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Chicken and Kale Casserole

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This is a hearty and healthy baked pasta dish for the whole family.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Chicken and Kale Casserole

Photography: Anna Williams

Source: Everyday Food, November 2011

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound large pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced medium
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bunches kale (1 1/2 pounds), tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken (from 1/2 rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 container (48 ounces) part-skim ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated (2 1/4 ounces)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain; return to pot. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is beginning to soften, 4 minutes. Add kale, cover, and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to pot with pasta.

  2. Stir in chicken, ricotta, lemon zest, and 1/2 cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until top is golden, 30 minutes.

Reviews Add a comment

  • rosemamyfallgm
    5 OCT, 2016
    I noticed a lot of people were complaining about this recipe being bland, I tried it out and made a few tweaks, including adding cumin, paprika, and herbs. I also added pasta water and milk to the cheese mixture to make it more of a sauce. Turned out great! -Rose Fall, blogger at Eat Sleep Reheat
    Reply
  • Brandymarie23
    7 SEP, 2015
    I came across this recipe because it looks easy and I love the combination of ingredients. I haven't made it yet but I can almost guarantee why people have said its bland. You're adding an entire tub of ricotta without seasoning it. Try adding salt, pepper, an egg, some fresh thyme or any other herb to the ricotta before adding it. Depending on your chicken you might want to season that too. Adding seasoning to every layer creates a tasty dish!
    Reply
  • MS12235365
    12 AUG, 2015
    I tried this recipe and with a few changes adding cream to the kale mixture and added salt and pepper as I went along. I also season the chicken before I added it to the mixture.
    Reply
  • John Stafford Ryals
    12 JAN, 2015
    I made this recipe for my wife, mother-in-law, and myself. The only one that enjoyed it was the disposal.
    Reply
  • HomeStager
    20 JAN, 2014
    We made this last night with spinich. It was incredibly bland! I think we will play with adding spices to this the next time we make it to give it more flavor. The combination of ingredients are fine, it just doesn't have any other background flavoring beyond the creaminess. We think the chicken could be seasoned before adding it to the sauce as well as using a white onion instead of a yellow one. Taste the food at each step to make sure it has a better balance beyond the cream flavor.
    Reply
  • Jenna B
    8 NOV, 2013
    I added some heavy whipping cream during the kale sauté process, as well as some thyme. It all baked up nicely and we didn't find it to be dry or bland, at least not with the additions we made. It was yummy! And we have leftovers for days (just the 2 of us), which is awesome because we work from home and often need a quick lunch (really, we just forget to eat lunch until we're starving and then it's like "Feed me now, ahhhhh!"). I recommend it; kind of like a white lasagna, you could say.
    Reply
  • twinca
    30 AUG, 2013
    I made this tonight (because I've just discovered kale is a pretty tasty thing!) and I found it has a good flavor, but like others have said it is very dry. I used 36oz of ricotta. After pouring it into the baking dish I thought it really needed something more so I added a little mozzarella cheese to the top. It is very tasty and the lemon zest gives it a different twist but next time I'll add some sort of cream sauce. This time a dollop of sour cream on top of my serving did the trick!
    Reply
  • amandabarkey
    26 JUN, 2013
    I'm a big fan of edf and make lots of the recipes and I have to say I love is simple, hearty casserole. I don't think there are any changes that need to be made... I disagree with some of the comments that it was dry or bland. I thought it was wonderful just the way the recipe is, I will make it again and again!
    Reply
  • kay_beez
    22 JUN, 2013
    I followed this recipe and I intend on using it again... with some further modifications. I roughly halved the recipe and used less cheese than recommended due to my limited lactose tolerance. I added fresh thyme which was a nice touch, but is was still lacking a bit in the flavour department. Next time I will add more herbs/spices. Other reviews stated that the recipe was dry, so I added half a can of coconut milk and that seemed to do the trick... without really messing with the flavour.
    Reply
  • Wallflower05
    14 JUN, 2013
    I tried this recipe because I had a bunch of Kale I wanted to use. I agree with the dish was quite dry and bland and the 32oz of ricotta I added didn't help with the dryness either :/. The following day I added a can of cream of mushroom and extra seasonings and put it back in the oven for a few min and that helped. Id like to make it again knowing this is such a blank canvas recipe that you can add your own flair to. I think some crumbled mild sausage would be yummy! And definitely a sauce.
    Reply