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Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese

Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese with Kale and Caramelized Onions

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Recipe Details


The Test Kitchen loves using corkscrew-shaped fusilli because it scoops creamy sauces into its many spirals—a must for mac and cheese. Inspired by the success of a past mac and cheese, Chef Michelle is melting Fontina, Gruyère, and Parmesan to create the rich, gooey sauce. For a seasonal veggie twist on the crowd-pleasing dish, she’s folding in caramelized Vidalia onions and sautéed kale, then topping it all with a crispy crust of panko breadcrumbs and even more Parmesan.


  • Vegetarian
  • Quick Prep

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Michelle

By Chef Michelle

Nutritional info

  • Calories 880
  • Protein 39g
  • Total Carb 100g
  • Total Fat 37g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • unsalted butter
    4 packets
    unsalted butter
  • panko breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup
    panko breadcrumbs
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    1 ounce
    grated Parmesan cheese
  • dinosaur kale
    4 ounces
    dinosaur kale
  • Vidalia onion
    Vidalia onion
  • fusilli pasta
    8 ounces
    fusilli pasta
  • flour
    1 tablespoon
  • milk
    12 ounces
  • shredded Fontina cheese
    3 ounces
    shredded Fontina cheese
  • shredded Gruyère cheese
    2 ounces
    shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 8" aluminum tin
    8" aluminum tin

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 10" large pot
  • 12" large high-sided pan
  • baking sheet

Cooking Steps

  1. Prepare Ingredients and Make Topping

    Prepare Ingredients and Make Topping

    Preheat oven to 450°F. Set butter aside to soften at room temperature. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, half of Parmesan, and 1 teaspoon olive oil to combine. Set breadcrumb topping aside until Step 5. Rinse kale and trim and discard long stems, then thinly slice leaves crosswise. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice. 

  2. Cook Vegetables

    Cook Vegetables

    Heat 2 packets butter in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When butter is foamy, add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and softened, 8-10 minutes. Add kale and cook until beginning to soften, 1-2 minutes more. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Transfer vegetables to aluminum tin, reshaping if bent (this way, you won't have to wash a plate). Reserve pan for Step 4.

  3. Cook Fusilli

    Cook Fusilli

    Season pot of boiling water generously with salt and stir in fusilli. Cook until very al dente, about 7 minutes, then drain and set aside (your pasta will finish cooking in the oven!). Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine flour and remaining butter and, using your fingers, knead together until fully blended to form a smooth paste. Set aside. 

  4. Make Cheese Sauce

    Make Cheese Sauce

    While fusilli cooks, place milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired in pan from vegetables over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking, until milk comes to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in flour-butter mixture until smooth and fully dissolved, 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and whisk occasionally until sauce is thickened, 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and whisk in Fontina, Gruyère, and remaining Parmesan.

  5. Assemble and Bake Mac and Cheese

    Assemble and Bake Mac and Cheese

    Add vegetables and cooked fusilli to pan with cheese sauce and gently stir to fully coat. Pour mac and cheese into aluminum tin, evenly sprinkle over breadcrumb topping, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden brown, 5-7 minutes. 

  6. Plate Mac and Cheese

    Plate Mac and Cheese

    Divide three-cheese mac and cheese with kale and caramelized onions between serving plates. Enjoy with fellow cheese lovers!

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