Are Olive Garden Breadsticks Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 15, 2023

In the journey of ethical eating, identifying whether a product is genuinely vegan can be a challenging endeavor.

This difficulty often arises from manufacturers and restaurants being less than transparent — and in some cases downright shifty — about the nature and source of their ingredients.

Fear not, dear reader, for this article aims to uncover the truth and support you wholeheartedly in your compassionate vegan lifestyle.

Are Olive Garden Breadsticks Truly Vegan?

While Olive Garden says they are, we can’t unfortunately verify it. The recipe is not publicly available and Olive Garden will not disclose it unless you call. The majority of copycat recipes available do not include non-vegan ingredients like milk and eggs, which may be required to produce these breadsticks. It’s up to you if you are to Olive Garden’s or not.

Here’s how the company defines what vegan is:

Vegan is defined as not including animal meat, stock, gelatin, rennet, or ingredients derived from animals, including honey. While we use careful food handling procedures, it is possible for any food item to come into contact with animal products during preparation and/or cooking processes.

Olive Garden is vehement about its breadsticks being vegan, so it all comes down to how you trust corporations and their PR people. If you’re at all worried, either about the breadsticks or the environment where they’re made, it might be worth it to steer clear.

Are Olive Garden Breadsticks Cruelty-Free?

While the company claims to not use any product derived from animals, since the recipe is not publicly available we cannot fully confirm this product’s cruelty-free status.

Since an egg might be required to produce this type of product, it is possible that it is not entirely cruelty free. The egg industry is often associated with practices that are not cruelty-free, making products containing eggs non-compliant with the required standards.

What Are Olive Garden Breadsticks Made Of?

Considering that the ingredients are not publicly available, but since most copycat recipes follow this composition, here are the potential ingredients that would make Olive Garden BreadSticks be vegan, as they claim to be.

  • Instant or active dry yeast
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • All-purpose or bread flour

However, please be aware that eggs, unsalted butter, and milk may also be included in the composition.

Unsalted Butter

Derived from milk, unsalted butter plays a role in giving the breadsticks their rich flavor. However, being a dairy product, it’s not vegan.

Whole Milk

Another dairy product, whole milk provides moisture and texture to the breadsticks. It’s sourced from cows and is not vegan.

Instant or Active Dry Yeast

Yeast is a fungus that helps the bread rise. It’s vegan friendly and plays a crucial role in bread-making.

Granulated Sugar

Sugar provides sweetness and can be derived from various sources. While sugar itself can be vegan, some sugar processing methods use bone char, which is not vegan.


Salt is a mineral and is vegan. It enhances the flavor of the breadsticks.


Eggs come from chickens and are not vegan. They would provide structure and moisture to the breadsticks.

All-Purpose or Bread Flour

Flour is made from ground grains and is vegan. It forms the base of the breadsticks.

Vegan Alternatives to Olive Garden Breadsticks

For those committed to a vegan lifestyle, there are numerous alternatives to enjoy:

  • Homemade vegan breadsticks: Using olive oil instead of butter, almond or soy milk in place of cow’s milk, and omitting eggs.
  • Store-bought vegan breadsticks: Many brands offer vegan-friendly options, for example, Jennifer’s Homemade. Always check the label!
  • Vegan pasta dishes: Opt for angel hair pasta with olive garden’s marinara or plain tomato sauce, steamed broccoli, and fresh vegetables.
  • Dips and sauces: Dip your vegan breadsticks in vegan-friendly marinara or tomato sauce, light tomato broth, or balsamic vinegar.


When we want to eat ethically, we need to be careful and watchful about our food. Olive Garden says its breadsticks are vegan, but because it won’t share its recipe, we’re not sure.

There’s a possibility that there are ingredients that are not vegan or kind to animals. This makes it hard to know for sure if the claim is true. Luckily, you can get vegan breadsticks elsewhere, from manufacturers who are willing to share their ingredients with people who want to know what’s going in their bodies.

This journey of figuring things out can be confusing, showing us that choosing a vegan lifestyle that’s good for animals and tastes good too is not always straightforward — but it’s definitely worth it.