My husband and I tried a new recipe a few weeks ago for “Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach”. Let me tell you… it was a fantastic, very flavorful, “meatless” dinner, and must be totally “HEALTHY” because it has spinach in it, right? (snicker, snicker)
It actually was very delicious and EASY to prepare! I found the recipe online and played around with it just a bit to suit our taste buds, and boom! Mac and Cheese with ATTITUDE! Here’s how easy it is to make:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain macaroni noodles, according to the package directions (then set aside). Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add chopped green onion; cook & stir for a couple minutes, then add minced garlic and cook for one more minute.
Stir (or whisk) in flour. Continue cooking for one minute.
Add in half and half and milk, stirring continuously. Turn the heat on the stove up to medium-high. While stirring, bring the mixture to a boil. Continue stirring. This should take several minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out.
Once the sauce has come to a boil and has thickened (see photo below), add salt and pepper, to taste.
Turn heat down to medium-low. Stir in the smoked Gouda and freshly grated Parmesan cheeses. Mix well to melt cheeses.
Once cheese has melted, add in the chopped spinach and the cooked and drained macaroni noodles. Stir to combine.
Once dish is fully mixed, taste sauce. If necessary, add additional salt and pepper, to suit your taste.
Spray a 2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray, then pour macaroni mixture in. Sprinkle the top with dried bread crumbs. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake it for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. After 15 minutes, remove the foil , and continue baking for approximately 6-7 additional minutes, until the cheese sauce is nice and bubbly!
Here’s what it looked like straight out of the oven. Can you see the bubbling sauce on the edges of the pan?
We let it cool down just a touch, then dished up our servings! It was really delicious! The combination of flavor from Smoked Gouda Cheese and Parmesan really give this comfort food dish a LOT of flavor! I sure hope you will give this recipe a try. It’s that kind of recipe that makes you want to curl up on the couch (in sweatpants) with a big bowl of this comfort food after a long day. No matter HOW you eat this, I think you’ll LOVE it!
Recipe Adapted From: http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/03/21/spinach-macaroni-and-cheese/
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion , thinly sliced (stem and bulb)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups Half and Half
- 2 cups low-fat milk (I used 1%)
- Salt and Pepper , to taste
- 1 1/2 cups Smoked Gouda cheese , grated
- 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese , grated
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves , cut into 1/2 inch strips
- 3/4 pound elbow macaroni , cooked and drained (use pkg. directions)
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter over medium heat, in a large skillet or saucepan. Add chopped green onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add minced garlic and cook for additional minute. (do not burn garlic!)
- Stir or whisk in flour. Cook for additional minute.
- Add half and half and milk. Stir or whisk in to the flour mixture in pan to fully combine. Turn heat up to medium high. Continue cooking, stirring often until mixture comes to a boil. This will take several minutes. The sauce will thicken quite a bit. Once thickened, season to taste with a little bit of salt and black pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low.
- Stir in Smoked Gouda and Parmesan cheeses. Stir to combine. Add chopped spinach and cooked & drained macaroni noodles. Stir well to fully mix ingredients together. Once mixed, taste it again. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Spray a 1 quart baking dish with non stick spray. Pour macaroni mixture into dish. Sprinkle the dried bread crumbs evenly over the top of macaroni. Cover pan with foil.
- Place covered dish in 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil from dish, then continue baking for 6-7 minutes. When done, the sauce is hot and bubbly around the edges of the pan.
- Remove from oven, let it rest for about a minute, then serve it up! YUM. Enjoy!