Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese
Author: 
 
What happens when you mix creamy spinach and artichoke dip with classic macaroni and cheese? A healthy comfort food recipe that's unique and full of flavor!

Total Time: 40 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Level: Easy
Ingredients
  • 14 ounces whole wheat macaroni
  • 1½ cups frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ⅔ cup jarred artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • ½ cup organic 2% milk
  • 1½ cups organic shredded sharp white cheddar
  • ½ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Boil a large pot of water. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook, according to package instructions, until nearly al dente. Drain and pour into a large casserole dish (about 9" X 12").
  3. Meanwhile, measure 1½ cups of frozen chopped spinach, and place the frozen spinach in a heat-safe bowl. Microwave until thawed. When cool enough to handle, transfer thawed spinach to a fine mesh strainer. Arrange the strainer over a large mixing bowl and squeeze spinach, wringing dry, until all excess water is drained from the spinach. Set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2-4 minutes. Add the chopped artichokes, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Season well with salt and stir until well combined. Cook until heated through, about 1-2 minutes more. Pour the spinach and artichoke mixture into the casserole dish.
  5. Reduce the heat to low. Add the mascarpone and milk to the skillet and stir until mascarpone and milk are well combined and melted into a thick sauce. Add the cheddar and season well with salt. Turn off the heat and stir until cheese has completely melted into the sauce.
  6. Pour the cheese sauce into the casserole dish. Stir until all ingredients are well combined and the pasta is evenly coated with cheese sauce.
  7. Add the panko, parmesan, and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a bowl and stir until well combined. Arrange the breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole dish.
  8. Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheese sauce begins to bubble, about 10 minutes. Serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 Calories: 372 Fat: 13.1g Saturated fat: 6.2g Carbohydrates: 46.6g Sugar: 1.4g Sodium: 296mg Fiber: 65.6g Protein: 20.2g Cholesterol: 28mg
Recipe by The Scrumptious Pumpkin at http://thescrumptiouspumpkin.com/2017/05/01/creamy-spinach-artichoke-mac-cheese/