Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in Houston, Texas in 1986. The restaurant features hand-prepared family recipes made from the finest ingredients and prepared to order in an exhibition kitchen. The success of Carrabba's led to the popular PBS cooking show Cucina!, starring Carrabba and Mandola, as well as a series of companion cookbooks. There are currently 240 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations around the country.

Offering Italian-inspired cuisine passed down from our founders’ family recipes, Carrabba’s uses only the best ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, customers can enjoy signature dishes, including Chicken Bryan, Spiedino di Mare and a fresh twist on an Italian Classic, Wood-grilled Chicken Marsala. Carrabba’s was voted #1 Italian in the 2014 Consumer Picks Survey by Nation’s Restaurant News.



Linguine Positano

Carrabba's Copycat Recipe
Picchi Pacchiu Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (28 oz.) can whole roma tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound fresh tagliarini or fettuccine

To make the sauce, heat the oil and garlic together in a small skillet over medium-low heat just enough so the garlic is soften and fragrant and the oil is very warm (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat and let stand to infuse the oil, about 30 minutes.

Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl.  Squeeze the tomatoes through your fingers until they are coarsely crushed.  Stir in the garlic in its oil and the chopped basil.  Season with kosher salt and pepper.  Let stand for 1 - 2 hours for the flavors to blend.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Add salt to taste.  Add the tagliarini and stir well to separate the strands.  Cook according to the manufacturer's directions until al dente.  Drain well. Return the tagliarini to it's cooking pot.  Add the sauce and mix well.  Cover and let stand for 1 minute.  Divide among 4 serving bowls and serve hot.

Insalata Mista

Carrabba's Restaurant Recipe

6 ounces (8 cups) spring green
1 celery heart, about 6 ribs, cut crosswise into ¼ inch-thick slices
1/2 cup small yellow tomatoes
1/2 cup small red tomatoes
1 small fennel bulb, cut in half vertically, discard center, but crosswise into 1/8-inch thick half moons
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup pitted and coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups croutons, optional

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh basil, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt & pepper, to taste

Make the vinaigrette by whisking together red wine vinegar, basil, garlic, and oregano in a small bowl or mason jar with lid. Whisk in the oil gradually, season with salt and pepper. Store dressing in the refrigerator while you make the salad.

Toss the greens, celery, tomato, fennel, onion and olives together in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss again. Top with cheese and croutons, serve immediately.

Tuscan Strawberry Salad


Wood grilled chicken or shrimp served over mixed greens, 
fresh strawberries, toasted pine nuts, red onion, tomatoes 
and crumbled gorgonzola in a strawberry vinaigrette.

Carrabba's Salad Vinaigrette
Copycat Recipe

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch black pepper
1/8 cup red onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
3/4 cup olive oil

In a blender container, combine the red wine vinegar, oregano, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the onion and garlic.Blend together while slowly adding the olive oil. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Makes 2 Cups.

Notes: Carrabba's Strawberry Vinaigrette is made with fresh strawberries, raspberry syrup and their vinaigrette dressing. To make this just add a bit of the flavoring of your choice into the blender.  Start with a small amount and taste to see if it is to your liking if not just a a little bit more at a time to get it just right.

New Menu Items at Carrabba's

Carrabba’s Italian Grill New Items:

Bruschette Siciliani: Oven baked ciabatta served with diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, red onions and Kalamata olives marinated in olive oil and red wine vinegar, topped with ricotta salata

Grilled Asparagus with Prosciutto: Wood grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and fontina, drizzled with balsamic glaze

Mozzarella Rustica: Crispy bites of mozzarella and ricotta with Italian herbs in panko breadcrumbs served with marinara sauce

Meatballs & Ricotta: Meatballs simmered in tomato sauce with ricotta and Romano cheeses
Three Cheese & Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms: Mushrooms stuffed with sausage, spinach, ricotta, Romano cheese, mozzarella and Italian breadcrumbs served over tomato cream sauce

Italian Lettuce Wraps: Wood grilled chicken tossed with vegetables and ricotta salata in Mediterranean lemon vinaigrette. Served over romaine lettuce drizzled with a Port reduction

Shrimp Scampi: Shrimp cooked in garlic, white wine and lemon butter sauce, served with baked ciabatta

Tomato Caprese with Fresh Burrata: Burrata, tomatoes, basil, red onions and balsamic glaze, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil

Wood Fired Italian Wings: Chicken wings seasoned with Italian chile pepper and served with Gorgonzola dipping sauce

Tuscan Strawberry Salad (pictured): Wood grilled chicken or shrimp served over mixed greens, strawberries, toasted pine nuts, red onion, tomatoes and crumbled Gorgonzola in strawberry vinaigrette

Italian Chopped Salad: Wood grilled chicken over mixed greens tossed with diced fontina, pepperoni and Italian vegetables in Italian vinaigrette, drizzled with balsamic glaze

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Arugula: Sauteed chicken breast crusted with grated Parmesan and panko breadcrumbs topped with arugula, tomatoes and shaved Parmesan cheese in Mediterranean lemon vinaigrette

Chianti Chicken: Wood grilled chicken and served with Chianti demiglace and arugula salad tossed with apples, grapes, toasted hazelnuts and lemon vinaigrette.

Tuscan Grilled Veal Chop: A 14-ounce veal chop grilled with signature grill baste, olive oil and herbs, available simply grilled or with spicy Sicilian butter or Gorgonzola sauce

Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp: Wood grilled shrimp topped with lemon butter and served over orzo pasta with roasted tomatoes, Kalamata olives, bell peppers, red onion and lemon. Served with the seasonal vegetable

Wood Grilled Tilapia: Tilapia grilled with olive oil and signature grill seasoning, topped with roasted tomatoes, basil and balsamic glaze

Salmon Cetriolini: Wood grilled salmon topped with diced tomato, cucumber and dill in lemon white wine sauce

Cioppino: Mediterranean style seafood stew with white fish, shrimp, bay scallops, clams and mussels served with baked ciabatta

Linguine Positano: Linguine tossed with wood grilled chicken, crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil

Cavatappi Franco: Cavatappi pasta with wood grilled chicken, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli and Kalamata olives in garlic and olive oil topped with ricotta salata

Linguine & White Clam Sauce: Whole clams tossed in creamy white wine clam sauce with scallions and Italian parsley

Prosciutto Arugula: Prosciutto, arugula and shaved Parmesan drizzled with balsamic glaze

Tuscan Grilled Sirloin & Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp: Six-ounce sirloin grilled with signature grill baste, olive oil and herbs, topped with choice of spicy Sicilian butter or Gorgonzola sauce, paired with a Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp skewer topped with lemon butter

Availability: Permanent


Carrabba's New Summer Inspired Entrees Are Full of Flavor and Deliciously Priced
New Every Day Delicious dishes starting at just $12.99

Every day of the week is delicious at Carrabba's Italian Grill, especially with new seasonal entrées including Parmesan Crusted Chicken Arugula, Cavatappi Franco and Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp. For a limited time, guests can enjoy the fresh summer fresh dishes, served with a side and choice of a cup of soup or a side salad for just $12.99.

The Every Day Delicious entrées include:

  • Parmesan Crusted Chicken Arugula – sauteed chicken breast crusted with grated parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs topped with fresh arugula, tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese in a Mediterranean lemon vinaigrette
  • Cavatappi Franco – cavatappi pasta with wood grilled chicken, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli and kalamata olives in garlic and olive oil topped with ricotta salata cheese
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp – wood grilled shrimp wrapped in prosciutto, topped with lemon butter and served over orzo pasta with tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion and lemon

Also for a limited time, Carrabba's refreshing summer cocktails are the perfect complement to any meal:
  • Summer Sangria – TerraMare Bianco mixed with a sweet ST Germain Elderflower Liqueur, white grape juice and Monin Peach Pureé
  • Sicilian Sangria Punch – Disaronno Amaretto and Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur mixed with orange juice, cranberry and housemade Summer Sangria
  • Sangria Margarita – housemade Red Sangria mixed with Sauza Gold Tequila and Patrón Citrónage

Marsala Sauce

Carrabba's Recipe

Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 ounces sliced prosciutto (not paper thin), cut into 2 x 1/4 inch strips
3 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry Marsala
3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes Add the prosciutto and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well Stir in the Marsala and broth, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes
Remove from heat. One tablespoon at a time, add the remaining butter and stir until incorporated into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper When you are ready to serve, make sure the sauce is hot and spoon equal amounts of it on each piece of meat. To finish it off, sprinkle some parsley on it.

Notes: Use this staple Italian sauce to top grilled veal, steak, chicken or pork chops.