Spinach-Bacon Macaroni & Cheese

by Kathy Strahs on April 1, 2009 · 10 comments

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Rich, golden spinach-bacon macaroni and cheese is kind of like having a little angel and a little devil on each shoulder. It’s decadent for sure, but the spinach relieves just a touch of the guilt.

This was a rather simple recipe, from the back of a pouch of Kraft cheddar cheese, but the flavors were anything but basic. There’s no added seasoning whatsoever to this dish – all of the rich flavor comes from the ingredients themselves. The roux for the cheese sauce starts from the leftover bacon drippings, distributing a gentle bacony flavor throughout the pasta. The cheddar is both sharp and buttery and the parmesan is salty and a little nutty, so the combination is pretty robust and complex. And aside from a welcome color contrast, the spinach adds a nice herbiness to the mix.

Spinach-Bacon Macaroni & Cheese

You know what I love most about macaroni and cheese, besides eating it? Freezing it! Back when I was pregnant and looking for meals I could make ahead for after the baby arrived I learned about how well macaroni and cheese holds up in the freezer. Since I decided to prepare this recipe in individual ramekins rather than a casserole dish, as suggested in the original recipe, I wound up with extra pasta. No problem! I just baked a second batch in a regular muffin tin, wrapped them up in some press & seal wrap, stuck them in a freezer bag and popped them in the freezer. They’re the perfect toddler-sized portion, for the little gal who I think loves macaroni and cheese the most in our house.

Spinach-Bacon Macaroni & Cheese

Spinach-Bacon Macaroni & Cheese

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie April 1, 2009 at 3:03 PM

That looks pretty good! I have used quite a few recipes from the packaging and they’re usually good ones. Congrats on the new blog!

Katie’s last blog post..Black Bean-Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette


averagebetty April 1, 2009 at 3:06 PM

I wish I could reach into your freezer and grab one for myself right now! I know microwaves vary but how do suggest reheating? Is there any defrost required or all nuke? Thanks!

averagebetty’s last blog post..Big Dance Buttermilk Blueberry Scones


Chuck April 1, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Looks great! I really like the concept of your new blog!

Chuck’s last blog post..Mango and Coconut Flognarde


Kathy April 1, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Averagebetty – I’ve gotten good results from the “all nuke” approach. For a muffin-sized portion, I’d start with about 45 seconds on high, stir it, and maybe put it in for another 30-60 seconds.


Michelle April 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Gorgeous pics! Looks delish too!!

Michelle’s last blog post..Whisk Wednesday — Coquilles Saint Jacques Dieppoise


The Duo Dishes April 2, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Freezing macaroni and cheese is something we need to try. We keep reading about making the individual servings, but just never get around to it. We could have this every night if we wanted.

The Duo Dishes’s last blog post..Now It’s Your Turn


Margie April 3, 2009 at 8:06 AM

GREAT idea for a food blog. I always wonder if a package recipe might be a hidden gem. Now we’ll know! Nice how you link to commenters’ latest blog posts!

Margie’s last blog post..Matzoh Ball Soup


Dragon April 3, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Great minds think alike, eh? Your mac and cheese sounds amazing!


lo April 5, 2009 at 6:21 PM

mmm. Totally loving this mac & cheese… it’s a weakness of mine, truthfully. That said, I love the idea that the spinach absolves guilt. I might try that the next time I’m craving something gooey and cheesy!

lo’s last blog post..Chicken Cacciatore


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