OK, that’s a mouthful (literally): Lemon chicken pasta with goat cheese and kale. But that’s just about the ingredients list, too, AND by using rotisserie chicken this delicious, super-tasty dish takes minutes to make. This is one of my (and my husband’s) favorite dinners, perfect for a weeknight. I also love dishes that have everything you need in one bowl (protein, dairy, veggies) for easy eating. Because I guess I’m at the point in life where I need even eating to be easy. If you fear the kale, you can substitute spinach or arugula, but I tend to put kale in everything. Cases in point: Chicken and kale pot pie, turkey and kale chili, and even enchiladas with kale.
The recipe below uses store-bought rotisserie chicken, but I often make this dish with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, too. If you choose to make your own chicken, cut the chicken into pieces, toss with salt, pepper, chili powder or any other preferred spices and cook in olive oil before you reach the garlic and kale step in the recipe.
Another note: To make this dish a bit saucier and to add more liquid, you can add white wine or chicken broth. Or both. A tip on the chopped kale: Use scissors to snip the kale in pieces.
You’ll also notice I use less than a full box of pasta. This is usually because my kids are picky eaters. So I boil a whole box of pasta and take some out to serve plain with butter. Because kids.
how to make lemon chicken pasta with goat cheese and kale
you will need
- 10 to 12 ounces penne or farfalle pasta (about 3/4 of a box)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 6 loosely-packed cups of chopped kale
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, cut in bite-size pieces
- 3 tablespoons white wine, chicken broth, or water from the pasta (optional)
- 6 to 8 ounces of goat cheese, cut into pieces
what to do
Boil the pasta in a large pot according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Top with the kale and stir. Cook until the kale wilts, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken and heat. If desired (for a saucier dish), add some wine, broth and/or pasta water.
Drain the pasta and return to the large pot immediately. Add the goat cheese and gently stir until fully melted. Scrape the contents of the skillet with a spatula into the pasta and cheese mixture. Stir to coat with mixture with the goat cheese.
Serve with additional red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and/or Parmesan cheese.