You’ve heard of green eggs and ham, but have you heard of green mac and cheese? A fun twist on everyone’s favorite comfort food, this 15-Minute Green Mac and Cheese recipe is secretly full of veggies and made with three kinds of cheese for rich flavor and a creamy texture, unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.
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Is there anything better than a piping hot bowl of mac and cheese at the end of a long day? One of our all-time favorite sides, it’s a staple in our house and is served almost weekly. With recipes like our One Pot Mac and Cheese, Chili Mac and Cheese, and Truffle Mac and Cheese, we never get bored!
However, this green mac and cheese might be our most unique (and delicious) variation yet! Made with not one but three different types of cheese, it’s ultra gooey and rich in flavor. However, unlike other mac and cheese recipes, the sauce is infused with fresh spinach, garlic, and parsley. The end result? Tons of nutrients and a bright green color that makes this green mac and cheese fun to eat! Don’t knock it ‘till you try it.
Why You’ll Love Green Mac and Cheese
- It cooks in 15 minutes.
- It’s savory and satisfying with bright notes of freshness thanks to the spinach and herbs.
- You can pair it with all your favorite main courses for a complete meal.
- Leftovers keep well to enjoy throughout the week.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Spinach – Make sure it’s fresh and not frozen.
- Parsley – Adds a refreshing herbaceous flavor with bold peppery notes.
- Garlic – This is technically optional, but everything tastes better with garlic!
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil helps thin out the green sauce while adding robust flavor. However, if you prefer a more neutral taste use light olive oil instead.
- Whole Milk – Just as in sweet recipes like Cannoli Baked French Toast, whole milk works best to create a rich flavor and extra creamy consistency. Of course, any milk you have on hand will do.
- Pasta – We use regular macaroni noodles, but any pasta shape you like best is fine! If needed, opt for gluten-free varieties.
- Butter – This is melted and combined with the flour to form a roux for the base of the cheese sauce.
- Flour – Regular all-purpose flour creates the roux and thickens the sauce for gooey green mac and cheese. If needed, swap it out for a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour.
- Spices – Sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, and paprika elevate the ingredients with a hint of warmth.
- Cheese – A combination of Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, and white Cheddar cheeses make this green mac and cheese infinitely better than anything you’ll find in a box.
How to Make Green Mac and Cheese without Food Coloring
If you’ve made mac and cheese on the stove, you can make this green mac and cheese recipe! With just one extra step it’s quick, easy, and always hits the spot.
- Prepare the Pasta. Cook your macaroni noodles according to the package instructions, drain them, and set them aside.
- Create the Spinach Sauce. Add the spinach, oil, parsley, garlic, and milk to a food processor, and pulse until smooth just like you would with homemade pesto.
- Make the Cheese Sauce. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the butter and flour. Cook, stirring continuously until the ingredients are well combined and golden in color.
Add warm milk and seasonings to the pot, and continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens. Reduce the heat to low, and stir in the cheese.
- Combine. Add your green sauce to the pot, stirring until it is well combined. Then, add the pasta, and gently stir to coat the noodles.
- Serve. Portion your green mac and cheese into bowls, and dig in!
Common Questions About Green Mac and Cheese
We wouldn’t exactly call this recipe healthy, but it is given a boost of extra nutrients and fiber. Our food philosophy is everything in moderation!
Stored in an airtight container, green mac and cheese will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days. Then, just reheat it in the microwave or stovetop, adding a splash of milk as needed to freshen it back up.
Yes, this mac and cheese can be transferred to an airtight container and kept frozen for up to 3 months. To eat, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, and warm it in the oven the next day.
There’s not much this green mac and cheese can’t be paired with! For instance, you can easily transform it into a complete meal by stirring in ground beef or cooked chicken.
Or, serve it as a side dish with your favorite main courses like Parmesan Chicken Tenders, Beef Kofta, and Sheet Pan Salmon.
More Easy Mac and Cheese Recipes
Looking for even more homemade mac and cheese recipes? We’ve got you covered with the crowd-pleasing options below!
- One Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- The Best Crockpot Mac and Cheese
- Skillet Mac and Cheese
- Easy Baked Mac and Cheese
Green Mac and Cheese
- 4 cups fresh spinach packed
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil* if you don’t like the flavor of olive oil, use light olive oil!
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- Optional: 2 cloves garlic
- 2 3/4 cups whole milk divided
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup Monterrey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup White Cheddar cheese
- 1 pound cooked macaroni pasta
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the spinach, olive oil, parsley, garlic cloves, and ¾ cup milk. Process until smooth, and set aside.4 cups fresh spinach, 1/2 cup fresh parsley, Optional: 2 cloves garlic, 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*, 2 3/4 cups whole milk
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the butter and flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown, stirring frequently.1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup flour
- Warm the remaining milk in the microwave or in a separate saucepan. Once hot, pour it into the pot with the flour mixture along with the salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika. Stir to combine until the mixture thickens.1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon paprika
- Reduce the heat to low, and stir in the cheese.1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterrey jack cheese, 1/2 cup White Cheddar cheese
- Add the green sauce, and stir to incorporate. Add the cooked pasta, coating it completely with the sauce.1 pound cooked macaroni pasta
- Serve warm!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.