Homemade Mac and Cheese | Spinach & Tomatoes

Homemade mac and cheese with spinach, grape tomatoes and (for those who wish) ham. Easy recipe from scratch.

Mac and cheese with spinach

What family doesn’t love mac and cheese? But as we’ve grown as adults, our mac and cheese has evolved.

From- the kids are two and feed most of it to the dogs, grab the easy stuff. To- ok set the table and tonight we’re using glass cups instead of plastic.

It still needs to be semi easy, but maybe a little bit more involved with fresh ingredients. So if you can boil water and melt cheese, you can make this delicious homemade mac and cheese.

Spoonful of homemade mac and cheese with spinach, ham and grape tomatoes.

Ok so we still use plastic cups most of the time, and when one brakes it’s usually my fault. But we’re getting there! One elevated homemade mac and cheese dish at a time

HOMEMADE MAC AND CHEESE

Ingredients

  • 3 cups penne pasta
  • 1 TBS oil
  • ½ small onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ⅔ cup swiss cheese
  • ⅔ cup mozzarella cheese
  • spinach (fresh or frozen 12oz)
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes
  • 8 oz cubed ham
  • panko crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
Homemade mac and cheese made with elbow pasta

Cook pasta according to directions. Be sure to season the water (add salt to the water while cooking). For this recipe we used penne but you can use your favorite pasta on hand.

In a sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add ½ cup chopped onion. Cook until soft.

Peel and mince 4 garlic cloves. Add to onions and stir.

Add 2 TBS all purpose flour. Stir and allow to cook about a minute.

Slowly add 2 cups milk. Whisk to remove any flour clumps. Simmer until it begins to thicken. About 3 to 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese. Whisk until melted. Then add ⅔ cups freshly grated swiss cheese and ⅔ cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese.

If using fresh spinach, add to cheese mixture to cook down. If using frozen spinach, steam separately and squeeze out excess liquid.

Slice grape tomatoes in half and add to cheese mixture, along with cubbed ham and 1 tsp ground mustard.

Add salt and pepper to taste. (If you’re a little timid on how much salt to add, start with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. If you’re still unsure you can always season it on your plate by adding a pinch more.)

Add to 9×13 baking dish and top with Panko crumbs. (no panko crumbs? Crush up some Ritz crackers!)

Bake covered with foil for 25-30 minutes.

spinach mac and cheese with penne pasta

Homemade mac and cheese

Homemade mac and cheese with spinach, grape tomatoes and ham.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mac and cheese
Servings: 6
Calories: 537kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups penna pasta (or favorite pasta)
  • 1 TBS oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup swiss cheese
  • 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes
  • 8 oz cubed ham
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to directions. Be sure to season the water.
  • In a sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion. Cook until soft.
  • Peel and mince 4 garlic cloves. Add to onions and stir.
  • Add 2 TBS all purpose flour. Stir and allow to cook about a minute.
  • Slowly add 2 cups milk. Whisk to remove any flour clumps. Simmer until it begins to thicken. About 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese. Whisk until melted. Then add 2/3 cups freshly grated swiss cheese and 2/3 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese.
  • If using fresh spinach, add to cheese mixture to cook down. If using frozen spinach, steam separately and squeeze out excess liquid.
  • Slice grape tomatoes in half and add to cheese mixture, along with cubbed ham and 1 tsp ground mustard.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add to 9×13 baking dish and top with Panko crumbs.
  • Bake covered with foil for 25-30 minutes.

Notes

No Panko crumbs? Crush up some Ritz crackers instead!
  • Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary bases on different brands of ingredients used and cooking methods. 

Nutrition

Calories: 537kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 834mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6215IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 474mg | Iron: 3mg
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