February 9, 2022

Tuscan Kale, Chicken and Asiago Pasta Bake

Recipe: Camilla Wynne

Two full bunches of kale make their way into this pasta and chicken dish, with its creamy Asiago sauce spiked with lemon. This dish turns your freezer into a gold mine on a busy weeknight.


  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale
  • 1 lb. rigatoni
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups grated Asiago
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • Zest ½ lemon
  • 2½ cups shredded cooked chicken
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Cook Pasta And Kale

  1. Wash kale, remove stems and roughly chop.
  2. Cook pasta al dente, according to package directions. Add kale to pot two minutes before end of cooking time. Drain.

Make Cheese Sauce

  1. In large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  2. Gradually whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in Asiago a handful at a time, until completely melted. Remove from heat and add chili flakes and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble And Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12-cup baking dish or two 6-cup baking dishes.
  2. Combine cheese sauce with pasta, kale and shredded chicken, stirring until evenly coated. Transfer to prepared dish(es). Sprinkle with Parmesan and pine nuts. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or transferred to airtight containers and frozen. Reheat, covered with aluminum foil, in 350°F oven for 1 hour, or until warmed through.
  4. If making for later, skip the baking step and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. When ready to eat, unwrap, cover with foil and bake at 400°F for 1 hour, removing foil in last 15 minutes of baking.