Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2015




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and collards and cook according to the pasta package directions. Drain.

  • Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat until just simmering. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk, flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture to the simmering milk; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Cheddar, cream cheese and vinegar until the cheese is melted. Stir the pasta and collards into the sauce.

  • Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high.

  • Combine breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta. Broil until golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

470 calories; protein 22.4g 45% DV; carbohydrates 57.5g 19% DV; exchange other carbs 4; dietary fiber 6.6g 26% DV; sugars 7.4g; fat 18.6g 29% DV; saturated fat 8.6g 43% DV; cholesterol 44.6mg 15% DV; vitamin a iu 2563.2IU 51% DV; vitamin c 12.7mg 21% DV; folate 86.1mcg 22% DV; calcium 449.8mg 45% DV; iron 2.4mg 14% DV; magnesium 79mg 28% DV; potassium 362.7mg 10% DV; sodium 583.8mg 23% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 27% DV.

Reviews (6)

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6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious and relatively easy to make! I added bacon pieces for an extra kick. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The Go-to Mac and Cheese Recipe! So good! I have a garden full of kale and collards so I'll be making this a lot. I found I needed to add a little salt. Pros: Fast easy adaptable good use for garden greens Cons: Needs a bit more salt Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My go-to Mac & Cheese now! I love this recipe my husband does too! We have a lot of greens in the garden in the winter and it is a good use of greens. Sometimes when I need a little extra delicious crunchyness I double the bread crumbs. Other than that I make it as is and it's fabulous. Pros: Not too difficult a recipe greens are good Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great recipe! Here are some of my tweaks/suggestions: Add some hot sauce ( 1 tsp) to the cheese sauce at the final step. The cheese will mellow when it melts and this brings back some of the sharpness. Substitute frozen spinach for collard greens. Not necessary to defrost completely. Add about a cup to hot pasta just before sauce. Don't be married to elbow macaroni. Most shaped pastas will work just fine so have fun with it or just use up what you have. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great one-pot meal. I used pepper jack cheese for a kick and organic baby kale. Leftovers make for good lunch at work the next day too! Pros: NULL Cons: NULL Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Perfect! I replaced the collards with bacon crumbles... Delish! You could use turkey bacon as well. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Made almost as written - it was my first time not making mac & cheese with a roux and I may never go back. The only think I did differently was put the (smoked) paprika in the milk mixture (instead of the breadcrumbs) along with some mustard powder. Even without all the butter (and probably the smallest amount of cheese I've ever used in mac& cheese!) the finished dish was perfect - my new go-to recipe! Read More