Kale and Mama Lil's Mac & Cheese

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Tips For The Best Kale and Mama Lil's Mac & Cheese

Okay – if you’ve never tried Mama Lil’s Sweet Peppers before, you are definitely missing out. Mama Lil’s is a crowd favorite here at Beecher’s and they’re a staple of the Northwest, but sweet pickled peppers in any form are one of the most fun Mac & Cheese add-ons you'll come across. We actually have a Chicken and Mama Lil’s Peppers grilled cheese sandwich in our retail locations, and we must say - it's worth a try. This mac and cheese is a force to be reckoned with - you won't even be able to tell you're eating your daily dose of kale!

How To Make Kale and Mama Lil's Mac & Cheese

The real key to this recipe is the pickled peppers. We love to support brands that have common values – like only the best and freshest ingredients going into their products. (We love when it tastes good, too!).


How thick you chop your kale will depend on your preference. We prefer 1-inch squares which work perfectly when mixed into the mac and cheese. There is no bite more perfect than one that combines kale, Mama Lil’s Peppers, and our very own “World’s Best”!

Kale and mama lil's peppers

Serve & Store

Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy hot. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.


Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4 (as a side)

Beecher's Product used

Flagship Cheese

Triangle of Beecher's Flagship Cheese
The first wheel of Flagship, Beecher’s signature cheese, was handcrafted just as Beecher’s Handmade Cheese opened its doors in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market in November of 2003. Flagship is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese with a uniquely robust, nutty flavor. It is carefully aged for 15 months to fully develop its complex flavor and ever-so-slight crumble. Outstanding on a Beecher’s cracker! Delivered in one triangle cut piece weighing approximately 7 ounces.


6 ounces penne pasta

8 ounces Beecher's Flagship cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

1-1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ounces Beecher's Just Jack cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Pinch garlic powder

1/3 cup Mama Lil’s Pickled Peppers

1 ounce chopped kale (about 1-1/2 cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Cook penne 2 minutes less than package directions. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Continue whisking and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk while whisking. Cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  4. Add 1-3/4 cups Flagship cheese, 1/4 cup Just Jack cheese, salt, 1/4 tsp. chili powder, and garlic powder. Stir until cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes.
  5. Combine pasta and sauce in a large bowl and mix carefully. Fold in kale and peppers. Scrape into an 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and chili powder.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let Mac & Cheese sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Looking for instant gratification?


Surprisingly in the Freezer aisle