Copycat Olive Garden Salad Mix

Yes, yes I do like freshly grated Parmesan on my copycat of the Olive Garden salad mix. I don’t hide it. I’m not ashamed of it. Keep it coming, keep grating and don’t expect me to say ‘stop’ any time soon! Now, I love the rest of the salad too. The crunchy crisp greens. Tomatoes. Croutons. Red onions. And my two favorites: large black olives and pepperoncini. All lightly dressed in Olive Garden’s signature Italian dressing!

Copycat Olive Garden Salad Mix

This is the easiest way I know to make a fantastic salad in no time. We actually had this as a main dish for dinner. I roasted a few chicken breasts, sliced them, and served them on top of the salad. It made for a great, healthy dinner! Whether served as a side salad or amped up with other toppings, the base recipe for this copycat Olive Garden salad mix is a winner!

Also try my copycat of the Santa Fe chicken salad from Max and Erma’s.

Copycat Olive Garden Salad Mix

Course Salad
Servings 4
Author Inspired by a recipe from CopyKat

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces iceberg salad blend
  • 1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 8 large pitted black olives
  • 4 whole pepperoncini or, 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 2 large tomato quartered
  • Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese optional
  • Olive Garden Seasoned Croutons
  • Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Instructions

  • Place your salad bowls, plates or whatever you plan on using for serving into the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving time.
  • Open salad package and empty the contents into a large bowl.
  • Add the onion, olives, pepperoncini, croutons, tomato slices and croutons.
  • Drizzle with some dressing (don't flood it) and then toss gently to coat everything in the dressing.
  • Serve with freshly grated cheese over the top.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Ever order French onion soup at a recipe only to get a bowl with so much cheese you can’t tell whether you ordered soup or a grilled cheese sandwich? Yeah, me too. That’s why I love to make slow cooker French onion soup at home. I can control the cheese. I like mine on top of lightly crusted sliced baguettes. Like crunchy cheese croutons. Perfect on a cold day, this soup is packed with fantastic onion flavor.
Slow Cooker French Onion SoupI like to add a bit of beef base to my slow cooker French onion soup to give it just a bit more beefy flavor. Although it’s completely optional if you use a good homemade beef broth. I felt it could use a little help in the beefiness flavor department.

Also try my slow cooker spicy kielbasa cabbage soup.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 9 hours
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large yellow onions sliced thin, rings separated
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup cooking sherry
  • 7 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon beef base optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 slices of French bread or 16 slices of a thin baguette
  • A mix of shredded Gruyere Emmental, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and saute about 10 minutes or until translucent, stirring often.
  • Sprinkle with the sugar, stir and reduce heat to medium. Cook 30-40 minutes or until soft and lightly caramelized.
  • Add the garlic, stir and cook 2 more minutes.
  • Stir in the sherry and cook until evaporated, stirring and scraping up any yummy bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Transfer the onions to a lightly greased slow cooker on low.
  • Stir in the broth, beef base, salt, thyme and bay leave.
  • Cover and cook 8 hours.
  • Place bread pieces under the broiler to get lightly browned. Sprinkle with cheese and place back under the broiler until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve soup in bowls topped with a slice of the cheese bread (or 2 slices if using a small baguette).

Slow Cooker Cheeseburgers

I really wasn’t expecting these slow cooker cheeseburgers to be all that great. Would I get that great cheeseburger taste?¬† Would they leave me hankering for the real thing instead? I have to admit that I loved them! I thought there were great. Kind of like Sloppy Joes, but they taste just like cheeseburgers. On a cold day they hit the spot and then some. A little ketchup, a little mustard, and a few pickle slices and I was a happy guy!
Slow Cooker CheeseburgersSlow cooker cheeseburgers made for the perfect make-and-forget meal. I just tossed all the ingredients into my crockpot at lunch time and by dinner time everything was ready! Just warm some buns and you’ve got dinner!

I used ‘plain ole’ Velveeta for my cheeseburgers. For a change you can use Kraft’s Mexican- or Jalapeno-flavored Velveeta.

Slow Cooker Cheeseburgers

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the burger meat

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced divided
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cubed
  • 1 large onion chopped

For the sandwiches

  • 8-10 burger rolls if you use small buns you can get more servings
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Mustard and ketchup

Instructions

For the burger meat

  • Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet and season well with salt and pepper. Cook until browned..
  • Add 1 clove of the minced garlic, stir and cook another minute. Drain well and transfer to a slow cooker set to low.
  • Add the remaining garlic, Velveeta and onion.
  • Cover and cook on low 6 hours, stirring occasionally. If mixture gets too thick add a bit of milk or water and stir.

For the sandwiches

  • Toast buns if, desired.
  • Divide meat mixture between buns. Add pickle slices and a couple of good skirts of ketchup and mustard. Serve with plenty of napkins!