Avocado-Tomatillo Chicken with Warm Pineapple Black Beans and Kale

tomatillo avocado sauce, warm pineapple black beans, black beans with kale

Let’s do something new and different around here. Like, eat dinner.

Not donuts or french fries or cookie dough masquerading as dinner, but actual legit veggies-and-dead-animal-flesh-on-a-plate together dinner.

Now why is it that when my trainer refers to eating copious amounts of protein as “dead animal flesh” I don’t cringe, but I kind of do when I write it out myself and I’m sure you just did too? Must be a guy thing.

Anyway. If you’ve broken up with me because of the lack of dinner around here lately, well, I’m sorry you’re not here for my big bodacious comeback. I really don’t know what’s up with this language. Excuse me while I check my estrogen levels.

By the way. Come fall, there will be a *special issue* of Clean Eating dedicated to 30-Minute Meals, and *then* you’ll get to see all the (quick and easy) (gluten-free) dinners I’ve been hiding for the past month. I know, I know. I can hardly wait either!

Speaking of 30 minutes, you can have this on the table in that amount of time. Maybe 35 minutes if you like your garlic to be minced up really small and you didn’t major in dicing pineapple. But who’s counting?

Not me. Not you. Not counting the number of ingredients. No way. Don’t worry. I promise this is easy-peasy and simple dimple.

I once worked with a girl named Dimple, no lie.

I digress. I know there’s a lot going on here – juicy chicken breast, sweet ‘n smokey black beans with kale, and zesty roasted tomatillo avocado sauce – but I have you covered. I’ve taken care to consolidate the steps to just two under the broiler and one on the stovetop, perfect for those days when you’ve already dirtied every other dish and appliance in the kitchen, including the food processor. (Twice. Who does that?) Scratch that. You are going to need to wash that food processor again, or just dirty the blender or spare mini processor – trust me, whatever damage you choose, it’s worth it. Mr. Cravings? He didn’t even whine about another dish to do. In fact, the only thing he whined about was his difficulty with cutting a piece of chicken in a bowl. Sigh. I’ll try not to let my food styling attempts disrupt his dinner ever again.

Have I won you back? Go ahead, taste. I’ll be waiting.

pineapple black beans, avocado tomatill sauce

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Avocado-Tomatillo Chicken with Warm Pineapple Black Beans and Kale

Yield: 4 servings

A surprsingly quick and simple recipe for broiled chicken with creamy roasted tomatillo-avocado sauce served with sweet and smokey braised kale with black beans and pineapple.


1 medium onion (half left in large chunks, the other half diced)
2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and halved
2 medium or 3 small tomatillos, husked, cored, and quartered
4 cloves of garlic, peeled (2 whole, 2 minced)
½ tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken breasts, 5oz each
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ of a medium onion, diced
1 1/4 cup diced pineapple
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 lb roughly chopped kale
1/2 avocado
¼ cup cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt


Preheat broiler. Place the large chunks of onion, jalapenos, tomatillos, and whole cloves of garlic on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and broil for 5 minutes, until lightly charred. Remove from oven and transfer to a food processor. Place chicken breasts on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through. Turn off oven and leave chicken inside to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and garlic to pan and saute for 3 minutes. Add pineapple, chicken broth, tomato paste, black beans, red pepper and cumin, and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a gentle boil.

Add kale, a few handfuls at a time, stirring to help it wilt. When all of the kale has been added, cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until kale is tender.

Meanwhile, puree the roasted vegetables with the avocado, cilantro, lime juice and salt.

Divide the black bean mixture and chicken among serving plates and top the chicken with the avocado-tomatillo sauce.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 379.2
Total Fat 8.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.9 g
Cholesterol 82.2 mg
Sodium 568.4 mg
Potassium 791.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.0 g
Dietary Fiber 9.6 g
Sugars 8.1 g
Protein 41.9 g

Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com
Tomatillo sauce adapted from Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010, via Elly Says Opa

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18 Responses to “Avocado-Tomatillo Chicken with Warm Pineapple Black Beans and Kale”

  1. 1

    Charlotte — May 10, 2012 @ 9:28 am Reply

    I’m a vegetarian, but that kale dish looks divine! I’ll have to try it!

  2. 2

    janet @ the taste space — May 10, 2012 @ 9:55 am Reply

    Sometimes I feel like those “30-Minute Meals” also need to tell you how long it will take to clean up!! I usually do a marathon cooking session on the weekend so I don’t have to continually clean up… just once will do! 🙂

    • 2.1

      Cara — May 10, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

      Funny you say that 🙂 I’d be lying if I said there weren’t huge kitchen messes after some of my latest Clean Eating recipes – but the meals were done in 30 minutes, just like they asked!

  3. 3

    Justine@LifeWithCheeseburgers — May 10, 2012 @ 3:49 pm Reply

    Mmm…you had me at “warm pineapple.” Although…I might have to make a cake to go along with it too! 😉

  4. 4

    Hallie — May 10, 2012 @ 4:19 pm Reply

    Your tomatillo sauce looks and sounds great, Cara. Love your ingredients!!

  5. 5

    Maggie — May 10, 2012 @ 8:42 pm Reply

    Okay, I am coming to your house for dinner, I’ll have the veggie version please. This is quite the dish Cara!

  6. 6

    Kate — May 10, 2012 @ 9:09 pm Reply

    We had chicken with tomatillo last week, but this looks better

  7. 7

    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — May 11, 2012 @ 6:57 am Reply

    I am really liking all of the flavours in this! What a great meal!

  8. 8

    Carol — May 11, 2012 @ 8:21 am Reply

    You had me at avacado tomatillo! Looks and sounds fabulous!!!!

  9. 9

    grace — May 11, 2012 @ 11:03 am Reply

    even out of the gate, i know i love this because of the things listed in the recipe title. what a great dish, cara!

  10. 10

    Kim-Cook It Allergy Free — May 11, 2012 @ 1:19 pm Reply

    This looks just wonderful. I love the whole meal, but that warm pineapple with black beans and kale? Yes PLEASE!! Beautiful!

  11. 11

    Alisa — May 11, 2012 @ 7:30 pm Reply

    Holy list of amazing ingredients Cara! It looks like you cleaned out the fridge on this recipe! I’ve never bought tomatillos – and honestly haven’t seen them at the store. Are they usually with the tomatoes but hiding out?

    • 11.1

      Cara — May 11, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

      I’ve seen them in different places in different stores – sometimes with the tomatoes, other times with the more “exotic” produce like passionfruit, starfruit, jicama, other latin-American root veggies, etc. I used to be intimidated, but there’s really no reason to be!

  12. 12

    Joanne — May 11, 2012 @ 9:24 pm Reply

    Well, you could never lose me with cookie dough….that would be heretical and hypocritically all in one. 😛 But this meal does look delicious! I love the southwestern flavors in it. I’ve been craving tex-mex like a mad woman lately and these definitely sound like a seriously bodacious way to get them DONE.

  13. 13

    Katrina (gluten free gidget) — May 12, 2012 @ 1:45 pm Reply

    That looks beyond delicious! For some reason, anything with an absurd amount of the color green instantly grab my attention. 🙂

  14. 14

    elly — May 14, 2012 @ 9:19 pm Reply

    Glad you liked the avocado sauce! I really like the sound of that pineapple bean/kale side – pineapple is about the only fruit I can really enjoy with savory dishes for some reason. 🙂

  15. 15

    The Healthy Apple — May 21, 2012 @ 5:49 pm Reply

    I have been dying for chicken breast all day for dinner tonight and this is seriously what I am making. Yea! So excited.
    Thanks Cara!!

  16. 16

    Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free — May 22, 2012 @ 11:02 pm Reply

    I am so excited to see your Clean Eating feature!! 🙂 This dish looks incredible. You are so creative in the kitchen and it’s good for you, too.

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