Quick Fix Dinner: Penne with Chicken, Cremini Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Chardonnay

Perhaps I should’ve put Chardonnay as the first word of this title. Although only a splash went into the dish, the flavor that came from it was outstanding and noteworthy. And, truth be told, I started cooking after just getting home from an overnight trip and drove through a torrential can’t-see-two-feet-in-front-of-the-car downpour on the highway; suffice to say, I was a little edgy. Mmmmmmm, wine.

So, we got home around 8 p.m. and were hungry. There was absolutely no way I was heading back out, so I scrounged the fridge. I had some chicken breast, cremini mushrooms, onions, garlic, Chardonnay (of course), leftover penne pasta, sundried tomato oil, and lemon. I couldn’t have planned this better myself! So I got to cooking. I made it up as I went along because I was too hungry and tired to think. The results were remarkable. (And I don’t believe that everything tastes good when one is hungry. I’m still picky, no matter the rumble in my tummy.)

So, I promise this’ll be good. Follow along…

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinImage
  • Sundried tomato infused EVOO (garlic EVOO or plain would also be fine)
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chili flakes
  • Good quality Chardonnay
  • Fresh lemon
  • 12 ounces of cooked (leftover if you’ve got it) penne or other bite-sized pasta

Once you’ve got everything prepped, this will go relatively quickly. Ready?

1. Add 1 tablespoon of your infused EVOO (or plain) to a large non-stick skillet and heat to medium-high.

2. Add the quartered cremini mushrooms and let them sauté for about a minute while constantly moving them around the pan (don’t let them burn!).


3. Add all of the sliced onions, and give it a good stir.

4. Add a nice pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper to the pan.

5. Let this cook for 3-4 minutes while constantly moving the ingredients around the pan.


6. Remove the mushrooms and onions from the pan and set aside.


7. Wipe out skillet, and add 1-2 tablespoons of the infused EVOO again. Keep the the heat at medium-high.

8. If you haven’t alredy done so, season both sides of the chicken breast with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

8. Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add the paillards to the pan. They should make a nice sizzle.


9. Turn the chicken after 3 minutes.


10. Sauté for 3 minutes on the other side. It should be nice and golden brown.

11. Remove from the pan and set let rest for a few minutes.


11. While the chicken is resting, feel free to pour a glass of wine, start cleaning up a bit, or set the table. You’ve got about three minutes of free time.

12. Thinly slice the chicken on a clean cutting surface.


13. Add 1 tablespoon of the same flavored or plain oil back to the skillet and heat to medium-high again.

14. Add the sliced garlic and mushroom and onion mixture. Give it a good stir and let saute for 1-2 minutes.

15. Add the sliced chicken to the pan and mix it all together.


16. Once this is good and sizzling, add about a 1/2 cup of good quality Chardonnay.

17. Let this cook down for about 30 seconds, and add a nice pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

18. Add the cooked penne to the pan. Let this all heat through, and add half a squeezed lemon.



19. Taste and adjust for seasonings.

NOTE: If I had fresh basil, I’d have added it at the very end. It would be a pefect addition.

20. Plate it up and add some fresh grated parmesan or Romano cheese.


Happy eating, everyone!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4


6 thoughts on “Quick Fix Dinner: Penne with Chicken, Cremini Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Chardonnay

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