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Restaurant Salad Hacks: Olive Garden and Chili’s Grilled Caribbean Salads

When I was creating my goals for the new year I left one off: be a better vegetarian. It’s not that I’ve been sneaking in a steak  here and there. I have been a good vegetarian in that sense. I just didn’t eat as many vegetables as I should. But that is going to change.

Salads have been my go-to meal this month. I’ve shared these restaurant salad hacks before in other posts, but they weren’t the star. Each recipe is so good, though, I figured they deserved a post of their own!

Who doesn’t love the salads from Olive Garden? It’s easy to make at home-plus you can put as many (or few) olives as you like in your bowl when you make it yourself!
Olive Garden Salad Hack with Dressing Recipe

Restaurant Salad Hacks: Olive Garden and Chili’s Grilled Caribbean Salads
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbs Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
  • 2 Tbs sugar substitute
  1. Combine ingredients in blender and blend.
  2. Serve over red leaf lettuce with your favorite salad toppings. (I recommend Kalamata olives, pepperoncinis and croutons.)



The Grilled Caribbean Salad from Chili’s has always been a favorite. Here’s it’s pictured with teriyaki grilled chicken. Now that I’m a vegetarian, I find that I enjoy it just as much without the chicken. The secret to the Caribbean Salad is the delicious honey lime salad dressing. (And yes, it’s totally easy to make at home!)

Chili's Grilled Caribbean Salad Hack with Honey Lime Dressing Recipe

Chili’s Honey Lime Salad Dressing
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbl sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1 1/2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbl sesame oil
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  1. Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend.
  2. Serve over romaine lettuce with pineapple, mandarin oranges and dried cherries. Add tortilla strips for a crunch.


As The Bunny Hops®