This Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese is the ultimate easy dinner! Made in just ONE pot – the sauce is ultra creamy and the fresh spinach and artichoke really takes it to the next level. I
Alright folks, we are getting close to the end of Winter but I still am here for ALL the comfort foods – including this Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese!
I loveeeee macaroni and cheese, y’all. I have many different variations on my site but this one is my go-to right now.
My friend Cam made this AH-mazing spinach artichoke dip for Superbowl Sunday and I was hooked. I figured that it would be the perfect combination with creamy and ultra cheesy mac – and I was right!
Why You’ll Love This Dish:
First off – hello one pot dinner! This is made in ONE pot and it’s so simple!
I absolutely love the combination of the shells mixed with the sharp white cheddar…it’s ultra creamy with a bite from the sharpness of the cheese.
Speaking of creamy, the brininess of the artichokes adds SUCH a good contrast to the creaminess of the cheese sauce. And then the texture of the FRESH spinach. YES! It all works so well together.
The pockets of gooey creamy cheese throughout each bite in the perfect cooked shells, the brightness of the artichokes, the spinach….I just simply can’t. It’s SO good.
Ingredients You Need:
Shells – this is the pasta I chose to use! See substitution list below for other options.
White Cheddar Cheese – I used sharp white cheddar, I think it really added a lot of flavor!
Full Fat Cream Cheese – this helps it be extra creamy and gives it that spinach artichoke dip vibe!
Salted Butter, All Purpose Flour – this is the base of the roux.
Whole Milk – a MUST! You need this to make the base of the creamy sauce.
Artichokes – I used quartered marinated artichokes that I bought at the store – but you don’t have to use marinated!
Spinach – I used fresh spinach for this. I think it yielded the best texture and flavor.
Salt and Pepper – for flavor and taste!
How to Make Spinach Artichoke Mac + Cheese in 5 Simple Steps:
- Shred the cheese and get all of your ingredients ready, roughly chop both the artichokes and the spinach – be sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature.
- Boil the pasta according to box directions. Be sure to add salt generously to the water! Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- In the same pot, add in the butter. Let it melt on medium heat. Once it has melted, whisk in the flour to make a roux until they are combined. Let cook for 1 minute or so and then add in about ½ cup of milk. Add in the remaining 2 cups of milk a little at a time, continually stirring as you go. Continue to stir for about 5-7 minutes, until thickened. Once it has thickened, whisk in the freshly shredded cheese and cream cheese.
- Add the drained noodles directly into the pot. Add in the spinach and artichokes and stir them in.
- Taste and add salt and pepper to taste! If you want it even creamier, add in a splash of heavy cream! Enjoy!
Best Tips for Success:
When you are making the sauce, be sure to not let it come to a boil! It’s best to just stay there, right by the pot with a whisk, whisking away! This will make sure that the sauce will be ultra smooth and creamy. You don’t want it to get too hot – this can curdle the milk.
Be patient when you are whisking in the cheese – it might take a couple minutes for it to be smooth and not lumpy! Speaking of cheese, please take the extra time to FRESHLY shred the cheese! It will make all the difference.
TASTE for salt and pepper at the end! I like mine a little extra salty – but remember the cheese will add some saltiness as well. Just be sure to taste and adjust to your preferences!
Roughly chop the spinach and artichokes to your liking! If you want them in smaller chunks, cut them that way. If you want them in more bite size pieces, do it that way!
You can use macaroni noodles, rotini, penne….whatever medium size noodle you desire! I like using shells because I feel like it really gets the pockets of gooey cheese in each bite.
I used sharp white cheddar for this recipe, if you want a milder cheese, I would recommend using monterey jack. You can really use any type of cheese you want!
If you have any leftovers, add them to a tightly sealed bowl and store in the fridge.
To warm it up, add in a splash of extra milk (or heavy cream) after you warm it up! It makes it SO creamy!
I hope you absolutely love this recipe!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few others you might like:
The Best Stovetop Mac and Cheese
Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie
Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese
This Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese is the ultimate easy dinner! Made in just ONE pot - the sauce is ultra creamy and the fresh spinach and artichoke really takes it to the next level. I
- 16 oz large shell pasta
- 6 tbsp salted butter
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese (I used sharp white cheddar)
- 1/3 cup softened cream cheese
- 2 and 1/2 cups whole milk (maybe a splash more here and there to keep it extra creamy)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped canned artichokes (can use marinated or plain)
- 1 and 1/2 cups roughly chopped FRESH spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
Shred the cheese and get all of your ingredients ready. Roughly chop the fresh spinach and artichokes and set them aside - be sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature.
Begin to cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Don't forget to salt your pasta water generously!
When the pasta is done, drain it and set aside for now.
In the same pot, melt better in a large pot on medium heat. Add in your flour and using a whisk, quickly to make a roux until the two are combined. Let cook for 1 minute or so and then add 1/2 cup of whole milk and begin stirring. It should thicken up pretty quickly.
Add in remaining 2 cups of milk a little at a time, continually whisking as you go. Do not let this mixture begin to boil! Continue to whisk for about 5-7 minutes, until thickened.
Once thickened add in your freshly shredded cheese and cream cheese and whisk to combine until the cheese is fully melted and it is one thick, creamy cheesy sauce. Take it off the heat.
Add the noodles to the cheese sauce and stir them in. Add in the fresh spinach and artichokes and stir them in as well. Taste and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to your liking.
Eat while warm! Enjoy!
This comfortably serves 4 people and could have leftovers. If you are just serving this as a side dish, it could serve a few more people.
If you want MORE artichokes, add more! They can be an overwhelming flavor so be sure to start off small (1/2 cup) and go further!