This Sausage and Kale Pasta definitely needs to be part of your weekly rotation! It has hearty chicken sausage, dark leafy kale, and juicy sun-dried tomatoes. A simple pesto sauce brings all the flavors together for a cozy, delicious bowl of pasta.
Pasta will always be my favorite comfort food! Whenever we go out to eat at a restaurant, I always request Italian - specifically, an Italian restaurant with a long, long list of pasta options! So when it starts to get a little chilly, it's no wonder why pasta becomes an almost daily occurrence at my house.
This recipe happened from (another) craving for pasta but I wanted something light, healthy, and yet still comforting. This Sausage and Kale Pasta hits all the marks - plenty of protein (especially with an alternative pasta), a healthy serving of greens, a punch of flavor from the tomatoes, and a cozy pesto butter sauce to round it all out. It comes together in a matter of minutes and is really easy to whip up. It's also great for meal prepping! An ideal recipe by any means!
how to make this sausage and kale pasta
- Pasta: Any type of pasta will work here! My favorites are whole wheat or chickpea pasta. Make sure to heavily salt the water before cooking, use just enough water to cover, and reserve the pasta water for the sauce.
- Avocado oil: Avocado oil is my favorite oil to cook, fry, and sauté with because of its high smoke point (500°F). Make sure to get unrefined!
- Chicken sausage: You can use any sausage you'd like but I prefer chicken for less fat.
- Onion and garlic: Necessary in all pasta dishes.
- Red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano: Dried herbs to enhance the flavor. Don't worry, it's not spicy!
- Kale: Kale is one of the most nutrients-dense foods ever. They're loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. I like to buy the pre-shredded bag but to prepare a large bunch, cut the stems off, wash and dry thoroughly, and chop.
- Chicken bone broth: I cook exclusively with bone broth. It's rich in collagen, supports digestion, and has anti-inflammatory components. I also find it less salty than boxed or canned broth.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Brings a punch of tart flavor and pop of color! Choose the ones packed in oil for more flavor.
- Butter: Grass-fed is the way to go! It has more nutrients since the cows are on a healthier diet.
- Pesto: You can use store-bought or make your own.
- Parmesan cheese: for garnish.
the steps to this sausage and kale pasta
First, cook the pasta by boiling a pot of water. Use as little water as necessary because we want the water to be starchy! Also add 2 teaspoon of salt so the pasta is well-flavored. Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than what the package instructions say since it'll finish cooking in the sauce. Reserve some of the pasta water, then drain and set aside.
Next, start on the protein. Heat the oil in a large pan and sear the sausage on both sides until golden and crusty. Set aside. Then add the onion and garlic to the same pan, sautéing until the onions get soft and lightly translucent. Pour in the bone broth and stir in the kale. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, cooking until the kale wilts.
Next, add the sun-dried tomatoes with some of its oil. Add the cooked pasta and pasta water, stirring well. Continue cooking until the pasta becomes al dente, adding more pasta water if it gets too dry. The tomatoes will re-hydrate and become juicy pockets of flavor!
Once the pasta is done cooking, turn off the heat. Add the butter and pesto, and return the cooked sausage to the pan. Stir well until the butter melts to form a cohesive sauce with the pesto. Season to taste and finish with some grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
make this dish yours
- Not a fan of sausage? For a different protein, try grilled chicken, meatballs, or shrimp. This is a great vegetarian dish as well!
- Add whatever veggies you have on hand - corn, peas, fresh tomatoes, or asparagus would taste delicious.
- Top with mozzarella balls or fresh burrata for an irresistible finish.
more must-try recipes
Looking for more delicious pasta? Check out some of my favorites!
- Creamy Lemon Broccoli Pasta with Shrimp
- Tortellini and Sausage Bake
- One-Pot Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- Pasta with Pink Sauce
- One-Pot Cheeseburger Pasta
- Pasta Salad
If you try the recipe, please take a snapshot and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @balancewithjess or #balancewithjess. I love seeing your re-creations!
Sausage and Kale Pasta
- 5 oz uncooked pasta I used chickpea rigatoni
- ½ tablespoon oil
- 2 links chicken sausage cut on a bias
- ¼ small onion chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 handfuls shredded kale washed and dried with large stems removed
- ¼ cup chicken bone broth
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes oil reserved
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup pesto
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese for garnish
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until very al dente (about 2 minutes under) and reserve 2 cups pasta water. Drain and set aside.
- Heat avocado oil in a skillet. When shimmery and hot, add sausage to sear on both sides. Set aside.
- If needed, add more oil to the skillet. Sauté onion until softened, about 2-3 minutes, and add garlic to toast for 30 seconds. Then add red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano.
- Add kale and chicken broth, stirring until kale is wilted and tender. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add sun dried tomatoes with about 1 tablespoon oil from the jar, the cooked pasta, and ¼ cup pasta water. Cook until pasta is al dente, adding more pasta water if needed.
- Turn off heat. Stir in butter, pesto, and cooked sausage and mix well. Season to taste and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
products i used
The following contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you purchase an item through these links. I only recommend the brands I know and trust. Thank you for your support!