Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Kale

September 6, 2022

This orecchiette pasta is a quick and tasty dish made with crumbled chicken sausage and kale in a light, but deliciously creamy sauce.  

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There’s been a slight fall feeling in the air lately.  Knowing that my favorite season is right around the corner not only makes me extremely happy, but has me craving those cozy fall favorites once again.  I cannot wait for oversized sweaters, hot cups of tea, chilly days and nights, and belly warming foods.

We’ve had our pasta fix during the summer with a plethora of pasta salads.  But now that the weather is finally starting to cool, I’ve been thinking about filling my plate with pasta.  Lots and lots of pasta!

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like pasta tastes even better when it’s in a fun shape!  I recently bought a box of orecchiette.  While the pasta is actually supposed to resemble small ears, it reminds me of little cups that grab ahold of the flavor of your pasta dish.

For some reason, I ended up with a lot of chicken sausage in the freezer.  So I put together a slightly creamy orecchiette pasta made with chicken sausage and chopped kale.  This dish is delicious and easy and not entirely heavy either.

Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Kale

This recipe is perfect for transitioning your weekly menu into cozier fall meals.  Orecchiette pasta is made with Italian chicken sausage, kale, garlic, and a touch of creaminess.  Top it with a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan and a little crushed red pepper for a delightfully satisfying meal.

The first step to making this recipe is cooking the pasta.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package, or until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Now, we’re going to heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once hot, remove the chicken sausage from its casing and add it to the pan.  Cook until browned.

Add the kale and garlic to the pan.  Sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant and the kale begins to wilt.

Then, add the chicken broth and heavy cream and stir until it starts to bubble and thicken.

Now, we’re going to stir in some cream cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper and let everything melt down into the sauce.

Add the pasta into the pan and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the pasta immediately with more Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper on top, if desired.

Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Kale

Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Kale

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. orecchiette pasta
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. chicken sausage, casing removed and crumbled
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, or half and half 
  • 2 heaping tbsp. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: grated Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package, or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. 
  3. Add the chicken sausage and cook until golden brown, breaking up larger pieces.
  4. Then, add the kale and garlic to the pan and sauté until the kale begins to wilt and the garlic becomes fragrant. 
  5. Add the chicken broth and cream, stirring until it bubbles and thickens. 
  6. Stir in the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese until both have melted into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the pasta and stir. 
  8. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper on top, if desired.

Notes

Not a fan of kale? Use another dark, leafy green like baby spinach or arugula instead.

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If you end up with leftover pasta and want to reheat it the next day, add a splash of chicken broth to the pasta just to loosen it up a bit.  Serve this dish with your favorite crusty Italian bread or garlic bread.

Did you make this Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Kale recipe? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!

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