Creamy Pesto Mac with Spinach

$3.27 recipe / $0.55 serving

Close up of a large spoon full of creamy pesto mac with the pot in the background
Overhead view of a pot full of creamy pesto mac with spinach, title text at the top
Overhead view of a bowl of creamy pesto mac with spinach, title text at the top

I purchased slightly jar of pesto just lately and have been having enjoyable discovering methods to add it to on a regular basis recipes. Yesterday I observed a half bag of macaroni that had been sitting in my pantry for a couple of months and I simply knew it was begging for the pesto remedy. So, I whipped up a fast béchamel sauce, stirred in some grated Parmesan, and a very good dollop of pesto. I poured the luxurious sauce over my cooked macaroni then aded couple handfuls of thawed frozen spinach (as a result of I’m all about stability), and had myself essentially the most scrumptious and creamy pesto mac and cheese.

Initially posted 3-8-2016, up to date 4-26-2021.

Close up overhead view of a bowl of creamy pesto mac with spinach, fork in the center

Close up overhead view of a bowl of creamy pesto mac with spinach, fork in the center

What Type of Pesto is Greatest?

I used a easy basil pesto, however the beauty of this recipe is that it is vitally versatile. You can do a home made Kale Pesto, you would do a sun-dried tomato pesto, or virtually any taste pesto that you just’d like. 

Learn how to Use Leftover Pesto

Pesto is unquestionably an costly ingredient, but it surely’s so potent that you just actually don’t want loads so as to add huge taste to your recipes. The little jar I purchased incorporates about 3/4 cup pesto and prices $3.99. I normally solely use about ¼ cup at a time in a recipe, so there’s all the time some leftover. Listed below are another recipes that use pesto:

Should you can’t discover makes use of on your leftovers instantly, pesto can be frozen. Lots of people wish to spoon it into ice dice trays to allow them to seize a pair tablespoons at a time to toss into recipes like pasta, salad dressings, and different sauces.

What Else Can I Add to Pesto Mac and Cheese?

You may actually take this recipe so many alternative instructions! Attempt including a handful of solar dried tomatoes, or possibly some chopped up rotisserie rooster. Or attempt topping it with some crumbled feta, bacon bits, or some buttered breadcrumbs!

Additionally you should definitely try my further tacky traditional Homemade Mac and Cheese recipe!

Close up of a spoonful of creamy pesto mac with the pot in the background

Close up of a spoonful of creamy pesto mac with the pot in the background

Creamy Pesto Mac and Cheese with Spinach

A easy creamy sauce infused with basil pesto makes this Creamy Pesto Mac and Cheese with spinach the final word consolation meals WITH a dose of greens!

Complete Value: $3.27 recipe / $0.55 serving

Writer: Beth – Funds Bytes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook dinner Time: 15 minutes
Complete Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 (1 cup every)

  • 2 cups raw macaroni ($0.50)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.22)
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.02)
  • 2 cups complete milk ($0.60)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan ($0.53)
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto ($0.55)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/2 lb. frozen spinach ($0.80)
  • Thaw the spinach at room temperature or within the microwave. Squeeze out the surplus water. Set the spinach apart. Carry a big pot of water to a boil, then add the macaroni. Boil for 7-10 minutes, or till tender. Drain the macaroni in a colander.

  • Whereas the pasta is boiling, put together the sauce. Add the butter and flour to a small sauce pot. Warmth and stir the butter and flour over medium warmth till it types a creamy paste and begins to bubble. Proceed to stir and cook dinner for about one minute extra.

  • Whisk the milk into the butter and flour, then permit it to return as much as a simmer, whereas whisking. When it reaches a simmer, the sauce will thicken. Take away the sauce from the warmth.

  • Whisk the Parmesan and pesto into the sauce till easy. It will additional thicken the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Be sure that the sauce is effectively seasoned because the flavors will probably be much less concentrated as soon as the pasta and spinach are stirred in.

  • Return the cooked and drained pasta to the massive pot (warmth turned off) and add the thawed spinach. Pour the sauce over prime, then stir till every part is mixed and coated in sauce. Serve instantly.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1 cupEnergy: 333.58 kcalCarbohydrates: 39.75 gProtein: 12.33 gFats: 14.08 gSodium: 665.92 mgFiber: 2.75 g

Dietary values are estimates solely. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.


The gear part above incorporates affiliate hyperlinks to merchandise we use and love. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Close up side view of a bowl of creamy pesto mac with spinach

Close up side view of a bowl of creamy pesto mac with spinach

Extra Mac and Cheese Recipes:

Learn how to Make Pesto Mac and Cheese – Step by Step Pictures

Macaroni being poured into a pot of boiling water

Macaroni being poured into a pot of boiling water

Carry a big pot of water to a boil for the macaroni. As soon as boiling, add two cups of macaroni and proceed to boil till tender however not mushy. Drain the pasta in a colander.

Thawed spinach in a bowl

Thawed spinach in a bowl

Whereas the macaroni is boiling, thaw 1/2 lb. spinach after which squeeze out a number of the extra water. It doesn’t should be bone-dry, simply be sure it’s not drenched.

Butter and flour being whisked in a sauce pot

Butter and flour being whisked in a sauce pot

Place 2 Tbsp butter and a pair of Tbsp flour right into a small sauce pot. Warmth them over a medium flame whereas whisking. As soon as effervescent, proceed to stir and cook dinner for a few minute. This combination is known as a roux (this can be a blonde roux, specifically) and is used to thicken the sauce. Cooking it for a minute or so barely toasts the flour so that you just don’t have that uncooked paste-like taste to your sauce.

Milk being poured into the sauce pot with the roux

Milk being poured into the sauce pot with the roux

Whisk in two cups of complete milk. Let the combination come to a simmer, whisking sometimes to ensure the milk doesn’t scorch on the underside.

Thickened white sauce on the back of a spoon

Thickened white sauce on the back of a spoon

As soon as the milk begins simmering, that’s when the roux magic occurs. The milk will thicken barely. It gained’t be as thick as a cheese sauce at this level, but it surely ought to have noticeably extra physique. Flip the warmth off.

Grated Parmesan being added to the sauce pot

Grated Parmesan being added to the sauce pot

Whisk in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. The cheese will assist thicken the sauce much more. 

A measuring cup full of basil pesto held over the sauce pot

A measuring cup full of basil pesto held over the sauce pot

Then whisk in 1/4 cup basil pesto.

Salt and pepper added to the creamy pesto sauce

Salt and pepper added to the creamy pesto sauce

Lastly, season the sauce with salt and freshly cracked pepper. You need the sauce to be fairly closely seasoned as a result of it can style much less concentrated as soon as the pasta and spinach are stirred in. I used 1/2 tsp salt and about 5-10 cranks of a pepper mill.

Creamy pesto sauce and spinach added to the pot with the cooked macaroni

Creamy pesto sauce and spinach added to the pot with the cooked macaroni

Return the cooked and drained pasta to the massive pot it was cooked in, add the thawed and squeezed spinach, then pour the creamy sauce over prime.

Finished creamy pesto mac in a pot with a large spoon

Finished creamy pesto mac in a pot with a large spoon

Then stir all that creamy pesto goodness collectively. Oh my.

Overhead view of a bowl full of creamy pesto mac with spinach, a fork in the center

Overhead view of a bowl full of creamy pesto mac with spinach, a fork in the center

I’ll simply say it yet one more time, then depart it there… Creamy Pesto Mac and Cheese with Spinach–OH MY.

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