Reducing Calories Without Losing the Flavor

Love Olive Garden? There’s a way you can save both money and calories without losing flavor.

I add a degree of healthiness by replacing the sausage with chicken without changing the flavor of the dish.

The secret is to make up for the spiciness lost by removing the sausage.

First, here’s a link to the ‘original’ copycat recipe I use as a foundation.

Now, you will see what changes I make when preparing the dish. My changes to the recipe (and other input) are in red.

Servings: 4-6
Units: US | Metric

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast
  • 2 large russet baking potatoes, unpeeled, cut into cubes about 1 inch thick
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth, or equivalent (I find it more economical to buy the bigger cartons.)
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1-2 tablespoons of red pepper flakes (depends on your spice level preference)
  • Salt (to taste)


  1. Chop or slice uncooked chicken into small pieces.
  2. Sauté chicken in skillet until fully cooked.
  3. Add chicken, chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
  4. Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
  5. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
  6. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  8. Turn to low heat.
  9. Add kale and half and half.
  10. Heat through and serve.

Most of these changes (chicken instead of sausage, half and half instead of heavy cream, etc.) can be applied to almost any dish containing a different type of meat.

In this dish, the red pepper replaces the spiciness lost by removing the sausage.

Even though this dish still retains the use of black pepper, I am a huge fan of using red pepper to spice up almost any dish.

Instead of an obvious pepper flavor, it simply enhances the ‘heat’ level and the flavor of the other spices.