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Clinton Kelly Mac ‘n Cheese ‘n Collard Greens

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  • 1 pound cavatappi pasta
  • 2 bunches collard greens (stems removed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (plus more)
  • 4 ounces thick-cut smoked bacon (cut into 1/4-inch strips)
  • 1 cup red onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups crumbled corn bread


  • Preheat the oven to broil.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the pasta into the water and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Stack the collard greens horizontally. Roll up tightly like a cigar. Slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Clean well and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, preheat add butter and bacon to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until the fat from the bacon has rendered and the bacon is crisp. Add the onions, collard greens, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the greens have completely wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the milk slowly and stir to eliminate lumps. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheddar cheese, sour cream and hot sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the cooked pasta. Pour mac n’ cheese into a 9″x13″ baking dish. Top with crumbled corn bread. Dot with butter. Place under the broiler until the cornbread is golden brown.

    – Make the collard greens and cheese sauce ahead of time.
    – Use kale as a substitute for the collard greens.

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