Better then the Olive Garden pasta 2023



  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle of Buffalo Wild Wings Parmesan Garlic Sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cut into blocks
  • 4 oz shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 box of pasta (e.g., rigatoni noodles)


  1. Prepare the Crock Pot:
    • Place the chicken breasts at the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Add Sauce and Creaminess:
    • Pour the entire bottle of Buffalo Wild Wings Parmesan Garlic Sauce over the chicken.
    • Add the blocks of cream cheese, shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, and milk into the crock pot.
  3. Mix it Up:
    • Gently stir the ingredients in the crock pot to ensure an even distribution of the sauces and cheeses.
  4. Cook to Perfection:
    • Set the crock pot to high heat and cook for 4-6 hours. The slow cooking process will allow the flavors to meld, and the chicken will become tender.
  5. Shred the Chicken:
    • Once the cooking time is complete, use two forks to shred the chicken directly in the crock pot. The chicken should easily fall apart.
  6. Cook Pasta:
    • Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions. Rigatoni noodles work well to capture the delicious sauce.
  7. Combine Chicken and Pasta:
    • Add the shredded chicken back into the crock pot with the savory sauce. Mix well to coat the chicken with the creamy goodness.
  8. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Serve the Parmesan Garlic Chicken over a bed of cooked rigatoni noodles. Ensure each portion is generously coated with the flavorful sauce.
  9. Garnish (Optional):
    • Garnish the dish with additional grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley for a burst of color and added flavor.
  10. Savor the Flavor:
    • Dive into a plate of this scrumptious pasta and savor the rich, Parmesan garlic-infused goodness that surpasses even your favorite Olive Garden dish!
  11. Pairing Suggestions:
    • Serve with a side of garlic bread or a crisp Caesar salad for a complete and delightful dining experience.
  12. Share and Enjoy:
    • Share this delectable pasta dish with family and friends, and bask in the compliments as they declare it’s even better than Olive Garden!

Experience the joy of a homemade pasta dish that rivals your favorite restaurant’s offering. Enjoy! 🍽️😊


Here are some helpful tips to make your “Better Than Olive Garden” Pasta even more delightful:

  1. Marinate the Chicken:
    • Consider marinating the chicken breasts with a bit of olive oil, minced garlic, and Italian herbs for added flavor before placing them in the crock pot.
  2. Fresh Herbs:
    • Garnish the finished dish with freshly chopped herbs like parsley or basil to enhance the overall freshness and add a pop of color.
  3. Garlic Lovers’ Upgrade:
    • If you’re a garlic lover, add a few extra cloves of minced garlic to the crock pot for an intensified garlic flavor.
  4. Extra Parmesan Topping:
    • Serve the pasta with an extra sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the table. This allows everyone to customize the level of cheesiness.
  5. Creamy Texture Adjustment:
    • For an even creamier texture, stir in a bit of heavy cream or half-and-half during the last hour of cooking. Adjust the consistency to your liking.
  6. Spice it Up:
    • Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce if you enjoy a bit of heat. This complements the rich flavors of the Parmesan and garlic.
  7. Vegetable Medley:
    • Incorporate sautéed vegetables like spinach, cherry tomatoes, or mushrooms into the pasta for a boost of nutrition and color.
  8. Cook Pasta Al Dente:
    • Cook the pasta al dente to ensure it maintains a satisfying bite and doesn’t become overly soft when combined with the creamy sauce.
  9. Bread Crumb Topping:
    • Sprinkle a light layer of toasted breadcrumbs over the pasta just before serving for added texture and a subtle nutty flavor.
  10. Fresh Lemon Zest:
    • Add a touch of fresh lemon zest to brighten up the flavors. The citrusy notes complement the richness of the Parmesan.
  11. Serve in Bread Bowls:
    • For a restaurant-style presentation, consider serving the pasta in hollowed-out bread bowls. This adds a unique touch and makes the meal even more special.
  12. Protein Variation:
    • Experiment with different proteins like shrimp or grilled chicken for a variation in taste and texture.
  13. Cook Pasta in Broth:
    • Cook the pasta in chicken or vegetable broth instead of plain water for added depth of flavor.
  14. Freshly Ground Black Pepper:
    • Finish the dish with a generous twist of freshly ground black pepper. This enhances the savory notes in the Parmesan sauce.
  15. Make-Ahead:
    • Prepare the chicken and sauce a day ahead and let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors to intensify.

Remember, these tips are meant to inspire your creativity, so feel free to tailor the recipe to your preferences. Enjoy your delightful “Better Than Olive Garden” Pasta! 🍝✨


1. Can I use a different type of pasta?

  • Absolutely! While rigatoni works well, you can use your favorite pasta variety, such as fettuccine, penne, or spaghetti.

2. Can I use a different brand of Parmesan garlic sauce?

  • Yes, feel free to use your preferred brand or even make a homemade Parmesan garlic sauce for a personalized touch.

3. How can I make the dish spicier?

  • Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the crock pot for a spicy kick. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference.

4. Can I use frozen chicken breasts?

  • Yes, you can use frozen chicken breasts, but be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, and ensure the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature.

5. Can I make this on the stovetop instead of a crock pot?

  • Absolutely! Simmer the ingredients in a pot on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

6. What sides pair well with this pasta?

  • Classic choices include garlic bread, a Caesar salad, or a side of steamed vegetables. Choose your favorites to complement the meal.

7. How can I make the pasta more creamy?

  • Add a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half during the last hour of cooking for an extra creamy texture.

8. Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

  • Yes, chicken thighs can be used as a flavorful alternative. Adjust the cooking time as needed.

9. How do I prevent the cream cheese from clumping?

  • Ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature before adding it to the crock pot, and stir well to incorporate it into the sauce.

10. Can I freeze leftovers? – Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container. Thaw and reheat on the stove or in the microwave, adding a bit of milk to restore creaminess.

11. How do I prevent the pasta from getting mushy? – Cook the pasta separately and add it to the sauce just before serving to maintain its texture.

12. Can I make it ahead of time for a party? – Absolutely! Prepare the dish a day ahead, store it in the refrigerator, and reheat before serving. This allows the flavors to meld.

13. Can I use a different type of cheese besides Parmesan? – While Parmesan provides a distinct flavor, you can experiment with other cheeses like Asiago or Pecorino Romano for variations.

14. What’s the best way to reheat the leftovers? – Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of milk to maintain the creamy consistency.

15. Can I add vegetables to the crock pot? – Absolutely! Consider adding vegetables like spinach, cherry tomatoes, or mushrooms during the last hour of cooking for added flavor and nutrition.

Feel free to tailor these answers to suit your preferences and enjoy your Better Than Olive Garden Pasta! 🍝🌿✨

Here are some tips to make your dish absolutely perfect:

  1. High-Quality Parmesan Garlic Sauce:
    • Invest in a high-quality Parmesan garlic sauce, whether store-bought or homemade. This forms the base of your dish, so the better the sauce, the more flavorful the result.
  2. Searing Chicken Before Slow Cooking:
    • For an extra layer of flavor, consider searing the chicken in a hot pan before placing it in the crock pot. This helps lock in juices and adds a caramelized taste.
  3. Properly Softened Cream Cheese:
    • Ensure the cream cheese is fully softened at room temperature before adding it to the crock pot. This prevents clumps and ensures a smooth, creamy texture.
  4. Balanced Cheese Ratio:
    • Achieve the perfect balance of cheesy goodness by combining both shredded or grated Parmesan cheese and cream cheese. This creates a rich and well-rounded sauce.
  5. Choosing the Right Pasta:
    • Rigatoni noodles are an excellent choice as their ridges hold onto the sauce, but feel free to experiment with your favorite pasta shape.
  6. Freshly Grated Parmesan:
    • Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a more intense and authentic flavor. Pre-packaged grated Parmesan may have anti-caking agents that can affect the texture.
  7. Stirring for Even Distribution:
    • Stir the ingredients in the crock pot well to evenly distribute the flavors. This ensures that each bite is infused with the delicious Parmesan garlic goodness.
  8. Optimal Cooking Time:
    • Pay attention to the cooking time. Cooking too long can lead to overcooked chicken, while too short might not allow the flavors to meld. Adjust based on your specific slow cooker.
  9. Seasoning Layering:
    • Consider layering your seasoning. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices to each layer (chicken, sauce, etc.) to build a depth of flavor.
  10. Fresh Herbs as a Finishing Touch:
    • Add a handful of fresh herbs like chopped parsley or basil just before serving for a burst of freshness and color.
  11. Grind Fresh Pepper:
    • Finish the dish with freshly ground black pepper. The aromatic notes will enhance the overall taste.
  12. Allowing Rest Time:
    • Allow the pasta and sauce to rest together for a few minutes before serving. This lets the pasta absorb some of the sauce, enhancing the overall flavor.
  13. Customize with Vegetables:
    • Add a variety of vegetables for extra color and nutrients. Bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or spinach are excellent choices.
  14. Experiment with Other Cheeses:
    • Consider adding a small amount of another flavorful cheese, like Asiago or Pecorino Romano, to the sauce for a unique twist.
  15. Serve with Warm Bread:
    • Accompany your pasta with warm crusty bread or garlic bread for a complete and satisfying meal.

Remember, cooking is an art, and these secrets are meant to inspire your creativity. Adjust these tips based on your preferences and enjoy your “Better Than Olive Garden” Pasta! 🍝🧀✨