Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese with Kale

Stove top mac & cheese sure resembles the blue boxed instant mac & cheese you can buy from the supermarket. As I could not resist blistering anything with cheese and pasta in the oven, I actually had a hard time not finishing off this dish in the oven. After all, it’s the natural thing to do. ;)

But if I did, it sort of defeats the purpose of being “stove top”. Not to mention, “stove top” the “It” mac & cheese of the moment.  I better keep up and stick with the program! Since I am on the “It” trend, I might as well add the “It” vegetable of the moment which is kale. (Okay some may think I have just ruined their mac & cheese dream with my kale touch, but since when is there no room for vegetables in comfort food?)

Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese with Kale

(tweaked very slightly from Marie’s recipe)

(Serves 3 to 4 people)


  • 200g (about 8 ounces) macaroni (I used San Remo brand macaroni)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour (about 60g/ 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt – you may want to omit this if using salted butter
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (8oz)
  • About 8 stalks of kale, finely shredded
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted Panko/normal breadcrumbs *optional*

Let’s get started:

(1) Finely slice kale and chop garlic. Set aside. (2) Cook macaroni according to package directions in a large pot. Drained and set aside in a large bowl. (3) In the same pot (rinsed and dry), heat some olive oil and saute garlic until  it started to be aromatic. Add sliced kale and saute until slightly wilted. Remove the kale from the pot to the same bowl as the cooked macaroni. (4) In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour, salt and pepper; #Slowly add milk. (5) Cook and stir until bubble and no longer feels grainy, over low heat.  Stir in cheese  until smooth and creamy. (6) Add macaroni to cheese sauce. Stir until everything is well mixed. (7) *optional* In a small pan, toast some breadcrumbs until golden brown. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the macaroni and cheese just before serving.

# Slowly add milk – add about 1/2 cup first, stir until the milk is well combine and smooth with the flour-butter mixture and then add another 1/2 cup, stir to combine and add the remaining milk. This is important to avoid lumpiness in the sauce.

24 Responses to Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese with Kale
  1. Katie
    May 21, 2012 | 10:46 pm

    I love putting spinach in my mac, but I’ve never thought of kale. What a great idea!

    • Emily
      May 22, 2012 | 9:56 am

      Oh wow, never thought of putting spinach in my mac….it will give this a go next time. :D

  2. chocolatesuze
    May 21, 2012 | 11:23 pm

    yum! love a mac n cheese!

    • Emily
      May 22, 2012 | 9:51 am

      join the club :D

  3. Jeni
    May 22, 2012 | 12:07 am

    Wow — made this for a quick and easy meatless Monday and was super delicious. A great way to incorporate super veg into comfort food. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    • Emily
      May 22, 2012 | 9:51 am

      Hi Jeni, glad that you liked it. I was anticipating some comments that I ruin mac and cheese with the addition of kale…. lol

  4. Rachel @ Bakerita
    May 22, 2012 | 2:30 am

    This looks so delicious! Mmm, I love me some good mac n cheese and throwing some green veggies in to make it seem less sinful? Well, that’s alright with me :)

    • Emily
      May 22, 2012 | 9:59 am

      I’m trying to add veggies into my diet as much as I can nowadays. I do agree they make mac and cheese less sinful, hehe!

  5. M
    May 22, 2012 | 7:43 am

    I don’t think I have ever had Kale, but it looks pretty tasty in this dish. I think I shall have a crack at this…looks like good comfort food.

    • Emily
      May 22, 2012 | 9:33 am

      Kale is my favourite vegetable at the moment. It’s a shame that it is quite expensive…something like $4 a bunch in farmers market. But with your green thumb, I’m sure you’ll figure something out lol ;)

  6. M
    May 22, 2012 | 7:46 am

    oooh, before I rush off and make this…when do I add the cheddar? Into the sauce once the milk has done it’s thing?

    • Emily
      May 22, 2012 | 9:30 am

      Add the cheese when the milk-butter-flour mixture no longer feels grainy and stir over low heat. Hope this helps! :)

      • Emily
        May 22, 2012 | 9:35 am

        Also when you add the macaroni and kale at the end, you may want to stir them off the heat… as once you add the cheese, the sauce thickens in warp speed. I like the sauce to be slightly runny…resembling the blue box mac & cheese

  7. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots
    May 22, 2012 | 5:18 pm

    Making this tonight!!! So excited! :D

  8. I love the addition of kale. This looks fantastic!

  9. [...] s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })(); Macaroni and Cheese With Kale via Fuss Free Cooking (function() { window.PinIt = window.PinIt || { loaded:false }; if (window.PinIt.loaded) return; [...]

  10. [...] I first spied this recipe on Fuss Free Cooking‘s site, I screamed. When I devoured a bowl of truffle-infused cheesy elbow pasta at a dinner [...]

  11. Andrea
    July 19, 2012 | 11:34 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was excellent! I cut it down to just one serving and it was such a simple recipe. Thanks a bunch, I’ll be making this again for sure! :)

    (By the way, I think you may have forgot to add when to add the cheese in the instructions!)

    • Emily
      July 20, 2012 | 3:57 am

      Hi Andrea,

      Glad to hear that you liked it! And thanks for letting me know about the missing step. :D Have a great weekend. xx Emily

  12. Sophie
    July 21, 2012 | 2:41 am

    I really love this dish I can’t wait to cook it!!!

  13. Emily :
    December 13, 2012 | 1:36 am

    This macaroni and cheese was so good! My family and I loved it and my kids (ages 1 and 3) ate the kale for the most part, which makes me so happy! I ended up using whole wheat elbow noodles, and it still tasted super good. Thanks for the recipe, I shared it in a recent meal plan on my blog

  14. [...] from first left: stove top macaroni & cheese with kale; macaroni & “nachos” bake; kale & tofu chow mac; mac ‘n’ cheese pancakes) #ssba [...]

  15. [...] Receipt/Image from here [...]

  16. Grown-Up Mac & Cheese | 2 taste
    June 7, 2014 | 11:33 pm

    […] Grown-up Mac & Cheese (inspired by Fuss Free Cooking) […]

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL