Glorious Greek Chicken Pasta Casserole with Kale

Jump to Recipe

Easy one-pan casserole dinners are great for weeknight dinners.  But dinner goes from great to GLORIOUS with this Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole with Feta and Kale.  It’s kind of like a Greek Mac n Cheese because it’s so incredibly creamy and cheesy from the parmesan and feta cheeses.  The glorious thing about Feta is that while it has a very pungent flavor when served cold, it becomes a more mellow, rich, and flavorful backdrop – which is great for kids.  You still get just a hint of funk from the Feta, but in a good way;)  

This is the ultimate in easy dinners; the ultimate in flavor.  Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

Hail to the Kale

Kale adds fiber, nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium…it’s a beautiful thing.  It’s not only incredibly healthy, it’s incredibly versatile.  I put kale in my morning smoothie, lunch salads or one-bowl concoctions, and into a variety of dinner dishes.  

If your kids are not fans of Kale, try this recipe anyway because it completely melts into this dish and becomes one with it.  

Here are a few more recipes that I love with Kale:

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a 9×13 Casserole Dish or similar size – 10×10, 12×12, 10×13 will all work..

You also need a medium-large skillet/frying pan for cooking the ground chicken before it goes into the pan. This will allow you to break it up and give it a wonderful browned sear, which equals FLAVOR!

Mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR GREEK CHICKEN PASTA CASSEROLE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

This easy recipe has only a few easy steps and very little prep required.  For the prep, if not already done, mince 3 garlic cloves.   

Prep the kale by rinsing it with cold water and drying it.  Then strip the leaves off the woody stems, and discard the stems. Rough chop the kale and set aside.

What kind of Kale should I buy?

Kale is one of those vegetables that is highly likely to have pesticides unless you buy it organic.  That’s because it grows above ground and is quite appealing to little critters.  Therefore, I recommend buying organic kale that is still on the stem.  If you cannot find organic, make sure you wash it with cold water and rub the leaves with your fingers to remove as much residue as possible.  If organic, you should still clean it the same way to remove possible bugs or dirt.

I also do not buy kale already chopped, as it has a shorter shelf life than fresh whole leaves still on the stems.

COOK YOUR GREEK CHICKEN PASTA CASSEROLE 

There are two steps to cooking this recipe and you do not want to skip the first one.  The first is to precook the ground chicken and the second step is to mix and cook the casserole. 

You can actually precook the chicken 2-3 days in advance if you want! Preheat a large frying pan or skillet on high heat. Add the olive oil and then the ground chicken. Break up the chicken with a spatula and then season with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir together and then let sear in the pan for 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until all pink is gone.  

Finally, add the broth to the pan and scrape up all of the chicken brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Turn off the heat.

Pour the ground chicken and broth into the casserole dish.

In measuring cup, add 1 cup milk and the 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk to dissolve and then add to the casserole dish. Add in 1 more cup of milk, plus the other 2 cups of broth, the additional dried oregano, parmesan, and the dried pasta. Stir to combine and ensure that the pasta is submerged in the liquid.

Last, mix in the chopped kale, parmesan cheese, and feta cheese. Mix again and press down with a spoon to ensure that again the pasta is submerged into the liquid.

Hand adding measuring cup of parmesan cheese to dish with ground chicken and broth for Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 

Fork pressing down dry pasta and kale into liquid with ground chicken and broth for Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 

Cover with aluminum foil and place on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the casserole and give it a stir to ensure that all pasta is getting cooked through evenly. Cover again and bake for the last 20 minutes.

Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole in oven with aluminum foil on top. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 

Can I use any other meat?

You can use any ground meat you prefer.  The ground chicken really keeps this a lean recipe, however, you can use ground beef, ground pork, or ground lamb.  All would be delicious.  Cooking times will be the same regardless of the meat.  

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Fork with bite of Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole with plate below and casserole in background. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 
Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole in a casserole dish with wood spatula. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 
5 from 1 vote
Print

Magical Greek Chicken Pasta Casserole with Kale

This Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole is easy and delicious! It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale.  It's kind of like a Greek Mac n Cheese because it's so incredibly creamy and cheesy from the parmesan and feta cheeses.  The Feta melts into a more mellow, rich, and flavorful backdrop – which is great for kids! #casseroleideas #easydinnerideas #familydinnerrecipes #greekchicken #chickenpasta

Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Keyword casserole, chicken, ground chicken, kale, pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Ground Chicken

  • 16 oz Ground Chicken Breast
  • 2 teaspoons Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 3 teaspoons Garlic, minced (3 garlic cloves)

Casserole

  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups 1% Milk (any milk will work)
  • 4 tablespoons Corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 10 ounces Campanelle Pasta, dry (or any short cut pasta)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 6 ounces Feta, crumbled
  • 2 cups Fresh Kale, chopped

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. If not already done, mince 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Clean the kale leaves by rinsing with cold water. Strip the leaves off the woody stems and discard the stems. Rough chop the kale and set aside.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F degrees

  2. Preheat a large frying pan or skillet on high heat. Add the olive oil and then the ground chicken. Break up the chicken with a spatula and then season with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Let sear in the pan for 3-4 minutes and then add the garlic and stir. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until all pink is gone. Last, pour in 1 cup of the broth and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Turn off the heat.

    Measuring cup of broth being added to ground chicken in pan cooking for Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 
  3. In measuring cup, add 1 cup milk and the 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk to dissolve and then add to the casserole dish. Pour the ground chicken and broth into the casserole dish. Add in 1 more cup of milk, plus the other 2 cups of broth, the additional dried oregano, parmesan, and the dried pasta. Stir to combine and ensure that the pasta is submerged in the liquid.

    Hand adding measuring cup of parmesan cheese to dish with ground chicken and broth for Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 
  4. Last, mix in the chopped kale and feta cheese. Mix again and press down with a spoon to ensure that again the pasta is submerged into the liquid.

    Fork pressing down dry pasta and kale into liquid with ground chicken and broth for Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and place on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

    Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole in oven with aluminum foil on top. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 
  6. After 20 minutes, remove the casserole and give it a stir to ensure that all pasta is getting cooked through evenly. Cover again and bake for the last 20 minutes.

  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

    Glorious Greek Ground Chicken Pasta Casserole in a casserole dish with wood spatula. It has lean ground chicken with garlic, oregano, parmesan, feta and Kale. 

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs!

Jump to Recipe

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs on a plate with Tzatziki sauce over rice. Baked meatballs in back. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs are so moist and bursting with big flavors from garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano.  You can make them ahead and freeze for months.  Then simply bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!  Paired with a tangy and bright Tzatziki sauce and served over your favorite side, it’s the perfect dinner!

I mentioned that you can make these meatballs ahead and freeze them. I highly recommend doubling up on this recipe and immediately freezing half of the meatballs for another week or even month! If you like that idea, try these other Five, 5-Ingredient Freezable Dinners – with Grocery List!

Ground Chicken Greek Meatball on fork dipped in Tzatziki sauce over rice. Baked meatballs in back. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano

Meatballs are a versatile Family Dinner!

If you’ve followed my recipes for a while then you know how much I love meatballs for dinner.  If not, welcome to my meatball world!  And when I say ‘world’ I really mean taking a trip around the world with Meatballs.  They are easy to make tons for family dinners and fill them with flavors from different cuisines.  

Here are links to some of my favorite Meatball Recipes:

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs on a plate with Tzatziki sauce over rice. Baked meatballs in back. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano. 

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special for this one! Just a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11).

Oh, mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR GREEK MEATBALLS

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the full recipe below)

For this recipe, you can prep all of the ingredients: mince the garlic, chop the parsley, slice the scallion, zest and juice the lime.  Follow the recipe for the details on this prep.  

One of the most fantastic things about these meatballs (aside from the taste) is that you can make them ahead.  To make the meatballs, just add the ground meat and all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and combine.  Then form meatballs using a heaping tablespoon of mixture for each.  Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment or aluminum for easy clean-up.  Of course, you do not need to line the pan, but if not, then coat the bottom with olive oil.

Ground Chicken Greek Meatball ingredients in a bowl.  Baked meatballs in back. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano

Ground Chicken Greek Meatball ingredients in a bowl.  These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano

Ground Chicken Greek Meatball ingredients in a bowl.   These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano

Raw Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs on a pan.  These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano

Can I swap another Meat for the Chicken?

Yep! Let start with chicken, as there are different kinds within the ‘chicken category’ to know about. There different types based on how the chickens are raised. I prefer the free-range chicken with no antibiotics used. This will be found on the label. Just because it says organic, doesn’t mean it was free range.

There are also different cuts used for the ground chicken, such dark meat cuts (thighs, legs) or white meat (breast). The white meat is leaner. Some ground chicken is a mix and some will say white meat only. I used 99% lean white meat ground chicken. However, you use any ground chicken variety.

You could use ground beef at any fat content you prefer (80%, 90%, etc.). Same thing applies to beef as with chicken. There is grass-fed, no-antibiotics, no hormones, etc. And of course you can use ground turkey.

Can I use other Fillings for Greek Meatballs?

I’ve tested many different ingredients in meatballs and for this recipe I really love this combo. That said, you can certainly make some swaps if you need or want to. I used dried oregano for big Mediterranean flavor in a small amount. I use fresh parsley mostly for color and a touch of freshness. You could use dried Italian seasoning or dried basil instead using the same measurement as the oregano. You could also swap the parsley for fresh baby spinach. Consider wilting the spinach down first in a sauté pan and then squeezing out the excess water before adding it to the meat. You could add up to ½ cup wilted spinach to the meat mixture.

How can I make these meatballs Gluten Free?

You could swap the breadcrumbs with parmesan cheese or even gluten free breadcrumbs.   

MAKE YOUR TZATZIKI!

You have prepped most of the ingredients above per the recipe, so now it’s on to the cucumber.  For my Tzatziki, I love a lot of crunchy cucumber.  You can certainly add less if you want, such as only 1/4 of a cucumber.

Cucumbers are 95% water! 

Yes, that’s right!  So, cucumbers are a great snack during the hot summer months for helping you to stay hydrated.  But, you must squeeze out the water before adding the cucumber to your sauce because it will make your sauce very watery and separate on you.  Of course, you can save that cucumber water for a smoothie or lemon water or even a cocktail! 

I use my grater vs. a food processor for the cucumber shredding process, as it’s quick with minimal clean up.  

Grating cucumber for Tzatziki sauce to go with Chicken Greek Meatballs. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano.

Grating cucumber for Tzatziki sauce to go with Chicken Greek Meatballs. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano.

Once you have your cucumber grated, transfer it to a clean towel and squeeze the water out, then add it to the yogurt with the rest of the Tzatziki ingredients and stir to combine.

Grated cucumber squeezed in a towel for Tzatziki sauce to go with Chicken Greek Meatballs. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano.

Excess water from grated cucumber squeezed in a towel for Tzatziki sauce to go with Chicken Greek Meatballs. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano.

Ingredients in a bowl for Tzatziki sauce to go with Chicken Greek Meatballs. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano.

COOK YOUR CHICKEN GREEK MEATBALLS & QUINOA

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Place the meatballs on an oiled sheet pan and bake in the oven for 15 on one side. Then remove and flip the meatballs over to get browned on the other side. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Baked Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs on a pan. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano

ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs on a plate with Tzatziki sauce over rice. Baked meatballs in back. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano. 
Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs on a plate with Tzatziki sauce over rice. Baked meatballs in back. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano. 
5 from 2 votes
Print

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs are so moist and bursting with big flavors from garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano.  You can make them ahead and freeze for months.  Then simply bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!  Paired with a tangy and bright Tzatziki sauce and served over your favorite side, it's the perfect dinner! #chickenrecipes #chickendinners #easydinnerideas #meatballs #chickemeatballs #greekmeatballs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Keyword feta, Meatballs, tzatziki
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 294 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 16 oz Lean Ground Chicken raised without antibiotics ground turkey is good too
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp Parsley Chopped
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg, large
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Feta, crumbled

Tzatziki

  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Lime (all zested, half juiced)
  • 1/2 English Cucumber, medium-sized
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. You need 1 large mixing bowl for the meatball mixture and 1 small bowl. Place the ground chicken into the large bowl. Place the yogurt into the small bowl.

  2. Mince the 3 cloves garlic, 2 go into the large mixing bowl with the chicken and 1 goes into the small bowl with the yogurt.

  3. Chop parsley and add it to the chicken in the large bowl. Slice the scallion greens and add them to the yogurt in the small bowl.

  4. Zest the Lime and add it to the yogurt. Juice half the lime into the yogurt.

  5. For the meatball mixture in the large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients: the ground chicken, egg, oregano, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs. Mix to fully combine all ingredients.

  6. Then form meatballs by scooping a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and rolling it in your hands. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment or aluminum for easy clean-up.  Of course, you do not need to line the pan, but if not, then coat the bottom with olive oil.

  7. Using a grater on the medium grate size, grate the cucumber with the skin on. Transfer the cucumber to a clean towel so that you can squeeze the water out of the cucumber before adding it to the yogurt.

  8. If you are not eating the Tzatziki within the next day, then I mix the yogurt sauce without the cucumber and store the cucumber in a separate bowl lined with paper towel to soak up any additional water that comes out of the cucumber. When you are ready, add the cucumber plus salt and pepper to the yogurt, then mix the ingredients into the yogurt. Cover and store in the fridge.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Place the meatballs on an oiled sheet pan and bake in the oven for 15 on one side. Then remove and flip the meatballs over to get browned on the other side. Bake for another 10 minutes.

  2. Finish the Tzatziki sauce by mixing the shredded cucumber to the yogurt and mix to combine. Serve with the meatballs and ENJOY!