First at Four: Warm up & fill up with Chicken Margherita

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - With cold temperatures in the forecast, warm up and fill up your family with Chicken Margherita.

Trey Arnett from Wilmington's Olive Garden shared the recipe on WECT News First at Four. The dish is a delicious combination of grilled chicken breasts topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto and a lemon garlic sauce, served with parmesan crusted zucchini. It's inspired by Olive Garden's Tastes of the Mediterranean menu.

Chicken Margherita

Grilled Chicken
4 chicken breasts 
4 tablespoon of basil pesto
2 cups of shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Parmesan Crusted Zucchini
1 large zucchini, cut in half then sliced into 1 inch planks
2 1/2 cups of grated parmesan
2 cups of basil pesto
2 cups of bread crumbs
1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil

Lemon Garlic Sauce
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup white wine
3 cloves garlic, crushed 
3 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 pinch crushed red pepper 
4 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Lay sliced zucchini planks side by side in lightly greased baking pan.
  • Mix basil pesto and lemon juice together, and distribute mixture evenly over each plank.
  • Toss parmesan cheese and bread crumbs together in a medium-sized bowl, and distribute mixture evenly over each plank. Set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet, and heat to medium-high.
  • Place chicken breasts in skillet, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from heat.
  • Top chicken with mozzarella cheese, and cover pan with aluminum foil. Cook in oven until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, and cheese is completely melted.
  • Place zucchini in the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat.
  • Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute; do not brown. Add tomatoes, butter, wine, red pepper, salt and pepper and let wine reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and zucchini from the oven. Top chicken with basil pesto.
  • Transfer parmesan crusted zucchini and chicken to plate.
  • Top zucchini and chicken with lemon garlic sauce.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe serves 4.

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