Olive Garden’s homestyle Italian dishes are hard to beat – unless, of course, you can make it yourself at home. Save gas, save time, save money, and follow our new Olive Garden Chicken Margherita Recipe for a delicious baked chicken meal the whole family will love.
Olive Garden’s original Chicken Margherita recipe is a grilled chicken dish topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto, and a lemon garlic sauce. It’s best to marinate the chicken in the marinade of your choice for about 30 minutes before cooking to give the chicken a deeper flavor. After the chicken is grilled, it’s placed in a baking dish with the pesto, mozzarella, lemon garlic sauce, and grape tomatoes for a final marrying of flavors.
Legend has it that in 1889, Queen Margherita grew tired of eating French gourmet food customarily served to European royalty at the time, so she summoned a famous pizza-maker to bake three pizzas with different toppings. She loved the pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and a sprig of basil, so this new creation was named after the Queen, and the now famous Margherita sauce was born. While this flavor combination is used on a chicken dish here instead of pizza, we can all appreciate where the inspiration came from. Enjoy it like the Royal Queen!
Olive Garden Chicken Margherita Recipe
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup Lea and Perrins Chicken Marinade (or your favorite marinade)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup basil, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 lb sliced mozzarella, or 1 slice for each piece of chicken
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- First, pre-heat the oven to 350°. Wash the grape tomatoes, and slice in half. Then set aside.
- Pound the chicken out between two sheets of plastic wrap. This will even out the thickness of the chicken, allowing it to cook more evenly. Place the chicken breasts into a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Pour the marinade in the bag, and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and cook the chicken for 7 to 8 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is almost done (it will continue to cook in the oven). Remove the chicken from the skillet and place it in a baking dish.
- While the chicken is cooking in the skillet, add the butter, minced garlic, and lemon juice in a small pot, and heat thoroughly.
- Now that the chicken is in the baking dish, brush each piece with the butter lemon garlic sauce. Lay a slice of mozzarella cheese over the chicken, and then add a tablespoon of pesto on top. Pour the diced grape tomatoes around the chicken, and place the dish in the oven. Allow it to bake until the cheese melts, which should take about 7-10 minutes.