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Macaroni and Cheese with Spinach and Bacon

Updated on May 22, 2013

History of Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese in its current incarnation is the “descendent” of a number of cheese and pasta recipes from the medieval France and Italy. In fact, macaroni and cheese recipes were found in the Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest surviving medieval cookbooks.

Thomas Jefferson is believed to have introduced the dish to the newly formed United States and is noted to have served a dish called macaroni pie at a White House dinner in 1802. About 20 years later, the first printed American recipe for the dish was included in Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife.

The common ingredients in all of the dishes were cheese, pasta, and butter, a combination that would be a tasty side dish or hearty enough to be served alone as a quick or light meal.


Kraft macaroni and cheese

Although macaroni and cheese was a standard dish in American homes, it wasn’t until Kraft introduced the ready-made version in 1937 that the dish exploded in popularity. Kraft macaroni and cheese was marketed as convenient and affordable family meal.


Modern popularity

Macaroni and cheese is easy to make comfort food. The great thing is that if you make it yourself you can add any cheese you like. Macaroni and cheese also serves as a great base for the addition of meat or vegetables.

Here are some add-ins to consider:

Meats, Fish and Poultry
Cheddar, mild and sharp
Andouille sausage
English Peas
Monterey Jack
Crab Meat
Green Beans
Ground Beef
Green Peppers
Red Peppers
Pecorino Romano
Pepper Jack

Let your imagination run wild.

In the video below you will see singer Patti Labelle making macaroni and cheese with 7 cheeses, sautéed shrimp and lobster. Very decadent.


Macaroni and Cheese with Spinach and Bacon

This recipe is my take on macaroni and cheese.


4 slices of nitrate-free bacon

1 cup of frozen spinach

1 cup of uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni

2 tablespoons of flour

½ cup of unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon of sea salt

¼ teaspoon of course black pepper

1 cup 2% milk

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup Parmesan cheese

1 egg

Optional: a dash of paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the bacon until it is crispy and crumble into bits
  3. Prepare the spinach and pasta separately according to the directions on the package using salted water. After rinsing the pasta in warm water, set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until the mixture begins to bubble. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  5. Slowly add the milk to the mixture.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to stir until the sauce thickens.
  7. Add the cheddar and parmesan cheeses and stir until the cheese melts. The sauce will have a thick consistency. Remove from heat.
  8. Beat one egg thoroughly and add to the pasta making sure all of the noodles are coated.
  9. Add the cheese sauce to the macaroni and stir until all of the noodles are coated.

10. Add in the spinach and bacon.

11. Add paprika if desired.

12. Spoon the mixture into a 1 quart oval casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble.

13. Remove the macaroni and cheese from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 servings.



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    • Monica Kay 215 profile imageAUTHOR

      Monica Kay 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you Paul. I used a Nikon D80 with my AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G lens.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      8 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Looks delicious. What did you take the picture with?

    • Monica Kay 215 profile imageAUTHOR

      Monica Kay 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      8 years ago

      This looks really good. I also like macaroni and cheese and this one with spinach and bacon looks really tasty and delicious as can be seen in the image. It's also good how this wasn't just a recipe but you also added information on macaroni and cheese and even a list of cheeses, etc.

    • Monica Kay 215 profile imageAUTHOR

      Monica Kay 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you both for your kind comments. I really hope you enjoy your mac and cheese.

    • yougotme profile image

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 

      8 years ago from Manila

      This is what I can call a great recipe guide! Thanks for the list of cheeses! I am only familiar with cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan, so the list was an added knowledge!

    • My Cook Book profile image

      Dil Vil 

      8 years ago from India

      Wow. I love macaroni and cheese combination and this recipe is making my mouth water. Thank you for sharing is yummy recipe.


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