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

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 cup: 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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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."

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!!"

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."

Reviewed Nov. 21, 2010

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

Reviewed Apr. 28, 2010

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

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