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Homemade Breadsticks slathered in butter and sprinkled with a mix of garlic, Parmesan, and herbs  are perfect for dunking in marinara sauce or ranch dressing for a tasty appetizer or filling side. These breadsticks are vastly superior to Olive Garden’s (blasphemy for many, I know, but it’s true) and perfect with soups, salads, pasta, and pretty much any main dish!

We like to serve homemade breadsticks with spaghetti and meatballs, baked spaghetti casserole, white chicken spinach lasagna, or any of our favorite soup recipes! And of course they also go great with this Olive Garden salad dressing recipe.

An image of a hand dipping a homemade breadstick into ranch dressing.

When Paul and I were newlyweds, we would literally make a meal out of nothing but breadsticks and marinara sauce. It wasn’t the healthiest lifestyle, but it was cheap and delicious!

My love of garlicky, buttery carbs is strong. I mean, I’m obsessed with these cheesy garlic mozzarella swirl rolls which are probably the ultimate in garlicky, cheesy goodness. But these breadsticks are a whole lot less work and every bit as delicious.

I’m sure it all started when I was a kid with the Olive Garden breadsticks. But the last time I went there, I found there breadsticks to be rather disappointing. They just can’t compare to these soft, homemade breadsticks coming fresh out of my oven!

An image of golden brown breadsticks sprinkled with Parmesan garlic bread sprinkle.

How to Make Homemade Breadsticks

1. Start by mixing warm water, sugar, salt, instant yeast, and 1 cup of flour in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Instant yeast saves time since you don’t have to wait for it to proof, making this recipe a little friendlier for a weeknight. But if you only have active dry yeast, just proof it in the warm water with the sugar until foamy (about 5 minutes), then proceed with the recipe like normal.

2. Add the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well with the dough hook until a soft dough forms that cleans the side of the bowl on it’s own. For me this is almost always right around 3 1/2 cups of flour. 

3. Knead the dough for 3 minutes with the dough hook on medium speed (or by hand for 5-6 minutes), then lift the dough out of the bowl and drizzle with a little oil. Turn the dough in the oil to coat, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes until doubled in size.

4. Spray a clean surface like a cutting board with a little cooking spray, then turn out the dough and pat into a large rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to slice into 12 even strips. 

An image of dough that has been cut into strips for making breadsticks.

5. I like to twist each strip before setting them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, but twisting isn’t 100% necessary if you want them to be flat and smooth like Olive Garden’s breadsticks. Let them rise another 15 minutes while the oven preheats.

An image of twisted breadstick dough on a baking sheet.

6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown on top, then remove from the oven and slather with the softened butter. I find it’s easiest to stick my hand in a ziplock bag and just use my fingers to spread the soft butter over the hot breadsticks. It’s quickest and cleanest and gets the best butter coverage. Sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning, then serve warm with marinara sauce or ranch dressing!

An image of homemade breadsticks on a baking sheet.

Homemade Garlic Bread Seasoning

It’s so easy to make homemade garlic bread seasoning that I never buy it at the store anymore. It’s one less jar for my already overfilled spice rack and less expensive to make it on my own anyway.

All you need to make homemade garlic bread seasoning is:

  • powdered Parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder
  • dried basil
  • dried parsley
  • dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • marjoram

An image of Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, basil, oregano, parsley, marjoram, and salt for making garlic bread sprinkle.

Mix them all up and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months. You can make a smaller amount than listed in the recipe notes, but I find that I use this garlic bread seasoning frequently enough that it makes sense to make a larger batch. It’s great mixed with butter and spread on french bread, then toasted for garlic bread. Or you can sprinkle it over pasta, or roasted or steamed vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or cauliflower.

An image of a bowl of homemade garlic bread seasoning.

How to store and reheat leftover homemade breadsticks

If you have any breadsticks leftover (doubtful, but it happens sometimes), the best way to store them is in an airtight container or plastic bag on the counter at room temperature. They will stay good for 3-4 days before they start getting stale.

To reheat, I recommend wrapping a couple of breadsticks in a damp paper towel and microwaving for 15-20 seconds until warm. Or if you are trying to reheat more than just a couple of breadsticks, you can wrap the breadsticks in foil and place them in a 350 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes until warmed through.

An image of a soft breadstick being dunked in marinara sauce.

More Delicious Homemade Bread Recipes You’ll Love

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Breadsticks
Yield: 12 servings

Breadsticks

Homemade Breadsticks slathered in butter and sprinkled with a mix of garlic, Parmesan, and herbs  are perfect for dunking in marinara sauce or ranch dressing for a tasty appetizer or filling side. We love them with this copycat Olive Garden salad dressing over crunchy lettuce or with any of our favorite soup recipes!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 57 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons garlic bread seasoning (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Mix water, yeast, sugar, and salt with 1 cup of the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
  2. Add more flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl on its own. You may not need all of the flour.
  3. Knead for 3 minutes, then lift the dough out of the bowl and lightly grease the bowl. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth and let rise for 30-45 minutes, until double in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and pat out into a large rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to slice into 12 equal-sized strips.
  6. Gently twist each strip, then lay on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth again and let rise another 15-20 minutes while the oven preheats.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops of are golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately rub with the softened butter and sprinkle with the garlic bread sprinkle.
  8. Serve warm with marinara sauce or ranch for dipping.

Notes

  • If using active dry yeast, just combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and let proof for 5-10 minutes until foamy before proceeding to add the salt and flour.
  • You can buy garlic bread seasoning at the store or make your own. Just combine 1/2 cup powdered Parmesan cheese with 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 2 teaspoons dried parsley, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon marjoram, and mix well. You will not use all of the garlic bread seasoning for these breadsticks! Store any leftover seasoning in the fridge and use sprinkled over pasta, veggies, or mix 2 tablespoons with 1/2 cup of softened butter and spread on two halves of a loaf of French bread, then either toast them in the oven under a broiler, or put the halves back together, wrap in foil, and bake at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until the butter is melted and the bread is hot.
  • You can use white whole wheat flour, bread flour, or a combination of either with all-purpose flour to make these breadsticks.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 173mg Carbohydrates: 86g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 12g