Macaroni Grill’s delicious Chicken Pasta Milano can be made right at home! In less than 30 minutes and with a few simple ingredients, your family will be sitting down to a creamy garlic pasta dish everyone is sure to love!
Going out to eat is a little more difficult these days which makes copycat recipes like this Chicken Pasta Milano even more precious. For more favorite copycat recipes, try Cafe Rio’s Sweet Pork Salad, Root’s Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables, and Brio’s Roasted Red Pepper Pasta.
Chicken Pasta Milano
This bow tie pasta is simple yet full of flavor from the garlic, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes making it great for week nights.
Ingredients for Chicken Pasta Milano:
- Pasta– I prefer bow tie (farfalle) for this dish but any short noodle will do.
- Chicken– We’re simply cooking this chicken up in the same pan as you’ll use for the sauce but you could also cook it on the grill, use precooked grilled chicken, or to make things even easier you can use rotisserie chicken. For a vegetarian dish, omit and you’ll still have a knock-your-socks-off dish.
- Mushrooms– These are first sauteed in butter which gives them an amazing flavor. White or baby bella work.
- Butter– Needed for cooking the mushrooms. Olive oil can be used instead.
- Sun dried Tomatoes– Holy moly are these packed with flavor! I recommend using the kind packed in oil and draining off as much of the oil as possible.
- Garlic– Who doesn’t love a little garlic in their pasta?! Hello flavor town!
- Half-and-Half Cream– This helps create the light creamy sauce. If you’d like a thicker sauce, use heavy cream.
- Parmigiano Reggiano– This is the best kind of Parmesan cheese! I highly recommend you always have a wedge of this in your fridge.
How to make Pasta with Chicken & Sundried Tomatoes:
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Chicken Pasta Milano is a Macaroni Grill copycat recipe that is so quick and easy to make. This flavorful creamy pasta, loaded with chicken, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and Parmesan is sure to be a hit!
- Boil the Pasta
Prepare noodles as directed on package in boiling salted water. Before draining, ladle out 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water. Drain but do NOT rinse the pasta.
- Cook the Chicken
While the water is boiling, cook the chicken. Heat oil over medium-high heat in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then cook until golden on both sides and cooked through (about 4-5 minutes per side). Remove onto a cutting board to rest. Slice just before adding it to the sauce.
- Cook the Mushrooms
In the same skillet (no need to clean!), melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms until golden brown (about 6 minutes). Add the sun dried tomatoes and garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
- Make the Sauce
Add the half-and-half, 1/4 cup of starchy pasta water, and Parmesan cheese. While stirring continuously, bring to a boil and then reduce to low and let simmer until thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Mix it all Together
Mix the pasta and chicken into the sauce, adding additional starchy water if needed. Remove from the heat and garnish with basil and Parmesan.
Tips for making amazing pasta:
- Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining! Pasta releases starches while cooking, creating a salty starchy water. The starches in that water helps emulsify (bind) and thicken your sauce. Emulsification is the blending of two liquids that would otherwise separate (oil and water). Adding the starchy pasta water helps the sauce come together and adhere to the pasta rather than slip off the noodles. Use a ladle or a mug with a handle to scoop out your water before draining. If you tend to forget this step, I recommend scooping out extra and freezing the excess in an ice cube tray to use in your other pasta dishes or even in soups.
- Do NOT rinse the pasta. Rinsing the pasta takes off the starchy coating. You need that starchy water on the noodles so that the sauce can easily bind to the pasta to create harmony in your dish.
- Cook until al dente. Be sure to set a timer for the shorter time suggested on the package. Test a noodle and it should feel just so slightly firm when it has reached al dente. Since the noodles remain hot, they will continue to soften which is why it is important to only cook until al dente.
- Use a large pot. This will help your noodles to have room to move around and not stick together. For this recipe, you need to use a 4 quart pot or larger with 3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of table salt.
- Give the noodles a stir. Be sure to give the noodles a stir after adding to the pot and a couple times while cooking to prevent pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan and each other.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS PASTA:
- Garlic Press– Fresh garlic tastes best and this press is the best! It’s super easy to use and clean.
- Microplane/ Zester– I use this from zesting lemon and limes to finely grated Parmesan cheese as a garnish.
- Small Grater– This grater is perfect for shredding Parmesan cheese to add to sauces and other recipes.
LOOKING FOR MORE CREAMY PASTA DISHES? CHECK OUT THESE:
- One Pot Tortellini & Sausage
- Creamy Lemon Asparagus Pasta
- One Pot Creamy Corn Pasta
- Pasta Con Broccoli
- Creamy Tomato Chicken Florentine Pasta
Macaroni Grill Chicken Pasta Milano
- 8 ounces bow tie pasta
- 1/2 cup starchy pasta water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thick
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained, julienned
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup half-and-half cream
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil
- Cook pasta al dente according to directions on box. (For 8 ounces of pasta you'll need a 4 quart or large pot with 3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon salt.) BEFORE DRAINING- ladle out 1/2 cup starchy cooking water and set aside. Drain but do NOT rinse the pasta.
- Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then cook until golden on both sides and done (about 4-5 minutes per side). Remove onto a cutting board to rest. Slice just before adding it to the sauce.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter. Saute the mushrooms until golden brown (about 6 minutes). Add the sun dried tomatoes and garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
- Add the half-and-half, 1/4 cup of starchy pasta water, and Parmesan cheese. While stirring continuously, bring to a boil and then reduce to low and let simmer until thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Mix the pasta and chicken into the sauce, adding additional starchy water if needed. Remove from heat, garnish with basil and Parmesan.