Turn a classic comfort food into a masterpiece with this quick and easy Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese dinner, perfect for any night of the week.
Fall will be arriving in a few short weeks and it will be time to bring out the warm and cozy sweaters and comfort food casseroles.
Today’s recipe definitely falls into the comfort food category. Everyone loves mac and cheese. I’ll be honest, I don’t even mind the boxed stuff. Naturally, I prefer the piping hot fresh-from-the-oven homemade variety but will settle for the box when the mood strikes.
The great thing about mac and cheese is that by adding just a few additional ingredients, you can turn it into something completely unique.
Check out these other dishes that feature spinach:
Why Spinach and Artichoke?
The flavor pairing of spinach and artichoke go very well together. This is why spinach and artichoke dip is so wildly popular.
Warm spinach and artichoke dip supposedly originated when American soldiers returned after fighting in WWII. They craved some of the European foods that they had grown accustomed to during the war like artichoke, spinach, parmesan, and garlic, and thus the dip was created. However it got started, I am grateful that it did. It is one of my favorites, which is why I am so excited about this dressed-up spinach and artichoke mac and cheese.
Pasta or Macaroni?
Is there a difference between pasta and macaroni?
There actually is. While there are mostly similarities between the two, the biggest difference is that macaroni is dry pasta and is shaped in a “c” or elbow shape.
In my household, we use the terms interchangeably.
Macaroni and cheese works best with short pasta, such as elbows, shells, farfalle, ditalini, rotini, and mini penne.
How To Make Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese
Preheat your oven to 400°F, then lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish and set it aside for the time being.
While the oven is preheating, heat up a large pot of lightly salted water over high heat. Pour in the macaroni and cook roughly 1 to 2 minutes less than the package directions call for. You want the pasta to be al dente. Don’t worry, it won’t end up being hard because it will continue to cook during baking.
Before draining the macaroni, reserve ½ cup of the starchy liquid it cooked in and set it aside. Then once drained, return the pasta to the pot.
Add the milk, heavy cream, cream cheese, and reserved liquid to the pot with the macaroni. Stir gently it all together until the cream cheese melts.
Add in the baby spinach, chopped artichokes, and shredded cheddar cheese. Stir everything together, then season with salt & pepper to taste, and transfer to your prepared casserole dish.
In a small bowl, stir in breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, melted butter, garlic powder, and parsley. Sprinkle the mixture over the casserole.
Bake the spinach and artichoke mac and cheese for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Carefully remove from the oven and serve!
Did you give this mac and cheese a try? Let me know in the comments below or snap a photo and tag @coolbeanliving on Instagram. I’d love to see it!
Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese
- 12 oz macaroni
- 2 cups baby spinach roughly chopped
- 8 oz artichoke hearts chopped
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 3 quart casserole dish; set aside.
- While oven is preheating, heat large pot of lightly salted water over high heat and cook macaroni 1-2 minutes less than package directions. Before draining macaroni, reserve ½ cup of liquid; set aside. After draining, return pasta to pot.
- To pot, add milk, heavy cream, cream cheese, and reserved liquid. Stir gently until the cream cheese melts.
- Add baby spinach, artichokes, and cheddar cheese. Stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper, to taste then transfer to prepared casserole dish.
- In small bowl, stir in breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, melted butter, garlic powder. and parsley. Sprinkle mixture over casserole. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.