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Mac and Cheese Florentine

Yield 2 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)
Add spinach and fresh breadcrumbs to macaroni and cheese for a meal that provides half of your daily calcium needs. You can vary this by using a different short pasta, such as mini penne or radiatore, and changing the cheese to gouda, Monterey Jack, or provolone.


  • 1/2 (1-ounce) slice white bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup frozen chopped leaf spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 1 cup uncooked)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 482
  • caloriesfromfat 27 %
  • fat 14.5 g
  • satfat 7.8 g
  • monofat 3.9 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 22.6 g
  • carbohydrate 66.9 g
  • fiber 5.7 g
  • cholesterol 42 mg
  • iron 4.4 mg
  • sodium 975 mg
  • calcium 502 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/4 cup. Combine breadcrumbs and butter, stirring to coat.

  2. Preheat broiler.

  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, juice, nutmeg, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine milk and flour, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to spinach mixture, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Add cheese, salt, and pepper; cook 30 seconds or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in pasta. Spoon the mixture into a 1-quart soufflé dish coated with cooking spray. Top evenly with breadcrumb mixture.

  4. Broil for 3 minutes or until lightly browned.