One Pot Baked Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese.

You know those fallback recipes? The ones you make over and over again? Well, this One Pot Baked Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese is mine. It’s the easiest and best mac-and-cheese recipe. It uses just one pot, and the ingredients and methods are simple. My trick is to first boil the pasta in just enough water to start the cooking process, then add milk and cream cheese. That means there’s no boiling and draining the pasta, and no fussing around with making a roux either. Plus the cream cheese creates a light and creamy sauce without having to add any additional flour-like in a béchamel.

What’s really great about this recipe is just how adaptable it is. When my brothers are around, I omit the veggies, but I include a few chipotle peppers in adobo, and I use half pepper jack and half cheddar cheese. It’s one of their favorites!

Looking for other easy one pot pastas? Here are my favorites: 

One Pot Creamy French Onion Pasta Bake

Slow Cooker Saucy Sunday Bolognese Pasta

One Pot Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Lastly, if you make this One Pot Baked Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • 1 (1-pound) box short-cut pasta, such as macaroni
  • 2 cups whole milk (see Note)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) jar marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
  • cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 1 sleeve) (about 1 sleeve)
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    2. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Stir in the milk and cream cheese and cook until the cream cheese has melted and the pasta is al dente, about 5 minutes more.
    3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the cheddar and 3 tablespoons of the butter. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir in the spinach and artichokes. If the sauce feels too thick, add ¼ cup of milk or water to thin it.
    4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheddar.
    5. In a medium bowl, stir together the crackers, the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and the garlic powder. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the mac and cheese.
    6. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the crumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve. Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Note: Have a little extra milk or water on hand. Once you’ve added everything, you can decide whether you’re happy with the consistency. If you need to thin the sauce out a bit, simply add more liquid.

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Comments

  1. Hi Tieghan,
    Love all your recipes.
    Might be a dumb question – but in step #2, did you mean to drain the pasta, then stir in milk and cheese?

    Susan

    1. Hey Susan,
      Nope, for this recipe you are not going to drain the pasta water. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    This one was a hit with my husband who normally doesn’t want Mac and cheese for dinner. It’s on the regular menu now! The sauce came out perfectly the first time and the second time was a bit too much liquid but that’s an easy fix.

    1. Hey Holly,
      Awesome!! I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I make this for truly everyone I love. I’m a vegetarian and the carnivore members of my friends and family can’t get enough. It is so good and always everyone’s favorite. Unfortunately there are rarely leftovers so I just have to make more. Thank you!!

    1. Hey Paige,
      So so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Happy Sunday:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Barbara,
      I would highly recommend grating your own cheese off the block. I know it is more work, but it melts differently and much better than the pre-shredded bags. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    The flavor was so good! I underestimated how much this would make, but that’s probably a good problem to have. I’ll be making this for potlucks when things are “normal” again!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this once before and loved it but it’s been a few months since the last time I made it. I have a question about the baking time. At the top of the recipe it says 45 minutes but in the instructions it says 25. I’m going to just bake it for 25 and see if it looks golden and bubbly but I was just wondering which is correct for the next time I make it. Thanks! ☺️

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Thanks a lot for giving the recipe a try, I am delighted that the recipe was enjoyed! Happy Sunday! xTieghan

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