nutritional information

Per 1 1/2-cup serving:

  • Calories: 318
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Total Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g
  • Cholesterol: 9 mg
  • Sodium: 212 mg
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Sugar: 6 g

Mac and Cheese for Grown-ups

Mac and Cheese for Grown-ups

Serves 6

This baked pasta dish is a healthful interpretation of the kids' favorite.
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) whole-wheat penne
  • 1 lb. spinach leaves, trimmed
  • ¼ cup olive oil or butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 11- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.

3. Heat large pot over medium-high heat. Add spinach, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted, stirring with tongs to cook all leaves. Drain, and press out any excess liquid. Coarsely chop wilted spinach, and set aside.

4. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, then add penne, spinach, 1/2 cup Parmesan, garlic, and nutmeg, if using, to sauce, and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to prepared baking dish, sprinkle remaining 2 Tbs. Parmesan over mixture, and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until top is browned.

March 2010 p.39

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Just to warn everyone, Parmesan contains rennet :/ u can get a vegetarian one from health food stores...

Michele - 2014-09-20 18:05:34

You can get kosher parmesan cheese and there's no animal rennet

Pauline - 2014-09-20 11:28:54

Yummy looks sounds amazing

Heather - 2014-09-19 22:43:37

If you are avoiding wheat, you can get brown rice noodles that are really good!

baruch - 2014-04-02 04:52:15

Do you ever encourage using soy milk instead of cows milk and do you ever tell people that Parmesan cheese usually has rennet in it ?

Moo - 2014-04-01 19:36:54

As a vegetarian (not vegan), I am also conscious of trying to only use cheeses that are not made with animal rennet. Therefore no animals are killed in the process of making the cheese. Here is a resource I use for identifying such products:

Lynne - 2014-04-01 17:24:06

I add broccoli, hulled hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and wheat germ to my 7yo son's mac n cheese. We both love it! Can't get him to eat it with spinach though.

Kris - 2014-04-01 16:35:44

Here at home we use soya"cheese" instead of parmesan. Problem solved... No harm in altering so it fits just ones needs. Great recipe, thx a lot.

Malou - 2014-04-01 16:07:28

of course it is vegetarian - that is: not using meat, but still using animal products like milk and eggs that do not require killing the animals. what it is not is vegan, that is: not using any kind of animal product. people should start out with solid information before bladdering away...

martina T - 2014-04-01 15:07:06

Vegetarian Parmesan is widely available.

Veggie - 2014-04-01 15:01:03

Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian, why are you saying it is? It is made in the rennet of cows usually

Coop - 2014-01-30 01:12:28

By the way, some people use these recipes to add vegetables to their meals, not because they are vegetarians. Gasp.

sheesh - 2014-01-30 00:22:21


Regiane - 2014-01-30 00:20:30

Man, some of the holier than thou types are wearing me out with their "that's not vegetarian" garbage. As if there is only one way to be vegetarian.

sheesh - 2014-01-30 00:06:32

Just made two nights ago- turned out great! I used a little more than 2 cups of noodles, and didn't have enough sauce so some parts turned out a little bland and dry. When reheating (in the oven) I added a little vegetable broth which add the kick of flavor the leftovers needed. I also added sautéed, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes when I ate it the second time- this dish makes a great base to all types of veggies!

Stefanie Fisher - 2013-10-15 17:24:02