Copycat Chicken Margherita

Chicken Margherita

 The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Chicken Margherita is an easy and delicious meal bursting with cherry tomatoes, gooey mozzarella cheese, and garlicky pesto. From start to finish, this is a true one-pan meal that's packed with flavor. It's based on one of the Olive Garden’s signature dishes, so it’s sure to please everyone’s palates.

Serve it with some pasta for a complete meal. Or you can try your hand at some breadsticks, so you can really feel like you’re at Olive Garden.

Use a store-bought pesto to make meal prep easy or go completely homemade. Garden-grown basil at the end of summer is perfect for going into big batches of pesto that you can enjoy later in the year.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken Margherita
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  2. Season the chicken breast with dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    Chicken Margherita
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and brown it on both sides for three to five minutes. 

    Chicken Margherita
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a plate. Turn down the heat, add the white wine to the pan, and deglaze it by scraping at the browned bits on the bottom. Add the butter, garlic and lemon juice as well. Cook for two to three minutes, or until the butter is completely melted and the garlic is fragrant.

    Chicken Margherita
      The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan and top each piece with an equal amount of the fresh mozzarella. Place it in the preheated oven until the top of the cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

    Chicken Margherita
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  6. Top each chicken breast with an equal amount of the pesto, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with a side salad, pasta, or bread to make it a complete meal. 

    Chicken Margherita
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Recipe Variations

  • You can easily sub in pre-shredded mozzarella for the fresh if you don’t have some on hand.
  • Swap in in sun-dried tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes.
  • Try a combination of provolone and mozzarella cheese for a little more tang and zip.
  • Saute the chicken in smaller pieces, cook the sauce like normal, then toss it with pasta. Top with the pesto and cheese and tomatoes, stick it in the oven, and enjoy it as a pasta bake.
  • You can make pesto with any green vegetable so try mixing It up with a combination of veggies and herbs like broccoli or spinach along with the basil and garlic.