Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese features a simple, from-scratch macaroni and cheese recipe mixed with kale sauteed in garlic and topped with a buttery cracker bacon crumble that can be made in under 30 minutes!

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese |

This Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese is inspired by the Chopped at Home challenge with Sargento® cheese.  For this challenge, at-home cooks are asked to get creative in the kitchen with your best dish, that must include the following ingredients:

  • Sargento® Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar
  • Kale
  • Oyster Crackers
  • Bacon

The dish may  contain other ingredients, but the above must be the focus.  When I first saw this list, I was stumped for what to make. I wanted to be consistent with the theme of the show and make a recipe in (about) 30 minutes using simple ingredients.  Then I thought about one of our favorite recipes, and could not wait to get in kitchen! 

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese |

Almost every week I make Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese for dinner.  It is an easy recipe (from scratch), using only four ingredients that can be made in 15 minutes. The kids love it (grown ups too!). Sometimes we add chicken or spinach or even a few spoonfuls of tomato basil pasta sauce. It was time to give our ordinary mac ‘n cheese and upgrade with kale, bacon, oyster crackers and tasty Sargento cheese!

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese |

For this recipe, first I sauteed kale with garlic in a little olive oil…so good!  Then I set that aside and prepared a buttery cracker bacon topping. Yum!  And then I made the macaroni and cheese recipe the usual way, but this time using Sargento® Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar cheese. This blend is made with Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar, Sharp Vermont Cheddar, Sharp New York Cheddar and Mild California Cheddar cheeses that complement each other yielding a complex, full range of delicious Cheddar flavor. Plus this cheese was already shredded (hello time saver!) and melted beautifully in the recipe.

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese |

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 to 4 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • ½ cup crushed oyster crackers
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Macaroni and Cheese
  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni (or any short pasta)
  • 1 package ( Sargento® Chef Blends shredded 4 State Cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 (12-ounce) can fat free evaporated milk
  1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chopped kale and cook until wilted (about 2 minutes). Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Next prepare topping. Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and crushed crackers and cook until crackers begin to turn golden (about 2 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, cook pasta to al dente according to package directions, drain and put back in the sauce pan over medium-low heat.
  4. Add cheese, egg, and milk, stirring constantly and cook for 4 minutes, or until cheese melts. Add kale mixture, stirring until combined. Serve warm with the bacon cracker crumble sprinkled over the top.

What would you make for the Chopped at Home challenge?  You can cook at home using Sargento for the challenge and enter the Chopped at Home contest for a chance to win $10,000!!!  Find out more at the Chopped at Home page, and good luck!

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese |


Available in 30 versatile varieties, unique blends and distinct cuts, Sargento Shredded Cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. For more inspiration, check out the Sargento Pinterest page or visit for more information. The Chopped at Home Challenge gives viewers a chance to create their best recipe using the selected basket ingredients, including Sargento Shredded Cheese, for a chance to win $10,000!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.


for new recipes
and blog updates!