This article is about the tree and the fruit. For other uses, see Olive (disambiguation). For olive oil, see Olive oil.
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The olive, botanical name Olea europaea, meaning ‘European olive’ in Latin, is a species of small tree or shrub in the family Oleaceae, found traditionally in the Mediterranean Basin. When in shrub form, it is known as Olea europaea ‘Montra’, dwarf olive, or little olive. The species is cultivated in all the countries of the Mediterranean, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, North and South America and South Africa. Olea europaea is the type species for the genus Olea.
The olive’s fruit, also called an “olive”, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil; it is one of the core ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine. The tree and its fruit give their name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilac, jasmine, forsythia, and the true ash tree.
Hundreds of cultivars of the olive tree are known. Olive cultivars may be used primarily for oil, eating, or both. Olives cultivated for consumption are generally referred to as “table olives”. About 90% of all harvested olives are turned into oil, while about 10% are used as table olives
Now, the ingredients list may look long, but I promise you it’s worth it. Not to mention, most of the ingredients you need you probably already have, or you can easily find at any store.
Anyway, here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 pounds chicken breasts, divided in 4 portions
- 1 cup Italian salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- About ½ pound sliced mozzarella (1 slice for each piece of chicken)
- ½ cup pesto
- ¼ cup basil sliced thin
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
By the way, if you have to run to the store to pick up anything, grab some extra chicken breasts to make Olive Garden’s chicken & shrimp carbonara next!
It’s another one of your knock-out chicken recipes that tastes like it’s from the restaurant, and it’s sure to be a big hit.
Olive Garden Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Olive Garden Chicken Scampi
Olive Garden Grilled Chicken and Alfredo Sauce
Crock Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Olive Garden Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara
Olive Garden Angry Alfredo with Chicken
Olive Garden Chicken Marsala
Home » Protein » Chicken Recipes » Olive Garden Chicken Margherita
Olive Garden Chicken Margherita
September 16, 2018 by Stephanie Manley, Last Updated June 6, 2022 25 Comments
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The Olive Garden Chicken Margherita is an easy chicken recipe to make and it’s so easy it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.
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Table of Contents
- All About the Olive Garden Chicken Margherita
- Americans are Chicken Lovers
- The Story of Margherita
- How to Make Chicken Margherita
- More Olive Garden Chicken Dishes
- Favorite Italian Recipes with Chicken
- Olive Garden Chicken Margherita
All About the Olive Garden Chicken Margherita
People love the Olive Garden with its home-style Italian food. In fact, the majority of Americans will tell you they love to “mangia italiano” — or eat Italian. I wonder about the minority – they just don’t know what they’re missing!
Once you’ve eaten at the Olive Garden, you will always crave the restaurant’s freshly made pasta sauces and its famous breadsticks.
CK – Logan’s Roadhouse Fried Mushrooms – Rectangle
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Fun fact – someone has estimated that the Olive Garden serves about 700 million breadsticks per year. Their signature starters are baked in hundreds of batches each day and delivered fresh to every Olive Garden restaurant; the breadsticks, like the chain’s soups and sauces, are never frozen.
Did you know that you can make Olive Garden’s famous breadsticks at home? Get the Olive Garden breadsticks recipe.
Americans are Chicken Lovers
The Olive Garden caters to everyone’s love of chicken by serving up several delicious chicken dishes. Olive Garden’s Chicken Margherita combines grilled chicken breasts with a delightful medley of mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, basil pesto, and a garlic/lemon sauce, served with Parmesan-crusted zucchini.
This dish is so enjoyable because it combines many bright and vibrant flavors. Complete your meal with a side serving of pasta.
The Story of Margherita
Legend has it that in 1889, Queen Margherita, while staying in Naples, grew tired of the French gourmet food that was the standard cuisine served to European royalty at the time. The queen summoned the famous pizza-maker, Raffaele Esposito, and instructed him to bake her three pizzas with different toppings.
She wasn’t keen on the one with garlic (pizza marinara) or the one with anchovies (pizza Napoli). However, she absolutely loved the pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and a sprig of basil.
Esposito immediately named his invention after the queen – and the now-famous Margherita sauce was born.
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Italian salad dressing or chicken marinade
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Sliced mozzarella
- Grape tomatoes
- Fresh basil
How to Make Chicken Margherita
- Pound chicken out between two sheets of plastic wrap.
- Place the chicken breasts into a gallon-sized zip-top bag.
- Add Italian dressing and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Wash grape tomatoes and slice them in half. Set aside.
- Pour olive oil into a large cast iron skilletover medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is almost done.
- Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and place them in a baking dish.
- While the chicken is cooking, heat butter, minced garlic, and lemon juice in a small pot until butter is melted, stirring to combine.
- Brush the lemon butter garlic sauce on the chicken breasts.
- Top the chicken breasts with mozzarella cheese.
- Place pesto on top of the mozzarella.
- Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese begins to melt and brown.
- When you serve the chicken, brush it with additional lemon butter and garnish with sliced grape tomatoes and basil
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE LEMON GARLIC SAUCE?
In a small saucepan, melt some butter; then add minced garlic. 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.
What is Margherita Chicken?
This chicken dish is a popular one that features cheese, cherry tomatoes, and basil pesto. Think of a margherita pizza: you have pesto sauce (or marinara), topped with mozzarella hunks, and basil. So it’s like pizza on top of the chicken, except minus the crust, of course
- You can totally use store-bought pestosauce in this recipe, but if you have five extra minutes, that’s all it takes to make my super easy, homemade basil pesto sauce. If you don’t have or don’t like pine nuts, you can use walnuts or cashews as well!
- I almost always use fresh-squeezed lemon juicein my tomato topping, because I think it has the best flavor. But, you might not have a fresh lemon laying around. If that’s the case, feel free to use bottled lemon juice or even lime.
- After placing the cheese on top of the chicken, I always close the grill lidto help the cheese melt faster and keep the chicken from drying out.
- I also like to use cherry tomatoesfor the garnish because they are small and easy to cut. Plus, they taste so good and are in season right now. But you can use any kind of tomato you like, just be sure to dice it small enough to be able to top the chicken with.
- To make your own Italian seasoningfor this chicken, simply combine 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and sprinkle all over the chicken.
- Swap out Italian seasoning for Herbs de Provence(one of my most favorite cooking tricks!).
- Learn how to make the classic Italian sauce with this quick and easy homemade basil pesto sauce recipe mostly made from pine nuts, basil, and garlic.
- Calories: 1194.05kcal
- Protein: 63.41g
- Cholesterol: 239.76mg
- You can easily sub in pre-shredded mozzarella for the fresh if you don’t have some on hand.
- Swap in in sun-dried tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes.
- Try a combination of provolone and mozzarella cheese for a little more tang and zip.
- Sauté the chicken in smaller pieces, cook the sauce like normal, then toss it with pasta. Top with the pesto and cheese and tomatoes, stick it in the oven, and enjoy it as a pasta bake.
- You can make pesto with any green vegetable so try mixing it up with a combination of veggies and herbs like broccoli or spinach along with the basil and garlic.
Thank you for staying with this post “grilled chicken margherita olive garden” until the end.
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