30-minute Greek mac and cheese bake
This is a super easy Greek style baked mac and cheese with a simple 'sauce' made of evaporated milk and eggs - not flour. Packed with spinach and feta cheese and topped with crispy panko crumbs, it tastes a bit like a Greek spinach and cheese pie! The best part? It's on the table in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 (as a side, or 4 as a main)
- 9 ounces macaroni
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or a mixture of cheeses e.g. gruyère, Swiss cheese, provolone...)
- 1 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
- 14 ounces evaporated milk (1 can)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
- 10 ounces spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs (optional but recommended!)
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/430F.
Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions, then drain and tip back into the pan. Stir through a drizzle of oil and put a lid on the pan to stop it sticking and drying out.
Meanwhile, pulse the cheeses, milk, eggs and nutmeg (if using) in a food processor until combined (about 10 seconds). Set aside.
Wilt the spinach in a roughly 10 inch/26 cm cast iron skillet/frying pan (if you have one - see notes) for a few minutes, then tip into the pan with the pasta.
Add the evaporated milk ‘sauce’ and combine well, then pour into the cast iron pan. Smooth down, then sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs and parmesan.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until nicely golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.
This recipe was inspired by Nigella Lawson’s basic macaroni cheese recipe.
What pan to use
I use a roughly 10 inch / 26 cm cast iron frying pan/skillet to make this Greek baked mac and cheese. You should be fine, however, with a pan that's slightly smaller or bigger than this. Just remember to wrap a tea towel around the handle when it's out of the oven. It's so easy to forget it's hot and burn yourself!
If you don't have a cast iron pan, it isn't the end of the world. Simply use a medium baking dish.
You might have to wilt the spinach in 2 batches. Or simply wilt it in a large saucepan. Either way, it will only take you a few minutes.
Other than making sure to include at least half a cup to a cup of crumbled feta (because Greek!), there are no rules! Use your favourite cheeses, or whatever you have. The parmesan for the topping is definitely optional. No need to buy it just for this recipe... unless you want to!
You want roughly 2 cups of grated/crumbled cheese, or 250 grams.
Ways to adapt the dish
Try adding some shredded rotisserie chicken / cooked chicken, some cherry halved cherry tomatoes, chopped spring onions / salad onions, or jarred artichokes.
Or just serve with some simple roasted chicken on the side. Delicious!
This mac and cheese recipe doesn't lend itself very well to being frozen and/or reheated. As the sauce is so simple, it dries out quite easily.
I do however sometimes reheat the leftovers all the same, and I do enjoy eating them. Just be aware that the mac and cheese will be a lot drier when reheated. Adding a drizzle of milk before reheating can offset this a little!
Alternatively... why not make some 'macaroni cheese waffles' (got a waffle maker? Just press your leftovers into it and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Don't worry, it doesn't make a big mess!)
Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 622mg | Potassium: 627mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5025IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 558mg | Iron: 3mg