Run hard. Eat well.

Mushroom Kale Hamburger Macaroni and Cheese

I have to say, Macaroni and Cheese has been one of my favorite comfort foods ever since I was a little kid.  This particular recipe was created one afternoon after running a hard 20 miler. Long runs are always depleting on the system, and it is no surprise that afterwards, I always feel like curling up on the couch with something warm and filling to eat.  After searching my fridge that afternoon and using a little creativity, Mushroom Kale Hamburger Macaroni and Cheese was born.  And boy, it did not disappoint!

Mushroom Kale Burger Macaroni and Cheese. www.trailstotable.com

First of all, this is nothing like your average boxed mac n cheese from the store.  This is a satisfying, full-bodied meal that will leave you full and satisfied. Ground beef, mushrooms and kale are sauteed with garlic and fresh thyme, which creates the perfect combination of protein, greens, and bold flavor.  The creamy white cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan make this a dynamically cheesy dish.

Mushroom Kale Hamburger Macaroni and cheese. Trails to Table

Also, unlike most macaroni and cheese recipes, this doesn’t have to be a side dish; it can be served front and center as a main course, and quite an elegant one at that. This dish–like most of my recipes–cooks for a crowd!  Which is wonderful if you want to feed your family and still have leftovers for your long run the next day (or, you can easily cut this recipe in half, if needed).  Think of it as Hamburger Helper for adults.

Mushroom Kale Burger Macaroni and Cheese. www.trailstotable.com

Only a thousand times better.

Enjoy!

Mushroom Kale Hamburger Macaroni and Cheese. Sauteed mushrooms, kale, and hamburger combines to make the best baked macaroni and cheese ever!
Print Recipe
Mushroom Kale Hamburger Macaroni and Cheese
The perfect comfort food. Hamburger, kale, mushrooms, and three cheeses make this macaroni and cheese one of a kind.
Mushroom Kale Hamburger Macaroni and cheese. Trails to Table
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Mushroom Kale Hamburger Macaroni and cheese. Trails to Table
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3 quart baking dish; set aside.
  2. Boil water in a large stockpot. Add a sprinkle of salt and the macaroni noodles. Cook according to the directions on the package, until al dente (do not overcook). Drain the noodles and rinse well with cold water.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef, and cook until almost browned. Add the garlic, thyme, and sliced mushrooms, and saute for a couple minutes until mushrooms get soft. Add the kale, and cook, stirring often, for a couple more minutes until the leaves wilt and turn bright green. Salt and pepper to taste. If using a fattier ground beef, drain the fat. Turn off burner and set aside.
  4. Using the stockpot you used for the noodles, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, and whisk until it becomes a thick paste. Slowly add the milk, and whisk until combined. Continue cooking on medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
  5. Turn off heat, and stir in the white cheddar, Gruyere cheese, salt and pepper.
  6. Add noodles and beef mixture to the cheese mixture and mix well. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed. Once mixed, pour into the prepared baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly on top, then scatter on the bread crumbs.
  8. Bake macaroni and cheese for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Enjoy!
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