Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese
Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese is like the two friends you know are a perfect match and have been dying to introduce for years. Each is the ideal complement to other, they laugh at each other’s jokes, and once combined, they are destined for a lifetime of bliss. Time to get hitched.
Spinach artichoke mac and cheese combines one of the greatest American appetizers, spinach and artichoke dip, with one of the most iconic of American dishes, macaroni and cheese (ignore the deceptive “macaroni” in the title. This vat of cheesy pasta goodness was made for Uncle Sam). The signature creaminess of spinach and artichoke dip paired with the cheesy, saucy macaroni noodles is at once unexpected and utter destiny—the hallmarks of any great love story.
About Comforting Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese
The base of this spinach artichoke mac and cheese is my absolute favorite lightened-up cheesy white sauce, which relies on Greek yogurt for its body and velvety texture, instead of heavy cream. For maximum mac gooiness, I stirred in a generous handful of Fontina cheese, which melts beautifully and has a subtle nutty flavor that offers more taste bang-per-bite than its mild cousin mozzarella.
Along with the leaner white sauce, this spinach artichoke mac and cheese is made with whole wheat pasta, a greater source of protein and fiber than its white pasta counterparts. Using whole wheat pasta in place of regular is an easy, instant swap that makes our meal notably healthier, no extra work required.
Though spinach artichoke mac and cheese would make a stellar side at any gathering (your Fourth of July barbecue included), it’s hearty and healthy enough to operate alone as an all-in-one main dish. I’d originally intended to serve it with some simply sautéed carrots or sweet potatoes but ended up skipping them—the generous serving of spinach and artichokes in the mac and cheese felt virtuous enough on its own.
How to Store and Reheat Spinach Mac and Cheese
- To Store. Place leftover mac and cheese in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm mac and cheese in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat until hot. Add in splashes of milk as needed to thin the sauce.
More Scrumptious Mac and Cheese Recipes
- Adult Mac and Cheese
- Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
- Spicy Pizza Mac and Cheese
Above all, this spinach artichoke mac and cheese achieves the dietary feat of tasting decadent while being wholesome. It’s excellent news, particularly as I’m focused on the spinach-artichoke-dip theme and plan to have two consecutive servings: one for my appetizer, followed by one for my dinner…
…and just one more for dessert.
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Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta noodles — such as shells, penne, rigatoni, or elbow
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cans artichoke quarters — drained
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 1/2 cups non-fat milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Fontina, — Gouda, mozzarella, or other similar, melty cheese
- 8 ounces fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish.
- In a Dutch oven or large, deep stockpot, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Add the artichokes and saute just until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium. Melt the butter, then add the onion and cook until the onion is softened and fragrant but not yet brown, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic and flour and cook, whisking often, until flour turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until sauce simmers and thickens, 5-7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper. Next, stir in the Greek yogurt and fontina. Add the drained pasta and artichokes, stirring gently to combine, then gently stir in the spinach, allowing it to wilt.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the top with Parmesan, then bake the macaroni and cheese until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
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