Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Courtney Paige · This post may contain affiliate links · 4 Comments

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You might not have all you can eat Olive Garden breadsticks and salads in your home, but you can have this amazing Olive Garden Chicken Pasta recipe. Onion, garlic, and Italian seasonings mixed with rich and smooth creamy cheese cover penne noodles with perfectly tender chicken on top. Mmm Mmm delicious!

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (1)
Table of Contents
  • About this Chicken Recipe
  • Recipe Ingredients
  • How to Make This Recipe
  • Expert Tips
  • Recipe FAQs
  • Serving Suggestions
  • More Recipes You'll Love
  • Recipe

About this Chicken Recipe

Lean into comfort food in the comfort of your own home with this homemade, Olive Garden copycat recipe. The simple ingredients, Italian recipe is rich and ultra satisfying thanks to the cream cheese that melts down to become a smooth, creamy sauce.

And the chicken is super flavorful since it’s cooked in salad dressing. This is a tip I highly recommend if you’ve never tried it before!

Most Olive Garden Chicken Pasta recipes call for a slow cooker. But put simply, the slow cooker is, well, slow. I often don’t have the time to prep a dish 4 hours in advance. If you’re like me, you’d rather just whip up a quick and simple meal on the stove top just before you’re ready to enjoy, which is exactly how this meal is made!

When I make this recipe, I rarely end up with leftovers, and for a good reason. The whole family is obsessed! And if you’re looking for more Italian Mains, also try this Healthy One Pot Pasta, this Rosemary Lemon Pepper Chicken, or this Spaghetti Squash Feta Casserole that I think you’ll enjoy, too!

Recipe Ingredients

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (2)
  • Noodles - Penne pasta is classic for this dish, but any pasta of your choice will do. You could even serve with rice or quinoa instead!
  • Boneless Chicken Breasts - Or tenderloins work, too. You want them skinless and thin.
  • Olive Garden Light Italian Dressing - How to make chicken breasts flavorful? Cook them in salad dressing! I went with the Olive Garden brand that you can buy at most big name grocery store, but any Italian Dressing will do.
  • Italian Seasoning Packet Mix - I used pre-mix seasoning for ease, but you can also go with a mix of parsley, basil, oregano, and optional red pepper flakes.
  • Fresh Basil - For garnish to brighten up the dish. You could also add fresh parsley.
  • Sauce - Unsalted Butter, melted parmesan and cream cheese create the creamy pasta sauce.

See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

How to Make This Recipe

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (3)

1. In a stove pot (I use my OurPlace Always Pan which is deeper than a traditional skillet), boil water for noodles. Once the water is boiling, add in some salt and the penne. Cook according to package directions. Before straining the pasta, save at least 1 cup of pasta water and set aside.

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (4)

2. In the same stove pot/skillet, add the olive oil. Allow it to heat until fragrant. Spread around in the pan so it’s evenly coated. Add the chicken tenders, minced garlic, and onion. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, flipping the chicken half way through.

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (5)

3. Pour the Olive Garden Dressing into the pan with the chicken. Cover and allow the chicken to cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (6)

4. Quickly remove the cooked chicken from the pan dice into bite size pieces.

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (7)

5. Add the cooked pasta back into the warm pan/pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Whisk in cream cheese cubes, light butter, italian seasoning, and fresh parmesan cheese. Stir until everything is combined. If its thick, add 2 tablespoons of pasta water at a time until sauce-like consistency is reached.

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (8)

6. Top the pasta with the diced chicken, basil, and more shaved parm if desired. Add a crack of black pepper, serve hot and enjoy!

Expert Tips

  • Looking to speed up the cooking process? You can cook the noodles in a separate sauce pot and begin the chicken in your sauté pan at the same time to cut down on total cook time.
  • If you have chicken breasts, cook them with the ones you’re using for this recipe! This is an easy way to meal prep additional, flavorful and tender chicken breasts.
  • Shred chicken with with two forks, in a blender, or stand mixer for pieces shredded chicken that are more incorporated into the sauce.

Recipe FAQs

How do we store it?

This dish holds up great as leftovers! It will last a good 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds until warm throughout.

I forgot to save some pasta water, what should I do?

If your pasta water is already down the drain, then you can mix ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch in 1 cup of water to obtain the same consistency. Just make sure the water is warm, mix thoroughly, and proceed with pasta as written. You could also just add a splash of heavy cream for a slightly richer sauce.

Does this pasta taste like chicken alfredo?

Similar, but the sauce is not as rich and more flavorful with the addition of Italian seasonings, garlic and onion.

What should I serve with Olive Garden pasta?

Serve this creamy pasta dish with a simple side salad, roasted veggies like broccoli or green beans, or with some tasty bread like this Pesto Focaccia for a complete meal.

Featured CommenT

"I made this recipe for my family (including 3 kids ages 6-9). They LOVED it. My daughter said it was her favorite dinner and that I need to make it again! They gobbled it up. They loved the sauce in particular." - Rebbeca

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (9)

Serving Suggestions

Serve your pasta dish with this Pesto Focaccia (far better than Olive Garden breadsticks in my opinion😉) and a side Couscous and Arugula Salad for a well rounded meal.

More Recipes You'll Love

  • Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken
  • Ninja Foodi Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Caprese Steak Salad
  • One Pot Alfredo

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below & if you really like the recipe consider leaving a comment further down. Thanks for visiting!

Recipe

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (14)

Print Pin Recipe

Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe

5 from 21 votes

Prep10 minutes mins

Cook16 minutes mins

Total30 minutes mins

Servings4

In your home you may not have all you can eat salad and Olive Garden breadsticks, but you can have this amazing Olive Garden Chicken Pasta recipe. Onion, garlic, and italian seasonings mixed with rich and smooth creamy cheese cover penne noodles with perfectly tender chicken on top. Mmm Mmm delicious!

Author: Courtney Paige

Equipment

  • large pot/skillet

  • strainer

  • Rubber Spatula

  • Meat Thermometer

  • tongs or fork

Ingredients

  • 14.5 oz penne pasta, I used Barilla Protein+
  • 1 cup pasta water*
  • 1 lbs boneless chicken breasts, or tenderloins
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • cup Olive Garden Light Italian Dresssing
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning packet mix
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 oz ⅓ fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup light butter

Instructions

  • In a stove pot (I use my OurPlace Always Pan which is deeper than a traditional skillet), boil water for noodles. Once the water is boiling, add in some salt and the penne. Cook according to package directions.

  • Save at least 1 cup of pasta water and set aside, then strain the pasta. Do not rinse and try to keep the pasta warm (in a bowl with a lid).

  • In the same stove pot/skillet, add the olive oil. Allow it to heat until fragrant. Spread around in the pan so it’s evenly coated. Add the chicken tenders, minced garlic, and onion. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, flipping the chicken half way through.

  • Pour the Olive Garden Dressing into the pan with the chicken. Cover and allow the chicken to cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

  • Use tongs or a fork to remove the cooked chicken from the pan dice into bite size pieces.

  • Without cleaning the pan, add the cooked pasta back into the warm pan/pot and turn the heat to medium-low.

  • Whisk in cream cheese cubes, light butter, Italian seasoning, and fresh parmesan cheese. Stir until everything is combined. If its thick, add 2 tablespoons of pasta water at a time until sauce-like consistency is reached.

  • Top the pasta with the diced chicken, basil, and more shaved parm if desired. Add a crack of black pepper, serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 849kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 1521mg | Potassium: 965mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10g

Video

Notes

*You may not need all, or even any pasta water depending how thick your sauce is, but be sure to save it before draining your noodles just incase*

If you have chicken breasts, cook them with the ones you’re using for this recipe! This is an easy way to meal prep additional, flavorful and tender chicken breasts.

This dish holds up great as leftovers! It will last a good 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds until warm throughout.

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  1. Courtney Paige says

    Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (15)
    This recipe is SO good! I love the lightness of it.

    Reply

  2. Lily says

    Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (16)
    This pasta is so yummy and great for meal prep. I kept it in the fridge all week and just heated it up everyday for lunch. Such a great pick me up throughout the week. Definitely will be making this again soon!

    Reply

  3. Sydney Van Acker says

    Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (17)
    oh my goodness. The chicken cooked in dressing makes it SO flavorful. Definitely using this idea more often.

    Reply

  4. Rebecca Booher says

    Olive Garden Chicken Pasta Recipe (18)
    I made this recipe for my family (including 3 kids ages 6-9). They LOVED it. My daughter said it was her favorite dinner and that I need to make it again! They gobbled it up. They loved the sauce in particular.

    Reply

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