From my kitchen to yours! This blog is all about easy and delicious recipes! Today’s recipe is kind of an ode to a favorite from Olive Garden.
I grew up loving their creamy, cheesy chicken fritta, and while it’s no longer on the menu, I still think the recipe needs to be shared with the world. These Crispy Chicken Frittas are a slightly healthier take on the OG ones, but trust me when I say you won’t notice a difference.
I’m always looking for ways to healthify my favorite dishes, and Chicken Fritta is no exception. In this recipe, olive oil is swapped for the typical frying oil, and the result is a crispy, crunchy chicken that is still insanely moist on the inside.
And of course, no dish is complete without a dipping sauce. In this case, I went with a slightly spicy ranch, but feel free to use your favorite sauce here!
This dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner or a fun weekend meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! So there you have it: my take on Olive Garden’s Chicken Fritta!
Ingredients You’ll Need
This delicious and easy-to-make recipe doesn’t require many ingredients but it is not lacking in flavor, either. Here is everything you will need to make this Crispy Chicken Fritta:
– Bow Tie Pasta – or your favorite short pasta.
– Panko Breadcrumbs
– All-Purpose Flour
– Parmesan Cheese – I highly recommend using Parmigiano Reggiano.
– Buttermilk – if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make this at home by combining milk and lemon juice. Let it sit on the counter for a few minutes so it thickens.
– Chicken Tenders
– Garlic – crushed or puréed is best.
– White Wine – a dry white wine is best for recipes like this one. Sauvignon Blanc will work perfectly.
– Heavy Whipping Cream
– Sour Cream
– Sea Salt
– Black Pepper
– Crushed Red Pepper – this is optional, but can give your dish a nice spicy kick.
– Asiago Cheese – for garnishing and can be substituted for Parmesan cheese.
How To Make It (Step-by-Step)
This Chicken Fritta is easy and quick to make. It may look involved and intimidating with all these ingredients, but it’s an easy recipe that comes together in just a few steps.
STEP 1: Cook The Pasta And Vegetables.
Start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions in salted, boiling water. When done, reserve one cup of the pasta water in case you need it for later and drain the rest. Drizzle the drained pasta with a little olive oil and toss to coat. Cover and set aside.
Steam the vegetables in a deep pan with a little water on the bottom. Add the vegetables and cover for several minutes. The veggies are done when they are tender and pierced with a fork.
STEP 2: Cook The Chicken.
Pour the buttermilk into a low bowl to dip the chicken. In a second low bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Pat the chicken dry and season it generously with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk and then toss in the breadcrumbs. Dip it again in the buttermilk and toss one more time in the breadcrumbs for a second coating.
Fry the chicken in a heated cast iron pan with olive oil. Cook on both sides for several minutes or until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
STEP 3: Make The Creamy Sauce.
Remove the chicken from the hot pan and discard the excess oil. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the butter. Melt the butter over medium heat.
Whisk in the flour, followed by the garlic and reserved pasta water, and season with salt and pepper. Add the heavy cream and white wine and whisk until smooth. Add the Asiago cheese and continue whisking until the mix has thickened.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium. Add the pasta and vegetables to the pan. Toss to combine and transfer to a serving plate. Top with the crispy chicken and fresh basil for garnish.
There are several things you can do to change up this recipe to make it your own. Below are a few ideas:
- Use gluten-free flour, breadcrumbs, and pasta to make this dish gluten-free.
- Instead of chicken, you could use shrimp, pork, or beef.
- If you don’t want to fry the chicken, you can bake it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- For a lighter version, use skim milk or almond milk in place of the buttermilk and heavy cream.
- Omit the white wine and replace it with extra pasta water if you are not serving this dish to adults.
- Looking for a different sauce? Thy this delicious classic tomato basil sauce.
There are several other ways that you can make this dish. You can add other vegetables such as carrots, celery, and mushrooms. You can also add other spices such as oregano, thyme, and parsley.
If you want a creamier sauce, you could add more cheese or even some cream cheese. You could also swap out the bow-tie pasta for another type of pasta such as ziti, penne, or rigatoni.
Best Storage Practices
This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated when you are ready to eat it. To reheat, simply add the dish to a pot or pan on the stove and heat over medium heat until it is warmed through. You can also microwave for a few minutes. Sprinkle with a little water before putting it in the microwave. This will prevent it from drying out.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat from frozen, let it thaw first before reheating in the microwave or oven.
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Other Tips & Tricks
If you want a little extra flavor, add some lemon juice to the sauce. This will brighten up the flavors. If you want a little crunch, add some chopped nuts as a garnish or serve the dish with a side of crispy bread.
What to Serve With Chicken Fritta
There are several things you can serve with Chicken Fritta. For a complete meal, pair with a salad and fresh loaf of bread on the side. You could also serve it with a light veggie dish.
- 2 Cups Bow Tie Pasta
- 1 Cup Broccoli
- 1 Cup Mushrooms, quartered
- 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
- 1/4 Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 6 Chicken Tenders
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- 1/2 Cup White Wine, dry, such as sauvignon blanc
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Whip Cream
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Chili flakes
- 1 Cup Asiago Cheese, grated
1. Cook the pasta according to the package in salted water. When done, save 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest. Drizzle the pasta with a little olive oil and toss to coat all of it. This will prevent the pasta from sticking. Cover and set aside.
2. Steam the vegetables and set them aside.
4. Pour the buttermilk into a bowl for dipping. Add the breadcrumbs to a large plate to roll the chicken on.
5. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk then roll in the breadcrumbs. Dip again in buttermilk and repeat with the breadcrumbs. Fry the chicken in heated oil on both sides for about 5-10 minutes.
6. Remove the chicken from the oil and discard the oil. In the same pan heated to medium heat, add the butter to melt. Whisk in the flour until well blended. Add the garlic, pasta water, and salt. Stir to combine.
7. Add the wine and whisk. Add the half and half and sour cream. Stir to combine everything together.
8. Add the asiago cheese and stir to combine. Add the pasta and chicken and stir to combine. Then add the steamed vegetables and serve with grated asiago cheese on top and basil leaves.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 699Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1695mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 30g
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