Creamy Kale and Ground Chicken Pasta is one of the easiest one pot pasta recipes you’ll ever make! Make your own cheesy cream sauce with this ground chicken and kale pasta topped with basil.

If you can’t stand doing dishes, this Creamy Kale and Ground Chicken Pasta recipe is for you! You only need one pot to make this simple and flavorful Italian pasta dish that’s packed with ground fennel, garlic, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan. 

What we love most about this dinner is how it’s so easy to transform lean ground chicken into a meal that has the flavors of Italian sausage.

And that’s all due to the addition of ground fennel (or fennel seeds, if you choose), which is the primary flavor in Italian sausage links, along with garlic and red pepper flakes.

Ingredients

This is a basic shopping list for the best one pot chicken pasta recipe, but the full list of ingredients is in the printable recipe card below, so be sure to keep scrolling down to check it out!

  • Olive oil
  • Aromatics: onion and fresh garlic
  • Ground fennel: optional but highly recommended to boost the sausage flavor! You can also use fennel seeds here.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Ground chicken
  • White wine: preferably a dry one like Chardonnay
  • Uncooked pasta, like penne
  • Baby kale
  • Heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Basil 
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make Chicken and Kale Pasta

Here are the steps for how to make this creamy ground chicken pasta recipe! The full Instruction list is in the printable recipe card below, so be sure to keep scrolling down to the card.

STEP 1: First, sauté the onions in a little olive oil until they start to soften. Then, add the garlic, fennel, red pepper flakes, and some salt and pepper. 

STEP 2: Now, crumble the ground chicken into the skillet and brown it with the aromatics and spices until it’s fully cooked. 

STEP 3: Next, deglaze the pan with white wine. Be sure to scrape those delicious brown bits off the bottom of the pan! 

STEP 4: Then, add most of the water and pasta to the pot and bring it all to a boil. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a bit of the remaining water every few minutes to keep the sauce loose.

STEP 5: When the pasta is cooked, add the kale and cover the pan. Stir every few minutes to help the kale wilt as it cooks. Swirl in the cream, Parmesan, and most of the fresh basil. Let the cream heat through, but don’t allow it to boil or it will separate. 

I love to garnish it all with a little more Parmesan and chopped basil for a beautiful, fragrant pasta dish! 

How Do You Get the Bitterness Out of Kale?

Kale is one of my favorite leafy greens to eat! It’s packed full of nutrients and holds up well to being cooked for longer periods of time.

However, when it’s fresh, kale can taste a little bitter and that sometimes turns folks off to liking it. I don’t mind the bitterness at all and I love to make some of the best salads with kale. So, cooking it in dishes like this pasta cooks out some of the bitterness. 

It’s kind of a win-win vegetable! You get a bunch of nutrients from a veggie that benefits from being cooked down!

What to Serve with One Pot Creamy Kale and Chicken Pasta

This pasta is a whole meal in one bowl! Veggies, protein and carbs — what more do you need?

If you’re in my family, the answer is usually more carbs. You can’t let any of this delicious creamy cheese sauce go to waste!

This incredible cheesy garlic pull-apart bread is super simple to make with a loaf of store-bought Italian bread.

If you like monkey bread, you’ll love this savory version! Garlic parmesan pull-apart bread transforms simple pizza dough into delicious balls of flavor. 

End the night with my favorite tiramisu ice cream! It’s got the same flavors as the delicious Italian dessert but takes way less work to make.

More One Pot Pasta Recipes

When I find a great one pot recipe, I keep it forever and make it over and over. There’s nothing better than a homemade dinner with minimal cleanup! Let’s chat about some of my favorite one pot pasta recipes!

If you love creamy pasta, try this simple one pot sausage pasta! It’s chocked full of Italian flavors (Italian sausage! Oregano! Marinara sauce! Parmesan cheese!) and its creamy tomato sauce base makes for such a cozy yet decadent meal.

This has been one of the most popular recipes on the site for almost 10 years for a good reason!

Or up the veggie factor in your pasta dinner with this creamy chicken sausage and spinach pasta! It’s a wholesome meal with familiar ingredients the whole family will love.

Looking for a spicy pasta recipe? Cajun chicken pasta is a crazy delicious one pot meal filled with sautéed Cajun chicken, mushrooms, and red peppers in a spicy, creamy tomato sauce.

And if you’re looking for pure comfort food, you’re going to want to try this Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese. Loaded with pizza flavors in a super cheesy sauce that’s made completely on the stove top. you’ll never go back to baking mac and cheese again!

One Pot Creamy Kale and Chicken Pasta

One Pot Creamy Kale and Chicken Pasta

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground fennel or 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional - see note below)
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 8 oz dry short pasta shapes, like penne
  • 4 cups water
  • 5 oz baby kale
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the peppers and onions until they start to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, fennel, red pepper flakes, and a good pinch of salt and a few cranks of black pepper. Crumble the chicken into the skillet and cook with the peppers and onions until browned. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the sauce and 3 cups of water into the skillet and then stir the pasta into the mixture until well-combined.
  2. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Allow the liquid to simmer, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently towards the end to prevent the pasta from sticking, for about 15 to 17 minutes. Every 5 minutes or so, stir in a little of the remaining cup of water. If the liquid starts boiling over, reduce the heat to low.
  3. When the pasta is cooked through, stir in the kale and cover the pan. Continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to help the kale leaves wilt. Stir in the cream, Parmesan cheese, and most of the basil (reserving a little for garnish). Allow the cream to heat through for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the dish to cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle the remaining basil over the top, and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472

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