Green Mac ‘n Cheese!

green mac n cheese 1_small
I promise you this is good. Really good. As in, I-just-ate-it-for-breakfast good. It would be a perfect St. Paddy’s Day dinner at your house. And best of all, it’s completely natural. No green food dyes and, even though it uses spinach for color, you can’t taste it a bit.

I adapted this from a Weelicious recipe where she mixes the mac with chopped broccoli and peas. My kids are skeptical of mac ‘n cheese that involves big pieces of broccoli, so I pureed it right into the sauce and they inhaled it. (And bonus, it makes the sauce even greener!) I also added some extra cheese because, well, who doesn’t want their mac a little cheesier? I did leave the peas whole, but if your kids hate those too go ahead and puree ‘em in.

If you’re nervous about this, try a half batch first in an 8×8 pan. That’s what I did. (Then I had to make another batch, but hey, that’s a good thing, right?)

You can make this ahead of time. Just don’t do the last step (bake in the oven for 20 min) — refrigerate until you’re ready and then bake it. If you’re putting it in the oven cold, it may need a few extra minutes.

p.s. This recipe calls for white cheddar cheese, which you will have to buy and shred yourself. I know this is kind of a pain, but it tastes so much better than a milder white cheese like mozzarella. You really need the sharpness of the cheddar to balance out the broccoli, I think. My kids also like smoked Gouda, so we use that too.

Green Mac ‘n Cheese!

Green Mac ‘n Cheese!

Ingredients

1 pound elbow macaroni (I use the Barilla in the yellow box -- it has added protein)

2 cups chopped broccoli florets

3 cups whole milk

1 cup packed fresh spinach

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

4 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese

1 cup peas

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cook pasta and broccoli in salted water for about 2 minutes less than pasta package directions call for, or until al dente. Reserve half a cup of the pasta water and strain. Separate broccoli and pasta as best you can. (Don't worry about being perfect, just get the big chunks of broccoli out.)

Place the cooked broccoli, milk and spinach in a blender or food processor and blend on high speed until smooth.

In a large pot melt the butter and then add the flour, whisking over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until sauce is gently bubbling and starting to thicken.

Add reserved pasta water and cheese and whisk until melted. Stir in the pasta and peas.

Transfer to a greased 13? x 9? baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and the pasta is set.

Adapted from Weelicious

http://sugarmamacooks.com/green-mac-n-cheese/

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Comments

  1. Omg! That’s delicious, mouth watering dish. I would surely like to try these at home. :)

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