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
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)
How to Make It
Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/4 cup. Combine breadcrumbs and butter, stirring to coat.
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.
i would have to agree with the other post. I added more cheddar and hot pepper flakes, and it was still bland. I usually love pasta with spinach but I would not make this again. It even looked unappealing with its milky-ish sauce. I'll stick with my other macaroni and cheese recipes.
Way too blah, even when adding more cheese and some ground red pepper. Incredibly disappointing. There's a Cooking Light recipe for a stove top mac with roasted cherry tomatoes that's much better. A box of Kraft mac and cheese with spinach thrown in there is less effort and tastier than this recipe.
Super tasty--- I added 1/3c cheddar (just because I had it leftover) and used 3 cups of pasta (because that's what I had too). I think it could use some more breadcrumbs on top-- but no worries, the butter could have handled more than 1/4c.
I'm not sure why everyone else is complaining about this recipe, it is a lighter mac and cheese, so if your expecting something really creamy, rich and thick, go find a more fattening recipe! This was excellent.... a great alternative for a lighter, healthier version of mac and cheese, if its too bland for you or not cheesy enough, just add more cheese on top and melt it on in the oven, it didn't need more salt for me... it was perfect. Will make again!
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