Chicken and Turkey

Simple Kale and Chicken Sausage Pasta

This simple pasta dish is made with quality ingredients for a quick weeknight meal or a deceptively impressive dish to serve guests.  

This is one of those recipes that I didn’t make with the plan of putting it on the blog. In fact, it wasn’t really a “recipe” but more of a way to use up leftovers in the fridge and pantry. But after just a few bites I was regretting not taking pictures of it so I could share it with you. But being the selfless guy he is, Bry suggested I make it again the next week so I could take pictures this time – I’m sure it wasn’t just an excuse to eat it again ;).

While I’m by no means an expert in Italian cooking (not even close), but what I have learned is that the best Italian food is the simplest. Because we’re working with minimal ingredients, it’s important to go for quality. Fresh cherry tomatoes, fragrant garlic, and good-quality olive oil are key. To get in some greens, I used leftover kale, but feel free to use spinach instead. And for the parmesan cheese, I recommend buying a block and shredding it at home.

Curious as to what makes kale such a healthy vegetable? There’s a great article over at that gives a full run-down on all the health benefits of kale, including heart health, type 2 diabetes protection, and healthy-looking skin and hair.

For those of you who celebrate, happy Easter weekend! Bry and I are heading down to Connecticut to spend it with family. Unfortunately I picked this month to do a no-added sugar challenge so there won’t be any chocolate bunnies for me, but luckily there will be plenty of good food to keep my stomach nice and full 😉 

So here’s a toast to keeping it simple this Friday! 

Simple Kale and Chicken Sausage Pasta

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 25 minutes


  • 8-oz dry bowtie pasta (can use other forms of pasta, just adjust pasta cooking time per package instructions)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups kale, stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 package spicy Italian chicken sausage (pre-cooked), diced
  • ¼ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese, plus extra to garnish if desired
  • Juice from ¼ lemon
  • Salt and Pepper



Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add bowtie pasta and boil for 12 minutes, or until al dente.


Meanwhile, heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and kale. Add pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook until kale begins to wilt, about 5 minutes.


Add in cherry tomatoes and chicken sausage. Cook until sausage is warmed through and tomatoes begin to break down, about 10 minutes.


Once pasta is cooked, drain but set aside ¼ cup of pasta water.


Add reserved pasta water and parmesan cheese to skillet and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and add any additional salt and pepper to taste.


Divide pasta evenly between 4 bowls and top each with sausage and kale mixture. Serve with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

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  • Jessica @ The Balanced Kitchen
    April 17, 2017 at 11:43 am

    This looks so simple and so delicious– a win/win! And what a great way to pack in those veggies. Yum!

    • The Healthy Toast
      April 18, 2017 at 6:34 am

      Thanks Jessica 🙂

  • Lauren Grant | Zestful Kitchen
    April 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Yum, love the use of chicken sausage here! Perfect summer meal!

    • The Healthy Toast
      April 18, 2017 at 6:35 am

      Thanks Lauren! Chicken sausage is my favorite protein with pasta.

  • Caroline
    April 17, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Just made this — yum! Perfect Monday night dinner. I’m trying to get back into cooking and this recipe requires just enough ‘cooking’ to not overwhelm me. Although – I did burn the garlic on my first go…progress, not perfection! Thanks Kelli (and Bryan)!

    • The Healthy Toast
      April 18, 2017 at 6:36 am

      Yay! I’m glad you liked it Caroline! Haha it is a nice balance between a home-cooked meal and a simple dinner 😉

  • Karly
    April 18, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    So easy, so stinkin’ delicious. I love everything about these! Definitely putting it at the top of my dinners to-do list!

    • The Healthy Toast
      April 21, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Thanks Karly! Hope you like it when you try it!