Fall vibes y’all.
Love this dish and all it’s earthy goodness. The kale, mushrooms, brown rice penne pasta, and maybe add some cooked chicken sausage for a plate of all shades brown and deep greens. Just beautiful! And so, so yummy. You can use whatever mushrooms you like the best or have on hand. I opted for a mix of baby portobellas and a shiitake mushrooms. This one’s got a light cheese sauce that is fool proof and quick. Just try it! I promise it will not disappoint!
The Sauce (I like mine on the thinner, lighter side)
- 1 cup of store-bought alfredo sauce from the jar
- whisk in 1 cup of pasta stock
- whisk in grated parmesan to consistency
Two Pans Going at Once for The Method
Stock Pot: Cook the pasta al dente and reserve ALL of the pasta stock (It’s liquid gold!). Run pasta under cold water and drain. While pasta is draining, whisk the sauce together until it’s hot and bubbly and then return the pasta to the sauce, turn heat off and cover until pasta is done.
Skillet: Olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, packaged chicken sausage (if using) and lastly all sauteed on medium-high heat until juices evaporate, then add 1.5 cups of pasta stock into the skillet and give it a good stir to break up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add several big handfuls of kale, turn heat down to low and cover for 20 minutes.
If you are serving a family with some picky eaters, go with family style, bring both pans to the table and serve family style. Adults may want to put the braised mushrooms and kale over the cheesy pasta, or mix it all together. My kids, prefer that their cheesy pasta remain untouched by other foods, so they ate the chicken sausage, kale and cheesy pasta but deconstructed on their plates (win!)
If you are serving an adult crowd, bring the contents of both pans together to combine in the skillet (you may need to add a little more pasta stock at this point to fuse it altogether) then serve (as pictured). Maybe even an extra parmesan cheese sprinkle on top and cracked pepper.
Cheesy Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Braised Mushrooms and Kale
- 4 cups baby bella mushrooms (quartered or halved if small)
- 5 cups Kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 5 cups brown rice penne pasta
- 1 cup alfredo sauce from the jar
- Pasta stock (at least 1 1/2 cups)
- Grated parmesan cheese (at least 1/2 cup)
- 4 packaged fully cooked chicken sausage (optional)
- Step 1 While pasta water is coming to a boil, saute mushrooms and kale in olive oil and garlic on medium-high heat until juices evaporate. Then add the cooked and sliced chicken sausage, 1 1/2 cups of stock to the skillet and give it a good stir to break up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Turn heat down to low and cover for 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates.
- Step 2 In a stock pot, cook the pasta al dente which takes about 5 minutes (firm to bite) and reserve a cup (or two to be safe) of pasta stock. Run pasta under cold water and drain.
- Step 3 In the empty pasta pot, whisk 1 cup of alfredo sauce, 1 cup of pasta stock and parmesan cheese to consistency of your liking, and let it come to a slow boil. When the sauce is hot and bubbly, return the pasta to the sauce, turn the heat off and cover until pasta is fully cooked. To speed this process up, you can leave the heat on low. Try to time it so that the pasta and braising is finished at the same time.
- Step 4 Serve braised mushrooms and kale over the cheesy pasta or mix it all together in the skillet to combine. If mixing together you may need to add a little more pasta stock to the skillet to fuse it altogether. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and cracked pepper.
Have Some Leftovers?
Try this Plant-Based Mushroom and Kale Pizza using plant-based burger patties. We love it! As for the leftovers for this dish, put the braised mushrooms, sausage and kale on a white pizza (garlic and olive oil base) with goat cheese and bake to perfection. Top with caramelized onions after it comes out of the oven. So damn good.