Olive Garden Copycat Carbonara Chicken and Shrimp

This copycat Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara is so good and so easy to make, and tastes very similar to Olive Garden’s version. The sauce is silky smooth and rich, flavored with garlic and parmesan as with a classic Alfredo sauce, with added onions, smoky salami, chicken, and shrimp for a truly delicious savory homemade carbonara.

The ideal go-to quick one-pan meal for special occasions, or to surprise your family with on a random weeknight!

aerial view of white serving dish with chicken shrimp carbonara pasta and sauce on white countertop and gray tea towel

Pasta and Italian soups are some of my favorite recipes to make because they’re the best comfort foods.

That’s one of the reasons why I had to try to recreate the Olive Garden chicken and shrimp carbonara.

The other reason is that it’s a combination of ingredients that I love, and the creamy, salty richness of the sauce is nothing short of savory decadence!

This version of the Olive Garden carbonara is arguably better than the original and is ready to eat within 30 minutes.

And the best part is, it requires basic ingredients but tastes as if you put in a ton of effort.

I love to tweak my recipes, and I’ve done that here too for a truly homemade experience, but still keeping the familiar Olive Garden chicken and shrimp carbonara flavor.

aerial view of white serving dish with shrimp and chicken carbonara pasta on white gray dish towel

Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara Ingredients

This recipe uses ingredients that you probably have readily available in your pantry or refrigerator most of the time, so you can make this creamy carbonara sauce anytime you want!

Here’s the full list of ingredients you’ll need to make this carbonara recipe:

  • Pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • Salami
  • Chicken Breast
  • Shrimp
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Heavy Cream
  • Egg Yolks
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Parsley

Pasta – I like to use linguine, but feel free to use your favorite pasta

Olive oil – If your smoked deli meat isn’t fatty enough, you may not end up with enough drippings to fry the chicken and shrimp. In that case, add a splash of olive oil to the skillet to help things along.

Salami – My family enjoys the meaty, savory smokiness of salami in this sauce. Any smoked deli meat works just as well to add to the flavor of this dish.

Chicken breast – Any boneless chicken meat can be substituted for chicken breasts if you don’t have it. You will need to cook the chicken for a bit longer than you would the breast portion.

Shrimp – It’s easy to overcook shrimp, so just ensure that the color changes from gray to pink, and thereafter give it another minute or two to cook fully. You can also omit the shrimp entirely and use sausage meat or herb-seasoned ground beef in its place.

Garlic – A lightly sauteed fresh garlic flavor is a must in this carbonara. In a pitch you can use garlic powder, starting with a half teaspoon and tasting before adding more.

Onion – In this sauce, the onions give a subtly sweet, comforting flavor that goes really well with the garlic and heavy cream.

Heavy cream – Any cream or milk substitute will do in this recipe. Depending on your choice, the only difference you’ll notice is the consistency.

Egg yolks – The purpose of the egg yolks is to create a rich, extra creamy, thick carbonara sauce. For a gluten-free,dairy-free option, you can use up to a tablespoon of cornstarch slurry mixture (water + cornstarch).

Parmesan cheese – Adding parmesan cheese to most pasta sauces is almost obligatory, but you can leave it out if you prefer, and the sauce will still taste perfectly fine as is.

Black pepper – I prefer to season my meats with black pepper before frying, but you don’t have to.

Salt – Resist the urge to add salt until just before your carbonara sauce is done. You’ll need to taste the sauce before you can judge how much salt to add. In fact, you may not have to add any because the deli meat and parmesan cheese are both salty. You decide.

Parsley (for garnishing) – I’ve found that I don’t really enjoy the taste of cooked parsley in a pasta sauce, so I only use it as a garnish when serving.

This Olive Garden carbonara pasta copycat recipe is so versatile that you can make it purely vegetarian by leaving out all the meat and replacing it with veggies of your choice.

Just slice the vegetables into similar sizes so they cook at the same pace, and fry in the skillet until tender.

aerial view of white bowl with chicken shrimp carbonara pasta and sauce on white countertop and gray tea towel

How to make Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara

I find myself making this pasta dish time and again because it contains all my absolute favorite ingredients. It’s hard to believe such basic ingredients come together to make the meatiest, creamiest garlic sauce in 30 minutes or less.

I’m sure you’ll be reaching for this recipe almost as often as I do once you realize how quick and easy it is to recreate at home!

What you’ll need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Plates/dishes for setting aside prepared ingredients
  • Large pot
  • Skillet
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Colander
  • Serving dish
  • Serving tongs and spoon/ladle
  • Meal storage containers

Prepare the Carbonara Sauce Ingredients

Pasta sauces typically cook quickly, so I suggest you prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking.

Here’s how:

First, get the eggs, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese out of the refrigerator so that they’re not too cold when you’re ready to use them.

For the Meat:

  • Dice the salami
  • Peel and devein the shrimp
  • Cut the chicken breasts into cubes or slices

For the Sauce:

  • Boil the pasta
  • Chop the garlic
  • Chop the onion
  • Chop the parsley (optional)
  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites and whisk
  • Grate the parmesan cheese (if necessary)

Fry the Carbonara Meat

While you’re waiting on the pasta to cook, heat up your skillet and start cooking the meats.

  1. Salami – Drippings add a ton of flavor to any sauce, so for maximum flavor, start by adding the salami to the heated dry skillet first, and cook until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Chicken and shrimp – Next up is the chicken and shrimp. Add the chicken to the same skillet with the drippings, add a splash of olive oil if necessary, and cook for 3 minutes before adding the shrimp. Saute for another 5 minutes or until the shrimp has turned from gray to pink. Set aside for later.
aerial view closeup of white serving dish with chicken shrimp carbonara pasta and sauce on gray tea towel

Make the Carbonara Sauce

To make this creamy, flavorful carbonara sauce, you want to use the same skillet throughout, without cleaning it in between each step.

  1. Onions and garlic – Over medium heat, start by adding the onion to the skillet and saute for a few minutes until it becomes glossy and translucent, but not golden or burnt. Next, add the garlic and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  2. Heavy cream – Add the heavy cream to the skillet, and let it cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. While this sauce simmers, separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks lightly.
  3. Egg yolks – Turn off the heat, and use a whisk to start stirring the sauce with one hand while slowly drizzling the beaten egg yolks into the sauce with the other hand. Once fully combined, continue to whisk until the creamy sauce becomes smooth and thick.
  4. Parmesan cheese – You can add the parmesan cheese to the skillet now and stir it in to melt into the sauce, or you can save it as a topping for when you’re ready to serve. I’m not ashamed to say I usually do both!
closeup 45 degree view of white bowl with chicken shrimp carbonara pasta and sauce on white tea towel

Combine the Pasta and Carbonara Sauce and Serve

At this point, you’re ready to add the salami, chicken, shrimp, and pasta to the sauce.

  1. Mix everything together and you have a beautiful carbonara pasta made from scratch in under 30 minutes!
  2. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, and serve.
aerial view of black skillet with shrimp chicken carbonara pasta and sauce on white tea towel

What to serve with Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara

  • Salad
  • Crostini
  • Toasted herby breadcrumbs
  • Croutons

How to store Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara

If you happen to end up with leftovers, store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.

This copycat Olive Garden chicken and shrimp carbonara makes for a quick lunch on a busy day, or pack it up for a delicious and substantial work lunch.

I’ve even been known to have leftover carbonara pasta for breakfast – that’s how much I love this stuff!

To store in the fridge, first, allow the carbonara to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container.

aerial view of white serving dish with shrimp and chicken carbonara pasta on white gray dish towel

How to reheat Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara

The easiest way to reheat carbonara pasta is in the microwave. I like to add the carbonara to a bowl and stir in a splash of water to loosen up the cold sauce, then microwave until warmed through. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and eat!

To reheat on the stovetop, stir in a splash of water to thin out the leftover carbonara sauce, then add it to a skillet over medium heat. This process won’t take more than a few minutes, and you’ll need to stir it often to prevent burning. Feel free to add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce.

The longest method to reheat your carbonara is in the oven. Arrange the leftover carbonara pasta evenly in an ovenproof dish with a cover. You could add some grated cheese and seasoned breadcrumbs for fancier carbonara leftovers. Heat for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

Olive Garden Copycat Carbonara Chicken and Shrimp

This homemade carbonara recipe is the perfect easy one-pan meal for date nights, special occasions, or busy weeknights!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: chicken and shrimp carbonara olive garden, olive garden chicken and shrimp carbonara, Olive Garden Copycat Carbonara Chicken and Shrimp


  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup salami in small cubes
  • 2 chicken breasts cubed
  • 2 cups shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2-4 garlic cloves chopped
  • Small onion diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-4 egg yolks
  • 8 oz linguine or your favorite pasta
  • parmesan cheese grated


  • Boil the pasta as per the package instructions.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high and add the salami. Fry until golden brown, then remove and set aside.
  • Add olive oil and the chicken breast to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add in the shrimp and fry until the shrimp turns pink and opaque, and the chicken browns. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  • Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the heavy cream and let it cook in the skillet for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the egg yolks, stirring constantly.
  • Return the salami, shrimp, and chicken to the skillet and add the pasta. Mix everything together gently to combine.
  • Serve immediately, sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

If you’ve tried this chicken and shrimp carbonara recipe, let me know how it turned out. I’d love to hear how you customize your carbonara!

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