Tuscan Mac and Cheese with Kale and Turkey Bacon

for 6 servings

    • 7 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni
    • 2 teaspoons plus ½ teaspoon olive oil
    • 7 ounces kale, finely chopped into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 cup 1% milk
    • ⅔ cup Asiago cheese, grated
    • ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
    • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, grated
    • 15-ounce can cannellini white beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
    • 5 strips turkey bacon, cooked until crisp, and crumbled
    • 3 tablespoons whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts

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  • Calories 429
  • Fat 14.2g
  • Cholesterol 46mg
  • Carbohydrates 45.2g
  • Sugar 2.9g
  • Protein 33.4g
  • Estimated values based on one serving size.

Cooking Instructions

  1. 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. 2Boil a large pot of water. Salt the water and add the macaroni. Cook until almost al dente, about 6-7 minutes.

  3. 3Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the kale, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until kale is softened, about 4-6 minutes.

  4. 4Transfer the kale to a large casserole dish.

  5. 5Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When the milk begins to simmer, but before it boils, turn off the heat. Immediately stir in all of the Asiago, ⅔ cup of the Parmesan, and all of the cheddar. Also stir in the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. 6Purée the cheese mixture using an immersion hand blender (or transfer mixture to a blender or food processor to purée).

  7. 7Along with the kale, add the cooked macaroni, crumbled bacon, and the cheese mixture to the casserole dish. Gently stir until all ingredients are well combined.

  8. 8In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons Parmesan, the bread crumbs, and ½ teaspoon olive oil. Stir until bread crumbs are well coated in oil. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

  9. 9Bake the macaroni and cheese until bread crumbs are crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Serve.