This copycat Outback Alice Springs Chicken recipe is a delicious combination of juicy marinated chicken, crispy bacon, sauteed mushrooms, melted cheese, and a tangy honey mustard sauce that will have your taste buds singing. It's one of those easy dinner recipes that works well for a weeknight dinner with the family but definitely company worthy for a weekend dinner party or backyard barbecue too!
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I love a good copycat recipe. So many of our favorite restaurants just don't taste the same any more. I don't quite know what it is, but we've given up going to Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory, and Outback Steakhouse and prefer instead to recreate some of our favorite dishes at home.
I'm not the only one, right?
This tender chicken breast dish was always one of my favorite menu items at the Outback restaurant, along with their grilled salmon, a bloomin' onion, and their irresistible brown bread. This dish is named after the town of Alice Springs, which is located in the heart of the Australian Outback. It's supposed to reflect the hearty and bold flavors that are synonymous with the Australian culinary tradition.
This copycat Alice Springs chicken recipe is one of those meals that the whole family enjoys and tells me "make this again!" as soon as they are done. And it's really a pretty simple recipe so I have no problems with fulfilling that request!
The chicken is marinated first in a honey mustard marinade, then pan-seared or grilled to perfection, resulting in a juicy and tender meat that's full of flavor. The bacon adds a smoky and savory element that perfectly complements the sweetness of the honey mustard sauce. The sauteed onions add major umami elements and savory notes. And the melted cheese ties everything together, adding a gooey texture and richness that makes every bite irresistible.
But what really sets the Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken apart is its honey mustard sauce. Made with a blend of honey, mustard, and mayo, this sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. It's the kind of sauce that you'll want to slather on everything, from chicken to sandwiches to salads.
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Chicken breasts - Look for small to medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which are better for individual serving sizes and will cook more evenly.
- Bacon - We prefer regular cut bacon for this recipe rather than thick cut.
- Cheese - The Outback version uses a combination of Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese, but you can sub other similar melty cheeses like Colby Jack, Muenster, mozzarella, or Swiss.
- Mushrooms - Grab some baby bella mushrooms (aka cremini mushrooms) and slice them up about ¼-inch thick.
- Onions - I don't think there are actually onions in the original Alice Springs Chicken recipe, but they are so good with the sauteed mushrooms that I can't resist adding them here. Feel free to leave them out if you prefer.
- Honey - This adds a wonderful element of sweetness that balances the tangy mustard and savory bacon, chicken, and mushrooms.
- Mustard - You can really use any kind of mustard you like, including yellow mustard or stoneground mustard, but we like Dijon mustard for it's punchy, complex flavor.
- Mayonnaise - Use real mayo, not Miracle Whip, for best results.
- Salt & pepper - Properly seasoning your dish means it won't turn out bland.
- Smoked paprika - Regular paprika can be substituted, but we love the smoky flavor of smoked paprika, especially when we are cooking the chicken in a pan instead of grilling it.
- Lemon juice - All of the other flavors are pretty rich and a little bit of lemon juice helps balance things out and keeps everything tasting fresh instead of heavy.
- Salted butter - For sauteeing the mushrooms and onions. You could just use more of the bacon grease that cooks off, but I prefer the butter flavor better.
How to Make Alice Springs Chicken
- Make honey mustard sauce. Whisk together the honey, mustard, and mayo in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside about half of the sauce for drizzling over the chicken later. The rest will be used as a marinade for the chicken.
- Flatten chicken breasts. Place each chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound the thickest part a few times. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin to flatten the chicken breasts can help even out the thickness and ensure they cook more evenly. This also helps to tenderize the meat, making it more juicy and flavorful.
- Marinate the chicken. Pour the rest of the marinade into a large resealable ziploc bag with the chicken breasts. Transfer to the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Dealing with Large Chicken Breasts
If you have very large chicken breasts, you might want to slice them in half horizontally before marinating. Not only will this give a better portion size and ratio between chicken and the toppings, but it will let the marinade penetrate and flavor the meat better, help the chicken cook more evenly, and be more moist than trying to cool a big, thick chicken breast all the way through.
- Cook bacon until crispy. I like to cut my bacon into half strips before frying in a large skillet. Transfer the finished bacon to a plate lined with paper towel and discard all but 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
- Saute mushrooms and onions. Add a little butter to the reserved bacon grease, then saute the mushrooms and onions over medium-high heat until softened and wilted, about 5-7 minutes. Use a slotted spatula to transfer them to a bowl or plate and set aside.
- Pan sear chicken breasts. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, letting any excess marinade drip off the chicken and discarding any used marinade. Place the chicken in the pan and leave it alone for about 5 minutes without moving. This allows the chicken to develop a golden brown crust on the bottom and release easily from the pan when it is ready. Flip and cook the chicken on the other side for another 3 minutes or so.
You could also grill the chicken if you wanted too! That's how Outback does it, but I find it's just easiest to use one large cast iron skillet for the whole recipe rather than cooking the bacon and mushrooms on the stove in one pan while grilling the chicken outside or on a separate grill pan.
- Top with bacon & sauteed veggies. Arrange the crisp bacon slices on each honey mustard chicken breast, then top with a generous amount of the sautéed mushrooms and onions.
- Sprinkle with cheese & bake! Add a handful of freshly grated cheese right on top of each chicken breast, then pop the whole pan into a 400°F preheated oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the chicken breasts register 165°F when tested with an instant digital meat thermometer .
- Plate and serve. I like to sprinkle a little chopped fresh parsley over each piece of Alice Springs chicken just for a little pop of color before serving. Drizzle as much of the reserved honey mustard sauce over the top of each chicken breast as you would like, then dig in and devour!
Cooking chicken breasts at a high temperature can cause them to dry out quickly. Instead, cook them over medium-high heat (not high heat) or at a lower temperature (around 350°F to 375°F) for a longer period of time. This allows the chicken to cook through without drying out.
The most accurate way to know if your chicken breasts are cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165°F in the thickest part of the chicken. Overcooking the chicken can also cause it to dry out, so make sure to remove it from the heat once it reaches the appropriate temperature.
I don't see why not! Chicken thighs are delicious and more forgiving than chicken breasts in terms of cooking so they don't dry out as easily. That said, it won't be quite the same as the Outback version that only uses chicken breasts.
Tips for Success
- Use freshly grated cheese for best results. It melts much better than the pre-shredded kind that is coated with powder to prevent it from sticking during storage.
- Use a digital meat thermometer . I swear this made the biggest difference in my cooking. It takes all the guesswork out of knowing when your chicken is done so you never have to deal with dry, overcooked chicken breasts again!
- Let the chicken rest. Like any good burger or steak, these chicken breasts will benefit from a 5 minute rest before serving them which allows their juices to redistribute so every bite is mouthwateringly juicy and tender!
What to Serve With Alice Springs Chicken
This is practically a meal all on its own with protein, veggies, and cheese, but you can't go wrong serving it with some steamed or roasted broccoli or green beans. Or try it with a nice side salad, baked potato, or mashed potatoes instead. And don't forget the brown bread! Here are some other dishes that would be great with your copycat Alice Springs Chicken:
- Homemade French Fries
- Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Easy Rice Pilaf with Orzo Pasta
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts
- Homemade Brown Bread Dinner Rolls
How to Store Leftovers
You can store any leftover Alice Springs chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best results, we recommend reheating covered with foil in a 350°F oven to 10-15 minutes until hot all the way through, or in the air fryer for 7-9 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave for a minute or two.
You can also freeze Alice Springs chicken in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating as directed above.
More Restaurant Copycat Recipes
- Olive Garden Lemon Chicken Piccata
- Bombay House Chicken Tikka Masala
- Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
- Zupa's Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup
- Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Alice Springs Chicken Recipe (Outback Copycat)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ to 2 pounds)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 8 slices bacon, cut in half
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, about ¾-inch. Transfer to a large resealable zip-tight bag.
- Whisk mayonnaise, honey, dijon mustard, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour half of the honey mustard sauce into the bag with the chicken and transfer to the fridge for marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Reserving the remaining sauce for later.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cook bacon until crispy over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan. Remove bacon from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease. Add mushrooms and onion to the same pan that was used to cook the bacon. Saute over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add butter to the same pan. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and season on both sides with the Creole seasoning or seasoned salt. Once the butter has melted, add the chicken breasts and cook for 5 minutes without moving until a golden brown crust develops on the bottom of each breast. Flip using tongs and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. The chicken won't be completely cooked through at this point.
- Remove the pan from the heat and evenly arrange the bacon slices on top of each piece of chicken. Top with the sauteed mushrooms and onions, then sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake uncovered for 8-10 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F when tested with a digital meat thermometer .
- Garnish with the chopped green onions and serve with the reserved honey mustard sauce on the side.
- Storage: You can store any leftover Alice Springs chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best results, we recommend reheating covered with foil in a 350°F oven to 10-15 minutes until hot all the way through, or in the air fryer for 7-9 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave for a minute or two.
- Freezing: You can also freeze Alice Springs chicken in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating as directed above.
- Substitutions: You can use Colby Jack cheese in place of the Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese. Or any melty cheese like Swiss, Provolone, or even mozzarella will work.