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spinach mac n cheese

This holiday season, we are putting a nutritious spin on our favorite comfort food, macaroni and cheese. Unlike traditional mac & cheese, this diabetes-friendly recipe includes a healthy mix of garlicky spinach and tomatoes. Spinach is a nutrient-rich vegetable high in Vitamin C, folate, and fiber, making it a fantastic addition to any meal. Enjoy!

4 Servings
Preparation time
20 minutes
Cooking time
10 minutes
Total time
30 minutes
1 ⅕ C elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 C onion, finely chopped
4 clv Garlic, minced
tsp salt, divided
1 ½ C baby spinach
1 C cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp butter
½ tsp pepper
C 1% milk
C vegetable broth
1 C shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cook macaroni as instructed on packaging. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add onion and ¼ tsp salt. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes until onion is tender. Add garlic and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes. Slowly add spinach over time, stir until the leaves are wilted. Add 1 tbsp of water to help wilt the leaves, if necessary. Transfer to a larger mixing bowl.

4. Add the halved tomatoes to the skillet and cook on medium to high heat until soft, about 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl with spinach mixture.

5. Reduce heat to medium and add butter to the pan. When butter has melted, whisk in flour, pepper, and remaining ½ tsp of salt. Cook and whisk constantly for 2 minutes, until flour is slightly browned. Slowly whisk in milk and broth. Continue to whisk until the sauce is thick and bubbly for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in ¾ cup of cheese until it is melted.

6. Add macaroni and sauce to mixing bowl with the spinach mixture and mix until combined. Transfer the mixture to a prepared baking dish and top with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese.

7. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.


Per Serving: Calories 407, Carbohydrates 55.9 g, Protein 18.4 g, Saturated Fat 5.7 g, Sodium 725 mg, Fiber 5.1 g, Sugars 5.5g.