This chicken and veggies pasta dinner is really stunning with all the colorful vegetables – zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes and fresh herbs. The breaded chicken tenders are crunchy on the outside and really juicy and tender in the center.
Chicken Scampi is a popular Italian dinner, that you’ll often find on restaurant menus. This homemade version is even more delicious! I often serve this when we have company for dinner and it always gets rave reviews.
The chicken is extra special because I use homemade seasoned breadcrumbs. They give an incredible crunchy texture to the chicken on the outside and the Parmesan cheese, fresh and dry herbs, garlic and onion powder really add so much flavor to the chicken.
I love how colorful this pasta dish is and it’s just brimming with an abundance of vegetables – zucchini, bell pepper, onion and fresh tomatoes. The light and creamy sauce is really aromatic with chicken broth, garlic, white wine, Parmesan cheese and a splash of cream.
What is Chicken Scampi?
Chicken Scampi is similar to Shrimp Scampi, which is even more popular and you’re probably really familiar with it. The sauce is what makes this dish really shine – it’s really aromatic with garlic, white wine or lemon juice, fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. I also use chicken broth to add even more flavor and add a splash of cream at the end to round it out. It’s absolutely delicious, coating every strand of pasta.
Prep all the Ingredients In Advance
This dinner comes together very quickly once all the ingredients are prepped. You can even wash and chop most of the vegetables up to a few days in advance and this will make the process so much faster.
That is one of the ways that I can make something that is a little bit more time consuming for a weeknight much more manageable, by doing a lot of the prep hours or days before the cooking. Find out more how I meal prep and it saves me so much time and makes cooking from scratch really practical.
What Chicken Is Best To Use?
Chicken tenderloins are just the way they sound – really tender. They are also really perfectly portioned. You can also use chicken breast instead of chicken tenderloins, in which case, slice the chicken breasts into strips or chop them into 1 1/2 pieces.
If you’re using chicken tenderloins, it helps to use a meat mallet to gently flatten them out just so that they are an even thickness, which will help the chicken cook through evenly.
Seasoned Breadcrumbs – which breadcrumbs to use?
You can use panko bread crumbs instead of using slices of bread. The fresh breadcrumbs made from slices of bread will give the chicken a thicker coating and the flavor tastes really fresh. I use either homemade bread or store bought bread that isn’t too fluffy, otherwise it won’t work very well.
The parmesan cheese, herbs, onion powder, garlic powder and fresh parsley give so much flavor to the bread crumbs and make the chicken extra delicious.
Breading the Chicken
If you want, you can simply brown the seasoned chicken until golden brown on both sides in a skillet over medium high heat. This will make the process much faster. However, I highly recommend you try breading the chicken – it is absolutely the most delicious breaded chicken ever.
Create a coating station by placing the flour, beaten eggs and the seasoned breadcrumbs in shallow plates/bowls with sides. Pie plates works great for breading too.
Dredge the seasoned chicken in the flour first. This will help the egg and breadcrumbs to adhere to the chicken better than if you didn’t use any flour.
Dip the chicken in the eggs, then in the breadcrumbs, using your hands to press the breadcrumbs into the chicken and helping it to adhere better. Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs several times, to make sure every inch of it is covered in the breading.
Cooking the Breaded Chicken Tenders
Heat 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and heat over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken tenders and cook until the chicken is golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side.
Cook the chicken in batches, until it’s all cooked. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess oil. To keep the chicken warm, you can place it into a low heat oven 175-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooking the Vegetables
Cook the vegetables in the same skillet that you used for the chicken tenders. Cook them in stages, to get the best results, since they take different amounts of time to cook.
Making the Sauce For the Chicken Scampi
Pour in the white wine and the chicken broth into the skillet and turn up the heat to high, bring it to a boil, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the cream and Parmesan cheese after the wine and broth reduce.
What Type of White Wine Should Be Used and What You Can Use As a Substitute
Dry white wine is best for cooking, not sweet. My favorite one to use in cooking is sauvignon blanc. If you want to read more about using different wines and alcohol in cooking, I have a very detailed post with lots of useful information, and I give you the best types to look for, substitutions, how to incorporate it well into cooking and more.
If you don’t want to use wine at all, you can simply use more broth and add a few Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice instead, not the full 1/2 cup – that will be too much.
If you’re not using a large skillet, take out the vegetables and place them into another bowl so they don’t overcook first, before adding the broth and wine to the skillet. If the skillet is too small, the sauce won’t have as much of a chance to reduce, so this is an important step.
Fresh Tomatoes vs. Canned Tomatoes
Using fresh tomatoes really adds so much fresh flavor to this dish. It is wonderful. Tossed with the hot vegetables and pasta, the tomatoes heat through just enough, but stay juicy, sweet and refreshing. They pair perfectly with the rest of the cooked vegetables.
You can use canned tomatoes when fresh ones are not in season, but in that case, I would cook them with the onion and pepper in the beginning of the process.
Serving the Chicken Scampi
Add the vegetables and the sauce along with the fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs to the cooked pasta and mix to combine. If you need to thin it out more, add some of the reserved pasta water.
Serve with the breaded chicken tenders. You can add more Parmesan cheese to each plate and garnish with more fresh herbs.Print
Breaded Chicken Scampi With Veggies
This Chicken Scampi dinner is made with breaded chicken tenders, lots of colorful fresh vegetables and a light and creamy aromatic sauce.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 55 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Entree
1 lb angel hair pasta (or any other pasta that you like)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 small-medium zucchini, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 – 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works really well)
1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh herbs (parsley, basil)
Breaded Chicken Tenders:
2 lbs chicken tenderloins
salt, ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten with a fork
4 – 6 Tablespoons oil for pan frying (grape seed, avocado, sunflower, light olive oil, etc.)
4 slices of bread
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 Tablespoon dry herbs, such as parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc.
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- Place a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to the package instructions, or however you like to eat it. When you’re draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water, which is salty and starchy and is perfect to thin out the sauce, if it needs it at the end.
- While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, you can cook the chicken, vegetables and sauce.
- Gently flatten out the chicken tenders just so that they are an even thickness. You can also use chicken breast instead, in which case cut them into strips or 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and ground black pepper.
- Make the seasoned breadcrumbs by cutting the bread into cubes and then pulsing in the food processor to make fine crumbs.
- Add the rest of the breadcrumb ingredients – salt, ground black pepper, garlic, powder, onion powder, dry herbs, fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. Mix until evenly combined.
- Create a coating station by placing the flour, beaten eggs and the seasoned breadcrumbs in shallow plates/bowls with sides. Dredge the seasoned chicken in the flour first, then in the beaten eggs and lastly in the breadcrumbs. Use your hands to firmly press the breadcrumbs into the chicken so it adheres well. Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs a few times, so that all the chicken is well covered in the crumbs.
- Heat 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and heat over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken tenders and cook until the chicken is golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side.
- Cook the chicken in batches, until it’s all cooked. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess oil. To keep the chicken warm, you can place it into a low heat oven 175-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, adding about a Tablespoon of oil to it. When the oil is hot, add the red onion, season with salt and ground black pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper, also seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Scrape some of the vegetables from the center of the skillet and add the garlic. If the skillet is dry, add a small drizzle of olive oil to the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Add the zucchini and season again with salt and pepper. To prevent the zucchini from becoming too watery and mushy, only cook it for about a minute, just enough to mix it in with the rest of the vegetables.
- Pour in the white wine and the chicken broth into the skillet and turn up the heat to high, bring it to a boil, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. If you’re not using a large skillet, take out the vegetables and place them into another bowl so they don’t overcook first, before adding the broth and wine to the skillet. If the skillet is too small, the sauce won’t have as much of a chance to reduce, so this is an important step.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce reduces. Add the heavy cream and the Parmesan cheese, whisking to combine.
- Add the vegetables and the sauce along with the fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs to the cooked pasta and mix to combine. If you need to thin it out more, add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Serve with the breaded chicken tenders. You can add more Parmesan cheese to each plate and garnish with more fresh herbs.
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This is an updated version of the Chicken Scampi recipe that was published originally on November 28, 2012.