Penne is the plural form of the Italian word penna, meaning “feather” or “pen.” The pasta got its name because back when it was invented, its shape resembled a fountain pen’s steel nibs. This creamy recipe takes penne to new heights with chicken thighs—which are loaded with iron and zinc, thanks to their higher percentage of dark meat. Serve with garlic bread if you’re feeling traditional!
1½ pounds chicken thighs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ onion, chopped
⅔ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces penne
3 cups fresh spinach
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Season the chicken thighs with the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook for 3–4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
3. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and set aside.
4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 4–5 minutes, until translucent.
5. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
6. Add the chicken broth and penne and bring to a boil. Cook for 10–12 minutes, then decrease the heat to medium-low and return the chicken thighs to the pot.
7. Cook, covered, for 8–10 minutes or until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
8. Add the spinach, heavy cream, and Parmesan to the skillet, stirring to combine.
9. Remove from the heat and divide among four serving bowls. Garnish with parsley and drizzle with lemon juice, then serve.
NUTRITION • per one serving •
Total Fat 54 g 80%
Saturated Fat 16 g 103%
Polyunsaturated Fat 14.7 g —
Monounsaturated Fat20.1 g —
Trans Fat 1 g —
Cholesterol 213 mg 71%
Sodium 887 mg 39%
Total Carbohydrates 57 g 19%
Dietary Fiber 5 g 21%
Total Sugars 9 g —
Protein 42 g 84%
Vitamin A 598 mcg 58%
Vitamin C 16 mcg 19%
Vitamin D 0.4 mcg 2%
Potassium 1298 mg 37%
Calcium 174 mg 17%
Iron 5 mg 28%
This AMAZING Recipe can be found in my Mediterranean Meals Under 30 Minutes Cookbook here