Shells and Chard Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 4
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Stovetop Mac and Cheese is a perfectly creamy homemade stove top mac and cheese with wilted Swiss chard folded in. You’ll never go back to the boxed stuff!


10-12 ounces shells macaroni pasta
1 large bunch Swiss or rainbow chard, chopped
1/2 lemon, juice only
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs, toasted


1) Toast breadcrumbs in a dry pan over low heat until they are lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Let cool and set aside for later.

2) Wash chard well and roughly chop, removing any thick ribs in the leaves. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the chard. Squeeze in half a lemon and let cook until chard is wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Remove, season with a pinch of salt and set aside for later.

3) Cook pasta according to directions either in the same pot or separately. When pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with some cold water to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking to itself.

4) In the large pot, add butter and flour over medium heat and whisk together. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the paste turns a tan color and smells nutty. Then start whisking in milk in a slow, even stream. Whisk constantly to prevent lumps. If mixture ever gets very thin, let it return to a simmer and thicken and then continue adding milk.

5) When sauce is combined, let thicken for a few minutes and then whisk in cheese and season with white pepper and a pinch of salt.

6) When cheese has melted into the sauce, stir in cooked shells pasta and chard. Mix well to combine.

Serve while hot straight out of the pot garnished with lots of toasted breadcrumbs for texture.