Cool fall temperatures make me hungry for hot soup, pot roast and baked pasta – especially the kind with lots of gooey cheese. I made this Baked Macaroni with Spinach and Cheese the other night and it received rave reviews from my family. A robust tomato pasta sauce envelops elbow noodles, ground turkey, creamed spinach, Parmesan and melted mozzarella cheese; there’s a lot to love in this dish. My kids likened it to lasagna, which is good news since lasagna’s one of our all-time favorite dinners.
On behalf of our Hodgson Mill gluten free friends, I made this recipe with Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Elbows. If your diet doesn’t require gluten free foods, this dish is also wonderful when made with Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Elbows. Either way, this pasta dish makes for a great meal.
Start off by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Next, add the Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Elbows and cook for 4 minutes – no more than that or they’re likely to get mushy as they bake in the sauce later on. In fact, the noodles should still be a bit crunchy if you taste one after the 4 minutes are up. Drain the noodles and set aside.
Take notice that these aren’t ordinary gluten free noodles we’re using. Hodgson Mill uses all natural brown rice flour and includes golden milled flax seed in their gluten free elbows. So, not only are you getting a great gluten free product, you’re also getting a healthy helping of whole grains in each serving.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and then add the spinach, cooking and stirring until it wilts, about 2 minutes. When you first put the spinach in the pan, it’ll look like it’s too much, but as you can see it loses its bulk pretty quickly as it cooks.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cream cheese, milk and Parmesan. Stir until everything is melted and well combined. There should be enough residual heat in the skillet to melt the cheeses, but if not, place the skillet back on the stove over a very low heat. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the turkey and cook until the meat is brown all over and cooked through. Stir in the pasta sauce, garlic, oregano and basil. Set aside.
Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and spread half of the meat sauce evenly around the bottom. Top with all of the elbow noodles.
Next, spoon the creamed spinach mixture over the top of the noodles.
Top the spinach with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
Then spread the remaining meat sauce evenly over the spinach. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese over the top of the meat sauce. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 375oF oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and begins to brown on top. Serve warm.
** I find it helpful to spray the side of the aluminum foil closest to the food with non-stick cooking spray, so the toppings don’t get stuck to the underside of the foil.
If fall weather comfort food is calling your name, then this Baked Macaroni with Spinach and Cheese is the dish for you. It’s quick to fix, filled with delicious ingredients and is a fantastic gluten free meal. And did I mention the cheese? Each gooey, cheesy bite is bound to warm you up from the inside out. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Baked Macaroni with Spinach and Cheese
- 1 box Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Elbows
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 10 oz bag fresh spinach
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup ground turkey
- 1 26 oz jar gluten free tomato basil pasta sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Elbow noodles; cook for 4 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add spinach, cooking and stirring until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cream cheese, milk and Parmesan until well combined. Transfer spinach mixture to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out skillet and heat olive oil over medium heat. Add turkey and cook until meat is browned and cooked through. Stir in pasta sauce, garlic, oregano and basil; set aside. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and spread half of the meat sauce evenly around the bottom. Top meat sauce with elbow noodles. Next, spoon spinach mixture over noodles and sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Spread remaining meat sauce evenly over spinach. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese over meat sauce. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 375oF oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to brown on top. Serve warm
Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings
Adapted from Unbelievably Gluten Free
You can find this and other recipes from Hodgson Mill by visiting the Recipes page.