If you have a craving for tender chicken, pasta and an unbelievably tasty parmesan sauce, this copycat Olive Garden Tuscan Garlic Chicken recipe is for you!
Admittedly, I’ve never actually ordered or eaten the Tuscan Garlic Chicken at Olive Garden.
But this knock-off recipe certainly made me think that if I could make something this delicious at home, there isn’t any reason to pay an arm and a leg for it at the ol’ OG.
The creamy, flavorful sauce decked out with spinach and red bell pepper is the perfect accompaniment to the lightly breaded chicken.
Even though I didn’t set out for this to happen, the end result of this delectable dish happens to be quite lightened up from many recipes online (and most certainly from the original at the restaurant).
While the chicken gets a crisp golden start in piping hot olive oil in a skillet, it finishes up baking in the oven.
This is a significant calorie cut to frying all the pieces of chicken in oil.
The original recipe also calls for a whopping two cups of cream. Yowzers!
While I do love me some heavy cream, I couldn’t help subbing out some of the cream with a combination of lowfat milk, a touch of heavy cream and a bit of cornstarch.
It worked wonders. That sauce is luxurious and creamy and so delicious.
I’d insert a big old “Go Me!” here except for the fact that this meal still is far from calorie free.
Take it for what it is and relish in the few calories that did get nixed, right?
If you have a craving for tender chicken, hearty pasta and an unbelievably tasty creamy Parmesan sauce, this Tuscan Garlic Chicken is the meal for you.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or chopped
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 6 ounces fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup lowfat milk
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound fettuccine
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a shallow pie plate or similar dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated.
- In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through (they’ll finish up in the oven). Don’t scoot the chicken around once you lay it in the hot oil! Let the oil work it’s magic to sear the crust on the chicken. If you get all antsy and try flipping too early and/or moving the chicken around the pan, the breading is lightly to fall off. Gently remove the chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.
- While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in one tablespoon flour and stir constantly while cooking for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. In a small liquid measure, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add the spinach, milk and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add additional salt and pepper to the sauce, if needed!
- When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with half of the cheese sauce. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.
Chicken: if the chicken breasts you are using are overly thick, you can butterfly them, cutting all the way through so you end up with two thinner cuts of chicken breast.
Sauce: I would say this recipe is right on the edge of just having enough sauce but not an overabundance, so if you like things on the saucier end of the spectrum, feel free to double that part of the recipe.
Recipe Source: adapted from More of America’s Most Wanted Recipes