• Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cooking Time: 30 min
  • Serves: 4

Healthy Mac & Cheese with Spinach

Category: Main Dish, One-Dish Meal

 Ingredients List

  • 3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat or gluten free elbow macaroni, or penne


Preheat oven to 450°F.
Boil a large pot of water on to boil.
Butter or coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.
Whisk 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Add the milk-flour mixture to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in cheddar and gruyere. Continue stirring until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender.
Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well.
Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

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