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Spinach and pesto macaroni cheese recipe

Spinach and pesto macaroni cheese recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Macaroni
  • Macaroni cheese

Macaroni with pesto, spinach and three cheeses is topped with coarse breadcrumbs and baked until golden and delicious!

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 150g macaroni pasta
  • 225g baby spinach leaves, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons prepared basil pesto, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 500ml milk
  • 200g grated Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 60g grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 80g grated Asiago cheese, divided
  • 4 slices granary bread with crusts, cubed

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease a baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Add spinach to the pot in the last minute of cooking; drain.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir garlic into onion mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk 2 tablespoons pesto, flour, black pepper and salt into onion mixture until smooth; whisk milk in gradually. Cook and stir milk mixture until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes; stir in 3/4 of the grated cheeses; remove saucepan from heat and stir until cheeses are melted, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir cheese mixture into macaroni mixture; pour into prepared dish. Cover dish with foil.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove dish from oven; increase oven temperature to 230 C / Gas 8.
  6. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons pesto, remaining grated cheeses and bread cubes. Spoon this mixture on top of baked pasta; return dish to oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 10 minutes.

Parmesan cheese:

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(6)

Reviews in English (5)


Followed the recipe exactly except used fettuccine noodles instead of elbow macaroni and added one can of artichoke hearts (drained and chopped) when mixing the noodles with the cheese mixture. For the topping, I used the same ingredients as the recipe stated but substituted packaged plain bread crumbs for the cubed bread crusts . The family loved it. Great for a pot luck!-03 Mar 2017

by Megs

I used penne instead of macaroni, and a blend of italian, cheddar and parmesan cheeses and skipped the bread chunks, just based on what I had on hand, otherwise I followed the recipe. It was very good. Everyone at the table really enjoyed it.-26 Jun 2018

Mushroom & Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

Eat the best macaroni and cheese casserole. It’s full of cheesy noodles, stuffed with vegetables and made better with beer and some flavorful seasonings. It can easily be made gluten-free by substituting the right noodles and beer.

[Adapted from How Sweet It Is]


  • 3 cups Uncooked Penne Pasta Or Macaroni Noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Beer Of Choice
  • 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cups Romano Cheese, Shaved
  • ¼ teaspoons Paprika
  • ½ teaspoons Basil
  • ¼ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • ½ cups Panko Bread Crumbs


Prepare water for pasta and cook the noodles according to package directions, shaving 1-2 minutes off of cooking time since pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter and wait for it to melt. Whisk in flour and cook for about 2 minutes, until bubbling and golden in color. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute for another 2 minutes. Pour in milk, then the beer, and whisk constantly until it thickens just a bit. Stir in cheeses and whisk until melted, about 3-5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to stir occasionally, letting the mixture cook for 5-6 minutes to thicken and settle a little. After 6 minutes, stir in the seasonings.

One the pasta finishes cooking, drain it, then pour it into a casserole dish (I used a large oval baking dish) that you’ve coated with cooking spray. Pour cheese mixture over the top and toss well to combine. Add fresh spinach, then sprinkle panko bread crumbs on top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and the noodles and bread crumbs are golden in color. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

One Pot Spinach Macaroni Pasta Recipe

A super delicious one Pot Spinach Macaroni Pasta which is cheesy and perfect to serve during weekend dinner. The cooked macaroni is tossed in with sauteed spinach leaves, and melted butter, milk and cheese that creates a rich creamy texture as you dig into every bite that you take. Serve it along with some toasted garlic bread.

A great way to make a meal almost from scratch and cook up a delicious dish with little clean up are these one pot meal. Do not underestimate the varieties of one pot meal we can have and that too with big flavours. These one pot recipes are usually super easy, super tasty, super fast to make and are perfect for dinner for someone who does not make dinner plans ahead of time.

Of all the one pot meals, this one pot spinach macaroni is the easiest of all. Once macaroni is cooked, all you do is sauté spinach, add some richness to the dish with butter, milk and cheese and stir in the cooked macaroni. The end result is cheesy, delicious macaroni with a goodness of spinach.

Serve One Pot Spinach Macaroni as a one dish meal for a light dinner along with Fennel Pesto Pull-Apart Bread Recipe to make a delicious meal.

If you like this recipe, you can also try other one pot meal dishes like :

How to Make Pesto Mac and Cheese

When your pasta is al dente (cooked but slightly firm), add it to the cheese sauce.

Use tongs to toss the pasta into the sauce. You may want to add a splash of pasta water if the sauce seems too thick.

Serve this extra cheesy pasta as a main course or as a side dish. I like to serve my pasta along with a lower-carb vegetable side, such as oven-roasted broccoli or braised kale.

Serrano Spinach Macaroni & Cheese

In a large high sided skillet melt butter over medium heat. Once melted add shallots and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about half a minute more. Whisk in flour. Then slowly whisk in milk.

Whisk continuously until milk begins to bubble and starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1-1/2 cups of gouda and 1 cups of Beechers Flagship Cheese. Stir in cayenne then set it aside.

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook macaroni about 2 minutes under the time that the package directions state.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil over medium high heat in a saute pan. Add spinach (you can do this in batches until it cooks down if the pan isn’t large enough), season with salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring around occasionally until spinach cooks down.

When it’s done, drain the macaroni. Stir cooked macaroni into the milk and cheese mixture and pour it into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top evenly with cooked spinach and then sprinkle on remaining cheese.

Add panko breadcrumbs to top and spray with cooking spray (to help brown).

Spinach Basil Pesto Risotto

To make the pesto, combine garlic, basil, spinach, olive oil and lemon juice in the jar of a blender. Puree until smooth and then season with kosher salt. Set aside.

Place cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan prepared with a sheet of parchment paper. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

For the risotto, in a large pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Saute the onion, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat the rice with the onion and oil. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring stock to a simmer over low heat in a small pot near by the pan.

Add wine to rice and stir, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. As the wine cooks off, add a large ladle of stock and continue to cook and stir. As the stock cooks off, add another ladle of stock. Continue this process of adding stock and cooking it off, stirring continuously.

When you are about 20 minutes in and have added most of the stock, add the spinach-basil pesto and the rest of the broth. Continue to cook another 2 minutes or until rice is tender and cooked through. Season to taste with kosher salt.

Spoon into serving bowls and top with the roasted cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

My older sister Julie taught me all about risotto in the mid-90s. I was in high school and she was already a &ldquogrown up,&rdquo married with children of her own. She always loved to cook and put dinner on the table almost every night, even in her twenties.

I worshipped the ground she walked on and was soaking up any and all tips she was willing to share, in all of life&rsquos arenas! So cue my discovery of risotto, which happened as my sister was busy mastering the &ldquoit&rdquo dish of the moment. Lucky for me, she was willing to teach me all the techniques for making good risotto at such a young age. I still remember sweating away while I was told to &ldquoKeep stirring. &rdquo at top volume. After all, the creamiest risotto is the one stirred the most! This eventually led to our mother asking us make risotto for every single family dinner and holiday. We were pretty much professional risotto makers.

Here we are twenty years later (goodness, that makes me feel old!) and risotto isn&rsquot the trendy dish it once was. Now, it&rsquos considered a classic. I love it most for its delicious blank slate. You can add just about anything to this luscious creamy rice dish (from beets or red wine and bacon to zucchini or butternut squash&mdash-the possibilities are endless) and create a beautiful, tasty, seasonal dish. Typical risotto calls for a liberal hand with the Parmesan cheese and sometimes with butter too, and since I no longer use dairy in my recipes, this is a much lighter version. And while, admittedly, I do miss that cheese, by constantly stirring the rice, you actually achieve a rich creaminess that will surprise you.

Plus, I&rsquove found that the flavors of whatever you pair with the risotto really get a chance to shine&mdashin this case, the brilliant green color and flavor of fresh basil and spinach, accented by the sweet burst of cherry tomatoes. Pretty much the perfect combination! If you&rsquore strapped for time, you can always stir in store-bought pesto, but I promise the few minutes that it takes to make this homemade version is well worth it.

Enjoy this risotto on its own as a meatless main course, or as a side dish. I think it would be delicious served with grilled salmon or a nice steak with a green salad. So grab the printable recipe in the sidebar and feel free to use your favorite ingredients to make it your own. Whatever you do, don&rsquot forget: Keep stirring!

(Note: We&rsquore working on the sidebar printables a little bit. In the meantime, you can also find the recipe here: Spinach Basil Pesto Risotto on Tasty Kitchen.)

We’re talking four basic steps to spinach mac and cheese weeknight world domination (be sure to read the full recipe below!)

  1. Cook the pasta in very salty water, then drain the noodles and return the pot to the stove. (15 minutes)
  2. Whisk the sauce together, let it thicken, then stir in the spinach and cheeses. (15 minutes)
  3. Toss your cooked pasta in the spinach cheese sauce. Taste and season as needed (don’t skip the salt in this recipe! Seasoning is extra important with so few ingredients!)
  4. Stuff the pasta in your face (very important step).

Spinach Pesto

A.K.A. How I take care of about-to-wilt spinach.

Hi Hey Friends! How goes it?

I have one thing to say… whoa whoa whoa! What a week!

You guys, the flu knocked me out for 5 days. FIVE! I couldn’t even get myself to open up my laptop… that should certainly tell you exactly how bad this bug was. BLAH!

I’m quite confident it was mostly related to the whole 70-degree weather last week and the 30-degree SNOW weather only 4 days later. Mother Nature. AS IF!

Naturally, to combat all the nastiness, I overdosed on all things green, spinach and kale being at the top of my list and Lime Margaritas waaaay down at the bottom. *Insert crying emoji*

BUT! The good news is that I feel so much better today and I can’t even tell you how happy I am to say that. I’m a bit dramatic so no matter how small or big any symptoms are, in my head, I’m dying. The smallest throat itch has me thinking I’ve got the plague. Headaches? That’s a trip to the ER.

On a happier note, we get to spread spinach on toast! OR toss it in pasta. YAY for US!

The story with this Spinach Pesto is first and foremost all about, that’s right, spinach.

One of the many very offending smells, according to me, is that of wilted spinach. It’s awful! Right? Can’

Thus, for the love of fragrant spinach and healthy spreads, our remedy is pesto. Spinach Pesto, that is. Yes, the original gangsta is Basil Pesto, but this guy is just as good. Trust.

This is so easy, I can’t even BUHlieve I’m calling it a “recipe”. But it IS!

Craving more? Sign up for the DIETHOOD Newsletter for a fresh serving of content delivered to your inbox! Follow Diethood on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest recipes and updates.

Stovetop Spinach Basil Pesto Mac and Cheese

Try this fresh take on traditional creamy, gooey macaroni and cheese… with basil pesto! Made with just a handful of wholesome ingredients, this is a delicious spin on a classic comfort food you’re gonna love!

Here in Austin, we’ve had some cooler days in the past week. That’s meant more long walks, fuzzy slippers and new spins on my favorite fall comfort foods. However, I see September as an in-between month as far as summer and fall inspired cooking. You can really just interpret it however you like. In this incredibly scrumptious macaroni and cheese with my best Spinach Basil Pesto, I think I’ve achieved the best flavors of both seasons!

Of course, there are so many more flavors that define summer and fall. But, these are my personal favorites – bright, citrusy basil pesto the color of summer grass mixed with cheesy, pillowy noodles wrapped up in a creamy white cheddar sauce. Summer + fall flavors = one happy marriage.

Using skim milk instead of cream cuts a few calories, too! You’re still left with a silky, super creamy sauce that perfectly coats each noodle… and using white cheddar makes for the most intensely cheesy flavor. All done on your stovetop in one pan, in less than 30 minutes.

I like to serve this alongside my Easy Herb Roasted Chicken or a store bought rotisserie chicken. So easy, and so incredibly delicious with a glass of white wine. It also freezes well, too! The pesto makes the perfect finishing touch to this already stellar side, and really adds a special something. You’ve just got to try it.

This mac and cheese is totally kid friendly, too! I can see myself calling it “Monster Mac” to get my daughter to eat it one day… if mom and dad don’t eat it all first! Hehe.

Making homemade pesto

If it’s the season for basil and you’ve got a plant, making homemade pesto makes this mac and cheese even more terrific. Of course if it’s not, you can use purchased pesto: here’s one of our favorite brands.

If you decide to make your own, we have lots of great pesto recipes. Our Best Basil Pesto is the classic, made with pinenuts, basil and Parmesan, But you can use lots of types of nuts in pesto: try our Cashew Pesto with Basil or Walnut Pesto with Basil. By the way, we also have a few vegan pesto recipes: Vegan Cashew Pesto and Easy Vegan Pesto. But we assume if you’re making mac and cheese, you’re not eating vegan at the moment!

Watch the video: Spaghetti med pesto, spinat og grønne oliven (May 2022).