Penne Rosa with Chicken, Kale and Mushrooms

As much as I miss Jon while he works nights, his being away is making me become the homemaker I never thought I’d be. Since I’ve been fending for myself most nights and have been making my own dinners, I’ve realized that I’m becoming more comfortable in the kitchen. It also helps that I’ve been cooking up some very yummy dishes 🙂

Like last night’s creation.

I found this recipe for Penne Rosa via Pinterest and thought it looked like the perfect, easy weeknight meal. I did make some modifications though. I had kale to use up, so that went in instead of spinach, portabella mushrooms instead of button and chicken instead of shrimp. I also ended up doubling the sauce since it did not seem like nearly enough. At least not for me…I like my sauce!

Penne Rosa with Chicken, Kale and Mushrooms

Adapted from Back to Her Roots


  • 13 ounces whole wheat penne (one box)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh kale
  • 1 lb chicken
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 3/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt (I love Fage)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook penne according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot add chicken and cook thoroughly on both sides, about 7  minutes each or until it’s no longer pink in the middle. Set aside.
  3. Clean off skillet, put heat down to medium-low and heat olive oil. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  4. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water.
  5. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the penne, chicken, Greek yogurt and pasta sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

Calories: 424 per serving

Before I made this yumminess, I almost died at CrossFit.

For time:
100 ft Walking lunge
50 Push-ups
50 Double-unders
25 Knees to elbows
5 Rope climb, 15 ft
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
25 Overhead squats, 65 pounds
25 L-pull-ups
50 Sit-ups

I did A LOT of modifications on this one. Push-ups were on my knees, I subbed 3 to 1 singles for double-unders (which I meant I did 150), knees up instead of knees to elbows, rope climb was subbed 3 to 1 and was from the ground (laying down and pulling yourself up and bringing yourself down…gets you used to the rope), 10 regular box jumps and all the rest were step-ups, 35# for 6 overhead squats and 20# for the rest, regular pull-ups with band instead of L-pull-ups.

My time was 23:30, which didn’t seem bad next to everyone else’s times. I did feel like I was going to throw up at the end of this one. It was a doozy.

Looking forward to seeing Sweeney Todd tonight!


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