Copycat Olive Garden Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe

For many people, Olive Garden is a great place to get together with friends and catch up over some unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks. But sometimes you just want to enjoy a big plate of Olive Garden's delicious and filling dishes without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Fortunately, while recreating restaurant dishes at home can seem like a daunting task, it may be simpler than you think to whip up a dinner of Olive Garden's Parmesan Crusted Chicken right in your own kitchen.

For this dish, registered dietitian and recipe developer Kristen Carli has recreated Olive Garden's paremsan crusted chicken, with its crispy, cheesy chicken and rich, creamy sauce using commonly found ingredients and with just a few simple steps. She's also paired the dish with steamed broccoli and mushrooms, making for a filling and nutritious meal your whole family will love. Now, you don't have to be a professional chef in order to enjoy restaurant-quality food at home.

Collect your ingredients

While the finished product is restaurant quality, the ingredients for this parmesan crusted chicken won't be difficult to find in any regular supermarket. In fact, you may have some of these ingredients already waiting in your pantry and refrigerator.

 For this recipe, you'll need bowtie pasta, fresh broccoli and basil, mushrooms, minced garlic, chicken tenderloins, and Italian style breadcrumbs. You'll also want to procure grated parmesan cheese, grated Asiago cheese, unsalted butter, half and half, sour cream, olive oil, flour, whole milk, salt and pepper, and white wine. And there's no real need to overthink the exact type of wine you'll want here. For the best flavor when cooking with wine, it's always preferable to go with a wine you would enjoy drinking out of a glass, since that same flavor will translate to the finished dish.

Prepare your veggies

The preparation for the fresh produce for this dish is pretty minimal. Slice your mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and cut your broccoli into similarly sized florets. You'll also want to finely mince the garlic, if it hasn't come that way already, and chiffonade the basil. If you've never made a chiffonade before, it's pretty easy and ends up looking like fine basil confetti. "Lay out each basil leaf flat on top of each other," Carli instructs. "Then roll [the stack of basil] up in a cylinder. Then thinly slice until you end up with several ribbons."

All that's left to do with the broccoli and mushrooms at this point is to steam them so that they're ready to be drizzled with the rich, creamy sauce right before serving. There are a few ways you can get perfectly steamed veggies. Traditionally, vegetables can be steamed on the stovetop using a steamer basket placed over a small quantity of water.

However, the microwave is another simple and effective way to steam your vegetables that doesn't even require any special equipment. "I steam them for 3 minutes in the microwave," Carli says. "If you don't have a steamer basket, you could always place both the broccoli in a small bowl and pour in about ¼ cup of water. Cover with a paper towel and zap in the microwave for about 3 minutes."

Boil the pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, then add the pasta and prepare according to the package directions. Using salted water to boil pasta is an easy way to infuse the pasta itself with a little more flavor, rather than relying solely on the sauce to flavor the pasta and the rest of the final dish. 

Once the pasta has reached an al dente texture, drain it and set it aside until you're ready to assemble the finished dish.

Bread the chicken

With the veggies out of the way, it's time to prepare the chicken, giving it its distinctive parmesan crust. To make the crust, first combine the breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of flour, and the parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl. Then put the milk into another shallow bowl. 

Coat each tenderloin evenly in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to flip it so that each side is evenly coated. Then, dip it into the milk, then give it another coating of breadcrumbs, for a total of three dips per chicken piece. Set each piece aside until all tenderloins are coated in this manner. Once each tenderloin has been breaded, you're ready to fry them up.

Fry the chicken

When you're ready to start frying, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken to the skillet in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the pieces. If your skillet isn't large enough to fit in all of the pieces comfortably, you may need to prepare them in batches in order to make sure the breading crisps and doesn't steam.

The chicken is done when the breading is crisp and golden and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 F, measured in the thickest part of the cut with a meat thermometer. If you don't have a meat thermometer, Carli says you will know the chicken is done when you see "no pink inside and the juice runs clear." Once the chicken is done, remove it to a drying rack or paper towel-lined plate.

Prepare the sauce

The thing that brings this entire dish together is the creamy sauce, which comes together in just a few minutes. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add butter and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and allow them to melt together. Once the butter has melted into the oil, add the 2 remaining tablespoons of flour to the butter. Whisk to combine until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

Next, whisk in the garlic, wine, half and half, and sour cream. You'll notice that the sauce will start to thicken almost immediately once the flour mixture incorporates into the liquid. Keep whisking in order to remove any lumps and ensure that everything is fully incorporated. Once the sauce has begun to come together, whisk in the grated asiago cheese and allow it to melt. Right before you're ready to plate the dish, stir in the basil and remove the sauce from the heat.

Put it all together

After all the individual components of the dish have been prepared, it's time to bring it all together and serve your copycat Olive Garden parmesan crusted chicken. In a wide, shallow bowl, add 1 ½ cups of the cooked pasta, and then place two of the chicken tenders on top, along with about ½ cup of the steamed broccoli and mushrooms. Spoon about a cup of the sauce over the top. For another layer of richness and cheesy goodness, you can sprinkle the dish with even more grated parmesan, if desired.

Copycat Olive Garden Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe
4.9 from 9 ratings
Enjoy a copycat recipe of Olive Garden's paremsan crusted chicken at home, with crispy chicken and rich sauce using common ingredients and a few simple steps.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
3
servings
parmesan crusted chicken
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 12 ounce box of bowtie pasta
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup flour, divided
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 chicken tenderloins
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • ¼ cup grated Asiago cheese
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. Steam broccoli and mushrooms.
  3. In a bowl, add breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of flour, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. In another bowl, add milk.
  5. Dip each chicken tender into the breadcrumbs, into the milk, and then back into the breadcrumbs.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  7. Add chicken to pan. Cook for 4 minutes on each side. Cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165 F.
  8. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add butter and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  9. Add 2 remaining tablespoons of flour to the butter. Whisk to combine.
  10. Add garlic, wine, half and half, and sour cream. Whisk to combine.
  11. Add grated asiago cheese and allow to melt, about 3 minutes.
  12. Add basil into sauce. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  13. Plate each serving by placing about 1 ½ cups of pasta in a low bowl. Top with 2 chicken tenders. Add ½ cup of broccoli and mushrooms. Spoon about 1 cup of sauce on top. Top with grated parmesan if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,996
Total Fat 97.7 g
Saturated Fat 30.2 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 201.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 188.1 g
Dietary Fiber 14.6 g
Total Sugars 18.5 g
Sodium 2,224.3 mg
Protein 85.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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