Go Back
+ servings

Swiss Chard and Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese

This Swiss Chard and Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese will take your macaroni and cheese game to a whole new level of awesome! Cheesy, with plenty of gooeyness and amazing roasted garlic flavor. This will be a hit at your holiday table! 
No ratings yet


  • 1 head garlic, whole
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 ounces Ronzoni Elbows
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 bunch Swiss or Rainbow chard, stems removed and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • Slice off the top of a head of garlic, just enough to expose the cloves. Drizzle with a teaspoon of the olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast the garlic for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft and almost caramelized. Let it cool a little so you can handle it, then squeeze out the flesh of each clove out. Mash the cloves with a fork and reserve.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, and reserve back in the pot.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add half of the minced garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped Swiss Chard and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Reserve.
  • Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel and melt the butter over medium heat. Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons for the topping. Add the remaining garlic and cook for a minute, until softened and fragrant. Then, sprinkle the flour and whisk until combined. Cook for a minute or two, until bubbling and starting to turn golden.
  • Slowly whisk in cold milk. Continue to whisk until it starts to boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the heavy cream, roasted garlic, dry mustard, paprika, freshly grated nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and gradually stir in the cheese until melted.
  • In the pot with the pasta, combine the pasta, sauce, Swiss chard and a splash (about 1/4 cup) of the pasta water. If necessary, add more pasta water to make sure the mixture is saucy. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed!
  • Transfer the mac and cheese to a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, reserved melted butter and garlic powder. Sprinkle over the mac and cheese.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  • Garnish with the chopped chives and serve!


Swiss Chard:

If you are not a fan of Swiss Chard, you can use spinach, kale or 1/2 pound of shaved Brussels sprouts instead.

Make ahead:

  • The garlic head can be roasted 3-4 days ahead and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • The mac and cheese can be prepared, placed in the baking dish and refrigerated (after it cools), covered with foil, for up to 2 days. Don't add the breadcrumb topping until right before baking it.


Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3-4 days.
You can reheat it on the stove, over low heat, adding splashes of milk to bring it back to a creamy consistency, or in the oven.


You can freeze this mac and cheese for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1g, Calories: 727kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 49g, Saturated Fat: 27g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 137mg, Sodium: 594mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g