Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara

Dinner should be exciting!  This Olive Garden Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara takes exciting to the next level!  It’s a wonderful take on a chicken and shrimp pasta meal using chicken tenders to update this classic dish.

Homemade Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara on a plate

What Makes Shrimp Carbonara With Chicken Unique

This classic recipe is an Olive Garden favorite.  It’s made up of sautéed seasoned chicken, shrimp, and bucatini pasta tossed in a creamy carbonara sauce with bacon and roasted red peppers.  But this version uses chicken tenders for the chicken to offer a new twist on this classic dish.  The breaded chicken tenders combine with all the other flavors so beautifully.  And your kids will love it too!

What is the Difference between Carbonara Sauce and Alfredo Sauce

Both carbonara sauce and alfredo sauce are wonderful choices for any chicken and shrimp pasta dish but there is a difference.  Alfredo sauce is a white sauce made from butter, parsley, heavy cream, and minced garlic.  This Carbonara sauce, on the other hand, is made with parmesan cheese, heavy cream, eggs, garlic, pepper, red bell pepper, and bacon.  Both delicious and both so easy to make.

If you like Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce, you will enjoy this recipe. I have often made a quick dinner of Alfredo sauce and pasta, but this recipe turns this up just a notch.

The origin of this dish is originally a simple dish made of pasta, eggs, cheese, bacon or ham, and lots of black pepper. This recipe is slightly different it has a creamy Parmesan sauce.

Is white sauce the same as carbonara?

Carbonara is a sauce made from egg yolks, white sauce is made from a mixture of butter, flour, and milk. Carbonara is a gluten-free sauce.

Does carbonara taste eggy?

Carbonara should have a rich, thick, velvety smooth texture. It will not taste strongly of eggs if cooked properly. The fat from the meat helps to transform the sauce into a rich thick sauce you are going to love.

How do you avoid scrambled eggs in carbonara?

There are two tricks in keeping your sauce from turning into scrambled eggs.

  • When making carbonara you will want to use room temperature eggs, the change of temperature will be less.
  • Stir continually when you add the eggs. Do not stop stirring, if you stop the dish from moving that is when the egg curds will form, so keep on stirring!

Ingredients for Chicken Carbonara Pasta With Shrimp

Here’s what you need:

  • Chicken Tenders
  • Flour
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Bucatini or Spaghetti Pasta
  • Butter
  • Bacon
  • Garlic
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Heavy Cream
  • Parmesan Cheese

Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara ingredients

How to Make Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara

Start by breading the chicken tenders with the flour, panko bread crumbs, egg, and salt & pepper.  Allow breaded tenders to dry on a rack.  Place the breaded chicken in oil and cook for 5-7 minutes on both sides.  Set aside and boil the shrimp until it’s perfectly pink.

While cooking the pasta, start on the carbonara sauce.  Cook the bacon and butter in a skillet.  Add the garlic and red bell pepper until the bacon is cooked through.  Next, add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese until you get the creamy consistency you are looking for.  Add the pasta into the sauce and stir in the beaten egg.  Serve with chicken and shrimp.

Notes

  • The bucatini pasta adds a unique texture to this recipe but if you don’t have bucatini, you can use regular spaghetti for this dish
  •  The last step of this recipe requires you to place one beaten egg into the cooked pasta and sauce. The residual heat of the pasta will cook the egg. If this makes you concerned, you can buy eggs that are already pasteurized, a brand of these are Safest Choice that is sold in many grocery stores. You will want to stir the egg in quickly as you don’t want the eggs to curdle
  • Garnish this dish with more cheese on top and a little black pepper

This dish is more hearty and slightly more updated. I think the additions are good and you will enjoy them in this copycat Olive Garden Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara.

Homemade Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara on a white plate

Love copycat Olive Garden Recipes? Be sure to try these Olive Garden menu items

More Shrimp Pasta Recipes

Be sure to check out more amazing pasta recipes and the best Italian recipes.

Ready to start cooking? Let us know what you think about this recipe in the comments below. Remember to follow CopyKat Recipes on Facebook & Instagram! And sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any of our copycat recipes!

Homemade Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara on a plate

Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp

Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara is a dinner everyone will love.
4.78 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Olive Garden Recipes
Servings: 4
Calories: 981kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 6 ounces shrimp
  • 12 ounces bucatini or spaghetti pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup bacon
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into rings
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg beaten

Instructions

  • Prepare chicken tenders by combining flour, Panko bread crumbs, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix breading until it is well blended. On another bowl combine 1 egg and 2 teaspoons water, stir until well mixed. Dip chicken in dry breading mix, then egg-wash, and then back into the breading mix, and allow to dry on a rack. Allow the breaded chicken tenders to rest for about five minutes before cooking.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken fingers and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until chicken is browned, and cooked through. Set the chicken to the side. Cook shrimp in a small pot in boiling water for about 2 to 3 minutes. Shrimp is done when it becomes pink.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Prepare carbonara sauce by placing butter and lean bacon in a skillet. Cook over medium heat when the butter melts, add garlic and red bell pepper. Saute pepper, bacon, until the bacon is cooked through. Add heavy cream to the skillet with Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has been melted. When the cheese has melted add cooked pasta and remove from heat. Stir in 1 beaten egg, and stir quickly. The residual heat of the pasta and sauce will cook the egg.
  • To serve place pasta and sauce on the plate. Add a few pieces of chicken tenders and shrimp to each serving. Garnish with additional cheese and pepper if desired.

Recipe Tips for the Cook

  • The bucatini pasta adds a unique texture to this recipe but if you don't have bucatini, you can use regular spaghetti for this dish
  •  The last step of this recipe requires you to place one beaten egg into the cooked pasta and sauce. The residual heat of the pasta will cook the egg. If this makes you concerned, you can buy eggs that are already pasteurized, a brand of these are Safest Choice that is sold in many grocery stores. You will want to stir the egg in quickly as you don't want the eggs to curdle
  • Garnish this dish with more cheese on top and a little black pepper

Nutrition

Calories: 981kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 531mg | Sodium: 1184mg | Potassium: 651mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2190IU | Vitamin C: 22.3mg | Calcium: 329mg | Iron: 4.7mg
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About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Sarah

    5 stars
    Just made this last night for my boyfriend and we loved it! I m very picky on recipes because it can come out not what I expect the recipes should taste like since a lot of people always changes and tweak it to their liking. But I have to tell you this Carbonara recipe is spot on and I will be making this again. Good Job.

  2. Cheryl

    3 stars
    Made this and the flavor was delicious! My problem was the sauce, which was really good too, but once I added the 12 oz. of pasta it sucked it all up and became pretty much bone dry not saucy at all. We had this the other day at work for our meal group and it was very saucy and also the chicken had grill marks on it no breading. I will definitely make this again, double the sauce and not bread the chicken just cook and add it in. Thank you for a good base recipe I do appreciate it!

  3. Sheri

    Only change I made was to use boneless chicken breasts that I sliced. It was delicious. But don’t be fooled by the prep time and total time on the recipe. It was more like 1 1/2 hours. And was left with so much dirt cookware. So dinner time was delayed but all said it was scrumptious!

  4. Marisela G.

    5 stars
    I made this last night for my family and everyone loved it! So simple to make and easy to follow the recipe! The only alterations I made was using heavy whipping cream because I couldn’t find heavy cream. I also added boxed chicken broth to thin out the sauce. Either way, it was excellent!

  5. Brandi

    It was delicious. Next time I will add white wine to the sauce and let it cook off a bit for a little extra depth of flavor. Excellent. Thank you!!!

  6. Cathleen Lambert

    3 stars
    It was good, could have used some salt. When I tasted the sauce on it’s own, it was salty enough, but after mixing the pasta in, it was lacking. My husband said it’s 60% as good as Olive Garden’s. He’s the one that always gets it.

      • Josh Dorsey

        Very good. We had some left over grilled shrimp from night before and decided to quickly try this recipe. I had everything but cream and a quality Parmesean (used the kraft in the shaker). But was still good and will definitely do again with proper ingredients.

  7. philip

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. You can also make this with virtually no carbs/keto friendly by using crushed pork rinds instead of panko and shirataki fake noodles instead of pasta.

  8. Stefani

    5 stars
    Made this this afternoon! Great flavors! Everyone loved it. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe, truly delicious! <3

  9. Zach

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I doubled most of the ingredients and went heavy on the cream and cheese when I prepared the sauce. Overall, this recipe was a great success. I appreciate your time sharing this recipe!

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