Recipe Swap - Budget Friendly Florentine Mac 'N Cheese


Glad that you stopped by!  Today's post includes Alex's State 4-H Food Show entry for this year's competition! 

The theme this year for Food Show was to fix a "budget wise" recipe.  This recipe is just that - costing only $5.25 for the whole dish that serves 6 and its a HUGE serving - good for a "meatless meal";  that's .88 cents a serving.  The secret ingredient is SMOKED GOUDA cheese - O.M.G. - it is SO good!  The healthy hit is the added spinach.  By adding spinach into this classic dish, it ups the nutritional value up by 48%!  So you've got a great taste along with a healthy twist on a comfort food! 


Our local 4-H group leaves Monday for 4-H State Round Up held down on the Texas A&M campus.  Both of my boys have photography competing, our Childress Mohair team (Sheldon, Coleman, Alex & Aric) compete on Wednesday and on Thursday is Alex's day with Food Show!  It's going to be a great time!

Budget Friendly 
Florentine Mac ‘N Cheese

3/4 lb. (3 cups) Elbow Macaroni; cooked according to package instructions
3 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Finely Minced Sweet Onion
1/3 cup All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
4 cups Milk (2 cups whole milk / 2 cups 2% milk)
4 cups Spinach leaves; cut into 1/2" strips
2 cups shredded Cheese (1 cup White Cheddar & 1 cup Smoked Gouda)

In a dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and saute’ until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Whisk in flour until mixture is golden.  Gradually add whole milk, whisking constantly.  Add 2% milk; raise heat to medium-high, bring to boil and continue to whisk until sauce is smooth and thickened, 10-12 minutes.  Add salt and pepper.

Stir in cheeses until melted, add spinach to sauce; stir until spinach is wilted.  Add cooked pasta and stir.  Serve immediately!


Thank you to all that voted either grass green or navy blue placemat on facebook.  Your input was very helpful - Alex is taking BOTH and will decide on Thursday on which color to display his dish on for the public viewing!  Either one will be a great choice - I think!

Would love to hear your comments and suggestions for this recipe!  The only difficult item to find in this recipe - in our big C-Town, is smoked gouda - we have to buy it out of town.  Other than that, you already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen!  

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you are enjoying the summer time! Remember to hug the ones you love the most, until next time...

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