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One-pot Creamed Spinach Mac & Cheese

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 662kcal


For the mac:

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion (finely diced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour (tested with White Lily)
  • 3 (14 oz) cans vegetable broth
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 1 pound cavatappi
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (tested with Lawry's)
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 16 oz baby spinach
  • 16 oz mozzarella (freshly grated)
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar (freshly grated)
  • 4 oz parmesan (freshly grated)

Optional topping:

  • 1 cup reserved cheese mixture
  • ½ cup panko
  • cooking spray


For the Mac:

  • In a dutch oven or a heavy bottomed stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions. Add salt and pepper. Cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, stirring often.
  • Sprinkle onion mixture with flour. Cook for 2 minutes, or until all raw flour is gone.
  • Add broth in with the half and half, stirring to remove any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Add in pasta and bring to a boil. Add in the garlic salt, cayenne, and nutmeg.
  • Cook (uncovered) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until pasta is cooked to your liking. Stir it often and make sure the pasta stays submerged.
  • When the pasta is cooked, stir in spinach, working it in batches if necessary.
  • Remove pot from heat. If topping the mac with panko, reserve 1 cup of the cheese mixture and stir in the remaining cheese. If not topping with panko, stir in all cheese and serve as soon as the cheese melts.

Optional topping:

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Pour mac into oven safe casserole dish. Top mac with the one cup reserved cheese mixture. Top the cheese with panko. Coat with a light spritz of cooking spray.
  • Place casserole dish on the upper third of the oven and broil for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.


Calories: 662kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1155mg | Potassium: 591mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5431IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 694mg | Iron: 3mg