Spinach macaroni and cheese recipe image

Print Spinach macaroni and cheese

This comforting vegetarian dish is quick and easy to make, rich, velvety and delicious. It's great for coaxing kids (or adults) to eat their greens. Nothing more is needed for dinner, though it's good team with a green salad to balance out the creaminess.

Ingredients

  • 400g spinach, stalks removed
  • 260g dried macaroni
  • Olive oil
  • 50g butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml milk
  • Pinch nutmeg, grated
  • 200g Cheddar, grated
  • 50g Parmesan or Pecorino, grated
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Blanch the spinach in a pan of boiling water for a minute or two, until just wilted.
  2. Drain and refresh in a bowl of very cold water, then drain again. Squeeze out any excess moisture, then roughly chop. Place in the bottom of a lightly buttered baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions. Drain, toss in a little olive oil (just enough to coat and stop it sticking together) and keep to one side.
  4. Gently heat the butter in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the flour and cook gently for two minutes, stirring continuously.
  5. Add a little of the milk, still stirring continuously, then gradually add the rest, along with the nutmeg and ¾ of the cheese, stirring all the time until the sauce has thickened (use a whisk if it gets a bit lumpy).
  6. Mix the pasta in with the sauce and pour over the spinach.
  7. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese, then bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until browned and crispy on top.
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