Chicken Tortellini with Kale – a 15 minute recipe


This Chicken Tortellini with Kale has been made twice in our house so far.  Once by me and once by Jim.  He got home before I did the other night and texted asking if there was anything he could do.  I suggested he could make dinner.  I knew we had the ingredients for this recipe in the fridge and the recipe notes were still sitting on the counter.

Chicken Tortellini with Kale 15 minute meal


When I walked in the door, he had this dinner on the table.  I love that!

He doesn’t cook very often, but he was able to follow this easy recipe.  Actually, he was able to follow the notes, which aren’t as complete as the full recipe when I type it here.  So this is a very easy recipe.

And it’s also really good.  I wasn’t sure how my kids would react to the kale.  They love kale chips, but cooked kale is a different thing.  I didn’t need to worry though, because they loved it!

The dark, leafy kale contrasted in taste, texture and color to the pasta, cheese and chicken.  A little bit of red pepper flakes added even more flavor.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this 15 minute dish:  

Chicken Tortellini with Kale ingr


The photo is missing the crushed red pepper flakes and white wine.  Both of these are optional, but as I was cooking I decided they would be good additions.  Butter and olive oil are also missing from the photo.

I used rotisserie chicken I had frozen.  Here’s my post on using Costco rotisserie chickens, along with several recipes to use the cooked chicken.

Chicken Tortellini with Kale – a 15 minute recipe

Serves: 6 servings

  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 oz kale, chopped
  • ½ cup white wine or water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 24 oz cheese tortellini
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, warmed
  • cooking water from tortellini
  • ½ - 1 cup shaved Parmesan
  1. Start boiling water for the tortellini.
  2. Cook garlic in oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add kale gradually, stirring and adding more as it cooks down and will fit in the skillet.
  4. Pour wine or water into skillet and continue to cook kale. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  5. Start cooking the tortellini in the boiling water for the time the package suggests.
  6. Ladle out some cooking water from the tortellini, then drain the pasta.
  7. Stir the pasta, chicken and kale together. Add a bit of cooking water if it seems too dry.
  8. Stir in ½ - 1 cup of Parmesan.
  9. Serve.
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  1. Amy Wlotkowski says:

    Can you use spinach instead of kale? I think my daughters would like spinach better.

  2. Sounds good! I think this would be a great way for me to eat more kale…my kids are a different story, but they love pasta so I will have to give it a try soon!

  3. We had this for dinner tonight and I really liked it! I’ll add more kale next time, just because it’s good for you and it wilts down to such a small amount.

  4. Jo Meadows says:

    I loved the kale ideas. I have kale growing in the garden of my new home. Glad to know what to do with it!

  5. Hi,

    Can you use cooking wine in lieu of the white wine?

    • You can, but cooking wine has a much higher salt content. The taste will be a little different and you’ll want to adjust the seasonings to account for the extra salt.

      • Thank you. I usually have white wine but out of it right now. I have kurbis secco lol BTW, we tried your pizza pasta and I found something that all 3 kids seemed to like. That’s a feat in itself. Really like your site. Bonnie

  6. Thanks for the recipe! I found it when I was looking for easy ideas for a bag of kale. I’ve made it several times and it’s so simple and delicious! I haven’t even used the chicken or the wine, and it’s still yummy! It would be good with different flavors of tortellini as well.


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