Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan Pasta

My sister Mandy introduced me to Carrabba’s years ago. Actually, it had to be over fifteen years ago…ouch! Our entire family took to Carrabba’s spin on traditional italian favorites and of course the warm bread with herb dip. It has become a standard for Mandy’s birthday dinners. As much as she likes to peruse the menu and talk about ordering something new, she always ends up ordering the Chicken Bryan.

It’s her prevailing order for good reason. Chicken that has been seasoned simply is grilled and then topped with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. But the thing that really puts this dish over the top is the basil butter sauce that’s poured all over it!

Mandy always orders it with pasta, so I tried to meld the entire plateful together. It’s a much lighter version than the original, but I still tried to stay true to all of the major flavor components. Mandy came over for dinner the other week, and Brian and I made this in her honor. She loved it!

It felt wonderful to have the reigning Queen of Chicken Bryan approve my efforts! I hope you enjoy the new and improved chicken”Brian” as much as we did!


Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan Pasta Recipe


  • 1 1/4lb boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 small to medium sized onion (minced)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon fresh garlic (minced)
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for a finishing drizzle)
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons fresh basil (thinly sliced)
  • lemon zest


Step 1
Here are the main players in tonight's dish. Of course it wouldn't be me unless I forgot one or two items in the photo. Let's see if you can guess.
Step 2
*No Onion!*

I like to go ahead and zest my lemon. This way I've already gotten that tasty outside set aside before I'm hurrying around trying to juice it for the sauce later.
Step 3
Now get a skillet heating up over medium heat, and get a big pot of water heating up over high heat.
Then I generously season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
Step 4
Once your skillet is nice and hot, add about a Tbs. of olive oil. Now drop in your chicken pieces so that they form a single layer. Leave them alone for 5 minutes.
Step 5
Once your pot of water is at a rolling boil, dump in the pasta with lots of salt. Cook according to the package directions.
After the chicken pieces have been searing for about 5 minutes, flip them all over. Cover the pan with a lid, and forget about them again for about 3-5 minutes.
Step 6
When you're happy with the doneness of your chicken bits, pull them from the pan. Set the chicken aside, and leave the pan over the heat.
Step 7
Add 1 Tbs. olive oil. Now dump in the onion along with 1/4 tsp. salt.
Step 8
Stir the onion around, scrapping the bottom of the pan, for about a minute. They will get nice and brown quite quickly because of the lovely flavor already in the pan. Now add in a heaping Tbs. of minced garlic, and cook another minute.
Step 9
Pour in the wine and the lemon juice. Enjoy the steam while you scrape the bottom of the pan!
Step 10
Throw in about half of the butter, and kick the heat up to medium high. Let it bubble away for about 2 minutes.
Step 11
Add in the sundried tomatoes, chopped basil, and the rest of the butter. I also add in some seasonings at this point: 1 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper.
Step 12
Give it a nice stir. Enjoy the aroma. And let it simmer just another minute or two.
Step 13
Now this is just a matter of putting all of the goodness together!
Dump the reserved lemon zest into your yummy sauce.
Step 14
Pour your sauce over the drained pasta.
Step 15
Now add in the cooked chicken along with its' juices. And crumble your goat cheese over the top!
Step 16
Because we are all nuts about black pepper, I sprinkled over a bit more.
Step 17
Then toss it all together; add in some more fresh basil; toss it all again.
Step 18
Serve in bowls with a big drizzle of olive oil over the top to finish it off. Don't forget the olive oil when you serve it, or the pasta will be a bit too dry.
Step 19
This dish is a wonderfully light twist on the delicious "Chicken Bryan"! We hope you enjoy it!
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