I love to cook healthy meals from scratch, but sometimes life gets in the way. That’s why jazzing up a box of gluten-free macaroni with spinach, kale, and shredded white cheddar is one of my favorite quick and easy dinner recipes.
A few months ago, Target marked down all of its gluten-free pasta, so I stocked up. I was once the proud owner of 20 or so boxes of gluten-free macaroni and cheese, but now I’m down to 4 boxes. I’ve been using the pasta to make different versions of this spinach kale macaroni and cheese recipe.
Wait, wait…I know what some of you are thinking. It’s something along the lines of “My kids hate spinach! Kale is gross! My family would never eat that!”
But how do you know until you try?
Cheese makes unpopular veggies like broccoli taste amazing, and it has the same magical effect on spinach and kale. By the time you finish slathering your macaroni with massive amounts of shredded cheddar and butter (I see you, Paula Deen!), you’ll barely remember that there are green vegetables buried under the mound of dairy.
Start by selecting a box of macaroni and cheese. I use Simply Balanced gluten-free rice pasta, but you can use whatever you want. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be gluten free.
Prepare the macaroni according to the instructions on the package. It’ll probably tell you to boil it somewhere in the range of 8 to 14 minutes, then it’ll have you drain the pasta without rinsing. My package calls for milk and butter. I use almond milk, which I guess is kind of odd since I use dairy products for the rest of the recipe.
Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet and add your greens. Sprinkle the spinach and kale with garlic powder and a dash of sea salt, then saute over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
Remember that macaroni we were making? It probably looks like this:
Are you super excited to eat that weird blob of orange noodles? Yeah, me either.
Dump some shredded cheddar on top. Real cheese makes everything better. Well, except your arteries.
Looks much more appetizing, right? Just wait until you see how amazing it looks with the spinach and kale.
Dump your skillet of greens into the batch of mac and cheese and stir.
Sprinkle in some pepper and sea salt, and use a ladle to scoop a spoonful or 10 into a bowl.
Holy moly. Look at this gooey goodness. I’m in love.
This gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe is great as a main dish or a side. I get exhausted if I eat too many carbs, so I like to serve the mac and cheese with roasted chicken or fish.
Here’s my printable, Pinnable recipe for gluten-free macaroni and cheese with spinach and kale:
Do you ever customize your boxed macaroni and cheese?