Bacon & Kale Creamy Mac and Cheese

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Hey guys!!  I have got a killer recipe to share with you today using some delicious ingredients like kale, crispy bacon and Sargento® 4 State Cheddar, yum!

Quick story, we love to watch Chopped around here, we have watched it for years and Dan loves testing me by asking what I would make with basket ingredients.  It is our go to show and I was so excited to participate in this at home Chopped Challenge using delicious Sargento 4 State Cheddar.  My other basket ingredients were kale, bacon and oyster crackers.

Chopped at Home

I knew exactly what I wanted to make, Creamy Mac and Cheese with kale and a crispy topping with bacon and crushed oyster crackers.  Heaven on plate!

The kale adds such a delicious flavor to the dish, the 4 State Cheddar is just perfect for mac and cheese and the bacon and oyster crackers makes the most amazing crispy topping.  This mac & cheese is hearty enough for a main dish and a real show stopper to serve to guests.  This is no boxed mac and cheese this is mac and cheese taken to the next level!

I love using Sargento in all my dishes because you can just see the quality of their cheeses and the taste is out of the world!

I use Sargento at least twice a week and since it is available in 30 varieties, unique blends and distinct cuts I am always cooking up some cheesy in the kitchen.

I really like that Sargento Shredded Cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese, so I know it is the best and you can really taste the difference.

Back to my Chopped Challenge!  This recipe was a snap to make, a creamy bechamel mixed with some of that delicious cheddar, mixed with sauteed kale and tossed with spiral noodles make the base.

Kale Sauteed Kale Cheesy Sauce Kale in cheesy sauce Creamy Kale and Bacon Mac & Cheese

Then more 4 State Cheddar is sprinkled on top before and after a decadent oyster cracker and bacon topping is placed.

Crunchy topping

Finally into the oven it goes to get all creamy, dreamy, ooey, gooey!

Bacon & Kale Mac and Cheese

Bacon & Kale Creamy Mac and Cheese

Bacon & Kale Creamy Mac and Cheese


  • 1 pound curly, spiral or macaroni noodles, any short cut pasta will do
  • 4 cups Sargento 4 State Cheddar
  • 3 cups kale
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup oyster crackers crushed
  • 6 slices bacon fried and crumbled


  1. Start by sauteing your kale and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter until kale is wilted and cooked down.
  2. Remove from pan.
  3. In deep pan melt 2 tablespoons butter and whisk in 2 tablespoons flour and cook together for 2 minutes.
  4. Add in your milk.
  5. Stir constantly until mixture comes up to a bubble and thickens.
  6. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in your noodles and cook till al dente.
  7. After sauce thickens add in 2 cups Sargento 4 State Cheddar and whisk together.
  8. Then add in your sauteed kale to the sauce.
  9. Drain your pasta and add to sauce.
  10. Stir together and transfer to baking dish.
  11. Meanwhile fry up 6 slices of bacon and set aside.
  12. Drain all but 2 teaspoons of bacon grease from pan.
  13. Add 1 cup of crushed oyster crackers to the bacon grease and let them get toasty.
  14. Add in the crumbled bacon.
  15. Top your mac and cheese with 1 cup Sargento 4 State cheddar.
  16. Then top with the bacon and cracker mixture.
  17. Top with another cup of 4 State Cheddar and add a little raw kale on top.
  18. Pop into a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is all melty and bubbly.
  19. Serve!


Look at that beauty!

Kale & Bacon Mac & Cheese

I was so happy to participate in this Chopped Challenge and even more so to work with this amazing cheese that I already love so much!

Guess what?  You can enter the Chopped at Home Challenge where you have the chance to create and share your best recipe using the basket ingredients including my favorite Sargento 4 State Cheddar for your chance to win $10,000.  Soo fun!  I cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with!!

So go, open up your Chopped Basket and get creating!  Oh and don’t forget to make my mac & cheese, you will love it!!

For more inspiration, check out the Sargento Pinterest page or visit Sargento.com for more information.

Available in 30 versatile varieties, unique blends and distinct cuts, Sargento Shredded Cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. For more inspiration, check out the Sargento Pinterest page Pinterest.com/sargentocheese/ or visit Sargento.com for more information. The Chopped at Home Challenge gives viewers a chance to create their best recipe using the selected basket ingredients, including Sargento Shredded Cheese, for a chance to win $10,000!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.

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