If there is one thing I love, it is a plate of creamy chicken Alfredo made with an authentic Alfredo sauce recipe. No jarred sauce for this girl! Maybe it’s just me but jarred Alfredo sauce tastes bland and often burnt no matter what you do to spice it up. Olive Garden is far too expensive though to eat on a regular basis so for me; that meant I had to come up with the best chicken Alfredo recipe I could. What came out of the pot was this absolutely amazing recipe that tastes exactly like the chicken Alfredo recipe from Olive Garden!
There is something truly comforting about a plate of pasta with moist chicken chunks and a creamy, decadent authentic Alfredo sauce. Seriously comforting and oh my…so very, very good! This is one of my favorite dishes to make (okay, aside from my Grown Up Tuna Noodle Casserole) and you would be surprised at how easy it actually is to do! The secret is really in the fact that the Alfredo sauce recipe below is an authentic Alfredo sauce. I’ve seen the shortcut recipes, but they just don’t hold up for my family and I. This alfredo sauce recipe is also amazing in my chicken Alfredo lasagna if you’re looking for another pasta recipe!
Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
This creamy chicken Alfredo is so close to the original recipe for chicken Alfredo from Olive Garden, you truly won’t believe that it is copycat recipe and not the real thing! My family actually thinks it tastes better than Olive Garden! I know; blasphemy, right? It’ll be okay. Try my authentic Alfredo sauce and it’ll all be okay.
As I said earlier, this creamy chicken Alfredo is so delicious because of the sauce. Fortunately, this copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce is actually really easy to make. As you look at the recipe and directions below, you may feel a bit of apprehension. Despite how complicated it may look; the sauce is really easy to make.
Authentic Alfredo Sauce
Before you begin making your own chicken Alfredo sauce, you’ll want to understand what makes it appear so complicated. The heavy cream can scorch very easily. That’s really all that makes it look as if it is harder than it is. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that you can’t make it though. Be sure to keep an eye on the cream when you get to that step and you will make the best chicken Alfredo recipe you’ve ever made!
The easiest way to keep your copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce from scorching is to work ahead and to work quickly. Basically, you will want to be working on the next step as the one you’re on is finishing up.
Creamy Chicken Alfredo
My copycat Olive Garden Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recipe calls for Parmesan. Do yourself a favor and use real grated Parmesan instead of the fake stuff in the shaker can. Yes, the Kraft Parmesan shaker can is easier but using the fake stuff will quite literally ruin the taste of your copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce. If you can find freshly shredded, using that will save even more, but if not, the stuff in the little tub in the grocery refrigerator section works fine. Just be sure to say not to the shaker!
If you’re looking for an easier restaurant copycat recipe, I highly suggest you try my copycat Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi recipe or my Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe. Both are amazing along side of my copycat Red Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms recipe, tend to be cheaper and are much less intensive to make.
Chicken Alfredo Recipe from Olive Garden
Finally, before we get to the actual recipe, this recipe is the best chicken Alfredo recipe I’ve found because of one reason; the ingredients. In other words, it is an authentic Alfredo sauce which means it is not going to make your list of cheap family meals. The Parmesan cheese, heavy cream and more make it sort of expensive as far as recipes go. For this reason, we keep it as a special recipe around our house.
This chicken Alfredo recipe from Olive Garden may be expensive, but it is still far cheaper than heading to your local Olive Garden is. You can trim the cost by making your own homemade heavy cream substitute, buying your chicken breast on sale and watching sale cycles for stock up opportunities for ingredients such as the heavy cream.
You Will Need:
- 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 to 1 lb cooked fettuccine noodles
- 1/2 c. butter
- 2 Tbsp cream cheese
- 1 pint heavy cream (or make a homemade heavy cream substitute)
- 1-2 tsp garlic powder + more to taste
- chopped parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2/3 – 3/4 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or make homemade mozzarella cheese)
To start, cook the chicken breasts by wrapping each one in a piece of aluminum foil and sealing the edges tight to form an envelope. Bake on an non-stick cookie sheet at 25 minutes or so or until they are no longer pink and the juices run clear.
Cooking your chicken this way keeps the chicken’s natural juices in so that you end up with a piece of chicken that is moist and flavorful with very little effort. I cook mine this way anytime that I need shredded or chunked chicken. You don’t need any seasonings when you cook it this way, but it isn’t going to hurt if you do season it with a bit of garlic powder and onion powder to your preference. Once your chicken is fully cooked, cut into chunks of whatever size your family prefers.
While the chicken is cooking, start your pasta water boiling in a heavy bottomed pot and cook according to the directions on the package for an al dente pasta. Add a pinch or two of salt to help your Alfredo sauce stick to the pasta a bit better.
As you boil the pasta, melt the butter for the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Nothing higher and nothing lower. If your stove only has numbers, 4-5 should be okay. Don’t use margarine in this. Margarine is the devil and well; almost quite literally plastic. Your taste buds and your health will thank you for using the real stuff. Salted or unsalted is your preference, but if I use salted, then I tend to not use any other salt in the recipe so it doesn’t overwhelm.
Best Chicken Alfredo Recipe
When your butter is melted, add the 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and whisk it around the pan until it incorporates with the butter and is fully melted. Using a wire whisk, keep it going gently to keep it from burning. Once it’s fully melted, slowly whisk in the heavy cream. Don’t substitute milk. Don’t substitute half and half. You must use real heavy cream. I do make a good quality heavy cream substitute sometimes, but I’ve never used it in this recipe. If you try to, do so at your own risk and don’t yell at me if it doesn’t turn out.
Add in the garlic powder, parsley and a pinch or three of salt & pepper if you’re using it and keep whisking. Be sure you’re whisking gently. You’re not going for a full stir. You just want a gentle movement to keep the ingredients moving in the pan.
Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce Recipe
Bring the pot to a gentle simmer and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. If you need to reduce your heat, do so. You don’t want it getting to a full rolling boil. This will burn very quickly if you allow it to. Take it from experience; this chicken Alfredo sauce is amazing, but it smells really bad when it burns so you’ll want to make sure you’re whisking often. I’ll tell you the truth. I whisk it almost constantly. I don’t walk away, I stand there and watch my sauce take shape.
Remove from heat and quickly stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. You can stir here. Stirring is okay and widely accepted at this stage.
Taste your copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce before serving. Taste a small bite to see if your seasonings are okay. If not, adjust as needed. Put the spoon down! I said taste, not eat the whole pan. (You probably could with this stuff). Once you’ve adjusted your seasonings, you’re ready to eat!
Plate the fettuccine noodles first then top the noodles with a generous serving of chicken breast. Then, ladle your copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce over the top. Garnish with a bit of Parmesan cheese and serve hot!
Okay, just a couple of other things:
Your sauce may be thin when you get done. That is okay. It WILL thicken up a bit as it cools. As I said earlier, the sauce in this can burn very quickly. That is the main reason that I do not walk away when it is on the stove. Pay attention or your whole house will smell like scorched milk.
Romano cheese can be substituted for Parmesan cheese with no issues and you can garnish with a tiny bit of homemade mozzarella cheese as well if you prefer.
This creamy chicken Alfredo is also very versatile. You can make chicken Alfredo with broccoli by steaming a bit of broccoli, chopping it and adding it to the sauce after it is done. You may substitute cooked shrimp for the chicken. You can really make this the best chicken Alfredo recipe you’ve ever tasted by playing around with the additions. Mushrooms, veggies and other meats make it even more perfect.
Finally, this recipe does not freeze well. Your sauce will separate into some gloppy concoction that just isn’t edible. I wish it did, but that isn’t the case.
Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
- 2-3 chicken breast bone and skin removed
- 1/2 to 1 lb fettuccine noodles cooked
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder + more to taste if you want
- a few springs of fresh parsley chopped
- salt and pepper enough to taste
- 2/3 - 3/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese grated
- Wrap chicken breast individually in foil. Bake at 350° F until no longer pink and juices run clear. Cut into chunks of your size preference.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Belt butter for sauce while pasta is cooking over medium/low heat.
- When your butter is melted, add the 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and whisk it around the pan until fully incorporated and melted. Whisking constantly, slowly add heavy cream.
- Add in the garlic powder, parsley and a pinch or three of salt & pepper and continue to whisk gently.
- Bring to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. If you need to reduce your heat, do so. Do not allow it to come to a rolling boil. Whisk often to avoid burning.
- Remove from heat and quickly stir in grated Parmesan cheese.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Once they are to your liking, set aside to allow the sauce to thicken as it cools.
- Plate the fettuccine noodles first then top the noodles with a generous serving of chicken breast. Ladle the copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce over the top. Garnish with a bit of Parmesan or shredded mozzarella cheese and serve hot!
*Originally Posted in May 2014/ Updated January 2019