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Mac & Cheese with Collards

  • 30 m
  • 30 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“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.”


    • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (about 2 cups)
    • 4 cups chopped collard greens
    • 1¾ cups low-fat milk, divided
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
    • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
    • 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
    • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • ½ teaspoon paprika


  • 1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and collards and cook according to the pasta package directions. Drain.
  • 2 Meanwhile, heat 1½ cups milk in a large broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat until just simmering. Whisk the remaining ¼ 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.
  • 3 Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high.
  • 4 Combine breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta. Broil until golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes.
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