Swap Ready

Spinach Mac and Cheese Cups

Let’s face it–getting kids to eat all the vegetables we know they should is daunting. Even for adults who are trying to eat right, it’s much easier to reach for something creamy and comforting, like macaroni and cheese, rather than spinach, for example. But for some reason, when you combine the two, it works. You lose none of the enjoyment of the luxurious mac and cheese, but can remain guilt-free by adding in whole grain pasta and plenty of spinach. And when a 5-year-old girl says, “I love this green stuff!” and a picky 3-year-old boy cleans his plate, you know a recipe is a keeper. An added benefit is it’s ready to go whenever you (or your child) want it.

Spinach Mac and Cheese Cups

Author/Source:

Jennifer @ onceamonthmeals.com adapted from Emily Bites

Ingredients:

  • 4 c cooked whole-wheat or high-fiber macaroni (2 cups dry)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 0.33 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained and patted dry (or you could use 1 cup cooked fresh spinach)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 0.25 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400. Mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, mixing it into the butter until thick. Gradually stir in the milk and garlic and raise the temp to bring the mixture to just under a boil. Add the cheeses and whisk mixture together until thoroughly combined into a cheese sauce. Remove the cheese sauce from heat and then mix in the egg and egg white until combined. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, cheese sauce, salt and pepper and mix together. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups of your prepared muffin tin. Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over muffins. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops slightly brown. Let cool at least 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Freezing Directions:

Once cooled, pop out of muffin tin and flash freeze. Divide and place in gallon-sized freezer bags. TO SERVE: Thaw and reheat in the microwave.

Nutritional Information:

Per Muffin: Calories 197, Total Fat 4.6g, Saturated Fat 2.3g, Total Carbs 30.8g, Fiber 3.6g, Protein 10.2g, WW Plus Points: 5

Servings: 12 “muffins”

**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

4 Responses to “Spinach Mac and Cheese Cups”

  1. Erin says:

    Looks great for my daughter’s lunch! Will sub GF brown rice noodles for the regular ones.

  2. Kailey says:

    I think it would be really nice of you to DIRECT link to http://www.emilybites.com so she can get appropriate blog traffic.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Yummo! Just made a big batch of these for today’s lunch and plenty to freeze. The kids are gobbling them up with no questions about the “green stuff”. I added four pieces of chopped bacon bits for flavor which worked well. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

After hitting submit your comment will await moderation.