Chic' Penne

Chic' Penne
Makes: 6 Servings
Total Cost:
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
This whole-wheat pasta dish is bright and fun with fresh broccoli, chicken, and melted cheese that is sure to please.


3 cups penne pasta, whole-wheat, dry (12 oz)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic (1/2 tsp Garlic Powder)
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup cooked diced chicken, 1/2" pieces (4 oz)
1 1/2 cups fat-free half and half
1 tablespoon enriched all-purpose flour
1/8 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (2 oz)
1/2 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, low-moisture, part-skim, shredded (2 oz)


1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
2. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Gradually stir in pasta and return to a boil. Cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook. Drain well. Toss pasta with ½ teaspoon garlic. 
3. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli florets and cook for 5 minutes. Drain well. Sprinkle with remaining garlic.
4. Transfer pasta and broccoli to a medium casserole dish (about 8” x 11”) coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add chicken. Mix well.
5. In a small mixing bowl, mix ½ cup half and half with flour. Whisk to remove lumps.
6. In a medium skillet, heat chicken broth, salt, pepper, and remaining half and half. Stir constantly. Stir in half and half/flour mixture. Stir constantly and bring to a boil. 
7. Reduce heat to low. Stir frequently for 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken. Add cheese and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Pour sauce over broccoli/pasta mixture. 
8. Cover casserole dish with lid or with foil. Bake at 350 °F for 8 minutes. Heat to an internal temperature of 165 °F or higher for at least 15 seconds (use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature). Remove from oven. Serve hot. 


See how to make this recipe and more on USDA’s What’s Cooking? YouTube site
Our Story
The Winograd K-8 Elementary School team started the recipe creation discussing all the foods eligible for the competition. Then, they wrote down what each team member liked to eat. After a couple of test runs of basic dishes, they ended up with a tasty dish called Chic’ Penne.
Not found at your local fast food restaurant, Chic’ Penne has a little hint of black pepper and is anything but ordinary. By combining the best ingredients, this recipe produces a dish that not only looks good, but tastes good too! This main dish will be an instant hit with your children.
Winograd K-8 Elementary School
Greeley, Colorado

School Team Members

School Nutrition Professional: Kara Sample, RD, SNS 
Chef: Amanda Smith 
Community Member: Emily Wigington (AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer)
Students: Jace K., Bethany V., Abraham A., and Amairani P. 


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Great recipe
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Great recipe to try with the family! Everyone loved it!
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