This recipe has been passed down through our family for several generations. It reminds me of the holidays because every day or two after Thanksgiving, my grandfather would make up a huge batch of this with the leftover turkey. I loved it as a kid and would happily devour this morning, noon, and night until the leftovers were gone. I hope you enjoy it too! Be sure to check out my note section below the recipe for additional ideas on how to prepare this recipe. Ingredients and instructions with alternative methods are marked with (*) with the corresponding (*) found in the notes section.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes – 4/8 hours depending on your cooking method
Makes about 6-8 cups
4+ cups of chopped turkey (rotisserie chicken works well as a replacement*)
2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp cold water
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup ketchup
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup chicken broth
In a medium sized (3 quart) cooking pot**, begin heating chicken broth on medium high heat and add in vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and ketchup. Stir to dissolve and mix ingredients.
As ingredients start to bubble and steam, add in cornstarch mix*** and stir briskly with a whisk. Continue to stir until ingredients begin to thicken.
Reduce heat to low and allow ingredients to simmer together for about 10 minutes. Make sure to check and stir sauce every few minutes to prevent burning or congealing on the bottom of the pan.
Once sauce is thickened, add in chopped meat and stir to evenly mix ingredients together. Let this mix simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes to allow the meat to absorb some of the sauce flavors.
Serve over leftover mashed potatoes, on top of leftover rolls, on buns with coleslaw, or by itself!****
*As I mentioned, rotisserie chicken can be used as a substitution for turkey. You could also make this recipe in a crock pot and start with raw chicken breasts along with the sauce ingredients. If you choose to do this method, I suggest you cook it on low for 8 hours to allow the chicken breasts to fully cook. After they cook you could shred the chicken right in the sauce and then mix the ingredients together.
**You can also make this recipe in a crockpot. Using this method allows for better flavor absorption by the meat but you want to make sure to cook it on low to keep the meat from over cooking if you are using pre-cooked leftovers. If you choose the crock pot method, just place all your sauce ingredients in and mix well before adding the meat (raw or cooked).
***The cornstarch mix will only slightly thicken up the sauce and it may appear more runny than you expect. You’re welcome to play around with the cornstarch mix ratio but this recipe allows for the sauce to be thin but not watery.
****There are so many ways to enjoy this recipe. Aside from using it for leftovers, it’s great on top of rice or veggies too. The sauce is very versatile so I’d love to hear how you’ve used it. Leave a comment here on the recipe page and let me know what you did with it. Thanks!
Who doesn’t love pasta? Of course, some of us have to watch our intake because it’s easy to get carried away, but indulging once in a while is such a treat. Alfredo has always been a “treat” for me, a special meal that I look forward to. But I’m also very picky about the taste. It has to be just right. I’ve never found a jarred sauce or a recipe I like. Olive Garden’s Alfredo sauce has probably been my favorite for years. I know there are plenty of people who don’t like OG. That’s okay. But what you can’t deny is that fat and salt can really pump up the flavor in a dish.
Thanks to good ol’ Pinterest, I came across a recipe one night that claimed to be “Olive Garden’s Alfredo Recipe.” Out of sheer curiosity I read the comments left by other Pinterest users. Several of them were claiming that this recipe was incorrect because of one or two of the ingredients. Personally, I didn’t know any better, but I was willing to believe these keyboard warriors because several of them corroborated the story. Further down the comments, I found that someone had posted a comment claiming that Olive Garden actually provides many of their recipes on their website. RECORD SCRATCH. That was news to me. So I did some digging. I was salivating thinking that I could get ahold of the OG Alfredo recipe to make myself. At the same time I was worried that I’d have to get a wider front door put on my house once I ate my weight in Alfredo. Click HERE for the entire online catalog of Olive Garden’s recipes.
Sure enough, after some digging, I found a collection of Olive Garden’s recipes on their website. I scrolled and scrolled until I found the treasure I was digging for. Click HERE for the Olive Garden version, unaltered. Below, I have included the recipe with changes I made after the asterisks (*).
3 oz wt butter *I used ½ cup salted butter or 1 full stick, only slightly more than their recipe calls for.
1 Tbsp garlic *I used a fresh bulb rather than the pre-minced version I usually keep in my fridge for quick recipes and added probably 2 Tbsp because there’s no such thing as too much garlic in a recipe like this.
2 Tbsp flour
1 ½ cup milk *I ended up adding this last and only used ½ cup since I wanted my sauce to be a little thicker than the recipe calls for. Also, I used whole milk.
1 ½ cup heavy cream
½ cup parmesan cheese *I used closer to 1 cup+ because I wanted the cheese to be the main thickening ingredient.
½ cup romano cheese *I did the same thing as with the parm, 1 cup+.
Salt and pepper to taste
*I also added about 1 lb of chopped rotisserie chicken for protein.
Fried the chopped garlic in the butter until it started to become fragrant and the butter started to turn golden in color.
I then added the flour and mixed it in to make a roux which would help thicken the sauce.
After that was thoroughly mixed, I added the heavy cream and stirred it all until the coloring of the sauce was even.
Then I added the cheeses and stirred until they melted evenly.
After that, I added the milk, salt and pepper, tasting in between additions to make sure I didn’t over salt the recipe (which, in my opinion, is the only downfall of the Olive Garden recipe made AT the restaurant. It always seems too salty to me.)
Finally, I added my chopped chicken and let everything simmer a bit until it reached my desired thickness.
In the end, the recipe was good. Very good. I’m glad I added the extra cheese and didn’t add the same amount of milk that the original recipe called for. It was so much richer but most likely with a lower sodium content than what you get in the restaurant. If I was to try anything different the next time around, I would sauté the chicken in the butter/garlic mixture at the beginning to help give it a little more flavor. When I made this recipe I was in a hurry so I didn’t get the chance to think everything through and use my instincts as much as I like to. If you don’t hear from me again after this post, it means I’ve eaten Alfredo until I burst. But don’t be sad. At least I died happy 🙂