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Chicken Breast with Kale Pipian

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
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Why we love it:

Pipian is one of the dozens of types of mole sauces. It’s typically not made with kale, but this is a fun way to season the kale and incorporate a leafy green as the sauce rather than a side dish. If you can’t find fresh or canned tomatillos, it’s common to find “salsa verde” which will be made with tomatillos.


  • 2 Delicata Squashs
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes (small, or other yellow variety)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 pound Chicken Breast (boneless/skinless, sliced into 4 filets or even pieces)
  • 14 Yellow Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • 1 6-ounce can Tomatillos (or 4 fresh tomatillos, or ½ cup tomatillo salsa)
  • 1 bunch Lacinato Kale (small bunch, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn)
  • 4 Tablespoons Pepitas
  • 1 Lime (zest and juice)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 2 ounces Cotija Cheese (or parmesan, optional)

Cooking Instructions


    Wash the delicata squash, then slice in ½. Scoop the seeds and guts out with a spoon then slice in half moons. Wash potatoes and cut in half or quarters to make pieces that are about 1”. Toss squash pieces and potatoes with oil on a rimmed baking sheet to coat; season with a pinch of kosher salt. Roast, tossing occasionally, until browned and tender, about 20 - 25 minutes.

  • 3. CHICKEN

    Cut the chicken as needed to get at least 1 piece per person. Place on a baking sheet or glass baking dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and place in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

  • 4. SAUCE

    Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the onion, garlic, tomatillos, and 1 cup water. Wash and coarsely chop the kale. Add to the blender. Add the pepitas. Zest in the lime and then add the juice. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and cumin.

    Blend well, stopping to stir if needed.

    When the sauce is mostly smooth and consistent, pour into a small sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally for about 5 - 10 minutes until sauce thickens a bit and turns slightly darker brown.


    Generously spoon the sauce over the chicken to coat it. You can use it all or reserve some for later or another use. Return to the oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 - 12 minutes longer depending on the size of your chicken pieces.


    Remove the seeds from the peel and membrane. You can do this by holding the fruit underwater; cut in ½ and hit the back with a spoon; or just slicing and peeling.

  • 7. SERVING

    Divide squash and potatoes among plates. Top with chicken breast and extra sauce if needed. Grate the cotija (or parmesan) over top to taste. Sprinkle all over with as many pomegranate seeds as you want.

Check out our new features!


    you can use frozen squash cubes or precut squash from your store
    this is great with any cut of meat, drumsticks, thighs, or even spooned over a whole roast chicken
    the sauce is delicious over roasted fish, like halibut or salmon
    use butternut, acorn, honeynut, or kabocha, but adjust cooking time
    use a can, fresh, or a jar or container of tomatillo salsa
  • KALE:
    baby or regular spinach, chard, or arugula
    are hulled pumpkin seeds, you can use sunflower seeds or walnuts instead
    optional so you can omit this garnish, or use parmesan or pecorino
    you can buy them pre-seeded or omit
    keep the sauce on the side for dipping. You can drizzle a bit of maple syrup on the squash and add some butter too, this is a kid-friendly hit!

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

Make the sauce ahead. Lasts for 1 week in the fridge and can be frozen. Lightly warm before serving.

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