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+ servings

Bacon Kale Mac n Cheese

Creamy cheese, salty bacon, sautéed kale, and topped with buttery, crunchy crushed crackers.
Course any meal, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, kale, macaroni, pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 275kcal
Author Paula Jones


  • 1/2 pound pasta
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 shallot minced (about 2 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 7.5 ounces cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • salt to taste you may not need salt since cheese is salty
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/3 cup oyster crackers crushed
  • 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Wash kale and cut into large pieces
  • In a large 10 to 12-inch oven-safe skillet, cook bacon to crisp. Remove from pan and drain. Chop into large pieces. Reserve drippings
  • In a large pot, salt the water and boil the pasta to al dente
  • Remove all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Heat pan to medium, add shallot and kale. Saute 1 to 2 minutes until kale is wilted. Remove to a platter with a slotted spoon.
  • Add 2 to 3 tablespoon more of the bacon drippings to the pan. Add flour, nutmeg, and pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir until cheese melts.
  • Add pasta, kale, shallots, and bacon to the cheese sauce. Gently stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl, add butter or oil to crushed crackers and mix to combine.
  • Top pasta mixture with crushed crackers.
  • Bake at 350°F until the mixture is hot throughout and crumbs begin to brown.
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool 5 minutes. Serve hot.


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Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1395IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 1mg