Spinach and Bacon Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese goes upscale, featuring bow-tie pasta, bacon and spinach. This delicious dish can serve six in just 25 minutes.

  • Prep Time 25 min
  • Total Time 25 min
  • Servings 6

3
cups uncooked bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (8 oz)
1/2
lb sliced bacon, coarsely chopped
2
tablespoons butter
1
small clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4
cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/4
teaspoon salt
1/4
teaspoon pepper
2
cups milk
2
cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1
bag (6 oz) fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

  • 1 In 5-quart Dutch oven, cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Return to Dutch oven; cover to keep warm.
  • 2 Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until crisp; remove to paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings.
  • 3 In 3-quart saucepan, heat butter and reserved bacon drippings over medium heat until butter is melted. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in flour, salt and pepper with whisk until smooth. Stir in milk; heat to boiling. Stir in cheese until melted and sauce is smooth.
  • 4 Pour cheese sauce over pasta; stir until coated. Stir in spinach. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon; stir remaining bacon into pasta mixture. Divide pasta mixture among 6 serving bowls; garnish with reserved bacon.

Expert Tips

If desired, drain all of the bacon drippings and increase the butter by 2 tablespoons. Or substitute 1/4 cup canola or olive oil for the butter and drippings.

To easily chop baby spinach, place spinach in a deep bowl or glass measuring cup and randomly snip with kitchen scissors until coarsely chopped.

For extra flavor, stir in 1/3 cup sliced green onion tops with the spinach.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving (1 Cup)
Calories
470
(
Calories from Fat
210),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
24g
24%
(Saturated Fat
13g,
13%
Trans Fat
1/2g
1/2%
),
Cholesterol
70mg
70%;
Sodium
810mg
810%;
Total Carbohydrate
42g
42%
(Dietary Fiber
2g
2%
  Sugars
5g
5%
),
Protein
23g
23%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
70%;
Vitamin C
6%;
Calcium
35%;
Iron
15%;
Exchanges:
2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 2 High-Fat Meat; 1 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.