As noted in my post on how to cook almost anything on your grill instead in the oven or on the stove, one of my favorite summer comfort foods is grilled skillet mac and cheese mixed with copious amounts of fresh greens.
Kale is beyond a doubt my all-time favorite leafy green, but this recipe is fully adaptable to any ingredient in that vegetable category. Try it with what looks fresh at the farmer’s market, whether that’s chard, spinach, or even beet greens or mustard greens if you like it spicy. (It’s also great to mix whatever you’ve got on hand!)
Following is my recipe for grilled skillet mac and cheese, made in my beloved cast iron skillet. It’s really not that different than making skillet mac on your stove, but make sure to have all your ingredients measured and ready to use before you begin.
Unlike inside the kitchen, where the fridge is only a few steps away, you don’t want your garlic to burn if you need to spend 5 minutes measuring the broth or milk.
Note that I use a 3-burner gas grill for all of my recipe testing. If your grill is smaller, or if you’re using charcoal instead of gas, your cook times may vary.
For example, the kale may sauté more quickly on a smaller or hotter grill, or the milk may take longer to heat if your coals aren’t giving off as much heat.
Like campfire cooking, it’s always best to keep an eye on your food until you have a more comfortable sense of average cook times on your particular grill. Grab a beverage and pull up a patio chair while you give your skillet mac and cheese a periodic check-in.
The payoff of eating warm, gooey mac and cheese straight from the skillet without heating up your kitchen? Worth it every time.