Copycat Johnny Carino’s Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Pasta

Copycat Johnny Carino's Spicy Shrimp and Chicken
I worked at an Italian restaurant called Johnny Carino’s for almost 10 years. I had the best time working there! I started out as a hostess, then I became a server and bartender. I also helped the managers as a “key.” I met so many close friends working there and enjoyed it so much! It was hard to leave.

Besides the amazing staff and atmosphere, the food was AMAZING. Let’s just say I didn’t hate having to taste the food when I was training. And even when I wasn’t working, Johnny Carino’s was my favorite place in town to eat out.

My very favorite dish to order at Johnny Carino’s was and always will be the Spicy Shrimp and Chicken. This dish has tons of flavor and just the right amount of spice. I love cream sauces and this one is top notch.

Copycat Johnny Carino's Spicy Shrimp and Chicken
Out of all the copycat recipes on my site, this is in my top three. It tastes so much like the original, it’s crazy! All you need is a pot and a saute pan and you’re good to go. And all the ingredients for the dish can be easily found at your local grocery store.

If you don’t like spicy dishes, you can still make this one. You can add little to no cayenne pepper and it still tastes great. Or you can add more if you like things spicy. I hope you make this dish and end up loving it as much as I do!

Copycat Johnny Carino's Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Pasta

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 13-16oz penne pasta
  • 2 (8oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 20 medium raw shrimp, peeled, tail removed and cleaned
  • 1 c. fresh button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 c. sundried tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. Romano cheese, grated (Italian blend cheese works great, too.)
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Add the sliced chicken to a saute pan on medium heat and cook through. Set aside when cooked.
  2. Begin cooking pasta according to package directions.
  3. When the pasta is close to being finished, add butter to the same saute pan used to cook the chicken and melt on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper.
  4. Saute the mixture until shrimp and mushrooms are cooked. Shrimp should be pink.
  5. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the excess water but don’t rinse it. Set aside.
  6. In the empty pot used to cook the pasta, add the cream, Romano cheese, and cayenne pepper. Let the cream reduce by half while stirring frequently.
  7. Add the meat and veggie mixture to the sauce and stir together. Add the pasta and stir all together. Serve and enjoy!

 Cookware used for this recipe:

Have you tried my copycat version of Johnny Carino’s Bowtie Festival? It’s one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant!

Copycat Johnny Carino's Bowtie Festival - Al dente bowtie pasta tossed with bacon, tomatoes, onions, and a creamy sauce. This is a Johnny Carino's copycat favorite!


  1. Rachel says

    I know this post is several years old, but this is so so SO good!!! Tastes just like the restaurant, except that I added a bit too much cayenne – whoops!

    Seriously, this is perfect. Yum.

    • Alli says

      I’m so glad you think so, Rachel! That’s great! This is my favorite. And the restaurant is putting a lot more cayenne in the dish now so really you weren’t making yours much different. ha! 😉 Thanks so much for the comment!

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