Let’s face it – Olive Garden is a danger zone. From the breadsticks and salads to the heavenly entrees and desserts, there is Weight Watchers un-friendly deliciousness at every turn. This is why I try to avoid going there at all costs, because I have absolutely no control as soon as I lay eyes on that food. So I found a way to re-create a healthier version of one my favorite Olive Garden dishes – the Tuscan Chicken. Their menu describes it as “a flavorful blend of herb-seasoned chicken breasts sautéed with oven-roasted garlic, sweet roasted red peppers and spinach, served in a white wine and garlic cream sauce.” Sound good? You bet it does! But the restaurant entree is laden with way too much fat and calories, thus making it too many Points Plus to justify spending on a regular basis. My lighter version, which tastes AMAZING, has just 9 Points + per serving. Still not a super light dish, but a lot lighter than what the restaurant will serve you. And more nutritional too. This light Tuscan Chicken Recipe is a wonderful alternative that still delivers all those amazing flavors you are anticipating. Now….if I could just make a low carb Olive Garden breadstick, the world would be a perfect place.
Olive Garden’s Tuscan Chicken
Heaven on a plate, this healthier knockoff version of Olive Garden’s Tuscan Chicken is a fantastic Weight Watchers Pasta Recipe for some guilt free indulgence. Creamy, savory, filling and delicious, this is a meal that is truly satisfying.
- 8oz whole wheat pasta, uncooked
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 24 thin strips
- 10 oz fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 large red bell pepper, julienne cut
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp light butter
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup fat free milk
- 1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a small, shallow bowl, mix flour, basil, oregano and salt & pepper. Dredge chicken strips into four and shake off any excess.
- Place large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat, and melt 1 tbsp of butter. Saute the chicken in batches, adding more of the remaining tbsp of butter as necessary, for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- To make sauce, return the used chicken skillet to medium high heat, and add in garlic, bell peppers, and 2 tbsp of the chicken broth. Cook just until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in wine, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium, and add in the spinach and milk, and cook until spinach is just wilted. Complete by adding in the parmesan cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. If sauce is too thick, add remaining chicken broth as needed to thin it out to desired consistency.
- To assemble the dish, start by dividing pasta evenly among six serving bowls. Top each with 1/6th of the sauce and 4 of the chicken strips. Serve immediately.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet tags: Reduced fat, High protein
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: Italian
Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is about 2 cups
Each serving = 10 Smart Points/9 Points +
PER SERVING: 319calories; 9g fat; 4g saturated fat; 43g carbohydrate; 5g sugar; 18g protein; 7g fiber