This meal was pretty good. I loved the flavor. My only suggestion for next time would be to just heat through in the pot on the stove. I stuck it in the oven for less time than called for in the original, but I think all it really did was dry out the noodles on top. You could easily heat this through on the stovetop, have a more cheesy, less dry meal that is done 15 minutes earlier and used 1 less dish. What is not to love about that?
Also another tidbit of info - the original called for a 10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry. I have been using fresh in place of this lately and did today, so I wrote the recipe that way. It really didn't take any more time, or more dishes. I prepared it and the sauce while the noodles were cooking in the same pan. Use what works for you.
Here is how I made it today.
- 1 package (16 oz) of noodles - I used mezzo penne today, but you could use any shape
- 1/4 cup butter - I actually used about 3 Tablespoons butter and 1 Tablespoon coconut oil -do what works for you.
- 1/4 cup flour -I used whole wheat
- 2 cups milk (I used fat free)
- 1 Tablespoon minced dehydrated onion
- 2 cups shredded cheddar
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 oz. diced ham (I used 1 store bought package for convenience)
- 10 oz. spinach
- Prepare noodles according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large Sauce pan or dutch oven, heat and chop the spinach until wilted. ( For me, the spinach fills my large pan to the top at first, but when cooked, it looks the same size as the 10 oz. frozen box. I toss the spinach in the pot, grab my kitchen scissors and start chopping while it cooks. I do that and stir, and by the time I'm done chopping, the spinach is wilted and bright green. I don't add water or anything, and I don't drain water off. If I didn't get enough chopping done, I finish chopping at the end.) Move spinach to a plate.
- In the same pan, melt butter (and coconut oil if using.) Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Add onions. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Stir in cheeses, garlic powder and pepper; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in ham. (at this point my noodles were not ready so I just turned the burner all the way down to keep it warm while I waited on the noodles.) Stir in spinach.
- Drain noodles; add to the cheese mixture. (If desired, transfer to a 9 X 13 and cook for 15 minutes at 375. However, I find it unnecessary unless you want to add a crispy topping or a bit more cheese to the top.)