Chicken Gratin With Fennel

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 35 mins

I am always in search of baked pasta dishes that are not loaded down with large amounts of cheese. Found this one in an old magazine and it immediately appealed to me. The use of jarred marinara sauce and cooked chicken helps this savory dish come together rather quickly. Have not tried this yet but posting it here for safekeeping. (7 pts per serving)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan parboil penne pasta in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned and softened. Add minced garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper and crushed fennel seeds and stir for a minute.
  4. Add the white wine, to the pan and continue to cook until almost evaporated.
  5. Add the broth and marinara sauce and simmer for two or three minutes.
  6. Mix the sauce, chicken, parsley and penne together and pour into a two quart baking dish. Place cover on dish or cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Combine breadcrumbs, Italian herbs, oil and cheese in a small bowl.
  8. Remove dish from oven and uncover. Distribute the crumb mixture on top and return to the oven to bake uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.


Most Helpful

delicious. I normally prefer loads of cheese but since i have to behave a little (and make room for kittens float your boat brownies twice a week) i tried this. Super super recipe. discovered my parmesan had fallen out of fridge to underneath it for at least a week and subbed asiago. Used chili flavor penne sent to me in a swap so did not include the dried peppers :) it had a nice kick from the chili pepper penne anyway. Really good, only tip i would give anyone, is that bc the sauce is jarred, and the chicken already cooked, you still need to put it all together and its not a "dump" dish. Its a sophisticated and yummy pasta dish that deserves excellent ingredients

MarraMamba August 20, 2007

This is a great weeknight meal that the whole family enjoyed. Love the taste the fennel seeds gave the recipe. I used a BBQ chicken and once that was shreaded and pasta cooked everything came together easily. I cooked my pasta for roughly 6 minutes as I always do this length of precooking for pasta bakes.

Jewelies August 20, 2007

This was really a quick dish to make! The penne is parboiled, and I was a little uncertain about that, but it worked (cooked through in the oven), and it saved time! We liked this dish very much indeed. This is an ideal tasty pasta recipe for the cook who needs to prepare a family dinner dish in a hurry, and I heartily recommend it. A few notes: we loved the fennel seeds: the slightly exotic taste comes through well. Although I wrapped the dish tightly in a double layer of foil, I found that the penne bits which stuck out unavoidably, did not cook through and were hard. But that was no great issue, and I'd suggest to a next cook to perhaps add a little more chicken broth than the recipe states, and try to push all the parboiled penne pasta UNDER the sauce. I didn't use substitutions in the main recipe -- had roast turkey breast leftovers and that had to be used up. I didn't have the Italian seasoning for the topping, and that I substituted with a mixture of dried herbs. Also, had run out of Parmesan and had to use Pecorino. This is, PLEASE NOTE, a 3 1/2 star recipe in my view and it's great for practicality and ease and a godsend for chicken or turkey leftovers!

Zurie March 03, 2007

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