Maggiano’s Little Italy specializes in Italian-American cuisine served in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Maggiano’s menu features both classic and contemporary recipes – authentic pastas, signature salads, prime steaks, fresh seafood, regular chef specials and specialty desserts. Maggiano’s 46 locations nationwide offer lunch, dinner, delivery and carryout service. Banquet spaces for special occasions are also available at select restaurants. Maggiano’s is owned and operated by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies, serving more than one million guests daily. Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,600 restaurants in 30 countries and two territories. In addition to Maggiano’s, Brinker owns and operates Chili’s Grill & Bar.

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Chicken and Asparagus Fettuccine Alfredo

Lighter Take Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Fettuccine Alfredo
Maggiano's Little Italy Recipe

Alfredo Sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup grated asiago cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a 6 quart sauce pot combine garlic, milk, whipping cream and salt and pepper. Place burner on medium heat and bring ingredients to a simmer. While mixture is coming to a simmer, place corn starch in a measuring cup then add the chicken broth. Mix the two together until cornstarch in fully incorporated with broth.

Once cream mixture has come to a simmer add the broth/cornstarch mixture and bring back to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the broth/cornstarch mixture has slightly thickened. This step should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Once mixture is slightly thickened remove from heat. Place the grated asiago cheese into hot mixture and mix until cheese has melted. You may need to place in a blender to make sure that all cheese has melted and is completely incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sauce can be made in advance and held cold until needed.

Grilled Chicken
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper and olive oil, then place on a hot grill and grill chicken. Remember to cook the chicken to 165˚. Once chicken has cooled to the touch slice chicken into bit size pieces and reserve. Chicken can be made in advance and held cold. If you don’t want to grill chicken you can sauté or cook anyway you would like.

Finished Dish
3/4 pound papardelle pasta, dry
1/2 pound fresh asparagus cut into 1/2 inch pieces
sliced grilled chicken
Alfredo Sauce
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to time on package. While pasta is cooking heat Alfredo Sauce with the asparagus pieces and grilled chicken slices. Once pasta has been cooked add pasta to hot sauce, continue to cook for an additional 30 seconds so the pasta is completely coated with sauce. Once pasta and sauce are incorporated you can place on a large platter or divide into 4 plates. Once this is done garnish with chopped chives and the grated asiago cheese.

Lighter Take Dishes

ParmesanThe chain's chefs explain what went into creating the popular new Lighter Take dishes.

Maggiano’s Little Italy is known for its rich, indulgent Italian food, but the chain made a move in a different direction with the Sept. 8, 2014 introduction of its Lighter Take menu.

The new menu features 11 of the Brinker International concepts’ dishes reformulated to have a third fewer calories or less.

The process started about a year ago, when corporate management started looking for new sales opportunities.

So culinary innovation chef Jeff Mann was sent to the kitchen with marching orders to cut calories wherever he could without shrinking portion sizes or affecting the flavor.

So Mann examined the breading, the pasta and the sauces that were being used in Maggiano’s scratch kitchens and reworked them. The result: He knocked 810 out of 1550 calories from the Chicken Parmesan to create the Lighter Take version with 740 calories. Chicken Piccata dropped from 1180 calories to 580, and Fettuccine Alfredo went from 1570 calories to 850.

He also reformulated the recipes for

The Lighter Take items haven’t replaced the originals, nor are they on a separate menu. Instead, they’re listed right below the original menu item, with their calorie counts beside them. Lighter items and original items are the same price.

Lighter Take items appear on the menu next to original items

Mann examined the flour that’s used to coat the chicken breast in the Chicken Piccata before it’s seared and ended up replacing it with panko breadcrumbs mixed with herbs, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese. He ground all of that “like you would a flour” and uses it instead of flour, resulting in less absorption of oil into the chicken and more “vibrant, fresh lemon and parsley flavors.” He also developed a “char crust” to put on chicken Marsala that contains coffee, oregano, parsley and smoked salt to add flavor without calories.

Mann also lowered butter levels in sauces and enhanced them with chicken stock instead. When it came to pasta, he switched to fresh hand-cut fettuccine from dried pasta, which is parcooked and then tossed in oil at service, adding additional calories. The fresh fettuccine doesn’t require added oil and looks bulkier, so less is required for a satisfying looking portion.

For the Taylor Street Baked Ziti, which has Italian pork sausage, tomato sauce and an Italian cheese blend, he replaced the pork sausage with chicken sausage and introduced lighter cheeses, such as ricotta and mozzarella.

In their first week on the menu, the new items did well, outselling their full-calorie counterparts and comprising a little more than 20 percent of total items ordered. That meant people were switching from popular classic pastas and the popular dinner-for-two Marco’s Meal to the Lighter Take options.

“Now guests are telling us they want more low-calorie items,” Brunell said so they’re working on reformulating more challenging dishes, such as lasagna and eggplant Parmesan.


Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli

Maggiano's Little Italy Copycat Recipe

1 (24 oz.) package fettuccine
1 cup butter
1 dash garlic salt
3/4 pint of heavy cream
3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 bag frozen broccoli, cooked
Salt & pepper, to taste

Cook fettuccine according to package. Meanwhile in a large saucepan, melt butter into cream over high heat. Once the butter has melted evenly, add salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. Slowly stir in cheese until melted to thicken the sauce. As the sauce thickens, add the cooked broccoli and stir until evenly coated. Drain fettuccine and add the sauce & broccoli mix. Stir well until fettuccine
is coated.

Salmon Salad

Maggiano's Little Italy Recipe

4 ounce salmon, cut in half
1 tablespoon Honey Mustard Glaze, (see recipe below)
4 ounces mixed greens
1/4 cup roma tomatoes, sliced & halved 1/4 inch
2 tablespoons red onions, thinly sliced 
1/4 cup green beans, blanched, cut
2 ounces Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, (see recipe below)

Honey Mustard Glaze
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped

Mix ingredients together for honey mustard glaze and rub the two salmon pieces with the glaze. Bake in a 450 degree oven for approximately 5-6 minutes. Reserve for the salad.

While salmon is baking, prepare the honey mustard vinaigrette. Combine the mayonnaise, white balsamic vinegar, honey, stone ground mustard, chopped rosemary in a small bowl. While blending, slowly add the oil until completely emulsified.

In a mixing bowl, combine the mixed greens, Roma tomatoes, diced red onions, green beans, and half the fried linguine crisps and toss with the honey mustard vinaigrette and place on serving dish, mounding neatly.

Place 2 ounces of the salmon in the center of the salad. Flake the other two ounces into 4–5 pieces and place around the salad.

Mascarpone Cheesecake

Maggiano's Little Italy Recipe

Serves 8

1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 (8 oz.) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
1/4 cup whipping cream

For the crust:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/ inch high sides with 3 layers of heavy duty foil. Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides of the pan). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

For the filling:  Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

For the topping:  Combine the chocolate hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave until warm, stirring every 20 seconds to blend, about 1 minute. Cut the cake into wedges. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the wedges and serve.

Chicken Tomato Basil

Maggiano's Little Italy Recipe

4 pieces chicken breast, pounded thin
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/4 cup red pearl onions
1 (28 oz.) can of San Marizano tomatoes, drained & seeded, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons basil, chopped

Place chicken on the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Turn 90 degrees for cross marks and cook for another 2 minutes. Flip over and repeat. (Total cooking time: 8 mins)

In a saute pan, heat olive oil and add garlic to the pan. Cook until a light golden brown. Add the onions and tomatoes to the pan and cook slowly for 3-4 minutes to caramelize slightly. Add basil and turn off heat. Place the chicken on the plate. Pour the sauce over the chicken

Meatloaf with Fennel Cream Sauce

MEATLOAF with Fennel Cream Sauce
Maggiano's Little Italy Recipe

Serves 4-6

1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup yellow onions, diced 1/4 inch
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 1/3 tablespoons garlic, puree
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 eggs, 1 whole & 1 yolk
1/2 tablespoon salt & pepper mix

Fennel Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup fennel bulb, diced 1/4 inch
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced 1/4 inch
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup fennel fronds & stems, chopped 1/2 inch
1 teaspoon fennel seed, ground or crushed
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon salt & pepper mix

Meatloaf: Combine the diced yellow onion, ground veal, ground beef, garlic puree, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, ricotta cheese, eggs, salt & pepper mix and place into a mixer and mix for about 2 minutes. Add all the seasoned bread crumbs and push the meat mixture down, off the sides and bottom of the bowl. On low speed, blend the mixture for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fully incorporated.

Mix any dense bread crumb areas by hand and ensure the mixture is properly mixed. Using a measuring cup, measure 1 cup of mixture to create round, disc like patties. Should make about 6 patties. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches more than 155 degrees for 15 seconds. Once cooked, remove from oven.

Sauce: In a large sauce pan heat the diced fennel and onions in Vegetable Oil until soft and translucent. Add the chicken stock, fennel fronds, fennel seed, and garlic, bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the seeds and fronds have bloomed.

Optional: Remove from heat and puree with a mixer until completely smooth and pass through a strainer. Add heavy cream and cheese to Sauce Pan. Mix until completely incorporated and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes. (If you strained the sauce, add back to pan to reheat.) Add the Freshly Ground Black Pepper & Salt to the Sauce at the end.

Notes: Make your favorite version of mashed potatoes, place meatloaf on plate and top each dish with a 1/2 cup of sauce.

Chicken Cammarrari

Maggiano's Little Italy Recipe

4 chicken quarters (2 breast/wing & 2 leg/thigh)
2 large red bell peppers, 3/4 inch strips
1 large Spanish onion, 3/4 inch strips
6 medium mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil 

Cut each chicken quarter in half, yielding 8 pieces. Toss chicken in olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt & pepper. Marinate in refrigerator for several hours. Saute peppers and onions in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms in olive oil, season with salt and pepper.

In a large, hot saute pan, sear chicken, skin side down first, then turn over until brown on all sides. Place chicken in a roasting pan or on a sheet tray and roast in 375 degree oven until cooked through (about 30 minutes).

In a saute pan, heat chicken broth. Then add peas, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Simmer briefly.

To Serve: Pour chicken broth on the bottom of the serving platter, keeping the vegetables in the pan. Place roasted chicken on platter, mounding high. Garnish top of chicken and around the platter with peppers, mushrooms and onions.