Kale & Broccoli Mac n’ Cheese

As per my usual cooking strategy, I made enough to feed an army

For me Mac n’ Cheese is a labour of love. Literally.

I don’t eat the stuff but it is well up there on hubby’s list of All Time Favourite Things to Eat (along with cheesecake and anything involving meat..though not meaty cheesecake because that’s just disgusting) so I make it for him.

The first couple of times I kept it clean.

Gradually though I realised that mac n’ cheese could be an excellent vehicle for incorporating all kinds of veg. Think about it – what doesn’t taste better with cheese?

In fact, the first person to name me a veg that doesn’t taste amazing slathered in a cheese sauce gets $100,000,000*

Is cheese better than cake? Sometimes I wonder...

In this incarnation I’ve gone for two of the best, most nutritious, vegetables ever to hit the supermarket scene – broccoli and kale. They make a great addition to the otherwise stodgy carb loaded casserole and you can rest easy knowing that at least something green as gone into your belly.

*I cannot make good on this offer. If I could, I would be hanging out on a luxury yacht, quaffing champagne with bits of gold in it. Not blogging.

Kale & Broccoli Mac n’ Cheese (serves 6)

  • 4 large leaves kale, shredded thinly
  • 2 bunches broccoli, cut to florets
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 3 cups macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1 tbsp flour (I used wholewheat but plain white is fine)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil leaves
  1. Add the macaroni and broccoli to a saucepan of salted boiling water and boil for 10 minutes until soft.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, start the sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add a tbsp of flour and stir together with the butter to form a paste. Gradually add the milk, about a tbsp at a time, and whisking constantly to ensure it doesn’t go lumpy. You want your sauce to be thick and creamy but not so thick that it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. If it starts to thin add more flour (confession: I was too impatient with my milk and ended up adding 2 more tbsps of flour), if it’s too thick pour in a little milk. That’s really all there is to it. Just ensure you are constantly whisking as it can clump easily.

    the cheese sauce, testing my patience

  3. When the sauce reaches the desired consistency (should take around 15 minutes of careful watching and whisking), stir in the nutmeg and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Gently fry the onion, kale and garlic in butter over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the kale wilts and the onions turn translucent.
  5. Pour the macaroni and broccoli into an 8in x 11in casserole dish. Add the kale, onion and garlic and stir until all the ingredients are mixed. Pour in the cheese sauce, stirring again to make sure everything is evenly coated.

    one last photo before it hits the oven

  6. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar, basil, oregano and parmesan on top. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

31 thoughts on “Kale & Broccoli Mac n’ Cheese

  1. Bacon does NOT taste amazing smothered in cheese, fresh off the grill BBQ’d ribs do NOT taste amazing smothered in cheese. I could go on but then you’d go broke. Made from scratch mac & cheese, with no box in the vicinity is something I grew up on. I absolutely love cheese and I absolutely love vegetables, but vegetables in my mac & cheese???

    Cheese don’t taste too good on collad greens either……just sayin… 😉

    Love your blog and your recipes.

    • Hey Jueseppi – I don’t think I’ve ever had collard greens but they look a lot like kale right?! So perhaps I have and thought they were just generic curly-leafed greens.

      As for your denial of meat covered in cheese, I dunno, I’m having serious issue with this. I don’t think we can be blogging friends any more 😉

      Actually, it works out well – all the more for me!

  2. I love this because the key to beginning a healthy diet is sneaking vegetables wherever you can and making every meal more nutrient dense! Kale AND broccoli in the mac and cheese? Genius. I actually like carrots and cauliflower in mine sometimes too. 🙂

    It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who cooks food in large enough quantities to feed an army! Ha!

  3. What a calcium superstar! And I thought my cream of broccoli soup was rich in the stuff. Adding kale and broccoli to cheesy mac and cheese looks and sounds great. Gotta try this at home.

  4. Kale and broccoli! I love how you got lots of veggies folded into a mac ‘n cheese dish! Looks fantastic. Stopping by after seeing you are one of Donna’s nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award (me too :))

  5. Kale and Broccoli! Love how you got those veggies in a mac ‘n cheese dish. It looks great!

    Stopping by after seeing you were one of Donna’s nominations for the Versatile Blogger award (me too :)). I’ll be swing by again. Great blog!

    • Hi Sandra, I’m so sorry it’s taken me AN AGE to reply to you…for some reason your comment got swallowed up by my spam machine (stupid spam machine..grumble,grumble).

      Thanks for checking out the blog, and congrats on being a fellow nominee! I shall be checking in on you too..but not in a stalkerish way 🙂

    • Hello R&R! (love the name btw). Happy to have you with us – especially if you are a fellow cheese devotee 🙂

      I just know I’m going to love your blog if your profile pic is anything to go by. Isn’t food awesome?!

  6. I almost liked this post and then I saw that you were contemplating whether cheese is better than cake?! Have you lost your mind missy! …I’m kidding, I liked your post anyhow! Anyone who incorporates veg into every meal is high up in my books =)

  7. Pingback: Saag Paneer « Things My Belly Likes

  8. Pingback: Kale and Cabbage Bake « Things My Belly Likes

  9. Pingback: Red Onion Potato Gratin « Things My Belly Likes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s