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Skillet Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese served in red bowl

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

  1. Wash the spinach if using fresh.
  2. Collect, chop, shred and measure all ingredients.
  3. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add onion and cook two minutes, then add spinach and cook for another two minutes.
  5. Add flour and cook for one minute, stir constantly.
  6. Add milk and water to skillet, stirring frequently. Bring mixture to boil and reduce heat.
  7. Add uncooked pasta, making sure it’s all covered by liquid.
  8. Cover and simmer, over low heat, 8 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Once pasta is tender, remove from heat.
  10. Add shredded cheese, stir to combine. Cover and let sit five minutes before serving.
  11. 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)