and shape your dough. I use a Marble Rolling Pin to roll out the dough. Because is heavier than others I’ve used, I find it easier to roll out the dough since it does most of the work for me. I also think it’s easier to clean than wooden rolling pins.

After rolling out the dough, I recommend using a pizza cutter or bench scraper to cut your dough into even pieces. Ultimately, I prefer the bench scraper since it doesn’t damage my counters, but use what you have. Even a butter knife will work if you are careful.

To bake the copycat homemade Italian breadsticks, I recommend using a single Half-Sized Baking Sheet. This size pan will fit all the breadsticks. Yet, they will be close enough that they will rise and become fluffier.

Finally, to baste the top of the breadsticks, I use my Silicone Basting Brush. I found mine at the dollar store. Silicone brushes clean so much better and last longer than bristle basting brushes. It’s another inexpensive product that can make your life so much easier.

Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks Prep Tips

Properly Measuring Flour: Spoon and Sweep

To get the proper amount of flour without a scale, use the spoon and sweep method.

To use this method, stir the flour in your container to loosen and fluff it up. (You don’t want to pack your flour in any way). Then, using a spoon, add spoonfuls of flour into your measuring up. Continue to add flour until it is mounded. Using the flat edge of a knife, level off the excess flour mound by running the knife along the top edge of the measuring cup.

Repeat the process until you have the amount of flour needed for the recipe. Then, you’ll have the perfect amount of flour!

Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks Dough Process Shots
Top left: Proofed yeast in mixing bowl. Top right: Dough rolled and cut into 16 strips. Bottom left: Pinch the long edges of the dough to make breadsticks. Bottom right: Breadsticks seam side down on baking sheet.

Techniques for Perfect Yeast Dough

What temperature should my water be to bloom yeast?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a recipe that says to proof your yeast with warm water. What does that mean?! Well, you never have to guess again.

The perfect water temperature to proof yeast is 110 – 115 degrees.

At this temperature, it is warm enough for the yeast to activate, but it’s not too hot. So, you don’t have to worry about killing your yeast. To get the proper temperature, I will turn on my water faucet and place my thermometer in the middle of the water stream. I keep adjusting the temp until it’s in the 110 – 115 degree range. Once it is, I measure out the amount of water I need.

When do you add the salt to the bread dough?

Salt is such an important ingredient in this recipe. The recipe calls for such a small amount, but it provides a lot of flavor. Sometimes, if you add it too early, it can prevent the yeast from blooming. So, when mixing your dough, add the salt last.

Why do you add an egg to the bread dough?

Most of the time, I don’t add egg when making bread dough. But I do add one when I am making breadsticks. To make this dough extra rich, you only need to add one egg. In addition to adding more flavor, the egg will help the dough rise even more. This will give us a lighter and fluffier breadstick.

What ingredients can I use to sweeten bread?

In the recipe card, the sweetener used is white granulated sugar. Most people have this ingredient in their pantry. Plus, I like that the sweetness isn’t overpowering. However, you can also use 2-3 tablespoons of honey in place of the sugar.

What Do I Serve with Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks?

You can serve these copycat homemade Italian Breadsticks with so many dishes! The possibilities are endless.

They are absolutely perfect with pasta. Feel free to browse all my pasta recipes, here.

Additionally, they are so yummy with just about any Italian recipe. They’d be perfect with any of my Copycat Johnny Carino’s recipes! Or to find all my other copycat recipes, click here!

Or, serve them with a hearty bowl of soup! Find all my soup recipes, here!

If you want a recipe using the same dough base, you can also try a sweeter version with my Slow Cooker Monkey Bread from Scratch with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Love what you are seeing, and want more? I typically publish a new recipe once or twice per week. If you want to be the first to know what’s new at Clean Fingers Laynie, SUBSCRIBE here, and never miss another recipe!

Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks

Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks can taste even better than Olive Garden's breadsticks. They are light, fluffy, and topped with butter and garlic salt.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Bread, Copycat
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 138kcal


Bread Ingredients

  • 1 cup Water Warmed to 110 – 115 degrees
  • 1/4 cup Granulated White Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Instant or Rapid Rise Yeast or 1 packet
  • 3 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour*
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Butter Softened, Salted

Topping Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Butter Melted
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt Plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning Plus more to taste


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the hook attachment, add the sugar and water. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let stand for 5-10 minutes until the yeast blooms (it should appear dissolved and foamy around the edges).
  • Add the flour, egg, salt, and butter to the bowl of the stand mixer, and mix on low. Scrape down the sides of the stand mixer. Continue to knead the bread on low for 8-10 minutes. After kneading, the dough should no longer stick to the sides of the mixing bowl, and it should feel soft but not sticky.

  • Form the dough into a smooth ball, and place the dough in large bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for one hour, or until about double in size.
  • On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12" x 16" inch rectangle. Using a bench scraper, slice the dough in half lengthwise. Then, make eight equal cuts cross-wise to make 16 equal rectangles of dough.
  • Using your fingers, pinch the long edges of each piece of dough together to form a rounded breadstick. Place each breadstick, seam side down, on a half-sized baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the breadsticks with the kitchen towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the breadsticks for 15-18 minutes until they are cooked through and golden brown on the top.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter on top of the breadsticks. Sprinkle the garlic salt and Italian seasoning on top of the breadsticks, adding more to taste.


Estimated Nutrition (per serving):  Calories 138, Fat 4 g, Carbohydrate 21 g, Dietary Fiberg, Protein 3 g, Sodium 196 mg
*Measured correctly with the spoon and sweep method. See post for more detail. 

4 Replies to “Copycat Homemade Italian Breadsticks”

  1. I was hoping this would be the same as the breadsticks that I love at Jonny Carino’s. This recipe doesn’t have any herbs listed and that is what makes JC’s so delicious. I’ve tried to make them myself but can’t get the same taste. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Patt! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Johnny Carinos, and from what I remember, I thought their bread was more plain. But again, it’s been a long time! I do have a copycat recipe for their Toasted Garlic and Olive Oil Bread Dip.

      But if you’re looking for a really good, easy way to make artisan sourdough at home, I’ve been loving the book called “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. It’s my go-to method for that crusty type of bread.

      I’m sorry I can’t remember and help you more, but I wish you the best of luck trying to replicate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Discover more from Clean Fingers Laynie

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading