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Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

Olive Garden Chicken Scampi is a hearty pasta with colorful bell peppers, red onions and crispy chicken tenders. All served in a creamy sauce with lots of fresh herbs and garlic!

Olive Garden Chicken Scampi Recipe

One of the most popular items on Olive Gardens menu is their chicken scampi pasta. It’s no surprise this is such a popular dish. It is colorful, flavorful and simply delicious.

Takeout and dining out adds up over time, I like to recreate my favorite restaurant meals at home with easy copycat recipes. Not only it is more cost effective, it is also fun! You can get your family or friends involved in making dinner.

What is Olive Garden Chicken Scampi?

Olive Garden Chicken Scampi is a pasta dish made famous by the Olive Garden restaurant. This dish has a creamy pasta sauce that is packed with garlic and herbs. Bright red onions along with red, yellow and green bell peppers are thinly sliced and sautéed as part of the dish.

The chicken scampi part of this dish is so easy and delicious! Chicken tenders are coated in seasoned flour and pan fried. They are served on top of angel hair pasta that is coated in the creamy sauce. The dish is garnished with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese. This is a simple yet impressive meal that is perfect for date night, holiday entertaining or a weeknight family dinner!

What to Serve with Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

Everyone knows that Olive Garden is famous for their Italian pastas, salad and breadsticks! For an Italian style dinner at home pair this pasta with one of my most popular recipes:

What is in Olive Garden Chicken Scampi?

Chicken Scampi

  • Chicken Tenders – for the classic Olive Garden style dish they use chicken tenders. You can also use boneless skinless chicken breast that is cut into strips or chicken thighs. I like using chicken tenders because it saves a step of needing to slice up the chicken.
  • Flour – the chicken is lightly coated in flour and then pan fried. The flour gives the chicken a crispy texture on the outside and acts as a protective layer to keep the chicken moist.
  • Italian Seasoning – a mix of dried herbs.
  • Olive Oil – to pan fry the chicken tenders.
  • Salt & Pepper

Pasta and Sauce

  • Angel Hair Pasta – I have always been a fan of angel hair pasta, it is thinner than spaghetti and I love the thin texture with a creamy pasta sauce. Scampi is traditionally served over angel hair pasta.
  • Bell Peppers – a colorful mix of red, yellow and green bell peppers is used in this dish. You can also use orange bell peppers. If you prefer to use only one color of pepper you can do that too, you can use any combination of peppers you like.
  • Red Onion – my favorite onion. It has a great flavor and bright purple color.
  • Garlic and Italian Seasoning – the seasonings for the pasta sauce.
  • Butter – to sauté the vegetables and garlic.
  • Parmesan – if you have been to Olive Garden you know they are generous with their fresh grated parmesan cheese.
  • White Wine – used to deglaze the pan for the pasta sauce. If you prefer a non alcoholic recipe you can substitute with chicken broth.
  • Chicken Broth – store bought or homemade works great. This is the base of the pasta sauce.
  • Cream – I recommend using heavy cream for the best flavor and texture of your sauce but you can also use a lower fat cream for a healthier recipe.

How to Make Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

Prepare the Chicken

1 In a large shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix until evenly combined.

2 Coat the chicken tenders in the flour mixture, shake off the excess flour.

3 In a large cast iron skillet or frying pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and heat over medium high heat. Pan fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through (internal temperature 165°F). Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Prepare the Pasta and Sauce

1 As the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the angel hair pasta according to package direction until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and set aside.

2 Wipe the large skillet clean with a paper towel. On medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil. Add in the sliced peppers and red onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

3 Add the butter and minced garlic to the pan and pan fry for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender.

4 Pour the wine into the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Pour in the chicken broth. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.

5 Add in the cream, salt and Italian seasoning and bring to a light boil, stirring frequently.

6 Reduce the heat to low and add the cooked pasta. Mix until evenly coated in the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes. If needed, add in a splash of the reserved pasta water to thicken the sauce.

7 Once the sauce has thickened add the chicken on top of the pasta.

Garnish with grated parmesan cheese, chopped fresh basil and parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for the Best Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

  • Chicken – I highly recommend using chicken tenders for this recipe as they are the perfect size and don’t require any slicing. You can use boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs sliced into strips instead.
    • Protein options – instead of chicken you can use seafood for example, shrimp or scallops.
    • Meat Free options – Portobello mushrooms, egg plant, tofu or tempeh.
  • Pasta Sauce – for the best texture and creamy sauce I recommend using heavy cream. The texture and flavor is simply divine. For a healthier or lighter option you can use a reduced fat cream, half and half or milk, but the texture will not be as creamy.
  • Peppers – you can use any combination of bell peppers you prefer. It is great to make this recipe in the summer and use garden fresh peppers. If you would like some more variety you can even do a mix of peppers, onion, zucchini, eggplant or any other veggies you have on hand.

FAQs Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

How to reheat Olive Garden Chicken Scampi?

Reheat the pasta in a frying pan over medium heat with a splash of chicken broth, water or cream for about 4-5 minutes (or until warmed through), stir frequently. Or reheat in a microwave safe container with a splash of water in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until warmed through.

How to store Olive Garden Chicken Scampi?

Store the cooked and cooled pasta in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days (adjust accordingly based on the best before date of each ingredient used).

Can I freeze Olive Garden Chicken Scampi?

Since this pasta dish has cream it is not recommended to freeze. The cream will separate. However, if you do freeze, when reheating simply add an additional splash of cream and the sauce will become creamy again.

Can I make Olive Garden Chicken Scampi ahead?

Yes! This is a great meal for make ahead. Follow the recipe and store the cooked pasta in an air tight container in the fridge. Reheat stove top or in the microwave and enjoy.

Vegetarian Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

For a vegetarian recipe, swap the chicken for Portobello mushrooms sliced into strips, or use vegetarian/vegan ‘chicken’ tenders.

Gluten Free Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

For a gluten free recipe, coat the chicken tenders in gluten free flour of choice and use a gluten free pasta.

Looking for More Easy Copycat Recipes?

Enjoy!

– Sab

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.

copycat Olive garden chicken scampi in a cast iron skillet

Olive Garden Chicken Scampi Copycat

Olive Garden Chicken Scampi is a hearty pasta with colorful bell peppers, red onions and crispy chicken tenders. All served in a creamy sauce with lots of fresh herbs and garlic!
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 – 8 People
Calories 621 kcal

Equipment

  • Fry Pan, Skillet or Cast Iron Pan
  • Large Pot for boiling pasta

Ingredients
 
 

Chicken

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, or cooking oil of choice
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders, or thinly sliced chicken breast or thighs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Pasta and Sauce

  • 1 lb angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, or cooking oil of choice
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth, store bought or homemade
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, or sub with chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste

Garnish

  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Instructions
 

Prepare the Chicken

  • In a large shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix until evenly combined.
  • Coat the chicken tenders in the flour mixture, shake off the excess flour.
  • In a large cast iron skillet or frying pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and heat over medium high heat. Pan fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through (internal temperature 165°F). Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Prepare the Pasta and Sauce

  • As the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the angel hair pasta according to package direction until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Wipe the large skillet clean with a paper towel. On medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil. Add in the sliced peppers and red onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to the pan and pan fry for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender.
  • Pour the wine into the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Pour in the chicken broth. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the cream, salt and Italian seasoning and bring to a light boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the cooked pasta. Mix until evenly coated in the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes. If needed, add in a splash of the reserved pasta water to thicken the sauce.
  • Once the sauce has thickened add the chicken on top of the pasta.
  • Garnish with grated parmesan cheese, chopped fresh basil and parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Video

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NUTRITION

Calories: 621kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 41gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 2002mgPotassium: 852mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1381IUVitamin C: 82mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 4mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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