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Easy Chicken and Kale Casserole Recipe

Discover a hearty meal with this Chicken and Kale Casserole, perfect for busy weeknights or a cozy family dinner. Packed with tender chicken, kale, and a blend of savory spices, this dish combines wholesome ingredients for a delightful and satisfying experience. Easy to prepare and irresistibly delicious, this casserole is sure to become a favorite in your household.

Closeup on Chicken and Kale Casserole.

Why do chicken and kale go well together?

Chicken and kale complement each other well because chicken provides a mild, versatile protein that pairs perfectly with the robust, slightly bitter flavor of kale.

The tenderness of cooked chicken balances the hearty texture of kale, creating a satisfying contrast in each bite.

Additionally, both ingredients are nutritious, offering a blend of lean protein, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to a balanced and healthy meal.

Ingredients needed to make Chicken and Kale Casserole.

What ingredients do I need for the Chicken and Kale Casserole

Cooked pasta serves as the hearty base for Chicken and Kale Casserole, providing a comforting and satisfying texture. You can use any type of pasta you prefer, from penne to fusilli, and even gluten-free varieties to suit dietary needs.

To make this dish plant-based, we use vegan chicken, which offers a similar texture and flavor to traditional chicken. Look for high-quality vegan chicken alternatives in your local grocery store, or use homemade seitan or tofu as a substitute.

A staple in many kitchens, olive oil is used for sautéing the vegetables, adding a rich, healthy fat that enhances the overall flavor of the dish.

Packed with vitamins and minerals, kale is the star vegetable of this Chicken and Kale Casserole. Both frozen and fresh kale work well; if using fresh, be sure to chop it finely for even cooking.

Freshly pressed garlic infuses the casserole with a robust and aromatic flavor, adding depth and complexity to the dish.

Chopped onions provide a sweet and savory base when sautéed, complementing the other ingredients and adding a delightful texture.

Side-by-side view of preparation steps.

Coconut Milk is a creamy, dairy-free milk alternative and adds a luscious, rich texture to the casserole. It also imparts a subtle coconut flavor that blends beautifully with the savory elements of the dish.

Used to enhance the flavor and keep the casserole moist, vegetable broth is a versatile ingredient that ties all the components together.

A slurry made from cornstarch and vegetable broth is used to thicken the casserole, ensuring a perfect, cohesive texture without relying on dairy.

Melted vegan cheese adds a deliciously gooey and savory finish to the Chicken and Kale Casserole. Opt for your favorite brand or variety to customize the flavor (parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese) to your liking.

Coconut milk is mixed with kale and chicken in a pan.

How to make Chicken and Kale Casserole

If it is not yet cooked, cook pasta according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 380F and set a casserole dish ready.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan or large skillet. Sautee the onions with the vegan chicken and pressed garlic for 4-5 minutes until they begin to brown.

Add the chopped kale and cook it for another 4 minutes on medium heat.

Vegan cheese and precooked pasta are mixed with the creamy sauce.

To make the cream sauce, give first the coconut milk to the pan. In a small bowl, make a slurry of the cornstarch with the vegetable broth. Pour it into the pan while stirring.

Mix in 3/4 of the cheese, then add the precooked pasta. Stir until all is combined.

Transfer the chicken mixture to the casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese.

Finally, bake the Chicken and Kale Casserole for about 15 minutes until golden brown on top.

Side-by-side view of a cooking pan and casserole dish with the Chicken and Kale Casserole.

Tips to get the most out of Chicken and Kale Casserole

This recipe makes a hearty casserole for the whole family. To get the best out of this easy weeknight meal, I have some additional suggestions:

  1. Prepping Kale: If using fresh kale, remove the tough stems and chop the leaves finely to ensure even cooking. If using frozen kale, make sure to thaw and drain it well to avoid excess moisture in the casserole.
  2. Garlic and Onion: To maximize the flavor, cook the garlic and onion until they are soft and translucent, allowing them to release their natural sweetness and aroma.
  3. Cheese Melting: If you prefer a golden, bubbly top, place the casserole under the broiler for the last few minutes of baking. Keep a close eye on it to avoid burning.
  4. Consistency Control: Adjust the thickness of the casserole by modifying the amount of cornstarch slurry. For a thicker consistency, use a bit more cornstarch; for a lighter consistency, use less.

Top view of the cheesy top of the Chicken and Kale Casserole.

Variations

  • Add or substitute other vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, or spinach for a different flavor profile and added nutrition. Sauté these vegetables along with the onions for best results.
  • Swap out the pasta for quinoa, rice, or another grain of your choice. This can add a unique texture and make the dish gluten-free if needed.
  • For a bit of heat, add some red pepper flakes, chopped jalapeños, or a dash of hot sauce to the casserole.
  • Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley can be added for extra flavor. Mix them in with the kale and garlic for a fragrant touch.
  • Experiment with various types of vegan cheese, such as mozzarella for a mild flavor, or cheddar for a sharper taste. You can also mix in nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor boost without additional fat.
  • If vegan chicken isn’t available, use other plant-based proteins like chickpeas, lentils, or tempeh. These alternatives will add a unique texture and protein content to the casserole.

A large spoonful of Chicken and Kale Casserole.

Other Kale Recipes to Try

Collage of two photos showing Chicken and Kale Casserole.

I hope you enjoy creating and savoring this delightful Chicken and Kale Casserole as much as I do.

Its rich flavors, comforting textures, and simple ingredients make it a standout dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

Don’t forget to share your remakes on Instagram and Facebook, and let me know how you personalized your casserole in the comments below. 

Top view of the cheesy top of the Chicken and Kale Casserole.

Easy Chicken and Kale Casserole

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Discover a hearty meal with this Chicken and Kale Casserole, perfect for busy weeknights or a cozy family dinner. Packed with tender chicken, kale, and a blend of savory spices, this dish combines wholesome ingredients for a delightful and satisfying experience. Easy to prepare and irresistibly delicious, this casserole is sure to become a favorite in your household.

Ingredients

  • 7 oz pasta, cooked
  • 6 oz vegan chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz kale, frozen or fresh
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 7 oz coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch + 1/3 cup vegetable broth mixed (slurry)
  • 5 oz vegan cheese, divided
  • salt, pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. If it is not yet cooked, cook pasta according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 380F and set a casserole dish ready.Ingredients needed to make Chicken and Kale Casserole.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan or large skillet. Sautee the onions with the vegan chicken and pressed garlic for 4-5 minutes until they begin to brown.
  3. Add the chopped kale and cook it for another 4 minutes on medium heat.Side-by-side view of preparation steps.
  4. To make the cream sauce, give first the coconut milk to the pan. In a small bowl, make a slurry of the cornstarch with the vegetable broth. Pour it into the pan while stirring.Coconut milk is mixed with kale and chicken in a pan.
  5. Mix in 3/4 of the cheese, then add the precooked pasta. Stir until all is combined.Vegan cheese and precooked pasta are mixed with the creamy sauce.
  6. Transfer the chicken mixture to the casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese.Side-by-side view of a cooking pan and casserole dish with the Chicken and Kale Casserole.
  7. Finally, bake the Chicken and Kale Casserole for about 15 minutes until golden brown on top.Top view of the cheesy top of the Chicken and Kale Casserole.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 851mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 21g
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