Green Mac and Cheese

Green Mac and Cheese

Vibrant beautiful green stovetop mac and cheese, loaded with blended up green vegetables, sausage and lots of creamy cheese! I know it can be controversial to put veggies into macaroni and cheese, but personally, I like to experiment with new things, and this bright green beauty tastes so good that I have nothing to feel bad about.

The inspiration for this recipe

Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort meal for me. I love making it when it has been a rough day, or on a Sunday night to relax. It is very easy to make, super addicting when you eat it, and the best thing is there are always leftovers to bring in to work for lunch.

It’s mid summer and my little garden is popping off big time, so I thought it would be fun to incorporate all that green goodness into the mac and cheese! Some people blend veggies into mac and cheese to trick their kids into eating vegetables. I do it cause I love veggies and love trying new things!

Gather the greens

I used kale, basil, spinach, jalapeno, scallions, and garlic to form the green sauce. I was somewhat inspired by chimichurri for this, but also green goddess. Pop all this into the blender or food processor with lots of olive oil to make the sauce.

all the veggies to make the sauce

Get ready to start cooking!

As always, get everything ready to go before you turn on the stove. This is some sausage I had in the freezer that I thought would add nice flavor.. This dish doesn’t need sausage, so you can skip it if you want, I just had it and decided to throw it in.

sausage, sauce, milk, and butter

Make the green mac and cheese sauce

Add the sausage first, then after it browns a bit, add in some butter and a tablespoon of flour. Be sure to mix the flour into the butter well and give it at least 3 minutes of cooking time. After the flour, stir in the green sauce you made, and stir well. I like to saute this sauce a bit to cook the rawness out of the veggies and enhance the flavor and color.

add the green sauce to the mac and cheese base

So far, so green, so good!

beautiful sauce forming

Stir in the mac and the cheeses

Add the pasta right when it comes out of the boiling water. Then add milk and some pasta water. Then all the cheeses, and start stirring! You want to pull this off the heat so it doesn’t overcook and break. There is enough residual heat to melt the cheeses and bring everything together.

add the mac and cheese to the green mix

Serve the green mac and cheese

I like to dump this into a serving dish, but you could always just serve it right from the pan!

green mac and cheese

Stunning, vibrant, and so tasty!

green mac and cheese

I revisit this recipe from time to time and I can never get over how good it looks!

green mac and cheese

Twists on Green Mac and Cheese

When I first made this, I had recently I had truffle mac and cheese as an appetizer at a restaurant and was kind of obsessed. Since then, I added a splash of truffle oil sometimes, and other times I don’t. If you want to add it, I like to stir it in at the end. You could also switch up the veggies in here to your taste. My original version had some broccoli iand arugula. You could do all spinach instead of adding kale too. Some sauteed onions in with the sausage could also be a nice touch.

For a classic, non-green, non-controversial mac and cheese, this is my favorite.

For more wacky mac ideas from me, check out my spoonbread mac and cheese, this pork belly mac and cheese, or my mac and cheese carnitas burritos!

Green Mac and Cheese

A vibrant green stovetop mac and cheese colored and flavored with kale, basil, spinach, scallions, and jalapeno
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 702kcal



green sauce

  • 2 jalapenos
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 oz baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Mac and cheese

  • 8 ounces pasta cavatappi or elbows
  • 4 ounces cooked sausage cut into half moons
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese freshly grated
  • 2 ounces jack cheese freshly grated
  • 2 ounces cream cheese room temp


  • Put all the sauce ingredients into the blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Bring pasta water to a boil and salt it well. Add in the pasta and cook until almost tender, a few minutes less than it says on the package. Just before it is done, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Strain the pasta.
  • As the pasta water is heating up, add the sausage to a pan over high heat. Cook to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. You could use a splash of oil if needed, but there should be enough oil from the sausage and there is plenty of oil in this dish so be careful.
  • Add in the butter and flour. Stir to combine making sure there are no lumps.
  • Add in the green mixture and saute the mix until it is super fragrant and you see the oils separating from the sauce, about 6 minutes.
  • Reduce heat. Ideally you want to time this so you can add the strained pasta to the pan right as you strain it, and about half the reserved pasta cooking liquid.
  • Stir to combine. Add in the milk and cheeses and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir to mix everything together. The cheese should melt and the sauce should form. Add more of the pasta water if it is too thick. You could also return to the heat if needed, but be careful not to overheat or the sauce can break.
  • Serve!


Calories: 702kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 622mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4474IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 437mg | Iron: 2mg


  1. Wow looks good. normally i peel the broccoli stalks a bit before dicing…. were they soft / not fibrous enough?

  2. Instead of making your breadcrumbs in the blender, why not use panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)? This sounds really good!

  3. Fantastic idea! I had some left over basil and parsley in the fridge so used that instead for my ‘green’. Brilliant idea that just makes a ‘boring’ mac and cheese a bit more interesting for everyone. Great way to get vegies into reluctant tummies too 🙂 THANKS!

  4. Super yummy recipe. Thanks for the recipe to add to the options. Very nice use of greens, so one that I’ll try or at least draw from, thank you!

  5. yo yo. three things: a. i wicked heart truffle mac and cheese. b. this is my dream come true – lots of green AND mac n cheese, mmmmm. c. i ventured back to the dark side and i love it….i am once again carnivore.

  6. yeah cait! welcome back to the GOOD side!!! haha
    i cant wait to get together with you and eat lots of meat to celebrate your return!

  7. hey i was looking for an interesting idea for my dad for his fathers day dinner and went with this and it tuned out awesome. i used fresh herbs and spinach from my garden, i didnt have any arugula so i put extra spinach. i also did no meat and it turned out great, i found i needed alot of salt though. thanks for the idea!

  8. Green Mac and Cheese

    Cool recipe for green mac and cheese. The idea doesn’t seem appealing but this actually looks AMAZING!

  9. I like this site has good food this mac sure is green I am sure it tastes very good I’ll have to try it.

  10. Just made this myself. Waiting for the oven to ding any minute now. Quite difficult to do it all by yourself (couldn’t drag my boyfriend away from Halo 2 to help me) but it is going to be quite delicious! Definitely need a food processor for this one. My blender did absolutely nothing, so it’s a bit of a chunky “sauce”.

  11. Stumble’dUpon this and it looks AMAZING (sans sausage; I’m vegetarian). Definitely don’t have money for truffle oil, but am highly interested in trying this tweaked for me. After eating only two sandwiches in the last 30+ hours, my mouth is definitely watering.

  12. I can just barely articulate my enthusiasm for this recipe. The amount of accolades I have gotten from making this is just freakin ridiculous. Get a couple friends together (and maybe a few beers, I’m just sayin) and this practically makes itself
    Definitely throw in some sausage, even if you’re vegetarian! (there are meatless substitutes that do the job admirably)

  13. I just fixed this tonight for my family (I am a 22-year-old man). Boy, were they ever impressed! It tasted really, really good, too. The sauce turns out like an alfredo sauce, but a lot heavier and tastier. I substituted shell pasta for regular elbow pasta because when you use the shells, it keeps a little puddle of sauce in each noodle, which is great when you’re eating it!
    Five out of five filled tummies!

  14. I made this last night for my boyfriend and I…WOW! It is so delicious and flavorful! I didn’t have truffle oil or fresh marjoram, but it didn’t matter. SO good. Thank you!!

  15. It may be good but it is not mac and cheese. Call it a green casserole or something but not mac and cheese. So sue me, I’m a purist.

  16. So I made this last week, and it was AWESOME. Made a perfect lunch for the whole week, and everyone at work was jealous. I skipped the sausage and added jalapenos with the onions and broccoli stalks. It was soooooooo good.
    With that said, Christiaan with 2 a’s, there is a 2:1 ratio of cheese to pasta. I’m not sure what it is that you think makes this “not mac and cheese” but maybe if next time I added some neon orange #5 to the ingredients it would better fit your description of mac and cheese.

  17. Oh my! That looks amazing! We’re vegans, so I’m going to adapt this beautiful creation to be meat & dairy free. Since I just made some homemade pepperoni seitan, this is perfect!

  18. This looks fantastic! My fiance and I are looking for new and interesting meal ideas that we can eat and freeze leftovers for later meals for either work or a quick dinner another time. This meal definitely fits the bill! I would like to know what kind of sausage you used in this recipe though. It looks spicy and delicious. Please share! :o)

  19. That look delicious. I’ll definitely have to try it out. It’s sure to be a hit with my sons, they love mac & cheese (well, anything with pasta really) and green is the favourite colour of my eldest so he’ll be stoked to get green dinner.

  20. My friend cooked this for us once. I am a notoriously picky eater and a connoisseur of mac-n-cheese. I liked it.

  21. I will definitely be trying this…I use a different set of cheeses and will see about that (gruyere, sharp cheddar and paarmesan) I might try to get the manchego though, sounds very interesting…In our family we usually use Ham chunks for the meat in our mac n cheese…it’s the only meat i can consistently get my super picky eater to agree too…as he is uber resistant to all forms of veggies (except carrots) I am hoping to convince him that this is yummy enough to give a try!! 😉

  22. MMMmmmmmmm…..Looks good can anybody tell me if it tastes good?Anyways..Thank you so much for the recipe wish me luck 🙂

  23. Made this with the boyfriend tonight! It’s in the oven as we speak, but oh my goodness does it look delicious! Used a tofu italian sausage, which are super yummy on their own. thank you so much for the recipe!

  24. I mean….you know you’ve made a casserole, right? You’ve gone so far beyond mac and cheese, you’re in a completely different food type. By this definition you’ve given us in recipe form, everything at Olive Garden is mac and cheese.

  25. Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I
    in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much.
    I’m hoping to give something again and help others like you aided me.

  26. Made this tonight, added a little extra spice for some kick, used a bit of a different mix of cheese. It is delicious. Will keep as a family favorite.

  27. Can the green sauce and cheese sauce be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to use…say the next day? thanks!

  28. Ich hab online mehr als drei Stunden gebrowesd ,aber kaum Eintraege gefunden, die so klasse wie deine waren.
    Das ist echt super fuer mich!

  29. I’ve been making this recipe for years. It’s such a great one! I did try someone’s suggestion of panko–delicious, but wonderful no matter what. You make great things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.