Hearty Winter Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Kale is the kind of warm, nourishing meal you want to dig into on a cold winter’s night. The simple pan sauce comes together in minutes, with minimal fuss, so you can enjoy this delicious pasta any night of the week!
One of my favorite ways to use winter veggies is to quickly cook them in an easy pan-sauce and then toss with perfectly cooked whole wheat or gluten-free pasta. It’s definitely one of my favorite uses for kale, and even entices my three year-old to take a few bites.
Lately I’ve been tossing delicata squash into the pan as well, because it cooks quickly and doesn’t even need to be peeled. I’ve heard from some of you, though, that delicatas haven’t made their way to stores in your area, so feel free to substitute peeled butternut squash in it’s place if that’s what you have.
Elle prefers her Winter Pasta deconstructed with the pasta served separately with plenty of parmesan cheese on top, along with a little pile of kale and squash. Andrew and I prefer big bowls of the stuff, with some freshly ground black pepper and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Hungry yet? Grab the recipe and make this one tonight!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Deconstruct this pasta for resistant eaters by serving the pasta, sausage, kale, and squash separately on a plate. Offer some cheese on the side for sprinkling.
2 | Substitute a can of drained, rinsed white beans for the chicken sausage for a vegetarian option.
3 | Use butternut squash in place of delicata if you prefer.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free (if you use gluten-free pasta), Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Nut-Free
Hearty Winter Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Kale
- 8- oz whole wheat or gluten-free pasta
- 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
- ½ pound bulk mild chicken sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt divided
- 1 delicata squash washed and seeds removed, cut into one-inch or round pieces
- 1 bunch kale stems removed and sliced thinly (about 4 cups sliced)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Freshly grated parmesan optional
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken sausage and cook until browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan and set aside, leaving any brown bits in the pan.
- To the same pan over medium heat, add an additional 1 teaspoon olive oil, the onion, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the squash and kale to the onions, sprinkle with an additional ¼ teaspoons salt, and stir to combine. Add the stock, and raise the heat to high until the stock starts to boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the kale has wilted and the squash has cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Uncover, add the drained pasta, and toss everything together to combine. Add the vinegar, taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with parmesan if you like.