Creamy Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese with Gouda

| February 24, 2014 | 22 Comments

Spinach artichoke dip — that party favorite — meets creamy macaroni and cheese with Gouda in this easy, delicious recipe.

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese with Goua

Once upon a time in a far off place macaroni and cheese was a dinner staple created so often that I realized it was faster and better just to make it from scratch. Okay, so maybe that far off place was really just our old house, which is conspicuously close to our new house. And perhaps that time was within the last several years. But the result is the same: when we have macaroni and cheese, I start with butter, flour, milk and cheese. I just don’t do boxes.

Except, recently on a busy night when we were out of cheese, I did use a box … and it was a minor disaster. Will took a few bites and made a face. This is the boy who convinced me to try anchovies years ago because he loved them — which is to say that he eats everything. Well, everything except macaroni and cheese from a box, apparently. He asked why I didn’t make it from scratch. Paige, on the other hand, will eat any macaroni and cheese you put in front of her. Such different children, they are.

All this is to say that I’m going to stick with making mac and cheese from scratch — it just makes life easier. And tastier.

When I was devising a recipe to include in Mac and Cheese Mania! — a fun event devised by Rachel of Rachel Cooks and Brandy of Nutmeg Nanny — I wanted a different but delicious recipe that combined a favorite dish with the wonderful comfort that is macaroni and cheese. Spinach artichoke dip came to mind. This dip has been a favorite of mine for so long, that I cannot remember when I first tried it. And I realized that with a few little tweaks of my favorite basic, easy macaroni and cheese recipe, these two dishes would be a crazy easy mash-up.

Macaroni and Cheese with Gouda

We all know how much I love quick and easy recipes, right? Because I do. I really, really do. And  Creamy Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese with Gouda is totally a quick and easy recipe.

Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

You start with unsalted butter. Melt it. Then whisk in flour until a bubbling paste forms. Add milk and let it cook for a bit until it gets thick — you can fill the sauce become harder to stir. Then, add cubes of mild gouda, a hearty amount of chopped spinach (it literally goes from the freezer to the pot!) and chopped artichoke hearts. Let it simmer while you stir it and that cheese will melt into the sauce. Once it’s all creamy and the cheese is completely melted, stir in some sharp Romano cheese, spicy crushed red peppers and salt. Fold the pasta in too, and you have a hearty, comforting, unforgettable dinner that spinach artichoke dip loves and macaroni and cheese lovers can all appreciate.

Now, dig in.

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese with Gouda
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: serves 6
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ lb Gouda cheese, rind removed and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 14.1-oz can quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
  • ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2-3 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1 lb pasta of your choice, cooked per manufacturer's instructions
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Add the milk a little at a time until it's been fully incorporated. Bring the milk mixture to a boil, whisking frequently, and then cook for 1 minute.
  2. Stir the Gouda, spinach and artichoke hearts into the milk mixture and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted. Stir in the Romano, crushed red pepper and salt until fully combined.
  3. Add the pasta to the pot and toss well to combine.
  4. Enjoy!

PS – The Mac and Cheese Mania event is being sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO. However, this post is not sponsored.

Tags:

Category: cheese, dinner, pasta, Quick and Easy Recipes, Recipes

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a writer, editor and recipe developer who loves to create delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy together. Her work has appeared in countless publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Maine with her two food-loving kids.

Comments (22)

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  1. I love spinach and artichoke everything! This is such a fabulous idea for mac n’ cheese!

  2. JulieD says:

    Ahh what a great idea! I’m loving all of these mac & cheese variations!

  3. Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese?! Does it get any better than this? Saving this now because I’m in love!

  4. Joanne says:

    My mom always made mac and cheese from scratch and, to this day, the boxed stuff just tastes wrong! I’m loving your spinach and artichoke dip play on it!

  5. Kim Beaulieu says:

    Fabulous recipe, love the spinach and artichoke. I’d be happy to dig in to this one.

  6. Rachel Cooks says:

    Obsessing over the fact that you used gouda. YUM!
    Thanks for helping us kick off mac and cheese mania!

  7. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    This looks so creamy and delicious! I’m a huge fan of spinach artichoke dip so in mac and cheese form it can only get better! Thank you so much for helping us kick off this event!

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