Recipe! White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Bacon

Recipe (and image) by GoodLifeEats!

LOOK at this amazing macaroni and cheese! Something DIFFERENT… as soon as I saw it I ran to the store and bought the ingredients. This Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon recipe is by Katie Goodman, author of the Good Life Eats blog. Well, LOOK at that photo, doesn’t that just look so darn good? Well, let me tell you. IT IS! At first I was skeptical. Kale? Hmmm. Not sure if I like kale. I know some people love it. I also know some people really don’t love it. I emailed Katie to see if there was a good substitute for something less “kaley”, she offered the suggestion of swiss chard. Ooooh, I love swiss chard! So that’s what I was going to buy, but instead I saw that the kale was local and in season, so I thought I would try to be a grown up and try it. Guess what? I LOVED IT! It’s got to help to have cheese and bacon to go along with!

These are the only things I changed… Since there are just two of us, I made half a batch, which was enough for 4 servings (hefty servings). I left out the garlic (which we normally eat quite a bit of), nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. I used Cabot’s Seriously Sharp white cheddar (ohmygosh!) and I used the white fiber seashell pasta to make it a little more “healthy”. I also didn’t make the croutons on top, if I would have had the bread on hand I would have, but it was delicious without it as well!

Check out Katie’s blog, and if you’re a macaroni and cheese lover, give this a try. It’s heaven on a plate!! Here’s the recipe from Good Life Eats! My version is below, clink on the printer icon to print the original recipe from Good Life Eats!

Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon



1 lb. macaroni
3 tablespoon butter
1/2 purple onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
1 ounce parmesan, finely grated
dash nutmeg
dash cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces center cut bacon
3 1/2 ounces fresh kale, chopped (about a half a bunch)


Cook pasta one to two minutes less than package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Cook bacon, drain, break into pieces and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter. Sauté onion for 3 – 5 minutes over medium heat, tender. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat till golden. Slowly whisk in the milk while cooking over medium heat.

Stir in the cheddar and parmesan cheeses, mixing until melted. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, black pepper, and salt (if desired). Bring to a slow simmer, and then stir in the pasta, bacon, and kale. Oh, this is going to be so good!

Transfer the pasta mixture to a 3 1/2 quart oven safe casserole dish or cast iron pan (as mentioned in the original recipe. Bake at 375 degrees F on the center rack in the oven for 10-20 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.


Catch you back here tomorrow!

4 thoughts on “Recipe! White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Bacon

    1. This is an amazing recipe. I’ve made it a few times and I’m absolutely blown away at how fabulous it is! Being a kale skeptic I was hesitant to try it… Whoa! Delicious! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Thanks so much for commenting!


    1. It is Renee! I usually make 1/2 recipe for the two of us… I use Cabot Seriously Sharp cheese, local kale and the white wheat pasta, tastes normal just adds a little more fiber. Stay warm!


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