This one-pan Healthy Chicken and Mushroom Skillet with kale has an incredible lemon and garlic flavor that will have you reaching for seconds! Plus, the whole dish is ready in less than 40 minutes with minimal cleanup.
With the combination of chicken, mushrooms, and kale, this skillet dinner is a powerhouse of healthy ingredients!
Chicken breast is the leanest meat you can get, plus it’s such a versatile ingredient. It goes with most seasonings, from the dry rubs to the sauces, from the savory and spicy to the sticky-sweet. And yet it is tasty enough to stand as a main ingredient without much added.
Mushrooms are loaded with minerals and vitamins such as selenium, potassium, vitamin B, and vitamin D (in fact, mushrooms are the only vegan source of vitamin D). They are also high in fiber and low in calories.
Lastly, kale is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. What I love about cooking with kale is how much it cooks down. This makes it so easy to eat lots of greens – just a few bites of sautéed kale and you are eating the equivalent of several cups of kale. You’d never be able to eat so much of it if you were eating a raw kale salad!
This chicken and mushroom skillet is one of our go-to dinner recipes because it is just so tasty, healthy, and gorgeous. You only need one pan, and the cleanup is super easy, especially if you can get your hands on kale leaves that are already cut and cleaned.
So next time you’re out grocery shopping, pick up the ingredients for this recipe and whip up a beautiful chicken, kale, and mushroom dinner in less than 40 minutes!
How to make healthy chicken and mushroom skillet
Chicken is best served with a bit of seasoning to bring out its flavors. The Italian herbs in this dish are perfect for flavoring chicken, and they go really well with the lemon and garlic!
Step 1: Season the chicken breasts with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Step 2: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Cook the chicken breasts over high heat for about 5-8 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned.
Step 3: Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms to the pan and stir.
Step 4: Add the kale leaves and chicken broth. If necessary, add half the kale leaves to start, wait until they cook down, then add the other half.
Step 5: Turn the heat down and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the liquid is mostly evaporated, the kale is wilted, and the chicken breasts are fully cooked.
Step 6: OPTIONAL: Place a few lemon halves face-down in the skillet during the last few minutes of cooking. When they cool, you can squeeze extra lemon juice over the whole dish for an added zing of flavor.
Step 7: Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
That’s it! This flavorful chicken, mushroom, and kale recipe is ready in less than 40 minutes from when you take the first ingredient out of the fridge.
Searing the lemon
Chicken and kale recipes are great with lemon juice. In fact, the lemon juice even helps take some of the bitterness out of the kale leaves.
That’s why I recommend the optional step of searing the lemon!
Simply place a few lemon halves face-down in the skillet during the last few minutes of cooking. This will allow them to caramelize and release a wonderful fragrance.
Once they cool, you can squeeze extra lemon juice over the whole dish for an extra zing of flavor. But be warned, the warm lemons will release their juice very easily, so be careful not to splash lemon juice all over the kitchen!
Substituting the kale
I love cooking with kale. There are so many vitamins and antioxidants packed into its dark green leafy goodness, it’s a nutrient powerhouse!
However, if kale simply isn’t your style, you can use spinach to substitute in this recipe. Spinach is still incredibly good for you and will go so well with the flavors of this dish.
If you find yourself with leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
If there is any liquid left in your skillet, try not to transfer too much of it into the container. This will help keep the kale from getting mushy.
More healthy chicken recipes
For anyone that enjoys chicken breast recipes, make sure to check out the Diabetes Strong guide on How to Bake the Perfect Chicken Breast.
And for more inspiration, here are a few recipes you’ll love:
- Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Mustard Baked Chicken Tenders
- Grilled Chicken Parmesan (from our friends at A Grill For All Seasons)
You can also check out this roundup of the best Healthy Diabetic Chicken Recipes!
When you’ve tried this dish, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Healthy Chicken and Mushroom Skillet
- 1½ lbs. chicken breast (3 or 4 chicken breasts)
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. baby bella (crimini) mushrooms, sliced
- 6 cups chopped kale leaves, tightly packed (about ½ – ¾ lb kale)
- ½ cup chicken broth or water
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Season the chicken breasts with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.1½ lbs. chicken breast, 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet, and cook the chicken breasts over high heat about 5-8 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned.2 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1½ lbs. chicken breast
- Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms to the pan and stir.2 cloves garlic, minced, 8 oz. baby bella (crimini) mushrooms, sliced
- Add the kale leaves and chicken broth. If necessary, add half the kale leaves to start, wait until they cook down, then add the other half.6 cups chopped kale leaves, tightly packed, ½ cup chicken broth or water
- Turn the heat down and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the liquid is mostly evaporated, the kale is wilted, and the chicken breasts are fully cooked.
- OPTIONAL: Place a few lemon halves face-down in the skillet during the last few minutes of cooking. When they cool, you can squeeze extra lemon juice over the whole dish for an extra zing of flavor.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Is there really 1974 grams of sodium? This recipe looks so good. Just checking on the sodium content. Thanks.
Tobias Oerum says
No, that was a mistake. Thank you for letting us know. We have updated the nutrition label.
Dianne Allen says
It was absolutely delicious. I used chicken thighs. I also cooked whole wheat penne with it. I was really surprise how good the kale tasted in it. It’s a keeper recipe. I’m going to try the recipe with Shrimp instead of chicken.
I substituted spinach for the kale, and added some red pepper lice’s. It turned out very good, and very pretty with the different colors.
Christel Oerum says
Yay! Glad to hear that worked out
Ambita Darius Chenai says
Can I substitute Kale with Spinach?
Thank you ?.
Christel Oerum says
That should be fine. Enjoy
Jennifer Corver says
This was delicious! I added the option extra lemon you suggest and I think that made it extra good. Thank you for a great recipe.
Kate @ babaganosh says
I am so glad you enjoyed it! Yes, I do think the “roasted” lemon step is worth it. 🙂