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Crispy Chicken Fritta (Olive Garden Copycat)

An easy-to-make version of that classic Olive Garden dish, this homemade chicken fritta recipe gives you everything you love about the original at a fraction of the price. Crispy chicken tenders, coated with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan, are served on a bed of bowtie pasta, broccoli florets, and sautéed mushrooms all tossed in a delicious cream sauce.

Chicken fritta on a bed of pasta with msuhrooms and broccoli.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • This recipe is a lot easier to make than it looks! Don’t let the long ingredients list intimidate you, you most likely have a lot of these items already on hand. And once you taste the final product, it’ll be all worth it, I promise!
  • Chicken fritta is such a crowd pleaser! The kids will absolutely love this dish and so will the adults. It’s comforting and super flavorful. You get creamy pasta with mushrooms and broccoli topped with crispy pan fried chicken tenders coated in parmesan and breadcrumbs. Seriously delicious!

Chef’s Tips

  • While we used chicken breasts and cut them into strips ourselves, feel free to get chicken cutlets or tenders instead to save time. If you get chicken breasts, for quick cooking time, you’ll want to butterfly the breasts, which is cutting them in the middle horizontally to make them less thick. Then cut the two halves into strips, not too big, not too small. Depending on the size, you should get about 4 to 5 strips per chicken breasts. 
  • We chose bowtie pasta for this chicken fritta, but you can use any pasta you love. Penne, fettuccine, or fusilli would work great too. 
  • To cook the broccoli, you can choose any method that feels more familiar to you. From simply warming up frozen broccoli, sautéing them to steaming them , or even boiling them. If you’ve never boiled broccoli before, it’s super easy; all you need to do is add water to a pot with salt, once the water starts boiling, add the broccoli and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain them into a colander, then transfer them to a plate lined with a few paper towels which will absorb any excess water.
Overhead view of two bowls of chicken fritta on bowtie pasta tossed with cream sauce, mushrooms, and broccoli florets.

Other Delicious Recipes To Try

Chicken fritta on a bed of pasta with msuhrooms and broccoli.

Chicken Fritta (Olive Garden Copycat)

Chicken tenders coated in a mixture of crispy breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, served on a bed of bowtie pasta, mushrooms, and broccoli tossed in a cheesy cream sauce.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Recipe Makes: 6 servings


  • 2 large shallow dishes
  • 2 large plates
  • Large skillet
  • tongs
  • medium saucepan
  • whisk
  • large wooden spoon


  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approximately 1 pound, sliced into strips)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, etc.)

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup half and half (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup sour cream (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup shredded Italian-style cheese blend (at room temperature)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)

For the Pasta

  • 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil (olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, etc.)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 8 cups prepared bowtie pasta (cooked according to package instructions)


  • Add ¾ cup breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup grated parmesan to one shallow dish. Mix ingredients together until well-blended.
  • Add ¾ cup milk to second shallow bowl.
  • One by one, place strips of 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts in breadcrumb mixture and coat with breadcrumbs on all sides.
  • Shake excess breadcrumbs back into dish, then dip chicken strip in milk.
  • Let excess milk drip back into dish, then return chicken to breadcrumb mixture and coat on all sides. Gently press chicken into breadcrumb mixture to ensure coating sticks.
  • Transfer chicken strip to large plate and set aside. Repeat process with remaining chicken.
  • Place large skillet on stovetop over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons neutral oil and heat pan, swirling and tilting pan occasionally to distribute oil across surface, until oil is hot and shimmery.
  • When oil is hot, add chicken to skillet. Work in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding skillet. Cook chicken 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, then flip chicken over and cook 3 to 4 minutes more. Note: if breading browns too quickly, reduce heat under skillet and let pan cool slightly.
  • When both sides of chicken are browned, transfer chicken to plate and set aside. Repeat with any remaining chicken strips.
  • Once all chicken has been cooked, wipe out skillet and set aside. Place medium saucepan on stovetop over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to saucepan and let butter melt completely.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour over butter. Whisk ingredients together vigorously 2 to 3 minutes or until combined into smooth roux.
  • Add 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth3 garlic cloves, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to saucepan. Whisk until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and let cool slightly. Add ¾ cup half and half and ¼ cup sour cream and whisk until fully incorporated into smooth mixture. Add ½ cup shredded Italian-style cheese blend and whisk until cheese has melted.
  • Once cheese is melted and incorporated, return to saucepan to heat. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and whisk to incorporate. Reduce heat under saucepan to medium-low and let sauce mixture simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until warmed through and thickened. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • While sauce simmers, return large skillet to stovetop over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil and heat skillet until oil is hot and shimmery.
  • When oil is hot, add 1 cup sliced mushrooms to skillet. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, then stir to incorporate. Sauté mushrooms 3 to 4 minutes or until softened.
  • Once sauce has thickened, add 8 cups prepared bowtie pasta to saucepan. Stir to incorporate pasta, making sure all of pasta is well coated. Add sautéed mushrooms and stir to incorporate.
  • Divide pasta into desired portions and transfer to serving plates or bowls. Top pasta with strips of chicken. Serve immediately.


  • Optional: Include steamed broccoli if your budget allows!
  • Sauce: To cut costs even further, replace the homemade sauce with a jarred sauce.

Recipe costs provided are approximate. Actual cost per recipe & serving will vary by location, store, brand, etc. Approximate cost shown does not include costs for any optional ingredients.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 562kcal | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 680mg | Potassium: 406mg | Total Carbs: 62g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Added Sugars: 0g | Sugar Alcohols: 0g | Erythritol: 0g | Allulose: 0g | Net Carbs: 58g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 183mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used. To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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Recipe by Cheryl Malik

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