Tuesday, September 17, 2013

spinach and artichoke mac and cheese

Football season is here and I could care less. I have never been a football fan. Don't get me wrong. Friday nights in the fall during high school were spent at football games. I just never watched the actual game.

Years later football still does little for me.  Mr. J watches in the living room leaving me free time to do what I wish.  Most Sundays that means spending time in the kitchen. 

The other day I got to thinking about mac and cheese and spinach and artichoke dip. Two favorites. Two things that remind me of fall weather and football and Sundays. Put them together and dinner was born.  

This recipe is a bit lighter with limited butter and chicken broth.  Plus two different vegetables baked right in. It was warm and comforting.  Easily served in front of the TV.

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 10oz package frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add onion and cook until slightly soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute before adding the artichoke hearts and spinach. Turn down to low and stir occasionally. You just want the flavors to blend and the mixture to warm.

Melt butter in a large pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the milk and chicken broth. Cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 

Add the cooked macaroni and spinach and artichoke mixture. Stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Top with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
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  1. LOOOVE this lovechild of mac n cheese and spinach artichoke dip!! GIMME

  2. Love that you combined mac and cheese and spinach and artichoke dip! This sounds so good!

  3. I am pretty much of the same mindset when it comes to football. I want "our" teams to win, but I really don't want to watch the games. I'd rather sit in the kitchen and eat your wonderful twist on mac and cheese!

  4. This is a great combination. I love mac and cheese very much and adding spinach artichoke is brilliant.

  5. I only watched football when my husband and I were dating... now I'm upstairs watching my TV dramas... and let him shout his head off downstairs. It's good to have some alone time (if the kids don't bother me...which they always do). :)

    Now you did something great with your time.. this mac and cheese looks wonderful. :)

  6. Just mouthwatering...looks delicious!


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