When it comes to party food, there’s nothing quite like Olive Garden’s Chicken Giardino. This dish is a perfect blend of fresh vegetables and tender chicken, all coated in a delicious white wine sauce. However, not all of us can make a trip to Olive Garden every time we have friends over. That’s where this recipe comes in!
With just a few simple steps and the right ingredients, you can make an exact copycat of Olive Garden’s Chicken Giardino right in your own home. Impress your guests with this restaurant-quality dish that tastes just as good as the original but without breaking the bank.
I promise you won’t regret serving up this fresh-tasting chicken giardino to your guests or even for a cozy dinner at home with your loved ones. So let’s get started on the recipe and make some delicious chicken giardino – your taste buds will thank you!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
You’ll absolutely love the Chicken Giardino recipe, especially if you are a fan of Italian cuisine. Let me give you plenty of reasons why this dish will be an instant favorite on your dinner table.
First off, this recipe is perfect for all types of occasions – it’s a great choice for a family dinner or a festive gathering with friends. You can easily impress guests by serving them this signature Olive Garden dish made at home. Trust me, your culinary skills will be talked about long after the meal is over.
The combination of flavors and textures makes this dish unforgettable. It features tender and juicy chicken breasts that are cooked to perfection and seasoned with aromatic herbs like rosemary and thyme. Then it’s rounded out with fresh veggies such as broccoli florets, red bell peppers, asparagus, spinach, carrots, roma tomatoes, and zucchini. There’s no other dish that offers such a wide variety of vegetables in one serving.
This recipe is so versatile that you can even customize it to suit your own taste buds. For instance, if you’re looking for a lower-calorie option, you can include spiralized veggie pasta instead of traditional farfalle pasta. Additionally, if you’re looking for more Mediterranean flavors, consider adding olives or sun-dried tomatoes into the mix.
Finally, the creamy wine sauce on this dish is undoubtedly the showstopper that takes it over the top. It’s a flavorful blend of chicken broth, milk, white wine, garlic cloves, lemon juice, and cornstarch that’s expertly prepared to create a velvety texture that will have you licking your lips.
Overall, this Chicken Giardino recipe from Olive Garden is definitely one of those recipes that will become an instant classic in your home cooking repertoire. So go ahead and give it a try- you won’t regret it!
Here’s what you need to prepare your delightful chicken giardino. Feel free to adjust the serving size according to your needs. And don’t forget to check your pantry first before heading to the grocery!
- 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 carrot
- 1 small zucchini
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- 10 pieces of Roma tomatoes
- 1 small broccoli floret, chopped rough
For the Giardino Sauce:
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- ¼ cup of white wine
- ¼ cup of milk
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
For the Chicken Marinade:
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
For Cooking and Sautéing:
- Olive oil or any cooking oil that you prefer.
Note: The above-mentioned ingredients are for the original chicken giardino recipe. But if you want a lower calorie alternative, you can opt for using grilled chicken or include spiralized veggie pasta instead of farfalle pasta.
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to bring out your kitchen tools and let’s get started with the recipe!
The Recipe How-To
Once you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start preparing the dish.
Step 1: Cook Chicken and Vegetables
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add minced garlic and saute it for 1-2 minutes.
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and add them to the skillet along with salt and pepper.
- Once the chicken has cooked through, remove it from the skillet, cover it, and set it aside to keep warm.
- To the same skillet, add diced red bell pepper, sliced carrot, chopped broccoli florets, sliced zucchini, whole stems of fresh asparagus, and sliced Roma tomatoes.
- Add some more salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook until vegetables turn tender.
Step 2: Make Cornstarch Mixture
- In a mixing bowl whisk together cornstarch and chicken broth until dissolved.
- Then add water, white wine, milk, lemon juice, finely chopped rosemary sprigs, garlic powder, and black pepper to it and whisk well.
Step 3: Water-Wine-Milk-Lemon Juice Mixing
- In a separate saucepan or pot over medium heat, combine chicken broth-water-wine-milk-lemon juice mixture and bring it to boil.
- Once boiling, add cornstarch-slurry mixture (from step #2) while continuously whisking with a fork.
- Continue cooking while stirring constantly until the sauce becomes thickened up.
Step 4: Final Assembly
- Add the cooked chicken back into the skillet with vegetables then pour in the white wine sauce on top of it.
- Toss everything to combine thoroughly and let cook for about 3-5 minutes or until everything is nicely coated.
- Finally add some chopped fresh parsley leaves as a garnish.
Serve hot alongside cooked farfalle pasta or with some bread to enjoy every bit of this flavorful dish!
Substitutions and Variations
Now that you know the basics of the Chicken Giardino recipe, it’s time to get creative! One great thing about this recipe is that you can easily substitute or add additional ingredients to create a different spin on the classic dish.
Firstly, if you want to lighten up the dish or if you’re looking for a lower calorie option, consider swapping out the farfalle pasta for a spiralized veggie pasta. You can use zucchini noodles or butternut squash noodles instead of traditional pasta for a lighter fare.
Another variation you can add in is chicken parmigiana. Simply grill 2 pounds of chicken and add it to the dish before serving. Top the dish with parmesan cheese and pop it into the broiler for a minute until the cheese is melted and bubbly. This twist will give you a little bit of everything without sacrificing flavor.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some Mediterranean flavors by tossing in some sliced kalamata olives or feta cheese when sautéing your vegetables. You could also switch up the veggies entirely and use other colorful ones such as yellow squash, artichokes, or even cauliflower.
For sauce variations, try an alfredo sauce instead of the butter sauce. To make alfredo sauce, just mix together 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of butter, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese in a pan over medium heat until everything is melted and combined. This will complement your chicken giardino with creamy and cheesy flavors.
Lastly, try pairing your Chicken Giardino with a refreshing salad or breadsticks! It’s an easy addition that can elevate your meal to another level.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to variations for this recipe – don’t be afraid to get creative and make it your own!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you’ve cooked up a storm and have the magnificent Chicken Giardino ready and hot, it’s time to think about serving and pairing suggestions.
When it comes to serving, I always suggest a simple bedding of farfalle pasta to go with your dish. A farfalle pasta swirls enchantingly around the juicy meat and verdant veggies, creating a dynamic texture and flavor. You can also use chicken pasta instead for a heartier meal.
However, if you’re looking to make this recipe into something even more refined or special than restaurant-style, consider making one of Olive Garden’s classic sides to serve alongside your Chicken Giardino. Carrots or spinach sautéed in olive oil would bring some natural sweetness to your spread. Or you could simply add steamed broccoli florets, red bell pepper strips, roma tomato wedges, and sliced zucchini for a healthy vegetable side that packs all sorts of nutrients.
If you’re looking for something that would complement the rich flavors of the Chicken Giardino, a side of fresh asparagus works wonders with its slight bitterness perfectly balancing out the chicken meat’s savory taste. A drizzle of lemon juice over top will tie everything together seamlessly.
For drinks and wine selections, light-to-medium-bodied Italian white wines are great options. If you want something that’s a bit fruity, go for the Chianti Classico, while Verdicchio di Matelica or white Vernaccia pair nicely as well.
Of course, water or lemonade is always appreciated alongside a dish like this too. It’s refreshing and cleanses the palate between bites of tender chicken and scrumptious sauce.
No matter how you choose to serve and pair it up, my copycat Olive Garden Chicken Giardino recipe will undoubtedly be one for the books!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
It’s always helpful to have some tips in your back pocket when it comes to meal prep. Luckily, this Chicken Giardino recipe has a few tricks up its sleeve for make-ahead, storing, and reheating.
If you want to save some time on the day of your gathering, you can prep the vegetables and chicken ahead of time, but do not concoct the sauce or cook the pasta until you are ready to serve. Simply store the prepped ingredients in separate containers in your refrigerator.
When it comes to storing leftovers or pre-made meals, it’s important to keep everything separated. Store your cooked pasta and sauce together in one container and store the chicken and vegetables in separate containers. This prevents everything from getting mushy and unappetizing.
To reheat the meal, place the desired serving size of pasta and sauce into a microwave-safe dish and microwave on 50% power for 3-5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. For the chicken, heat it in a separate pan with a bit of oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until heated through.
Although this recipe is best served fresh, keeping these storage tips in mind will keep your leftovers tasting just as delicious as they did on day one. And here’s a tip to take note of: always add a splash of water or milk when reheating any type of pasta dish as this prevents any drying out while heating.
Tips for Perfect Results
Now, let’s talk about some helpful tips to ensure your Chicken Giardino turns out perfectly.
First and foremost, make sure you don’t overcook the vegetables. This dish is all about the fresh, crisp taste of the veggies, so you want to make sure they have a slight crunch to them. Be mindful of the cooking time and don’t be afraid to take them off the heat a little early if needed.
Another important tip is to pound your chicken breasts before cooking them. By flattening them out, you not only tenderize the meat but also create even cooking. This will help prevent overcooked parts or undercooked spots on your chicken.
When sautéing garlic in olive oil, it can easily burn and become bitter. To avoid this, add garlic towards the end of the sauté so it doesn’t have too much contact with the hot oil.
In terms of seasoning, be generous with herbs like rosemary and thyme for an aromatic finish. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese at the end will also enhance the flavor profile.
If you’re making this dish for a party or large gathering, consider grilling your chicken ahead of time and reheating it when ready to serve. This not only saves time but also creates a delicious smoky flavor.
Lastly, consider some modifications for a lighter fare. You could include spiralized veggie pasta instead of traditional farfalle pasta or use lighter sauces like Alfredo made with milk instead of heavy cream.
By following these tips and making necessary modifications, you can achieve restaurant-quality Chicken Giardino right in your own kitchen.
So there you have it, folks! My recipe for the delicious Chicken Giardino, an Olive Garden copycat recipe that is sure to leave your guests begging for more. This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves Italian food and wants to impress their guests.
As you can see, the process of making this dish is not too difficult, but it does require some careful attention to detail. However, if you follow my instructions carefully and use the right ingredients, you’ll definitely be able to create a dish that looks and tastes just like Olive Garden’s version.
Don’t be afraid to tweak the recipe a little by using different vegetables or adding your own favorite seasonings. You can also experiment with different pastas, such as farfalle or even spiralized veggie pasta if you’re looking for a lower calorie option.
Overall, this Chicken Giardino recipe is great for any occasion, from a casual dinner party to a fancy night in. And if you ever find yourself missing the taste of Olive Garden’s Italian restaurant cuisine, look no further than this copycat recipe!
So why not give it a try? Gather your friends and family and treat them to a night of delicious food and good company with this amazing dish. I guarantee that they’ll all be talking about it for days afterwards!
Chicken Giardino (Olive Garden Copycat) Recipe
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic pepper seasoning
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced width-wise into 1/2-inch strips
- 2 small rosemary sprigs
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juice of
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 bunch fresh asparagus (remove bottom inch of stem, cut remainder into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 zucchini, julienne cut
- 1 summer squash, julienne cut
- 2 roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 red bell pepper, julienne cut
- 1 cup broccoli floret, blanched
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup spinach, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup carrot, julienne cut
- 1 lb farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions (bow ties)
- SAUCE PREPARATION:
- MELT butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in thyme, garlic pepper and rosemary. Whisk to thoroughly blend and cook for 1 minute.
- COMBINE chicken broth, water, wine, milk, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Add cornstarch and whisk until cornstarch has dissolved and there are no lumps.
- ADD liquid mixture to sauce pan. Whisk all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.
- CHICKEN & VEGETABLES PREPARATION:
- COMBINE all chicken ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend well.
- MARINATE for 30 minutes.
- HEAT a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
- SAUTE chicken strips until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- ADD all vegetables and saute until cooked through.
- ADD cooked, drained pasta and sauce to saute pan. Stir until pasta is thoroughly coated with sauce.
- TRANSFER to a serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley.
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!