White Bean & Spinach "Mac" n' Cheese
Updated: Jan 24
Topped with Rosemary Toasted Breadcrumbs
When Miss Wellington comes to serve, she guarantees your satisfaction. This is a faux macaroni and cheese dish that you are sure to melt into when you hear the cheeses sizzling and the aromas of rosemary and garlic fill your kitchen.
Although there are four cheeses (gruyere, muenster, sharp cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano) being married into a decadent union, you do not have to feel too naughty about indulging in this relationship. Since it is made with healthy ingredients (spaghetti squash, cannellini beans, spinach, olive oil, and almond milk), you can consummate the meal safely without the stress and worry of creating a heavy food baby afterwards.
“MAC” & CHEESE:
1 medium spaghetti squash, halved & seeded
8oz bag baby spinach, wilted & drained
2 ½ tbsps extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp rosemary infused olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
15oz can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded & divided
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
Salt & pepper
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp rosemary
Cut the stem off of the squash to create a flat surface. Stand the squash upright on the flat end and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the seeds from each half and discard. Add 1 tsp of rosemary infused olive oil to each half and spread with your fingers to coat the flesh. Lightly season the halves with salt and black pepper. Set aside and allow to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a fork, pierce the skin of the squash 3-4 times and place cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until al dente and the flesh flakes with a fork (cook time will vary depending on the size of the squash). Allow to cool. Once cool enough to touch, use a fork to scrape the strands into a bowl. Set aside.
Toast the breadcrumbs: In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and swirl the pan often, until the foaming subsides and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add the panko and stir to coat evenly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oils on medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the rosemary and black pepper and stir to combine.
Gradually stir in flour to combine and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
Gradually add the milk, stirring to combine. Cook on low to thicken.
Add the cannellini beans to a food processor and pulse until mashed, but not smooth. Add mashed beans to the pot and stir to combine.
Mix in the spinach and stir to combine.
Mix in Muenster, sharp cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and ½ cup gruyere. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Add the squash and mix until the squash is covered.
Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Pour the squash into the pan and spread evenly.
Sprinkle the remaining gruyere on top. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs on top. Return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from heat, allow to set for 5 minutes, and serve.