It is the new year and I know we’re supposed to be eating lots and lots of salad, but I just can’t get excited about salad for every meal. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad, but sometimes I want something more. Like this Quinoa Spinach Mac ‘n Cheese from Carrie Burrill. When I saw the recipe, I said goodbye salad, hello quinoa mac ‘n cheese!
This is the perfect comfort food for the new year. The quinoa and spinach make this mac ‘n cheese much healthier than traditional mac ‘n cheese. Sure, there is still cheese and butter involved, but all things in moderation, right? And I love creative versions of mac ‘n cheese. My Avocado Mac and Cheese is a favorite at our house so I knew we would love this recipe!
To make the Quinoa Spinach Mac ‘n Cheese you will need the following ingredients: butter, flour, milk, nutmeg, salt, white cheddar cheese, cooked quinoa, spinach, Parmesan cheese, more butter, and panko bread crumbs.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter and flour.
Keep whisking until a paste forms.
Add the milk and continue whisking. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil. Keep whisking the whole time!
Once it reaches a boil, mix in the nutmeg, salt and cheddar cheese.
When the sauce is smooth, take it off heat.
Grab a large bowl. Throw in the cooked quinoa, then pour in that delicious sauce you just made.
Add the spinach and mix until combined.
Transfer the mixture into a cast iron skillet or a casserole dish. Top with the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Take a small bowl and mix the butter and bread crumbs.
Then sprinkle that crunchy buttery goodness over the top of the casserole!
Bake for about 20 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from the oven.
Grab a spoon and dig in!
You will love this healthy twist on the classic mac ‘n cheese. I promise you. It is the real deal. You won’t even miss the macaroni; the quinoa is awesome in this dish. And the salty, crunchy Parmesan panko topping is sooo good! Don’t skip that part. Don’t skip anything. Make this Quinoa Spinach Mac ‘n Cheese right now. It is comforting, filling, and perfect for a cold day. And don’t worry, the kids will love it too! It’s a great dish for the entire family.
Family friendly mac ‘n cheese made a tad healthier!
- FOR THE CASSEROLE:
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Flour
- 1-½ cup Whole Milk
- 2 dashes Freshly Grated Nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoons Salt
- 8 ounces, weight Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 3 cups Cooked Quinoa (cooked According To Package Instructions)
- 2 bunches Fresh Baby Spinach
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- ½ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
- ¾ cups Panko Bread Crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium saucepan add 3 tablespoons of butter and flour and heat over medium heat. Whisk continuously until a paste forms. Whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium/high and bring to a boil whisking the whole time. Stir in the nutmeg, salt and cheddar cheese. When cheese sauce is smooth remove from heat.
In a large bowl mix together the cooked quinoa, cheese sauce and spinach.
Transfer the mixture into a casserole dish (I used an 8 inch cast iron skillet). Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
In a small bowl mix together the butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Bake on 350 F until bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and enjoy!
Maria and her husband Josh (who she affectionately refers to as her “dough boy”) blog at Two Peas and Their Pod. They’ve been featured on Saveur, Eatocracy, Gourmet Live, Glamour, and the Los Angeles Times, to name just a few. They’d also just recently added a little pea to their pod. We’re so glad to have them here!