Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Bacon

An easy recipe for stovetop macaroni and cheese loaded with kale and crumbled bacon and topped with crushed oyster crackers.


  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 7.5 ounce package Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar
  • 6 slices cooked bacon (crumbled)
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup oyster crackers


  1. Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds more until fragrant.
  3. Stir in flour and mix until butter is absorbed and mixture is paste like.
  4. Gradually stir in half and half, about a half a cup at a time stirring constantly until thick and creamy.
  5. Stir in dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
  6. Turn off heat add cheese and stir until cheese is melted.
  7. Stir in cooked pasta, kale and bacon. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Place oyster crackers in a small resealable bag. Using a mallet or palm of hand gently crush crackers. Sprinkle over pasta.
  9. Serve immediately.