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By chef Judy Joo, City Harvest Food Council member

It’s Thanksgiving, so we’re sharing this delicious Kimchi Mac n Cheese recipe from American chef, and City Harvest Food Council member, Judy Joo. Add this sizzling side dish to your repertoire!

Judy Joo

“Mac and cheese is probably one of the first dishes that I learned how to cook – albeit from a box with fluorescent colored orange powder. It was so good, even cold! This recipe is definitely a strong upgrade from an instant version, with a béchamel base, four different types of cheese, and kicked up with a bit spice and crunch from the kimchi. Kimchi and cheese is a combination that is winning fans all around the world – at first bite you’ll surely swoon and taste why.”


• 35g (1¼oz) salt

• 350g (12oz) dried elbow macaroni

• 75g (3oz) butter

• 20g (¾oz) plain flour

• 150ml (5fl oz) whole milk

• 400g (14oz) mixed cheese (blue, goat’s, Cheddar, Parmesan), grated

• 450ml (15fl oz) double cream

• 250g (9oz) cabbage kimchi, chopped

• Chives, finely chopped, to serve


• 50g (2oz) butter

• 100g (3½oz) panko breadcrumbs


1. Bring 3.5 liters (6 pints) water to the boil with the salt. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain well and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 70°C fan/90°C/200°F/gas ¼.

3. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for just under 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, making sure to stir well so that no lumps form. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until you have a thickened and smooth sauce, whisking constantly.

4. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the cheese and cream, and stir until it is well combined and the cheese is melted, then add the chopped kimchi.

5. Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a deep suitably – sized ovenproof dish. Keep warm in the oven.

6. For the panko crust, melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then add the panko. Keep tossing and stirring until golden in color. Remove the crumbs from the heat and sprinkle them evenly over the mac and cheese.

Scatter with chopped chives to finish and serve immediately.

About City Harvest

Est. 2014, City Harvest London rescues nutritious surplus food from manufacturers, suppliers, producers and retailers, and delivers, for free, to 375+ London charities feeding those facing food poverty. City Harvest rescues food, people, and planet by preventing food waste, providing life-changing support to communities in every London borough through food, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from waste.

City Harvest believes in the right to food and is passionate that, in this day and age, every child should have access to fresh nutritious food to thrive and not simply survive. City Harvest is a supporter of the Free School Meals campaign. We want to ensure no child goes hungry and we encourage food partners to use our networks to make a huge difference. By delivering to food banks, community centres and school programmes we try to make sure we help fill the gaps all year round.

City Harvest vans equally deliver to homeless shelters, hostels, soup kitchens, mental health charities, projects supporting the elderly and socially isolated, social pantries, community kitchens, refugee hostels, nurseries, family centres and domestic abuse refuges. 

City Harvest tripled in size in 2020 to meet the demand of people facing food poverty. Now distributing free food for more than 1.2 million meals a month the need continues to rise as the cost of living tightens its grip.

Help City Harvest continute to rescue nutritious food for those who need it most!