Recipe: Kale Mac & Cheese

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Everybody loves kale, they sing it’s praises and put it in everything from salad to smoothies. So, when I stumbled upon this Kale Mac & Cheese recipe, how could I pass it up. Everyone loves mac & cheese and kale is the new super food it’s a win win! Great meal to use for meal prepping because it makes 8 servings and don’t let the calories scare you. We’ll get more into why later this week.


  • 8 ounces whole-grain or multi-grain elbow macaroni
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 3 cups organic low-fat (1%) milk
  • 2 cups freshly shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) soft goat cheese
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 jumbo yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound chopped fresh kale leaves, thick stems removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat panko
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese


Nutrition Facts From

Things in this recipe that you might not be familiar with and their substitutes:

Percorino Romano Cheese:

Pecorino is a term used to define Italian cheeses made from 100% sheep’s milk. The American counterpart of the cheese is made from cow’s milk. Pecorino is well aged and salty, its flavor is great for grating over pasta’s. But if you don’t have percorino Romano cheese on hand in your pantry (I know I don’t), parmesan cheese will do the trick!

Whole-Wheat Panko:

Fancy for breadcrumbs! You can easily make this at home rather than running out to hold foods. Put whole-wheat bread slices in your food processor, bake the crumbs until crispy…not brown and voila!


 A sweet but slightly salty cheese from switzerland, best used in baked dishes but definitely on the pricey side. Swiss cheese would be a cost effective and as close to flavor matching alternative. 

Not a fan of goat cheese? Or maybe you’re a vegetarian/vegan. Here is a a recipe for homemade vegan goat cheese: CLICK HERE


1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until nearly al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
2. Melt butter with 2 1/2 tablespoons oil in a medium or large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute. While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in milk and cook until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Gruyère, goat cheese, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute until fragrant. Add kale a handful at a time, hot pepper flakes (if using), and lemon zest, and toss with tongs until wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in reserved cheese sauce, thyme, and cooked pasta until combined. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch or 10-inch round baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with panko and Romano cheese. Bake about 35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Recipe From Jackie Newgent, R.D.

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