Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chicken, Kale, and pasta casserole

I do my best to make dinner most nights during the week.  With little Miss P that can sometimes be difficult.  We typically don't even sit down to eat until after she goes to bed.  It's just easier that way.  Some nights I just make soup and sandwich.  It's not always fancy, but we manage to get it done.  I love dishes that are simple to prepare and we can get a few meals out of.  
This was a satisfying meal for so many reasons.  The ingredients: chicken, pasta, cheese and kale.  Easy to prepare.  Because of the kale you feel like you are being uber-healthy!
The recipe calls for lemon zest and make sure you include it.  The zest adds such a fresh flavor.  I love rotisserie chicken and we use it a lot...perfect in this recipe.  If you worry about casseroles being too heavy and laden with cheese, this is not your typical casserole.  It's light and satisfying, without being heavy.  Plus, it is so forgiving.  I made a smaller batch for the two of us, but you can easily follow the original recipe from Martha Stewart to make a 9x13 pan.
Chicken, Kale and Pasta Casserole 
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes one 2.5 quart pan
2 cups bowtie pasta
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches kale (1 1/2 pounds), ribs removed, and leaves coarsely chopped
2 cups shredded chicken
2.5 cups ricotta cheese
zest from one large lemon
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare pasta according to directions on box, reducing cooking time by two minutes.  Drain and return to pan.  In a large skillet saute onion and garlic, cooking until onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add chopped kale and cook another 5 minutes.  Transfer to pot with pasta.
Stir in chicken, ricotta, lemon zest and 1/4 cup parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.  Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
I look forward to making this casserole again. As you can see, it is so easy to prepare and made for a great mid-week dinner.  In just a few steps you have a dish with veggies, protein, carbs and it tastes good!  You should pour yourself a glass of wine to celebrate your hard work!