Chicken Scampi

September 28, 2020

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Chicken Scampi – a super simple chicken and pasta recipe that packs rich and buttery decadence, rounded by complex wine flavor, along with hints of bright lemon, and plenty of freshness from the garlic. It’s such a satisfying dish!

This recipe was inspired by my Shrimp Scampi and Garlic Butter Chicken Bites, two other must try recipes!

Chicken scampi shown on an oval serving platter. Includes thin spaghetti, lemon, browned chicken pieces and parsley.

Chicken Scampi Pasta Recipe

Bite size chicken pieces are tossed with herbs and pan seared in a hot skill until gorgeously golden brown. Then they’re tossed in a glorious white wine reduction, garlic and butter sauce.

And to make it a hearty main dish it’s finished by tossing it all together with tender pasta. Talk about dinner done right! It will leave you craving it again soon.

And I’m sure it’s easily better than the infamous Olive Garden’s. Homemade can always beat a chain restaurant.

Another option here is to ditch the pasta and serve it with another hearty carb (to pair with that abundance of savory sauce) like crusty bread, potatoes or rice.

Chicken scampi with butter and wine shown in a dark skillet.

Chicken Scampi Ingredients and Substitutes

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: Boneless skinless chicken thighs will work great too. Just cook a little longer as needed.
  • All-purpose flour: I like to use unbleached all-purpose flour. 1 Tbsp cornstarch could be substituted.
  • Italian seasoning: You can make your own blend using 3/4 tsp dried oregano 3/4 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp marjoram or thyme.
  • Salt and pepper: Salt is used to season the chicken and also use to season your pasta when boiling.
  • Unsalted butter: Salted butter could be used if needed just cut back on the amount of salt added to the dish.
  • Olive oil: You’ll only need a little here. In a pinch another type of neutral flavored oil could be used.
  • Garlic: I only recommend using fresh garlic here.
  • Dry white wine: I like to use Sauvignon Blanc. Low sodium chicken broth could be used but it won’t have quite as much flavor.
  • Red pepper flakes: These add a nice kick of heat, it can be omitted if preferred. If needed a little cayenne pepper can be substituted.
  • Fresh lemon juice: If you had to lime juice could replace it.
  • Thin spaghetti: Other good options are standard spaghetti, angel hair, linguine or fettuccine.
  • Parsley: Dried could be substituted (I’d use 1 – 2 Tbsp), it just won’t be quite as fresh and flavorful.
  • Parmesan cheese: Romano cheese will work great too.

Scroll down for full recipe with ingredient amounts, directions and print option.

Image of ingredients used to make chicken scampi. Includes chicken breasts, olive oil, white wine, butter, garlic, lemon, pasta, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, flour, parmesan and parsley.

How to Make Chicken Scampi

  1. Boil water in pot: Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook pasta (cook according to directions on package, to al dente. I find it’s best to start cooking the pasta in the boiling water while the wine is reducing in sauce).
  2. Dry chicken, toss with flour and seasonings: Dab chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Toss with flour, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper (I use about 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper).
  3. Melt portion of butter with oil: Meanwhile melt 3 Tbsp butter with 1 Tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Sear chicken: Add chicken and let sear until browned on bottom, about 4 minutes, turn and let cook through about 2 – 3 minutes.
  5. Set chicken aside: Transfer chicken and butter mixture to a bowl or large plate (continued below). Tent with foil to keep warm.

Collage of six images showing how to prepare chicken for chicken scampi, drying and tossing with seasoning mixture. Then it is shown seared in a skillet and garlic is sauteed.

How to Make Chicken Scampi Sauce and Finish Dish

  1. Saute garlic: Place pan over medium-low heat. Melt 1 Tbsp butter. Add garlic and saute about 20 seconds (don’t brown it!). (At this point, separately add pasta to boiling water to cook to al dente.)
  2. Add wine, reduce: Pour in wine and red pepper flakes to butter garlic mixture and let simmer until reduced by about 3/4, about 5 minutes.
  3. Melt in remaining butter: Add remaining 4 tbsp butter and let melt.
  4. Add lemon, and chicken: Off heat stir in lemon. Return chicken to skillet and toss with sauce.
  5. Toss with pasta, garnish: Toss drained pasta with chicken, sauce mixture, and parsley. Garnish servings with parmesan and serve warm.

Collage of four images showing how to make scampi sauce and toss with chicken in a pan. Pasta and chicken scampi pieces being tossed together in a pot.

What to Serve with It

This is best served with some fresh vegetables that are steamed or roasted. Here’s some ideas:

Chicken scampi shown overhead in a dark skillet.

Tips:

  • Don’t skip drying chicken. This removes some of the excess moisture on the exterior so it browns better.
  • Use a hot skillet to brown the chicken. Preheat it. More browning will equal far more flavor.
  • Select a decent wine. A really cheap wine will just ruin the flavor.
  • Careful not to over-cook the chicken or it will be dry. Keep it warm in foil (don’t cover completely you don’t want to continue to steam and cook it).
  • Keep wine away from flames (its flammable from the alcohol).
  • Allow enough time for sauce to simmer. Otherwise alcohol flavor will overwhelm the dish, let the majority of it cook off.
  • Cook pasta to al dente for the perfect texture.

Close up image of chicken scampi and pasta.

More Delicious Pasta Dishes to Try

Chicken scampi shown on an oval serving platter. Includes thin spaghetti, lemon, browned chicken pieces and parsley.
5 from 2 votes

Chicken Scampi

A super simple chicken recipe that packs rich and buttery decadence, rounded by complex wine flavor, along with hints of bright lemon, and plenty of freshness from the garlic. It's such a satisfying dish!
Servings: 6
Prep20 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Ready in: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced into 1-Tbsp pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 12 oz. thin spaghetti (or standard)
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or Romano cheese, for serving)

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook pasta (cook according to directions on package, to al dente. I find it's best to start cooking the pasta in the boiling water when the wine is reducing just before step 7).
  • Dab chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Toss with flour, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper (I use about 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper).
  • Meanwhile melt 3 Tbsp butter with 1 Tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken in a single layer and let sear until browned on bottom, about 4 minutes, turn and let cook through about 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken and butter mixture to a bowl or large plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Return pan to medium-low heat. Melt 1 Tbsp butter. Add garlic and saute about 20 seconds, don't brown it. (At this point, separately add pasta to boiling water to cook to al dente.)
  • Pour wine and red pepper flakes into butter garlic mixture in skillet and let simmer until reduced by about 3/4, about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining 4 tbsp butter and let melt.
  • Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Return chicken to skillet and toss with sauce, season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Toss drained pasta with chicken, sauce mixture, and parsley. Garnish servings with parmesan and serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Scampi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 630 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 119mg40%
Sodium 543mg24%
Potassium 574mg16%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 38g76%
Vitamin A 1035IU21%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 359mg36%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.