Macaroni Grill(tm) Pasta Milano Soup

Today I have a secret recipe for a delicious and hearty one pot meal that the whole family will devour.  Macaroni Grill’s pasta Milano soup is creamy and loaded with chicken breast, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and pasta.  To save time you can use leftover chicken or pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket to use in this dish.

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New Secret Recipe

Macaroni Grill(tm) Pasta Milano Soup
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3 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup white wine
2 cups grilled chicken breast, diced
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups whole milk
3 cubes chicken or vegetable bouillon (or 3 teaspoons granules)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups cooked bow-tie pasta, cooked according to package directions
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley for garnishing

Preheat to 400 F. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and roast skin on for 30 minutes or until tender. Mince the roasted garlic.

Heat butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and stir to combine. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, another 4 minutes.

Add flour and stir to combine. Add the wine and simmer for 1 minute.

Add the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the broth, milk, and bouillon cubes. Stir to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the parsley, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream and simmer, covered for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

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Copycat Macaroni Grill Chick l’Orange

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I really miss my local Macaroni Grill.  However, since they closed the location near me, I’ve been getting my fix by recreating their dishes at home.  Most times it comes out even better!

8 to 10 ounces sliced thin boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 ounce diced Andouille or smoked sausage
1/4 ounce diced carrots
1/4 ounce diced red bell pepper
1/4 ounce diced celery
1/4 ounce diced onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 ounce olive oil
2 ounces soy sauce
1 splash white wine
1 cup orange juice

Cut whole breast in half, and then from side to side, resulting in 4 breast shaped slices of chicken. Dip in the soy sauce. In a hot pan, start with olive oil, then add carrots, red bell peppers, and Andouille; saute for 2 minutes. Add celery and onion; saute for 2 minutes. Look for clear onions, and slight burning on edges of vegetables. Add chicken to pan, searing both sides, while scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Add garlic. De-glaze with white wine; add orange juice and reduce by half. The sauce should have a rich brown color, with a slight hint of orange. Serve with white rice and steamed broccoli.

Servings: 4


Copycat Macaroni Grill Focaccia

Here is another classic copycat recipe from Volume 2 of America’s Most Wanted Recipes!
9 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsifted semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons quick-rising dry yeast
1 1/2 cups hot milk (between 120 to 130 degrees F)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

1. Pour a 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil into a 9-inch square cake pan; spread to cover bottom and sides.
2. Place all-purpose flour, semolina flour, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and all of the yeast in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook or you can mix by hand.
3. Mix ingredients on medium speed. Reduce speed to low and slowly add hot milk. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 5 minutes, then knead about 10 minutes by hand.
4. Dust the bottom of cake pan with a little flour. Remove dough from bowl and spread out evenly in pan. Cover with a towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
6. Remove towel and brush dough with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Dust the top with additional salt and rosemary.  Bake for 20 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining oil.
Serves 6-8


Copycat Macaroni Grill’s Penne Rustica

Last month they closed down my local Macaroni Grill.  My girlfriend and I loved to dine there!  Once I learned this news I went right to the web and found that the nearest Macaroni Grill is over an hour away!  I’m not worried though, I’ll just recreate my favorite dishes at home at a fraction of the cost of eating out.  I hope you enjoy this copycat recipe for Macaroni Grill’s Penne Rustica

Gratinata Sauce:
2 teaspoon Butter
2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 cup marsala wine
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 cups heavy cream

Saute butter, garlic , and rosemary until garlic begins to brown but do not burn the garlic.
Add marsala wine and then reduce by one-third. Add remaining ingredients and reduce by half of original volume.
Set aside.

Penne Rustica:
1 oz. pancetta or bacon
18 shrimp peeled and deveined
12 oz. grilled chicken breast, sliced
4 1/2 cups of granita sauce
3 lbs. cooked Penne Pasta
3 teaspoons pimentos, minced
6 oz. butter
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1 pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Saute pancetta until it begins to brown. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are evenly pick but still translucent, you do not want to overcook the shrimp or else it will be rubbery. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Add granita sauce and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and simmer until the sauce thickens.
In a large bowl, combine shrimp and chicken mixture with precooked pasta. Place this mixture into single serving dishes or one large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and pimentos and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 475 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.