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Spanakopita mac and cheese

Greek-style macaroni and cheese inspired by the flavours of spanakopita.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: Mac & cheese, Mac and cheese, Mac and cheese with spinach and feta, Macaroni and cheese, Spanakopita mac and cheese
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Mia Kouppa

Equipment

  • 9 x 11 inch casserole dish

Ingredients

  • 400 grams dry elbow macaroni about 3 cups
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 grams spinach
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped dill
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) butter
  • 1/4 cup (37 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
  • 2 cups (500 mL) whole fat milk
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup (250 grams) ricotta cheese
  • 250 grams shredded graviera cheese
  • 250 grams crumbled Greek feta
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) grated mizithra cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set rack in the middle.
  • Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Add in the elbow macaroni, reduce heat to medium and cook until almost done. See note.
  • While the macaroni is boiling, wash your spinach and remove any tough stems. Chop your spinach roughly and add the dill and green onions to it. Set aside.
  • Begin to prepare your cheese sauce by adding the butter and flour to a large pot. Over medium high heat melt the butter and stir frequently until the flour takes on a pale brown color. Carefully add in the buttermilk, the milk, the paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring regularly, until the sauce begins to thicken; this should take approximately 5 minutes.
  • Once your sauce has thickened add in the ricotta cheese, the grated graviera and the crumbled feta. Stir until all of the cheese has melted.
  • Next add in the spinach, dill and green onion mix. If the spinach is still somewhat wet after being washed, that's okay. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring regularly, until the spinach appears wilted in the sauce. Remove from the heat.
  • Drain your pasta if you have not already done so and add the pasta to the cheese and spinach sauce. Mix well until everything is well combined.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 11 inch casserole dish. Pour in the macaroni and cheese mixture and using a rubber spatula smooth out the top.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the bread crumbs and the mizithra cheese and then sprinkle it evenly over the casserole.
  • Bake, covered, in the middle rack of your oven for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
  • Remove the mac and cheese from the oven and allow to cool for approximately 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

When boiling the pasta cook it for approximately 2 minutes less than what is indicated on the packaging.  The macaroni will finish cooking when mixed in the cheese sauce and baked in the oven. 
If you cannot find Greek graviera cheese you can substitute it with grated kefalotyri or another sharp cheese.
If you cannot find mizithra cheese you can substitute it with grated parmesan cheese.