Parmesan Chicken with Fennel-Arugula Salad & Whole Wheat Pasta

This Mediterranean  inspired dish has a lot going for it.  The sweet, crunchy and refreshing licorice taste of the fennel, paired with peppery arugula and the tart taste of the lemon is a winning combination for this dish.

This meal is quick, simple and tasty.  With the already prepared Freezer Tomato Sauce this can take only minutes to cook. If chicken is not your protein of choice, you could easy replace the chicken with fish or pork.

Eat This with That

Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet, adding a refreshing contribution to the ever popular Mediterranean cuisine. Most often associated with Italian cooking, be sure to add this to your selection of fresh vegetables from the autumn through early spring when it is readily available and at its best.

Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.

Arugula has a peppery yet sweet taste.  It should be bright green in appearance and is best served during the fall, spring and early summer months.  It adds depth to any salad, but stands alone, as well, as a great addition to most chicken and fish dinners.

Lighten It Up

Here I used a meat sauce for the whole wheat pasta, but to lighten this meal up even more, you could use a Quick Tomato Marinara Sauce.  This would add even more freshness to this already delightful meal.

Parmesan Chicken with Fennel-Arugula Salad & Whole Wheat Pasta

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Yields: 4


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tablespoon dried seasoned bread crumbs (whole wheat with not additives if possible)
  • 4 (5-ounce) thin-sliced skinless boneless chicken cutlets
  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta, cooked as directed for al dente
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (homemade if possible, see recipe on blog)


  1. Whisk together lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, honey, and salt in large bowl. Place fanned on top, then add arugula; do no toss at this point.
  2. Bring water to boil for the pasta. Drop pasta into boiling water. Cook according to directions o packaging for al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup of Parmesan and bread crumbs in small bowl. Place chicken on sheet of war paper, Sprinkle had of Parmesan mixture evenly over one side of chicken cutlets and press to adhere.
  4. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a larger nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, coated side down. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan mixture on top of chicken. Cook, turning once, until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  5. Toss together salad and dressing, Divide salad among 4 plates and top evenly with chicken. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

Additional Info

Per serving: 1 chicken cutlet and 3/4 cup salad with 1/2 -1 cup of pasta

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