Baked Penne with Chicken and Kale

Lately, I’ve been all about healthier eating. I am feeling a lot better and even losing weight. But I have to admit that I can’t cut everything out, I must have my baked pasta’s! But who’s to say you can’t eat baked pasta? As long as it’s healthy, go for it! That’s where this recipe comes in.

We really loved this dish. I was so happy to see my kids eat everything including the Kale. Kale is one of those greens that has many nutrients and vitamins. I don’t make it often, but I think that will change. I did omit the red bell pepper, but that’s because my husband can’t eat them. I’m leaving it in the recipe because I’m sure it tastes great in the dish. The recipe also calls for leftover chicken but I didn’t have any. I took chicken breasts and roasted them in an oven for 35 minutes, till they were done and shredded that. All in all, it’s a dish I do plan to make again. I really think you and your family will enjoy this meal.

Baked Penne with Chicken and Kale:

  • 13.25 oz box whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 bunches kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 48 oz ricotta, part skim
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 oz Parmesan, finely grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover chicken, shredded. (you can roast 2 chicken breasts in the oven at 375 degrees for about 35-45 minutes, till done)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot pot.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion and red bell pepper, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes. Add grated carrot and garlic, cooking another 2 minutes. Add kale, toss, and cover, turning off the heat and letting sit for 5 minutes. Transfer to the pot with pasta.
  4. Stir in ricotta, lemon zest and juice, hot sauce, 1/2 cup Parmesan, chicken, and reserved pasta water. Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to baking dish. Top with remaining Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and the top golden brown, 30 minutes.

Source: Slightly adapted from Foodie Bride

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