42 Reviews

We love this recipe! I make only a few changes based on my experience with cooking this several times already. The first time I made it, I thought there was too much oil/butter so on subsequent occasions, I've reduced the "6 oz. butter flavored oil" to 2 oz. butter and 2 oz. extra virgin olive oil. The oil becomes a lot more noticeable with leftovers so you could reduce it even more if you don't plan on eating it all the day you make it. I only use 16 oz. rigatoni since that's the standard size package at the grocery store, and really, that is a lot. It's dinner for 4 plus leftovers for lunch for 2 people for 2 days. I also don't "precook" the pasta. I just boil it right before I start the first two steps of this recipe and I turn it off a minute or two before it's al dente so it can sit in the hot water and finish cooking until I'm ready to put it in with the rest of the ingredients. Other than these minor changes, I follow the recipe exactly. I use Rrs Caramelized Onions (Rr's Caramelized Onions) and Marsala cooking wine for this dish and it tastes great! The last time I only had about 4 oz. Marsala so I filled in with 2 oz. Cooking Sherry and it was great then too. As a time saver, I use the frozen grilled chicken strips from Costco that I weigh out on my kitchen scale for 12 oz. and I defrost in the microwave for about 4 minutes before cutting up and adding to the sautee. I've used both fresh and canned mushrooms and they both work great. The recipe doesn't specify if the basil should be fresh or dried, but I've used the full 2 tsp dried and I don't think it's too much. I like basil though so you might want to experiment with that. The only real time consuming part of this recipe is the caramelized onions, which can be made ahead of course, so this can be a fast, easy and very tasty weeknight dish with a little planning ahead. Thanks so much for sharing this WONDERFUL recipe!

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Pandora Spocks April 22, 2011

OMG!!! I worked at the Mac Shack for 3 years and this was always one of my many favorite dishes! Now that I've moved out to booneyville the closest M.G. is 1.5 hours away and I get cravings! I was skeptical but excited when I found this recipe, so my husband and I decided to whip it up. We added sundried tomatos and garlic which I highly reccommend. It turned out fan-freakin-tastic! Just like good ole' M.G.!

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NewEnglandChic March 27, 2010

This is a good recipe that got me started. Like other reviewers, I used butter oil in place of the butter flavored oil. I used Marsala for the cooking wine. I caramelized some white onion using a little brown sugar, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of Marsala. Yum! Thanks for posting.

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swissms July 08, 2012

Yum!! This recipe truly tastes like Macaroni Grill's Carmella sauce. I love the Chicken Rigatoni at MC, but my true fave is the Mushroom Ravioli which is also topped with Carmella's sauce. I made the sauce from this recipe to go with my Mushroom ravioli. It was delicious and authentic to MC's Carmella's sauce. I followed the recipe exactly except for substituting 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil for the "butter flavored oil". Wonderful!!!

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Summer_DH July 11, 2011

This was spectacular! Two things I changed. I didn't have cooking wine so I omitted it completely, the flavor was still great. Also I added about 1/4 cup of flour to the onion/chicken/mushroom saute because I like a little thicker sauce. I will be making this again!

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chipittydoda January 31, 2014

thisThis tastes just like carmella's! It is perfect.
I too used marsalla wine. I also used 3 oz olive oil and 3 oz salted butter. I did go and buy already grilled chicken breast just to save some time. I made the carmelized onions, 4 medium onions makes exactly 6 oz. The onions were time consuming but well worth it. I will not have to go to macaroni grill again. This tastes just like my favorite dish

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MrsTimko September 22, 2010

Used to make this 100 times a day and that was 8 years ago. Still one of the best things on there menu. I still make it at home to this day. There are a few things that is in the recipe that is not on here but I will leave you to figure that out. Happy cooking!

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Kevin Y. March 03, 2014

The entire family loved this recipe! I followed it exactly except I used coconut oil and butter in place of the butter flavor oil and it still turned out great! My only issue is that it was

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JenDan72 May 26, 2013

I had this at Macaroni Grill a few weeks ago and wanted to see if I could find a copycat. This recipe is one that really works. It is yummy, I also made the rosemary bread from Macaroni Grill that is posted as a copycat here also that was also yummy. I will be making this again

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gidgetgirl65 January 10, 2013

I have made this recipe 4 times in the last 6 weeks. As there are no more superlatives to add to the other reviews I will only add that I use a butter/olive oil mix and Moscato wine.

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Morrison January 09, 2013
Carmela's Chicken Rigatoni (Copycat Romano's Macaroni Grill)