Healthy is a Lifestyle.

Lemon Zest Chicken Penne with Black Olives

This was one of those dishes that just came together in a last minute. I used what I had in the fridge and pantry. Turned out to be such a favorite, that I had to go back and remember exactly what I did. I had left over chicken breasts from grilling the night before… took the meat off the bone, cubed it and threw it in. I had 1 lemon left in the house, so why not use it? I seem to always have garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and basil on hand, so that came in handy. I had this box of gluten free penne that Jovial foods had just sent me… perfect opportunity to use it. (and btw, unpaid plug, I LOVE JOVIAL FOODS)

And if you know me, you know I always ALWAYS have 3-4 different kinds of olives in the fridge at any given moment. But that’s truly all I had in the house. BAM!

I literally combined everything and thankfully all the flavors worked, the family didn’t leave a single noodle behind and so it ended up here on the blog. Sometimes these dishes are the most comforting delicious dishes that can come from a home kitchen. Use what you got… J


1 box of Jovial Foods Gluten Free Penne

2 grilled chicken breasts, cubed

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 T minced garlic

zest from 1 lemon

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

chili oil cured black olives (or your favorite black olive) chopped.

10-12 Basil leaves, sliced into chiffonade ribbons

reserve a little extra basil and Parmesan cheese and lemon zest to top with before serving


In a large pot filled with salted water, prepare the penne noodles per the box instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

While the noodles are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir frequently and when the garlics edges begin to brown, add the reserved pasta water and bring to a boil.

Simmer for 3 minutes, then add the cooked pasta to the pot. Toss carefully, then stir in the salt.

Add the cubed chicken, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest and basil. Again, toss carefully.

Allow to rest for additional 3-5 off heat before serving.

When serving, I like to add a little bit more cheese, lemon zest, and basil on top. (optional)