Mac & Cheese with Collards


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.

Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 servings


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (about 2 cups)

  • 4 cups chopped collard greens

  • 1 ¾ 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 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.

  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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

470 Calories
19g Fat
58g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 470
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 22g 45%
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Vitamin A 2563IU 51%
Vitamin C 13mg 14%
Folate 86mcg 22%
Sodium 584mg 25%
Calcium 450mg 35%
Iron 2mg 13%
Magnesium 79mg 19%
Potassium 363mg 8%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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