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Better Than Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

Easy weeknight pasta dish the whole family will love! The simple butter-wine sauce elevates this dish and tastes better than take-out from your favorite Italian restaurant!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken scampi, grilled chicken, italian, pasta, restaurant copycat
Calories: 720kcal
Author: Mallory Austin


  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders cut into 1-inch chunks (boneless/skinless breasts work as well)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4 stick butter divided
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional, adjust as preferred
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated


  • Put prepared chicken chunks in a zip-top bag or bowl and toss with 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, Italian seasoning and flour. Toss until evenly coated. Set aside on the counter.
  • In a sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer (be sure not to overcrowd the pan, it may take two batches) sear until browned (4 mins) flip each piece and let cook about 3 more minutes.
  • Scoop out the chicken and set aside in a clean bowl. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Turn the pan down to medium-low and melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Once warmed, add all the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, being careful not to brown it (about 1 minute). Pour wine and red pepper flakes into butter garlic mixture in skillet and let simmer until reduced by about 3/4, about 5 minutes.
  • While waiting, bring a large pot of water (with 1 teaspoons of salt) to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package to al dente. Do not rinse pasta.
  • Add remaining 5 tablespoons butter and let it melt into the sauce.
  • Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and taste. Adjust salt and pepper if needed or even another splash of wine for a little kick! Once perfect, return chicken to pan. Add parsley and drained pasta. Toss with sauce. Serve warm and garnish plates with lemon wedges and parmesan.


This recipe makes a good amount of sauce to keep the pasta from drying out, which is amazing to serve with breadsticks or crusty bread. That said, once reheated, the pasta will absorb the sauce. Make a little extra sauce if you anticipate leftovers! 
For reheating, you can add a little chicken stock, a dab of butter and a splash of wine to the bowl of pasta before microwaving and it will bring this back to life! Wait to add the parmesan until just before serving so the pasta stays wet.