Carino’s Chicken Bowtie Festival Copycat

Copycat Johnny Carino's Chicken Bowtie Festival - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Carino’s Chicken Bowtie Festival Copycat Pasta in Bowl with Fork

Ever popular, Carino’s Chicken Bowtie Festival is a flavorful and easy pasta dish made with sauteed chicken, bacon, and a creamy, cheesy tomato sauce.

Whenever I think of Italian food, my brain automatically goes to pasta. Without a doubt, it’s my favorite kind of Italian food. One of my favorite Italian pasta dishes comes from Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant, and it’s called Grilled Chicken Bowtie Festival.

My copycat version of Carino’s Chicken Bowtie Festival is made by combining bow tie pasta with chicken, bacon, garlic, red onions, tomatoes in an Asiago cream sauce. Instead of only using marinara sauce or Alfredo sauce, you get the best of both worlds with the cream sauce and the fresh tomatoes.

To be honest, I’m not sure why Carino’s calls it a “festival”. If I had to guess, I think it’s because it’s a beautiful white dish with pops of red throughout (from the bacon, tomatoes, and red onion). It’s really stunning when it comes to the table.

Now, there’s no need to go out when you can make this copycat favorite at home! It’s full of flavor and does not need any special ingredients. It’s absolutely perfect for dinner any night of the week!

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Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Instant Pot White Chicken Chili Table Spread

Use a secret pantry ingredient to give this Instant Pot White Chicken Chili a flavor boost! A dump and go recipe that’s easy, comforting, and delicious!

Want to know the secret ingredient for easy, flavorful white chicken chili? Jarred Salsa Verde! It’s such a time-saver, and it’s packed with flavor. Seriously, it makes meal prep so quick.

A few years ago, I became obsessed with salsa verde. Consequently, I always have a jar (or two) in my pantry. It’s a quick and easy flavor bomb that can be added to so many dishes.

Since this white chicken chili is prepared in the Instant Pot, all the ingredients are dumped into the pot and pressure cooked together. Then, top the white chicken chili with all your favorite yummy toppings!

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Copycat Johnny Carino’s Chicken Milano

Copycat Johnny Carinos Chicken Milano - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Copycat Johnny Carino's Chicken Milano on White Plate

Copycat Johnny Carino’s Chicken Milano is fettuccine Alfredo served with sauteed chicken breast topped with toasted mushrooms, ham, basil, and provolone.

Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant will always have a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my mom. The first time my mom and I went there was on one of our annual trips to Yellowstone National Park.

For a little background, my mom does not like tomato-based sauces. However, she loves Italian food. So, she will ask for the breaded cutlet from the Chicken Parmesan. But then, she’ll ask for the marinara sauce to be substituted with Alfredo sauce.

On our first visit to Johnny Carino’s, the Chicken Milano immediately stood out because that’s basically what my mom orders at Italian restaurants. We both ordered it, and we both fell in love. It’s the perfect dish if you’re like my mom and love Italian but don’t love marinara sauce.

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Sheet Pan Pineapple Chicken Fajitas

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Sheet Pan Pineapple Chicken Fajitas Top View

This Sheet Pan Pineapple Chicken Fajitas recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner that’s healthy, delicious and made all on one pan in under 30 minutes! Perfect for meal prep too!

You’ve heard the never ending debate, right? Does pineapple belong in pizza? Well, I’m here to shake things up even more! So, does pineapple belong in fajitas?

Obviously, my answer is, yes! I’m team #pineapplegoesonpizza and #pineapplefajitas.

Even if you are not a fan of pineapple on pizza, you should give these sheet pan pineapple chicken fajitas a try! They are absolutely delicious! Due to the pineapple and BBQ sauce, it gives the chicken fajitas a sweet and sour vibe. Such a fun tropical twist on the original!

Because this is made on one sheet pan, clean up is quick. Plus, it can be prepared in advance for healthy lunches or dinners throughout the week.

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Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs Close Up

Making grilled, sweet, and sticky Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs at home, just like those found at your favorite restaurant, is simple and totally doable!

Let’s just get this out there. Why is teriyaki so hard to spell?! No matter how hard I try, the spell checker is correcting me. Please tell me it’s not just me! Even though I struggle spelling it, teriyaki sauce tastes so delicious! So, I’m pushing through this for you!

Nothing quite compares to the taste of authentic Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs! As it grills, the sticky and sweet marinade caramelizes and intensifies in flavor. You would never guess how simple it is to make at home.

At least, the toughest part of this recipe is waiting for the chicken to marinate. Though, once that’s done, dinner can be on the table in about 15 minutes! This recipe for Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs is bound to be your new family favorite!

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Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken

Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken with Tonkatsu Sauce - Clean Fingers Laynie

BONUS Recipe Included: Togarashi-Style Seasoning

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Hawaiian Mixed Plate with Katsu Chicken, Tonkatsu Sauce, Macaroni Salad, Rice

Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken is a healthier version of the popular Japanese-style fried chicken that is delicious served with homemade Tonkatsu sauce.

At Hawaiian restaurants, my mom loves ordering Katsu chicken. Since it is usually made to order, she expects to wait longer for her entree. But, it is always worth the wait!

Katsu, or “cutlet” in Japanese, refers to meat pounded thin prior to cooking. Traditionally, chicken Katsu is made by dredging thin chicken breasts in flour, egg, and panko. Then, the chicken is either deep fried or pan fried.

Rather than coating the chicken in all purpose flour and panko, this low-carb baked katsu chicken is breaded in almond flour and pork rinds. By baking the chicken, the chicken will still be crispy without frying. Because the chicken is baked, it will have fewer calories that if it is fried.

Many people like to serve Katsu chicken with white rice and Tonkatsu sauce. To pay homage to the original, we’ll serve ours with a homemade, quick, low-carb Tonkatsu sauce. For a full meal, serve with a side of cauliflower rice.

As a bonus, I’m including a recipe for Togarashi-style seasoning. If you want to spice up your Katsu chicken, add this seasoning on the chicken before it bakes. If you don’t use it, the classic seasonings will be just as delicious.

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Copycat Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta

Copycat Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Copycat Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta Table Spread

Copycat Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta is made by combining penne pasta and Cajun chicken in a rich and flavorful cream sauce and topped with fresh tomatoes!

Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered something so delicious, you knew you had to create it at home? That is the way I feel about Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta. The first time I ever had it, I was addicted. I knew I would never be able to rest until I learned how to make it at home.

I don’t remember where I found the starting recipe, but I have refined it over the years. Once I made it for my family, they also fell in love with it. To this day, they often request it for dinner!

Even though, I have given the recipe to my family, they claim it never tastes the same unless I make it. So, in an effort to set the record straight, I am sharing all my “secrets” to make my yummy, signature dish.

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Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake (Chicken Harris)

Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake -- Clean Fingers Laynie
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Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake Pan and Plate

What’s my favorite food? Chicken Harris (a.k.a. Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake) — a creamy cheesy chicken sauce over rice and topped with crescent rolls.

For the longest time, when someone would ask me what my favorite food was, I would respond, “Chicken Harris!” That was followed by a confused look and the follow-up question, “What’s Chicken Harris?”

It was until years later, I learned Chicken Harris is a made up name! When I asked my dad where the name came from, he gave me the real story:

My uncle’ neighbors, the Harris’, made this dish for my uncle and his family. When my uncle asked his neighbors what this was called, they replied, “Why, it’s Chicken Harris, of course!” Thus, began my confusing history of describing my favorite food.

So, for the sake of this blog post, I’ll be referring to this dish as “Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake” instead of “Chicken Harris”.

Although, if you are the Harris family that created this dish, please, send me a message! You created my brother’s and my favorite food! We’d love to meet it’s namesake!

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Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken

Slow Cooker, Low-Carb, Salsa Verde Chicken - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Shredding Salsa Verde Chicken - Close Up

Salsa Verde Chicken is a quick, easy, and flavorful protein made in the slow cooker with pantry ingredients! Great for meal prep and freezer cooking.

Welcome to the first post for Mexican May on the blog! In this post, I am sharing the recipe for one of my favorite proteins to meal prep, and I make this at least once a month (if not more often). Flavorful slow cooker chicken does not have to be hard!

When giving friends and family new meal prep ideas, Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken is one of the first recipes I always recommend because it is quick to prepare, has a short amount of ingredients, and most importantly, it tastes delicious!

Plus, this is great for a low-carb diet because it is a quick way to add flavor and protein to your meals. Per serving, there are only 3 g of net carbs and 23 g of protein.

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Copycat Johnny Carino’s Italian Nachos

Copycat Johnny Carino's Italian Nachos - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Close up of a plate of Copycat Johnny Carino's Italian Nachos
Photos are missing olives. Don’t forget to add them like I did!

These Italian Nachos, developed by my dad, are a copycat for the appetizer found at the Italian restaurant, Johnny Carino’s. They would make a stunning appetizer for your Super Bowl party, but they are also amazing eaten as full meal. Since, the Carino’s in Utah closed, we can still enjoy these whenever we have the craving for them.

The yummy nachos are made with homemade tortilla chips topped with:

  • melty pepper-jack cheese
  • a combination of Italian-flavored sausage and chicken
  • juicy fresh tomatoes
  • briny black olives and banana peppers
  • a spicy crunch of fresh jalapenos
  • all topped with a creamy garlicky Alfredo sauce
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