Mac & Cheese with Sausage & Kale

Mac & Cheese with Sausage & Kale

This recipe is so simple I almost didn’t post it. But, simplicity is key when camping so you can focus on your sweaty endeavors until the sun goes down and have a meal that’s quick, nourishing, and hearty enough for a chilly autumn night.

The key to this recipe is the boxed mac and cheese. Brands like Banza and Ancient Harvest’s Pow! offer boxed options that are high in fiber, something most other varieties lack, giving it a nutrition boost. Banza’s pasta is chickpea-based, and it actually tastes just like regular pasta. Ancient Harvest Pow! is red lentil and quinoa flour-based, and I have not tried it. Due to its shelf stability, they’re nice to store as a staple in your camping food box.

Mac & Cheese With Sausage & Kale

Servings 2


  • 2 burner stove
  • 1 med-pot with lid
  • 1, 12 in pan
  • strainer
  • Tongs
  • Serving spoon
  • Check out this article for car camping kitchen essentials.


  • 6 c water
  • 1 box high-fiber mac & cheese
  • 2 Italian sausage links sliced
  • into half-inch coins
  • 3 c shredded kale equiv to 1 bunch
  • ¼ c low-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter optional
  • Smoked paprika optional
  • Fresh cracked pepper optional


  • Place the water in the lidded pot on high heat. 
  • When the water begins to boil, add the pasta. Banza’s package instructions note about 8-9 minutes to cook, so once the pasta is added begin to cook the sausage and kale.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil to 12in pan heat on med-high. When the oil is shimmering, add the sausage coins.
  • Cook on one side until golden brown, then flip them over to cook the other side. Add the kale, tossing occasionally to wilt down and combine the sausage and kale. Reduce heat to low. 
  • When the pasta is cooked, strain the pasta and place it back in pot, leaving a tablespoon of the pasta water if possible. Add milk, butter if using, and the powdered cheese mixture and mix thoroughly and place back on the stove on low to gently heat.
  • Once the mac is hot, serve all food and garnish mac with pepper and smoked paprika if using. 



Any hearty leafy green such as spinach, chard, or mustard greens.
Broccoli- It will require longer cooking time than kale. Cut into tiny florets for faster cooking and cook before to the sausage, pushing the broccoli over to one side of the pan once you begin to cook the sausage. You may simply shift the part of the pan that has the broccoli off heat to reduce cooking.
Zucchini- It will require longer cooking time than kale as well. Small dice it and cook prior to the sausage using broccoli instructions.
Vegan “Sausage”
Extra-Firm Tofu- Cut into small cubes and toss with smoked paprika and salt prior to cooking.
Tempeh- Cut into small cubes and toss with smoked paprika and salt prior to cooking.

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