Two years ago I tried Olive Garden’s the Chicken Giardino. This “Grilled chicken and a medley of fresh vegetables, tossed with ruffled pappardelle pasta in a light chicken herb sauce” totally hit the spot!
I was delighted to see that Olive Garden actually published the recipe on their website! It has since been taken down. I looked for the original recipe and posted what I could find here: Chicken Giardino – Olive Garden Recipe.
Below is my modified Chicken Giardino recipe that I use. It is a little cheaper, a little easier, and lower calorie than that Olive Garden published. Flavor-wise, the two main changes are that it skips the wine (I don’t drink) and asparagus (expensive.)
Chicken Giardino refrigerates well. I like to make a big 8 or 12 serving batch to share and eat throughout the week.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1.5 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1.5 cups hot water
- 2 chicken bullion cubes
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 zucchini, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 summer squash, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup Grape/Cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 red bell pepper, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 cups broccoli florets, blanched*
- 10 ounces frozen peas
- 1.5-2 cups fresh spinach, chopped to about 1/2 inch
- 3/4 cup carrots, matchstick/julienne cut
- 22 oz bag frozen, Tyson fully cooked diced chicken breast
(or 2 lb boneless skinless diced chicken breast, 1/4 cup olive oil, and salt/pepper to taste)
- 1 lb bowtie pasta
- Shredded cheese (parmesan or cheddar)
- Fresh chopped Parsley
If using pre-cooked diced chicken, defrost, and warm.
If using raw diced chicken, cook in 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook until tender, stirring every few minutes. (It doesn’t take spinach long to cook. Add it last.)
Dissolve chicken bullion into hot water. Mix in milk and lemon juice. Add cornstarch and whisk until it is dissolved and there are no lumps.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
Add liquid mixture to saucepan. Whisk together and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.
Mix in cooked chicken so it can start soaking up the flavor!
Prepare according to package directions. (Bring water to boil, cook pasta about 11 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain well.)
Once all ingredients are finished cooking:
Put pasta in a large container. Top with the sauce and chicken and vegetables. Mix well, but gently. You don’t want to break the fancy bowties 🙂
Fix your plate/bowl, top with optional cheese and parsley, and enjoy!
The above recipe makes about 8 small bowls of Chicken Gardiano.
*Tips and Ideas:
- I blanch the broccoli before cutting. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Dip the crowns in for 1 minute. Transfer to very cold water (or ice water) for a minute to stop the cooking process. Then set aside to drain for a few minutes.
- I think a can of unsalted corn would go nicely with the veggies.
- Some people make this recipe even easier with frozen stir-fry veggies!