Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

This recipe contains cheese and some of those who are lactose intolerant may be able to tolerate it.

This is a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten. Use gluten-free pasta in this dish.


“When you are at home, even if the chicken is a little burnt, what's the big deal? Relax.” -Jaques Pepin, Chef

The refrigerator light goes on...

I love the flavor of fennel and it works really well when combined with herbs such as those in this recipe – marjoram, tarragon, thyme, and oregano. These are (sort of) Tuscan flavors and work well for almost any dish. The one thing to remember is the herbs need to be cooked for a bit to take some of the harshness out of them. The other important technique is to not cook at too high a heat if you are grilling or broiling or the herbs will burn.

This recipe started as a grilled chicken folded into the creamy pasta and it is really terrific prepared that way. I placed the chicken breasts, a bit of olive oil and the spices together and marinated for about an hour. The chicken breasts were grilled and added to the creamy pasta.

You can do it that way and you can also serve the grilled (or broiled) chicken breasts at your next cookout but I wanted a way to translate the recipe to one that can be easily made on the stovetop.


Creamy Penne with Tuscan Chicken

Servings: 2 | Serving size: about 2 1/2 cups

Cooking time: 30 minutes

This recipe can easily be multiplied. Leftovers are fair and will keep for about 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator. Reheat gently.

Creamy Penne with Tuscan Chicken recipe from Dr. Gourmet


  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 ounces whole wheat or gluten free penne
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1/8 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into thin strips)
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ground black pepper to taste

Place the water in a large saucepan over high heat.

When the water boils, add the pasta. Stir and adjust the heat to a boil but at a temperature that the pasta does not boil over. Stir occasionally.

While the pasta is cooking, place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add the sliced onion and cook for about 8 minutes. Adjust the heat so the onions do not brown.

While the onions are cooking, crush the fennel seed with a mortar and pestle or in the blender.

When the onions are just slightly limp, add the fennel, oregano, marjoram, tarragon, thyme, and basil.

Continue to cook the onions and spices for about 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add the chicken and increase the heat to medium high. Stir frequently.

When the chicken is cooked through (about 6 minutes) add the goat cheese and salt.

Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and adjust the heat so the liquid is simmering slowly.

Stir frequently and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce creamy.

Drain the pasta and add to the skillet.

Fold together until well coated with sauce and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: about 2 1/2 cups

Servings: 2

Amount Per Serving

Calories 480 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value
Total Fat 17g 22%
    Saturated Fat 7g 36%
    Monounsaturated Fat 6g
    Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 310mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 50g 18%
    Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
    Sugars 5g
Protein 34g
Vitamin A 13% Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 15% Iron 20%
Vitamin K 10mcg Potassium 700 mg