Worth Every Penne Recipe
Worth Every Penne Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Worth Every Penne Recipe

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“My husband is usually a meat and potatoes guy. But after I made this simple sauteed chicken and penne salad for him, he added it to his list of most-requested dinners.” —Janet Reimer, Armstrong, British Columbia
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:5 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 5 servings


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, julienned
  • 1 small green pepper, julienned
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups: 422 calories, 17g fat (4g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 519mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 4g fiber), 35g protein.


  1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, pesto, 1 tablespoon oil, honey, salt and pepper; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, saute the mushrooms, onion and peppers in remaining oil until tender. Stir in the spinach, chicken and tomatoes; cook until spinach is wilted.
  3. Drain pasta; place in a large serving bowl. Add the chicken mixture, tomatoes and pesto mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 5 servings.
Originally published as Worth Every Penne in Country Woman April/May 2009, p36

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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Ratlova30 User ID: 5832130 156672
Reviewed Jul. 23, 2012

"It was a good recipe but won't make again. Tasted like I poured italian dressing over it. Just wasn't worth the effort for me."

Bevvers User ID: 6594709 156671
Reviewed Mar. 17, 2012

"Excellent recipe. My version of this recipe was a little different. I used 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings as my recipe called for the addition of 4 slices of sodium reduced bacon. I would keep the bacon but switch up the bacon drippings in my recipe for the olive oil in this version, much healtheir!!"

daisey5 User ID: 146806 140737
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2010

"This was very good. The only difference I did was to use regular tomatoes as I did not have any cherry tomatoes."

Live2Cook User ID: 1011121 111888
Reviewed Nov. 21, 2010

"Good pasta recipe (I used whole wheat) with lots of vegies. Filling and healthy."

marjo35 User ID: 4232854 156669
Reviewed Apr. 28, 2010

"It tastes wonderful, it is healthy and easy to make. Can serve room temperature or hot."

tkarinas User ID: 4389335 157827
Reviewed Apr. 22, 2010

"This penne salad is very good to eat and one my family makes when we have all the ingredients. It's a keeper and going in my recipe box."

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