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

This simple pasta dish is made with quality ingredients for a quick weeknight meal or a deceptively impressive dish to serve guests.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Chicken Sausage Pasta, Kale
Servings: 4
Author: Kelli


  • 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!