Cook A Hearty Italian Meal

Carbonara is a hearty Italian dish that combines chicken and/or shrimp along with pasta and a cream sauce. This recipe is baked and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs. It's a delicious meal that your whole family will enjoy.
Chicken and shrimp carbonara

One of the more traditional dishes, Carbonara is a staple in most Italian restaurants and homes. Olive Garden was kind enough to share this recipe for delicious chicken and shrimp Carbonara, along with a recipe for flatbread. This at-home version of the popular delicious served in their restaurants is sure to please a hungry family.

Chicken and shrimp carbonara

At-home recipe
Serving: 8


Marinated chicken or shrimp

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 3 lbs chicken strips or large shrimp, peeled and deveined


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 3 Tbsp bacon bits
  • 3 Tbsp flour (all purpose)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup bacon base

Cooked pasta

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2-14 oz boxes of any long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, etc.) cooked using instructions on package
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 3 Tbsp Romano cheese, grated
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 3/4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Chicken (or shrimp)

  • Marinated chicken strips (or Shrimp) from step 1
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted red peppers, cut into small strips
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Marinated chicken (or shrimp)

  1. Whisk extra virgin olive oil together with hot water, seasoning and chopped garlic.
  2. Add the chicken strips (or shrimp).
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and bacon bits.
  2. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add flour, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, milk bacon base pepper and salt.
  4. Use a wire whisk to whip all ingredients together.
  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer.


  1. Combine Romano, Parmesan, mozzarella, panko, chopped garlic, melted butter and chopped parsley in a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir until well blended. Set aside.

Chicken (or shrimp)

  1. Preheat large skillet. Add chicken (or shrimp) to pan. Add red peppers and bacon bits.
  2. Cook for 3 more minutes or until cooked on both sides and internal temperatures reach 165 degrees F for chicken and 155 degrees F for shrimp.
  3. Add sauce (from above) Stir until well blended.


  1. Place hot, precooked pasta on a lager serving platter. Top with chicken (or shrimp) and sauce.
  2. Evenly distribute topping over top of chicken (or shrimp).
  3. Place in broiler until top is golden brown.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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Comments on "Chicken and shrimp carbonara"

Rebekah February 18, 2013 | 6:23 PM

Yes, the recipe is hard to follow, and a crap load of carbs, but in the end it's divine! The sauce is slightly bland UNTIL you plate it, add the topping, and broil it till brown. I know theirs a better way to organize this and will do so for myself. I've seen it this way multiple times. This is the way Olive Garden listed it at one time on their website. Thank you so much for the recipe! It made our valentine's day lunch perfect!

Karin June 09, 2012 | 7:17 PM

I've been teaching teens how to cook from scratch, and we chose chicken shrimp carbonara as their graduation gift to their parents.We test-drove the Olive Garden recipe today and made all the same comments your other commentators made! Like - WHAT?? Good to know we weren't the only ones!Maybe the OG did that on purpose so we really couldn't duplicate...

BrenCali May 01, 2012 | 11:52 AM

Bacon base is the left over grease from cooking the bacon.

Erikd September 07, 2011 | 4:49 PM

After preparing this recipe I wasn't all that impressed. For starters, the entire recipe is very scattered. I didn't like the layout at all. Also, I didn't think a lot of the directions were specific enough, as I have also noticed other commenters have stated. The dish in general didn't taste all that great to me either even though my husband thought it was delishes (he may have just been trying to make me feel good). I know it probably could have been my cooking style but as a self proclaimed great cook and food critic I thought it could have been much better if given a better recipe to follow. All in all, I don't think I'll ever use this again. If I decide to prepare the dish in the future I will go elsewhere.

Hayden August 29, 2011 | 2:28 PM

the recipie is good. but the order of operations is from hunger. these directions stink hard. someone needs to go back and write them with the proper portions for each piece. It says 3 tsp. of bacon bit but then asks for more I put another 3 tbs in? Do I divie up the 3 tbs. c'mon.make a recipie for those who don't know how to cook this.

Mkayy April 03, 2011 | 5:34 PM

My dad and I made this for my mom's birthday and everyone was floored! I used fresh grated cheese which made it even better. What in the world is bacon base? Couldn't find it so I left it out. A little hard to follow the recipe as it is written on this page, but if you cut and paste the ingredients along side the instructions for each different part (chicken, sauce, topping) it's much more straightforward. Definitely very rich but perfect for a special occasion.

Julia Orlandi March 06, 2011 | 3:45 PM

Is this for a team? 4 CUPS of heavy cream? Just reading the recipe makes me full.

patricia February 25, 2011 | 10:41 PM

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but where is the baking part? It says that this recipe is baked, preheat oven to 350, but I don't see where its in the oven....except for the part where you put it under the 350??? or is the oven on broil....explain please, because otherwise, the recipe sounds great....but I need to know. Thanks in advance!

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