Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo Copycat Recipe

Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo is full of flavor from fresh aromatics and creamy sauce with perfectly juicy chicken breasts, now you can make it at home. If you love Olive Garden chicken alfredo, you will love it even more when you make this main course cuisine yourself. The classic dish is easy to prepare and is done in minutes. Your taste buds will love it too. Also, you can use our famous Alfredo Sauce recipe to make this dish!

olive garden chicken alfredo served with fettuccine noodles

Also known as chicken fettuccine alfredo, it was the Italians who first made this dish, of course. In fact, it was named after the Italian who invented it, Alfredo di Lelio.

It was 1908 when he was working in a restaurant in Rome and he was trying to entice his wife into eating after giving birth to their son. He mixed extra butter, parmesan cheese, and cream into the sauce and added a bit of seasoning and she loved it!

overhead shot of olive garden chicken alfredo ingredients in bowls on a wooden table

Ingredients needed:

  • Boneless, skinless sliced chicken breast
  • Fettuccine pasta
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • All-purpose flour
  • Minced garlic
  • Salted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt: Divided.
  • Fresh ground black pepper: Divided.
  • Chopped fresh parsley: For garnish.
collage of six photos showing the process steps of how to make olive garden chicken alfredo

How to make copycat Olive Garden chicken alfredo from scratch?

  1. Boil the pasta to al dente: First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, add pasta noodles and cook according to the package directions. Drain the cooked pasta and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter: In the meantime, melt 1/4 cup of butter in an oiled cast iron skillet (or any large skillet) on high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cook chicken breasts: Now, cook the chicken breasts until they are golden brown on one side, and then flip them over before covering the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another five minutes or until it is no longer pink in the middle. Remove the chicken and let it rest.
  4. Let it rest: While the chicken rests, melt another 1/2 cup of butter in a deep-sided skillet on medium heat. Then, add minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until it is slightly brown. Turn the heat down to low and season it with salt and pepper.
  5. Make the sauce: Next, sprinkle flour into the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste before pouring in the heavy cream. Stir constantly.
  6. Add cheese: After letting it cook until slightly thickened, add the parmesan cheese and stir until smooth. Remove pan from the heat and cover while the cheese melts.
  7. Separate, top, and serve: When you are ready to serve, slice the chicken into strips and add it to the sauce mixture. Divide the cooked pasta into separate serving plates and top with the alfredo sauce and chicken. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve.
overhead shot of a homemade version of olive garden chicken alfredo

Recipe variations:

  • Other cheese: Instead of parmesan, you can use romano cheese if that is what you like.
  • Add veggies: Feel free to add your favorite vegetables like bell peppers, chopped onions, sliced scallions, and chopped mushrooms.
  • Different meat: You can also use a different meat if you like such as turkey, pork, or beef.
  • Other pasta: Similarly, any pasta noodles can be used in this dish from spaghetti to penne.
  • Favorite herbs and spices: Add fresh herbs and spices to give it your own personal touch. Try using oregano, thyme, or smoked paprika.
  • Make it spicy: You could also add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for a bit of heat.

How to serve:

  • Sprinkle some parmesan and romano cheeses on top right before serving.
  • Top your chicken alfredo with black olives, grape tomatoes, and chopped green onions.
  • Any pasta goes great with breadsticks. This recipe for savory homemade breadsticks is perfect.
  • Serve a fresh garden salad as an appetizer or side dish to this copycat Olive Garden chicken alfredo.
  • Are your chicken breasts frozen? To make things easier, use our recipe for how to cook frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot.
  • Use leftover chicken alfredo for a casserole, soup, or salad.
olive garden chicken alfredo dish of sliced chicken breast with alfredo sauce on top on a pile of pasta in the sauce

Frequently asked questions

What noodles are best for chicken alfredo pasta?

While most alfredo recipes call for fettuccine noodles, you can use whichever pasta noodles you prefer. Long flat noodles like fettuccine, tagliatelle, and linguini are the most commonly used but other home cooks prefer to use spaghetti or angel hair pasta. You could also try long tube noodles like bucatini or short tubes like ziti, rigatoni, or penne.

Do I have to use chicken breasts?

You can use any cut of chicken you like for this Olive Garden recipe. Try using chicken tenderloins. They are the most tender part of the chicken, found underneath the breast along the sides of the breastbone. If you like dark meat, try boneless skinless chicken thighs or even drumsticks.

How much salt should I use in my pasta water?

In all of my pasta recipes, I use at least one teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of pasta with one gallon (four quarts) of water. This goes for any kind of pasta from macaroni to fettuccine. However, some people use a little more or a little less and you may like using sea salt or iodized table salt instead of Kosher salt. It really is up to you and your own taste buds.

Why is my pasta sticking together?

First, you should not add the noodles until the water is at a full rolling boil. This keeps them from clumping or getting gummy from just sitting in the water. You will also want to keep stirring the pasta while you cook because the starch will make them stick, especially during the first two minutes.

a bite of olive garden chicken alfredo on a fork

How to store leftovers:

  • Store: You can store your leftover alfredo sauce in a jar in the fridge for up to five days. The pasta can also be kept refrigerated in an airtight container in the fridge with or without sauce.
  • Freeze: If you have way too much leftover chicken alfredo, put it in a freezer bag or another freezer-safe container and you can freeze it for three to four months. Be sure to write the date on the bag or container.
  • Thaw: For the best flavor and texture, thaw your leftovers in the fridge overnight before you plan to serve.
  • Reheat: If separate, reheat the sauce in a skillet over medium heat with a dash of milk or cream. After you reheat, you can add more milk to get it to the consistency you like. Reheating pasta and sauce together is simple by microwaving for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on how much you are reheating.

More chicken alfredo recipes to try:

Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo Copycat

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add some salt, add the pasta and cook per the package instructions until al dente.

  • Drain the cooked pasta and set aside in a colander. You can add some olive oil to it so it doesn’t stick together.

  • While the pasta cooks, place a skillet over high heat and add the olive oil, and 1/4 cup butter. Add the chicken and season with some sale and pepper. Cook the chicken until golden on both sides.

  • Cover the pan with a lid and reduce heat to medium, continue to cook the chicken for about 5 minutes more, until no longer pink in the center. Remove the chicken from the pan on a plate and cover it with foil.

  • While the chicken rests, work on the sauce, and make sure you don’t forget about the pasta, don’t overcook it.

  • Melt the remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Next, add the garlic, cook stirring for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low and add a bit of salt and pepper.

  • After that, add the flour and stir quickly until it forms a paste. Then, VERY SLOWLY while continuing to stir all the time, pour in the heavy cream. Make sure to stir constantly until the sauce is smooth.

  • Cook the sauce until steaming and thickened. Then add the 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat.

  • When ready to serve, slice the chicken into strips, add pasta to serving bowls, top it with the chicken and pour a good amount of Alfredo sauce on top.

  • Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Cooking tips:

  • Make sure you add salt to your pasta water. This is where your flavor begins.
  • You can substitute garlic powder for minced garlic if that is all you have.
  • Be sure to stir your sauce constantly over medium heat so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
  • Let the sauce thaw completely before you reheat it to keep it from curdling.
  • If your sauce is too thick, add a bit of reserved pasta water to loosen it up until it gets to the creamy consistency you like.
  • Feel free to use half and half instead of heavy cream for a lighter pasta dish. However, if you want extra rich sauce, you should stick to the heavy cream.
  • It is easier to slice chicken breasts if they are partially frozen.
  • Let your chicken rest after cooking so the juices return to the meat.
  • Use pre-cooked chicken strips and store-bought pasta sauce to shorten prep time.
  • Let your ingredients come to room temperature before using them.
  • Sprinkle the cheese into the sauce a little at a time to keep it from clumping.
easy olive garden chicken alfredo pin

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