Creamy Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta

by Erin

Shake up your regular pasta for dinner with a creamy ricotta sauce, Italian chicken sausage, and hearty kale. Cooks up quick for a great weeknight meal and only uses two pans.

Creamy Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta 1

We’re almost halfway through the calendar year folks. Which means nearly 6 months have gone by since I graduated with my PhD and my student loans from the past 11 years are about to come knocking on my door. Thankfully I do not have much debt with grad school tuition waived and a stipend the last 7 years. I’ve already taken a chunk out of my undergrad loans thanks to my dad’s help with investing what money I could spare over the years. Thank goodness for a father with money/investing smarts.

Creamy Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta 2

You know what else is smart? Making this pasta for dinner tonight. One pot for cooking the pasta, one skillet for the rest, and dinner is ready pronto. As an added bonus it also happens to be delicious.

One year ago: Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Avocado Cream

Three years ago: Veggie Eggs Benedict


Serves 4-6


1/2 lb. dry pasta, any shape (I used tri-color rotini)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1/2 tsp salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

12 oz. Italian chicken sausage, sliced into rounds

5 oz. fresh torn kale

1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions with the salt for 5-7 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the oregano and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the bits from the bottom. Stir in the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage and kale to the top of the mixture and cover the pan for 2-3 minutes to allow the kale to cook. Stir and cover for another minute. Once all of the kale is dark green, stir the ricotta and Parmesan into the pan until melted into a creamy sauce. Stir the pasta into the mixture until well-coated with the sauce. Stir in some of the pasta water if the sauce seems too thick. Serve hot topped with more Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Source: Adapted slightly from Smells Like Home.


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Emily @ Life on Food June 3, 2014 - 9:34 pm

One pot dinners are the best for so many reason. I think my husband might over look the kale in this dish with the sausage. It looks great to me kale and sausage!!

Tara | Smells Like Home June 3, 2014 - 9:21 am

I love that you swapped out the spinach for kale in this, Erin. I just bought some more chicken sausage over the weekend and was planning to make this during the week – maybe I’ll add some kale this time too. So happy to hear you enjoyed it!

spiffycookie June 3, 2014 - 9:25 am

Thanks Tara!


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