Macaroni and “Cheese” with Spinach

Servings 4
Cuisines: ,
  • Prep Time : 15 min
  • Cook Time : 15 min
  • Ready Time : 30 min

This is largely based off of a recipe from Very Vegetarian, but after a couple years of enjoying it, Clare helped me find the missing ingredient — spinach. The downside of mac and cheese is that it is low on the vegetables. I tried broccoli, green beans, and snap peas, but they weren’t that good. Spinach goes very well though. The “cheese” part is actually a nutritional yeast sauce, which doesn’t sound too tasty, but it is. Even my parents liked it!

Note that since I am no longer vegan, I usually use regular milk instead of soymilk, and I sometimes add a little real cheese after mixing the pasta and sauce. I have also found that running the spinach through the food processor is better, especially if you have picky children who don’t want big chunks of spinach. Sometimes I use fresh spinach instead of frozen if I have it, and it is better, though more expensive.

Ingredients Directions
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta elbow macaroni, penne, fusilli, rotini
  • 16-24 ounce frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 3 tablespoons shiro (white) miso
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 3 tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash or similar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Boil the pasta according to instructions. While the pasta is cooking, lightly toast the flour and nutritional yeast over medium heat in a large, deep pan for 2 minutes. I like to use a non-nonstick pan, so I can stir with a wire whisk, to avoid clumps. Combine the miso, soymilk and hot water in a small bowl or measuring cup with the whisk, then add to the pan, and stir vigorously. Add the margarine, mustard, and the spices, and continue stirring. The sauce should be smooth, but not runny. If it starts getting clumpy or too thick, add a bit more water. Add the spinach and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. At this point I usually switch from a whisk to a spoon, because the spinach gets caught in the whisk. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain, and stir into the sauce. Serves 3-5. Also makes good leftovers.

Posted November 7, 2010 by robfelty