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.

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Caprese flatbread

At-home recipe
Serving: 6 as an appetizer, 4 as a meal


  • 8 Roma or plum tomatoes, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 medium fresh basil leaves, stemmed and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 7 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 11 oz container of refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Dice tomatoes into small pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add chopped garlic, salt, pepper, 1/2 of chopped basil (about 1/4 cup), and 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Set aside and allow the mixture to marinate for 10 minutes.
  5. Flatten pizza dough into rectangle pan as indicated on package, reaching to the edges of the pan.
  6. Drizzle dough with extra virgin olive oil and brush it over the surface.
  7. Bake dough in oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes on center rack.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, about 2 minutes.
  9. Cut garlic clove in half and rub, cut side down, onto the surface of the bread. The slight warmth of the bread will help extract the garlic flavor.
  10. Allow bread to cool completely, about 10 more minutes.
  11. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
  12. Combine mayonnaise and garlic powder in a mixing bowl. Evenly spread onto the surface of the bread.
  13. Top with shredded mozzarella to evenly cover surface.
  14. Drain the Caprese mixture, as the salt will have extracted water from the tomatoes, and spread the bread mixture evenly over the bread.
  15. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
  16. Return flatbread to oven for 5-7 more minutes or until golden, crisp and bubbly.
  17. Garnish with remaining chopped basil.
  18. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Watch the video

To learn how to make the flatbread, watch this video from the experts at Olive Garden.

Italian recipes

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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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