Olive Garden(™) Chicken Margherita

Today I have a secret recipe for one of the newest dishes served at Olive Garden.  The chicken margherita consists of grilled chicken breasts topped with fresh grape tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto and lemon garlic sauce.  This dish is so enjoyable as it combines many fresh and vibrant flavors.  Complete your meal by serving with a side of pasta.

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New Secret Recipe

Olive Garden(™) Chicken Margherita
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The Chicken:
6- 4(ounce) Boneless Chicken Breasts
2 c. Water
1/4 c. Kosher Salt
1/4 c. Granulated Sugar

2 c. Fresh Basil
1 Clove Garlic
2 tbsp. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
3-4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Pine Nuts, if desired

Lemon Garlic Sauce:
2 tbsp. Butter
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 c. Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Chicken Margherita Assembly:
6- 4(ounce) Grilled Boneless Chicken Breasts
1/2 c. Prepared Pesto
1 c. Grape Tomatoes, halved
6 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
1/2 c. Prepared Lemon Garlic Sauce

The Chicken:

Combine the water, salt and sugar in a resealable plastic bag and mix until dissolved.

Add the chicken and refrigerate from 2-24 hours.

Grill the chicken until it’s cooked through to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F; approximately 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat, set aside or keep covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble.


Combine all of the ingredients starting with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a mini food processor and blend until the consistency is smooth.

If needed, add the additional 1 tablespoon of oil.

Keep stored in a tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Lemon Garlic Sauce:

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute; then stir in some flour.

Add fresh lemon juice and chicken broth and stir about 3-5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

You can make this the night before and keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.

Chicken Margherita Assembly:

First, preheat your oven to 425°F; then place the grilled chicken in an oven safe baking dish.

Top each chicken breast with mozzarella, pesto and then top with halved grape tomatoes.

Next, pour the lemon garlic sauce on top of the chicken and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese melts.


If you are preparing this recipe using chicken that has been refrigerated first, let it come to room temperature for about 15 minutes prior to placing it in the oven or the chicken may not be hot enough when the cheese melts.

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Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,


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