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Kale Mac and Cheese

Kale Mac and Cheese


  • 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 Gruyere 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


  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 Gruyere, 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 saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and saute 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 by Jackie Newgent, R.D.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 422 kcal cal., 23 g fat (11 g sat. fat), 38 g carb., 5 g fiber, 21 g pro., 538 mg calcium, 3 mg iron. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


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