By combining a classic macaroni and cheese recipe with healthier substitutions and a one-skillet preparation, this becomes a satisfying weeknight dish to enjoy. Get creative with the noodle choice and added vegetables – peas and carrots would do in a pinch if there's not spinach on hand!
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 3 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped (or substitute ¾ cup of thawed frozen, chopped spinach)
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 ½ cups milk
- ¾ cup water
- 2 ½ cups uncooked whole-wheat macaroni (or other pasta)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups shredded)
- Salt and pepper, if desired, to taste
- Wash the spinach if using fresh.
- Collect, chop, shred and measure all ingredients.
- Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook two minutes, then add spinach and cook for another two minutes.
- Add flour and cook for one minute, stir constantly.
- Add milk and water to skillet, stirring frequently. Bring mixture to boil and reduce heat.
- Add uncooked pasta, making sure it’s all covered by liquid.
- Cover and simmer, over low heat, 8 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once pasta is tender, remove from heat.
- Add shredded cheese, stir to combine. Cover and let sit five minutes before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours and eat leftovers within three to five days.
Nutrition information per serving (recipe makes 12 servings):
Serving size ½ cup
Calories – 230; fat – 11g; sodium – 190g; carbohydrates – 23g; fiber – 1g; protein – 10g
(Adapted from USDA and Colorado State University)