Grilled Chicken Margherita

By Rena |

Skip the restaurant and make Grilled Chicken Margherita at home! Just like a pizza, this low-carb version of a Margherita is covered in mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and basil. Perfect for grilling season, or make it indoors year-round!

top view chicken margherita topped with cheese and chopped tomatoes

If you could have pizza every day, would you? I know I sure would! But I have to refrain. With the number of calories vs. how full I am after, it’s just not worth it. That’s why I was amazed when I went into Olive Garden to find a Grilled Chicken Margherita. What is it? It’s a Margherita pizza on top of grilled chicken breasts instead of a pizza crust. It is filling, lower in calories, and made with healthier fresh toppings. What’s more, it’s SO easy to make at home! The next time you’re craving pizza, skip all of the extra and get your fix with this low-carb Grilled Chicken Margherita instead.

Why you will love this chicken dinner recipe

  • Easy: This chicken breast recipe is so simple to throw together! All you have to do is pound and marinate the chicken, grill it, add the cheese and allow it to melt, and then top with fresh tomatoes and basil and serve! It’s super easy!
  • Healthier than Olive Garden: Making this easy chicken recipe at home is much healthier than what you get at Olive Garden. You can buy the best quality ingredients, and also skip on extra oil. I even opted for fresh basil instead of pesto to make it that much cleaner.
  • Family-friendly: People of any age are going to just love this Grilled Chicken Margherita recipe! It’s fresh, sweet, cheesy, and filling, perfect for a family dinner.
  • Delicious: This flavor profile tastes amazing on pizza, and it’s even better on a healthy piece of chicken! It fills you up so well without going overboard on the carbs (so easy to do!).
top view grilled chicken topped with melted cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes, and basil, all in a grill pan

What you’ll need for this grilled chicken recipe

  • Chicken: I pounded boneless skinless chicken breasts to a 1-inch even thickness. Turkey breasts or chicken thighs would be a great substitute.
  • Garlic & seasoning: Minced fresh garlic plus salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning give this Chicken Margherita so much flavor! You can buy pre-minced garlic in the supermarket for even easier prep.
  • Olive oil: Feel free to substitute another healthy oil like avocado oil if needed.
  • Tomatoes: I like cherry tomatoes for this recipe because they have a ton of flavor, however, any fresh tomatoes you have on hand will work perfectly.
  • Cheese: Mozzarella cheese is a key ingredient when it comes to Margherita. It’s soft, stretchy, and creamy.
  • Basil: Finally, to finish off I sprinkled sliced fresh basil, just like you would on a Margherita pizza. You can also add a drizzle of pesto like the original recipe!
ingredients to make margherita chicken

How to make copycat Grilled Chicken Margherita

1. Place the chicken in a ziplock bag together with the minced garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and oil. Mix thoroughly through the bag to coat the chicken breasts. Allow marinating for 30 minutes over the counter.

2. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Alternatively, you can heat up an outdoor grill.

3. In the same pan, quickly sauté the garlic for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes with juices and season to taste.

4. Grill the chicken breasts until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165F, around 5-7 minutes per side.

5. Top each chicken breast with a slice of mozzarella and remove from heat as it just begins to melt.

Cheese on top of Grilled Chicken on a black grill pan.

6. Top with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Slice and enjoy!

tips for success

  • Pound the chicken breasts as evenly as possible to ensure that they cook evenly.
  • Alternatively, you can slice the chicken breasts in half if you don’t have a meat pounder handy.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked properly. The internal temperature should read 165°F.
  • Add a little pesto on top of the Grilled Chicken Margherita at the end for an extra boost of basil flavor. My homemade pesto recipe is delicious!
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or oven until piping hot. Remove fresh tomatoes before heating and add them back when the food is ready.
close up grilled chicken breast topped with cheese and chopped tomatoes

Frequently Asked Questions

How many calories are in Olive Garden Chicken Margherita?

There are 540 calories per serving of Olive Garden’s Grilled Chicken Margherita.

How many carbs are in Olive Garden Chicken Margherita?

There are a total of 14g of carbs in Olive Garden’s Grilled Chicken Margherita, and only 8g of net carbs per serving. It’s perfect for the keto or a low-carb diet!

How do you keep chicken moist on the grill?

The first step to keeping chicken moist when grilling is to make sure you marinate it before cooking. The alt helps to lock in the moisture keeping it juicy. Secondly, I recommend allowing the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it.

top view grilled chicken breast

What to serve with Grilled Chicken Margherita

More Grilled Chicken Recipes to try

side shot of grilled chicken breast with cheese and tomatoes

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top view grilled chicken topped with melted cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes, and basil, all in a grill pan

Grilled Chicken Margherita

Skip the restaurant and make Grilled Chicken Margherita at home! Just like a pizza, this low-carb version of a Margherita is covered in mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and basil. Perfect for grilling season, or make it indoors year-round!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Diabetic
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
marinate: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 241kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to a 1 inch even thickness
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes halved
  • 4 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup packed basil leaves thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Place the chicken in a ziplock bag together with the minced garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and oil. Mix thoroughly through the bag to coat the chicken breasts. Allow marinating for 30 minutes over the counter.
  • Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Alternatively, you can heat up an outdoor grill.
  • In the same pan, quickly sauté the garlic for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes with juices and season to taste.
  • Grill the chicken breasts until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165F, around 5-7 minutes per side.
  • Top each chicken breast with a slice of mozzarella and remove from heat as it just begins to melt.
  • Top with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

  • Pound the chicken breasts as evenly as possible to ensure that they cook evenly.
  • Alternatively, you can slice the chicken breasts in half if you don’t have a meat pounder handy.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked properly. The internal temperature should read 165°F.
  • Add a little pesto on top of the Grilled Chicken Margherita at the end for an extra boost of basil flavor. My homemade pesto recipe is delicious!
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or oven until piping hot. Remove fresh tomatoes before heating and add them back when the food is ready.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 589mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 1mg
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