Spinach & Artichoke Mac & Cheese

Spinach & Artichoke Mac & Cheese

This is a new take on mac & cheese, or at least the traditional mac and cheese that I’m used to. This recipe was born from one of my vices. Let me back up and admit something.No judgments please. I watch ALL The Real Housewives of… (you name the city, I’ve watched it.) One of my favorite original housewives was Bethenny Frankel. I’ve followed her since her days on The Real Housewives of New York, to Bethenny Ever After, and now to her latest venture, her talk show. I can’t help it, I love her. Recently, she demonstrated how to lighten up cream sauces when making mac & cheese: use pureed squash in place of the majority of milk or cream. I was instantly intrigued. So, because I had artichokes, red peppers, and spinach in my fridge I decided to make a Spinach & Artichoke version of the classic…with Bethenny’s cream sauce revision. I was definitely skeptical because squash isn’t my favorite vegetable. Despite my initial reservations, I’m SO glad I tried this. You would never know that the squash is part of the dish and it definitely adds creaminess to the dish without all the fat. The other thing is normally I make cream sauces by making a rue (flour and butter) and then whisking in milk. The whole process is kind of annoying and this method completely erases that! To stretch the sauce I did add 3/4 cup of half and half, but you could also add chicken stock instead. The squash also adds an orangey hue to the dish which for many, is probably reminiscent of a childhood favorite boxed macaroni & cheese. This is a mac & cheese that is packed with vegetables but also with flavors that so many of us love. You can enjoy it without any of the guilt. Let me know if you love it as much as I do!


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package organic frozen pureed squash, defrosted
  • 2 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts (packed in water), chopped
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach
  • 3/4 cups white wine (water or chicken stock would work fine)
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 3 cups grated cheese (I used Monterrey Jack, sharp cheddar, and Parmesan)
  • 3/4 box of your favorite shell pasta
  • pinch of mustard powder (optional)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large pan, saute the onion and garlic with a little olive oil until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water for the pasta.
  4. Add the peppers and artichokes and let cook another few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the spinach and allow it to wilt into the mixture.
  6. Add the squash and half and half, incorporating into the mixture. If using, add the mustard powder and red pepper flakes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the cheese mixture, reserving 1 cup to sprinkle on top.
  8. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. 
  9. Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and mix.
  10. Pour into a greased baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. 
  11. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. Enjoy!

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Eva Rosenberg

Eva Rosenberg

Welcome to Eva's Kitchen where I share my adventures in cooking. My creations may not always turn out Pinterest perfect, but I usually end up with a funny picture or an interesting meal. Thanks for stopping by!


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