Spinach & sun dried tomato mac & cheese is extra creamy and packed full of delicious vegetables. No baking required! You can serve it right from the pan.
Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of the life of a blogger. I work full-time then I come home and, well, work another full-time job. After I work out, it’s time to make dinner, which is often a something I’m blogging about. That means pulling out the light and the reflectors, napkins and dishes, taking photos, trying to make sure that the little sliver of my kitchen that shows up in photos looks presentable.
Then, of course, we eat dinner. We clean up the kitchen, then I shower and get down to business. Writing, editing, social media…that’s what I do until it’s time for bed. I’m sure you can guess what that means. You guys, I’m tired?.
As much as I love cooking and blogging, all that activity (essentially, my workday starts at 6:45 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m.) means that a lot of days I just.don’t.want.to cook. Do I feel guilty about it? YAAAASSSS. I publish a website all about all my cooking adventures and half the time I just want to order a pizza. For all of you who feel like that on every day that ends in Y, just know that you aren’t alone.
Cooking for me is more of an undertaking than it is for most people…I get that. Most people don’t write down every measurement of every recipe that they make and don’t stop mid-vegetable-chopping to snap a photo. Still, everyone can use simple recipes that don’t use every pot and pan in the kitchen. Those are the recipes I cook. This spinach & sundried tomato mac & cheese only uses 2 pans, so it requires minimal clean-up!
It took me a couple of tries to get this spinach & sun dried tomato mac & cheese right. The first time, I didn’t use enough milk. I baked the mac & cheese. It was tasty, but it was drier than I wanted it to be. I did a little research and decided to up the milk and cut out the baking step. It was just the change that I needed to make for the perfect spinach & sun dried tomato mac & cheese. This makes a ton, so feel free to cut the recipe in half!
Yield: 8 main dish servings
5 minPrep Time:
20 minCook Time:
- one 13.25-ounce box of small pasta (I used tiny shells, but you can use elbows, rigatoni, penne, or whatever works for you)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (1.5 ounces or 42 grams)
- 4 cups (32 ounces) whole milk
- one 9-ounce bag spinach
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, julienned
- 4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain but do not rinse or shake dry; return to the pan and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet). Add the onion and cook until translucent and just beginning to brown around the edges. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for one minute, until it begins to brown slightly. Slowly drizzle in the milk, whisking constantly. Cook for several minutes until the mixture begins to thicken and reduce.
- Add the spinach to the pan a few handfuls at a time, stirring after each addition. Cook until the spinach has wilted completely. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes.
- Add the cheeses, a handful at a time, stirring until each addition melts completely. Taste and adjust seasonings. Combine the cheese sauce with the pasta (you can do this in the pasta pot or, if you are using a large enough skillet, carefully stir the pasta into the cheese sauce in the skillet you made the pasta in). Serve immediately.
Click here to print the recipe for spinach & sun dried tomato mac & cheese!