This twenty-minute stove-top macaroni and cheese is a healthy whole-grain vegetarian dinner that the whole family will devour!
I’ll admit, I am always the one to go for maximizing the crispy topping on a baked macaroni and cheese. When I pull a mac and cheese out of the oven, and let it cool on the stovetop, I will pick bits of crunchy noodle and topping off here and there surreptitiously while I put the finishing touches on the salad or whatever we’re having as a side dish. Hopefully nobody will notice! He he.
But lately, with the Maple publicity schedule, I haven’t had time to make dinner many nights, much less make recipes for dinner that spend time bubbling in the oven. I am sure we can all relate, sometimes, stove-top macaroni and cheese is the way to go. It is just so much faster!
I set out to make this macaroni and cheese on the stove-top and I wanted it to be ready licketeysplit. And I also wanted to make sure it was healthy, so I grabbed a few handfuls of kale from the garden to give it some nutritious veggies. I also used shallot in this recipe, which I don’t normally add to mac and cheese, but I thought it would go well with the kale. It really boosted up the savory sauce and made it so much more flavorful.
I didn’t want the sauce to be too watery, so I only used a cup of non-fat milk and thickened it with flour. The flour helps to stabilize the sauce so that the cheese has something to grab onto and becomes creamy as it melts into the sauce. And for the cheese I added in the cheesiest and sharpest cheddar I could find.
And guess what?? It was soo creamy and dreamy and comforting! It made me forget all about my overly busy schedule and my affinity for crunchy topping.
This 20-minute stove-top macaroni and cheese with kale is a healthy vegetarian dinner that the whole family will devour.
- salt for pasta water plus ¼ teaspoon, divided
- 3 ½ cups dry whole-wheat pasta, such as fusilli, rotini or macaroni
- 3 cups finely chopped kale
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 5 oz shredded sharp cheddar
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- When water boils, prepare pasta according to package instructions adding kale for the last 4 minutes of boiling. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring until the shallot is slightly softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the shallot and stir to dissolve flour into the butter. Add milk, and whisk until all of the flour is incorporated into the milk. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook stirring often until sauce is thick and the shallot is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in cheddar until smooth.
- Stir pasta and kale with the sauce in the pasta pot and serve hot.
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