The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Tuscan Mac and Cheese with Kale and Turkey Bacon

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Level: Easy

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Description

Tasty kale and cannellini beans add some healthy nutrition to the ultimate comfort food!

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces, weight Whole Wheat Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 7 ounces, weight Kale, Finely Chopped Into Bite-sized Pieces
  • 1 cup 1% Milk
  • ⅔ cups Asiago Cheese, Grated
  • ⅔ cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, Grated, Divided Use
  • 1 cup Extra Sharp White Cheddar, Grated
  • 15 ounces, weight Canned Cannellini White Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 5 strips Turkey Bacon, Cooked Until Crisp, And Crumbled
  • 3 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ½ teaspoons Olive Oil
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Boil a large pot of water. Add a dash of salt into the water and add the macaroni. Cook until almost al dente, about 6-7 minutes (or according to your package instructions for al dente).

Meanwhile, 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. This will take about 4-6 minutes. Transfer the kale to a 9×9 or similar sized casserole dish.

Heat the milk in a medium-sized 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.

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

Into the dish with the kale, add the cooked and drained macaroni, crumbled bacon and the cheese mixture. Gently stir until all ingredients are well combined.

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

Bake the macaroni and cheese until breadcrumbs are crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Serve.

One Comment

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Profile photo of Charlee

Charlee on 1.26.2014

Can this recipe be a freezer meal?

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