About a year ago, I decided to make my macaroni and cheese recipe. I’ll eat any pasta, I like cheese, so I wanted to enjoy macaroni and cheese. Everything was perfect for my first time making it; I finally understood the appeal! Unfortunately, I lost the original recipe for Baked Macaroni and Cheese With Ground Beef and Spinach, and subsequent attempts were only so-so until today.
I viewed several recipes and combined parts of them to come up with this one. It’s rich and creamy without being too much; it was perfect for me. If you’ve never made a roux before, don’t be intimidated, it requires attention but is not difficult and is necessary to achieve creaminess and evenly distribute the flavour.
I’m thrilled I used some chicken stock instead of all milk this time; I think that’s what kept this from being too thick. This Baked Macaroni and Cheese With Ground Beef and Spinach recipe is versatile; you can leave out the meat or use bacon or chicken, switch the spinach to broccoli and use whatever kind of cheeses you like. However, it probably took me close to an hour to prepare, so this is not a dish for a quick work-night meal.
Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese With Ground Beef and Spinach
- 1 package macaroni
- ¼ pound ground beef (minced beef)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ bunch spinach - chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic - chopped
- ¼ cup all purpose flour (plain flour Australia and UK)
- 1 cup chicken stock (chicken broth or chicken bouillon)
- 8 ounces Mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Boil water for the macaroni, cook until al dente, drain.
- Brown the ground beef, I added salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano (a pinch or so of each) for additional flavour.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the flour, cook and whisk
- Add the shallot and garlic, cook for a few minutes until softened.
- Add the chicken stock and milk, whisking often.
- Turn up the heat, let boil or almost boil until it thickens.
- Add the mozzarella and cheddar and keep whisking until they melt.
- Mix the beef, spinach, macaroni and sauce, pour into a casserole dish, top with parmesan and breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.