Transform Boxed Macaroni Into This Mindblowingly Delicious Recipe for Spinach Kale Mac N Cheese

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.

boxed macaroni and cheese - 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.

spinach and kale

Remember that macaroni we were making? It probably looks like this:

boxed mac and cheese

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.

boxed mac and cheese

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.

cheesy gluten-free macaroni and cheese with kale and spinach

Sprinkle in some pepper and sea salt, and use a ladle to scoop a spoonful or 10 into a bowl.

cheesy gluten-free mac and cheese

Holy moly. Look at this gooey goodness. I’m in love.

super cheesy gluten-free mac and cheese

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:

Transform Boxed Macaroni Into This Mindblowingly Delicious Recipe for Spinach Kale Mac N Cheese
Print Recipe
Boxed macaroni is coated in rich, gooey cheddar cheese, heart-healthy kale, and iron-packed spinach for a flavorful upgrade on traditional mac and cheese.
Servings Prep Time
2 to 4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 to 4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Transform Boxed Macaroni Into This Mindblowingly Delicious Recipe for Spinach Kale Mac N Cheese
Print Recipe
Boxed macaroni is coated in rich, gooey cheddar cheese, heart-healthy kale, and iron-packed spinach for a flavorful upgrade on traditional mac and cheese.
Servings Prep Time
2 to 4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 to 4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Instructions
  1. Prepare boxed macaroni and cheese according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While macaroni cooks, saute chopped spinach and kale over medium heat in a skillet drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle spinach and kale with garlic powder and sea salt, if desired, and stir occasionally.
  3. Drain macaroni and add the ingredients listed on the box (probably a cheese pouch, milk, and butter). Stir in 3 additional tablespoons of butter until noodles are coated.
  4. Add shredded cheddar cheese and stir pasta until cheese is fully melted.
  5. Add cooked spinach and kale to macaroni and cheese and stir well. Top with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired.
Share this Recipe

Do you ever customize your boxed macaroni and cheese?

 

10 thoughts on “Transform Boxed Macaroni Into This Mindblowingly Delicious Recipe for Spinach Kale Mac N Cheese

  • May 21, 2017 at 3:07 pm
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    This looks so good. Got me craving some Mac-n-Cheese now! I love adding Kielbasa to mine and of course Broccoli. Will try this out too.

    Reply
  • May 21, 2017 at 4:03 pm
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    This looks so very yummy! I do the same thing – take something out of the box and make it extraordinary – just as you have here.

    Reply
  • May 22, 2017 at 3:07 am
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    Wow! It looks super yummy and delicious! I want to try this recipe.. Its fantastic!

    Reply
  • May 22, 2017 at 11:20 pm
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    This is such a great idea! We’re big mac and cheese lovers at our house, and love the addition of kale. I bet my grandson would even eat it. Now this, I’ll have to try x

    Reply
  • May 22, 2017 at 11:33 pm
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    I recently started eating more kale and I’m loving it. This looks like a delicious way to incorporate kale.

    Reply
  • May 23, 2017 at 2:34 pm
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    Oooo…sounds like you got such a good deal on the gluten free mac & cheese! I would have stocked up too! I just Pinned this recipe…it looks really good and I will make it one of these days.

    Reply

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