You’ll be glad you stayed home with this Copycat Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara which is definitely better than the real deal!
Rich, hearty, and creamy, this Copycat Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara recipe are better than the real thing! Packed with tons of big Italian flavor and lots of cheese, this creamy pasta makes for the perfect family dinner when you want restaurant quality without having to leave the house.
THIS COPYCAT CARBONARA IS BETTER THAN OLIVE GARDEN’S
Sometimes choosing a restaurant that the whole family can agree upon is a struggle, so there are a lot of nights we have ended up at Olive Garden. Then one day I started to realize that we were all ordering the same Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara and I knew that I needed to find a way to bring this recipe home with us- and maybe make a few improvements too!
OTHER RECIPES TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN & SHRIMP CARBONARA
- Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Soup – It’s not a copycat Olive Garden dinner without soup and breadsticks!
- Easy Peasey Pizza Dough Bread Sticks – These breadsticks are crazy easy to make and pair with any pasta or pizza dish!
Protein: For this recipe, I use one pound of chicken tenderloins and one pound of peeled and deveined shrimp. You’ll also need some pancetta.
Marinade: Make sure to have extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, Italian seasoning, cracked peppercorns, and salt on hand for the marinade.
Pasta: I use classic spaghetti noodles, but you could use angel hair or fettuccine too.
Veggies: Add some red bell pepper to the mix and garnish with fresh parsley at the end if desired!
Sauce: You’ll also need salted butter, flour, crushed garlic, parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and egg yolks handy to make this creamy copycat sauce.
Topping: This carbonara recipe is baked with a delicious mix of parmesan romano cheese, mozzarella cheese, Italian panko bread crumbs, melted butter, and garlic powder on top.
HOW TO MAKE COPYCAT OLIVE GARDEN CARBONARA
STEP ONE: Start by combining the extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, cracked peppercorns, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour the marinade into a ziplock bag and add the sliced chicken tenderloins and shrimp. Seal the bag and allow the protein to marinate in the fridge for 4 hours.
STEP TWO: Once the meat has marinated, cook the spaghetti until al dente in a large pot or salted boiling water. Then drain the pasta and set it aside. Next, pour the chicken, shrimp, and the marinade into a skillet over medium-high heat and cook for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, remove the shrimp and add in the sliced red bell pepper. Cook the chicken and bell pepper mix for another 5 minutes.
STEP THREE: Continue by cooking the pancetta. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the pancetta for 5 minutes. Next, add the salted butter and allow it to melt. Lower the heat to medium-low and whisk in the flour.
STEP FOUR: Add the crushed garlic, grated parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and egg yolks. Whisk the sauce constantly for 5 minutes to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Once the sauce is done, add the cooked spaghetti and toss to coat the noodles.
STEP FIVE: Pour the pasta into an oven-safe casserole dish and top it with the cooked chicken, shrimp, and bell peppers. Preheat your oven’s broiler.
STEP SIX: In a small mixing bowl, combine the shredded parmesan romano cheese, shredded mozzarella, Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs, melted butter, and garlic powder. Spread this mixture over the top of the casserole dish before placing it in the oven under the broiler for 5-7 minutes. Garnish Copycat Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara with fresh parsley and enjoy!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- When adding the heavy cream and eggs to the sauce, make sure to whisk them the entire time to avoid scrambled eggs and lumpy carbonara sauce.
- Be careful not to overcook the spaghetti or the noodles may become very mushy in the casserole dish.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CHICKEN AND SHRIMP CARBONARA
If you’re feeding the whole family, chances are you probably won’t have any leftovers. If you do, you’re in luck because this Copycat Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara recipe makes the best next-day meal! You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
HOW TO REHEAT LEFTOVER COPYCAT OLIVE GARDEN CARBONARA
When you’re ready for round two of this delicious Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara, simply portion out your leftovers and reheat them, covered, in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes or until the protein is adequately heated through. If you’d rather not wait, you can also microwave leftovers, covered, for 2-3 minutes. Just be sure to cover up the leftovers to keep them from drying out.
OTHER ITALIAN-INSPIRED RECIPES
- Copycat Carrabba’s Cavatappi Amatriciana
- Grilled Veggie Pesto Flatbread
- Italian Baked Penne Casserole
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Lasagna Roll Ups
- Chicken Piccata
- 16 ounces spaghetti
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 4 ounces pancetta diced
- ½ cup salted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup parmesan romano cheese shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup salted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Fresh parsley finely chopped, for garnish
- Add the chicken tenders and shrimp to a gallon-sized food storage bag. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, pepper, and salt.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and shrimp. Seal the bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles and then set them aside.
- While the pasta cooks, pour the chicken, shrimp, and marinade into a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for 7 minutes. Add the bell peppers to the skillet, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set to the side for now.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. (I use the same one I cooked the pasta in.) Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes until crispy, stirring often.
- Add the butter to the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Then add the crushed garlic, parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and egg yolks. Whisk constantly for 5 minutes to prevent to eggs from scrambling.
- Add the cooked spaghetti and stir to coat in the sauce. Transfer the pasta to a 9-inch x 13-inch baking sheet and spread it into an even layer. Top the pasta with the cooked chicken tenders, shrimp, and bell peppers.
- Preheat your oven's broiler to low. (I find this lets me control the doneness of the topping better than high broil.)
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the parmesan romano cheese, mozzarella, seasoned bread crumbs, melted butter, and garlic powder until well combined. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole.
- Broil the pasta for 5-7 minutes, until the top is golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish. Serve warm.