This super easy to make, healthy spinach macaroni cheese is full of colour, goodness and loads of deliciousness your family will love!
Comfort foods are in high demand at this time of year and today’s post features a well-known comfort food recipe with a twist – spinach macaroni cheese.
How to prep the spinach
I used spinach to add some fibre and veggie goodness to the sauce, not to mention the colour! I love colour in my food, bright green especially!
The spinach does not need cooking, but only heating up and reducing in volume so you can puree and add it into the sauce. Start by briefly frying the garlic and onion until softened, then add the spinach and stir until it wilts and reduces in volume. This should only take a minute or so. Remove from the heat before it starts releasing moisture.
Puree the mixture and stir it into the sauce.
How to make the healthy spinach cheese sauce
This is a 5-minute job! In a large saucepan melt the butter, then add the flour and whisk quickly until the mixture becomes smooth. Then gradually pour in the milk whisking all the time until the sauce thickens. Let simmer for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat, pour in the spinach mixture, stir in the sauce and combine with the pasta. Serve immediately.
How did I make this spinach macaroni cheese recipe healthy
I’ve lowered the fat content of this macaroni cheese with spinach recipe simply by using less cheese. (I compared my recipe with several other macaroni cheese recipes and they all had more fat!) The sauce is still wonderfully creamy as I’ve used full fat rather than reduced fat cheese. I tend to use full fat ingredients in general (with the exception of the semi-skimmed milk in this recipe), only in smaller quantities, as I want great flavour without the extra calories.
I have used my simple white sauce recipe as the base for this low fat spinach sauce and halved the ingredients to make room for the cheese and spinach mixture. (Which also required a little more milk than the amount I used in my original white sauce recipe). The sauce is still very simple to make, despite the additional ingredients.
Check out ALL my recipes where I’ve used this simple white sauce. You won’t believe how versatile it is!
More vegetarian pasta recipes
Spinach Macaroni Cheese (Healthy)
- 300 g macaroni uncooked
- 150 g spinach
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 50 g Cheddar cheese grated
- 30 g parmesan finely grated
- 1 bay leaf
- 300 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 20 g butter
- 15 g flour roughly 1 heaped tablespoon
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta in salted water with the bay leaf according to the packet instructions (al dente is best).
- While the pasta is cooking make the sauce. Heat up the oil and fry the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes over a low heat, stirring often, until softened. Add the spinach, stir, season and cook over a medium-high heat for about a minute, until the spinach reduces in volume (stirring all the time). Remove from the heat before the mixture becomes watery. Puree until the mixture is silky smooth. Set aside.
- In a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and whisk until a paste forms. Gradually add the milk whisking all the time until the sauce thickens. Season and simmer for 2 minutes stirring often.
- Remove from the heat, add the spinach mixture, cheese and stir thoroughly until the sauce is smooth and glossy. Add the pasta, stir and serve.
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