Recipe: Parmesan Chicken and Kale Sauté

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I believe Parmesan cheese can make nearly anything better. In this case, I am referring to boneless, skinless chicken breasts and kale — two things that can be hard to love sometimes, but trust me when I say you’ll love them here. It’s a chicken dinner that’s comforting and hearty, thanks to the sharp cheese and leafy kale, yet not a touch heavy, due to acidity of the white wine and a splash of lemon juice that finishes it off.

This one-skillet dinner feels both wholesome and special, which makes this a meal that fits the bill on any ol’ weeknight but also when you feel like pulling out the cloth napkins and pouring yourself a glass of that wine.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A Wholesome Meal for Family Dinners and Dinner Parties

Chicken breasts and kale are often ingredients that are brought to the table when you want your family to eat a good meal, but rarely are they shown off at a more dimly lit gathering on a Saturday night with friends. This recipe can play both roles, as it’s fast enough to be tossed together on a Tuesday, but fancy enough to impress whoever you may have invited over. The best part about it is that it’s light enough that everyone at your table will still have plenty of room for dessert.

The Best Wine to Cook With and Drink

If you’re going to pop open a bottle of wine to make this chicken sauté, might as well make it one that’s worthy sipping while you’re cooking and then sitting down to eat. For this, I like a dry Chenin Blanc. The white grape varietal has high acidity and a touch of natural sweetness that settles the earthiness of the kale as it cooks down. And it’s a cool, crisp accompaniment to the chicken dinner when you’re digging in to it.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)
194 Ratings

Parmesan Chicken and Kale Sauté



  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, diced

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • Pinch red pepper flakes

  • 1

    large bunch flat-leaf kale (about 12 ounces), stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup

    dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup

    grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon

    freshly squeezed lemon juice



  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.

  2. Add the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes to the skillet. Sauté until the onions are starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the kale, wine, and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender.

  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Add the Parmesan and lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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