fresh & easy. [lemon cream whole grain penne pasta w. chicken & sautéed asparagus]

March 8th, 2011 by | comments

Last week, I cooked my first homemade meal in the new apartment. I attempted to work with the ingredients already in the fridge, but had to run to the store to buy a few items. I already had whole grain penne, so I based my meal off of this item.

I wanted to make a somewhat healthy pasta, since I would be working with whole grain noodles. I bought fresh asparagus and planned to steam it; however, we have yet to buy a saucepan that our steamer can fit in. So, I went with plan B and instead sautéed the asparagus in olive oil, lemon and pepper.

Not having the correct sized saucepan was a blessing because the slightly browned asparagus infused with lemon gave the pasta that extra pop of flavor it needed. This recipe makes enough pasta for days and heats up well. I can vouch for that, as I’ve brought it to work for the past two days!


Organic olive oil

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded

2 1/2 lemons

2 tsp. garlic powder, divided

2 tsp. black pepper, divided

2 tsp. salt, divided

2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth, or about 3 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth

1 box Eating Right whole grain penne

1 cup half & half

Zest of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan

1 stalk asparagus


Over medium heat, warm a skillet then add about 2 tsp. olive oil. Season both sides of chicken breasts using 3/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. pepper and 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder. Once warm, add chicken breasts to skillet. Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon evenly over chicken breasts. Cook chicken, about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add box of whole grain penne with 1 tsp. salt. Once pasta reaches desired consistency, remove from heat and strain.

In a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil and add juice of 1 lemon and drained penne. Reduce heat to medium and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.

For asparagus, heat a medium skillet then add 2 tsp. olive oil. Place asparagus in pan then drizzle 2 tsp. olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon and a pinch of pepper on top. Cover with a lid and cook about 3 to 5 minutes, until asparagus reaches desired texture.

Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta. Add half & half and lemon zest. Cook, stirring over low heat, for about 5 minutes. Remove pasta from heat. Spoon pasta on plate and place sautéed asparagus on top.

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