Lemony Penne with Chicken and Arugula

in Chicken & Turkey, Citrus, Lemon, Lighter & Healthier, Pasta

Lemony Penne with Chicken and Arugula

What’s for dinner?

We’re having Penne [knock knock knock]
Penne [knock knock knock]
Penne [knock knock knock]

Yep, I thought it was *so* clever when I did that 😛

I love Sheldon. His geeky, humorous, and often mind-boggling habits remind me of… well, um, someone I know. [whispers] and married 🙂 (Have no idea what I’m talking about?)

When I serve pasta as a one-bowl dinner, I try to hit the major food groups, protein and veggie, before hitting up the most important one: cheese. Working veggies into a red sauce isn’t hard to do at all. The Foodie Groom’s favorite red sauce actually includes a carrot and a stalk of celery. No lie! He won’t touch those two raw… or cooked into most other things… or smothered in ranch dressing like a “normal” person… but put it in a pasta sauce and he’s good to go. But working veggies into “naked pasta” can be a little tricky.

Lemony Penne with Chicken and Arugula

I love lemon and pasta together – I also like arugula so this dish was great. The Foodie Groom’s verdict? I had to broker a deal just to get the dish on the menu: I’d make chicken tenders if he’d humor me just one more lemony pasta dish. Predictably, he left most of the arugula in his bowl, not a fan of the flavor… or with me “putting salad in his pasta.”

Lemony Penne with Chicken and Arugula

Lemony Penne with Chicken and Arugula

A lemony, light, one-bowl pasta dish.


  • 3/4 lb penne
  • 2 chicken breasts (12 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 oz arugula (3 cups)
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water before draining. Cook 2 chicken breasts as desired (grilled, broiled, poached). Let sit for ~10 minutes and slice or shred.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place arugula, lemon juice, zest, and olive oil, tossing to combine.
  3. Place cooked pasta into the bowl immediately after draining, add chicken, and toss.
  4. Add half of the parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Add a splash of pasta water if desired.
  5. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and garnish with remaining cheese.


Yields: 4 servings

Adapted from Everyday Food

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 461.7 | Fat: 11.7 | Fiber 9.6
WW Points: 9

20 comments… add one
  • Hehe. One of my favorite one-bowl pasta dinners is pasta with sausage, broccoli and red peppers. Maybe that would be more up his alley? Because who doesn’t love italian sausage?! Plus, nothing in it resembles salad. 🙂

  • Lots of lemon in the blogosphere! This is yummy…with arugula!? Sold!

  • I love love love Sheldon!!! The recipe looks fantastic 🙂

  • Oh men. They can be so picky about their pastas! Especially when it involves the color green. I love lemony pasta dishes and this looks fantastic! I can’t believe it is so few calories!

  • I love one dish dinners!! Especially when they are filled with delicious ingredients.

  • what, no hot dogs in there?! ha — love BBT as well, and Sheldon certainly makes the show the hit it is. pasta looks great!



  • That is so clever! I love Big Bang! Pasta looks great! And that is not a “Bazinga!”

  • I love pasta and this dish looks fantastic!

  • Love Sheldon! I keep waiting for him and “Penne” to get together.

  • That’s a funny show!

    I like the simplicity of this recipe, but that it doesn’t skimp on the flavor.

  • You just made my dinner decision very easy! I happen to have both penne, chicken and lemon at home. It’s gonna be delicious!

  • Yum yum! This looks fresh and delicious 🙂

  • You can send me your husband’s leftover arugula! That sounds like a delightful, bright and fresh dish.

  • This looks so delicious that I’m even going to save up my calories and make this for dinner tomorrow.

    Just one question — when you say 3/4 lb of penne, do you mean 3/4 pound DRY or 3/4 pound cooked?

  • love the site! congrats on top 9!

    This looks deliciousssssssssssss

  • This dish sounds so good! It’s the perfect combination of all things yummy 🙂 Great pics, too!

  • I was reading back through your posts and found this. I LOL’ed at your Big Bang reference! 🙂

  • We doubled the arugula — your Groom doesn’t know what he’s missing! Thanks for the recipe. I was just going to “wing it” when I thought of mixing these ingredients but the guidance you provided here was very helpful.

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