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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!

One Pot Baked Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

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. 5 stars
    This is simply ridiculously good Mac n cheese! I’ve tried so many homemade Mac n cheese recipes and none could beat the box. WELL I’VE FINALLY FOUND IT! Farewell Velveeta! This is my go to pasta dish! I’ve made it so many times now and always when friends are coming over! Between this recipe and the Parker Rolls, I always have a show stopping dish! Thank you!!

    1. Hey Alex,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed and truly appreciate you giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Made this as you mentioned in the notes with chipotle peppers and pepper jack cheese, half recipe. We loved it!

    1. Hey Marian,
      Awesome!! I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for giving it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Abby,
      Yes, that would be totally fine to do! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. Hi! I’m a very literal reader and want to confirm— do I ever drain the pasta?? Or does the water evaporate?? Thanks!! Cannot wait to make it for Meat-free nights!!

    1. Hey Maggie,
      You do not drain the pasta. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! I found this in the Super Simple Book and made it last night for dinner. It was a big hit. I only had Philadelphia Jalapeno Cream Cheese which gave it a nice kick. Thank you – So Delicious!

  10. Hello! A couple of questions. Do you need to saute the spinach before adding it into the pan/does it need to be chopped? Did you use white or yellow sharp cheddar cheese? And then how big of a pan on the stove do you need for this all to fit? THANK YOU, so excited to try with my family tonight.

    1. Hey Riley,
      You are going to use chopped baby spinach and you do not need to sauté it. I used yellow sharp cheddar cheese, and you are going to need to use a pretty large pot for this recipe. I hope you love it! Let me know how it turns out. xTieghan

  11. Hi there!

    I previously made your baked mac & cheese ahead of time and took it to the cabin where we stayed and baked it there. It came out great!

    We are heading to Steamboat next week – do you think this would work for that as well?

    1. Hey Lindsay,
      You could freeze and bake from frozen for about 1 hour. I hope you love the dish. Let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS and so easy! Will definitely make again. Only adjustments I made were some extra spinach and artichoke hearts. I also made with chickpea pasta. I can’t wait to try more of your one pot recipes!

  13. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe 3x now and it is a huge hit. It is so easy and doesn’t require a ton of different cheeses like so many Mac recipes do. I made two batches on Christmas Eve this year for my family (made for great leftovers as well)!

  14. Looking forward to making this for our *hopeful* winter snowstorm this week in DC! Any advice for a gluten free cracker substitute? Was thinking I’d just use some GF breadcrumbs since a good buttery GF cracker is hard to find 🙂

    1. Hey Laura,
      Yes, GF breadcrumbs would be a great option! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Lindsay,
      Yes you can use fresh but you will want to cook it down and drain first. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  15. 5 stars
    Made this for an annual Mac off my friends and I have and it won! I had to share the recipe with them as they loved it. Going to try different cheeses next time to switch it up ☺️. What will I make next year? Maybe a curry Mac recipe could be made by then?! 😍

  16. Great recipe, super easy to follow! My mom was especially pleased with the addition of artichokes to this classic dish. Thank you! Will definitely be making this again in the future.

  17. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time tonight, it for sure won’t be my last. Absolutely loved it, great flavour and it was fun to make with my boyfriend who has never enjoyed cooking … that was until your cookbook arrived in the mail after me spamming him with your Insta stories. You’ve inspired him to cook and that makes me beyond excited! We now have a new activity to do together, so thank you for making everything look so delicious to a dedicated meat and potatoes only kind of guy!

    1. Hi Jenna! I am so happy this recipe turned out so amazing for you!! Thank you so much for trying this one! xTieghan

    1. Hey Caroline,
      Sure that will work. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  18. 5 stars
    I made this this weekend and it was a hit! Incredibly delicious and a family favourite now. Will definitely keep this in the books for future family dinners!

    1. Hey Hillary,
      Yes that is what I would recommend:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kiera,
      Yes, that will work! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  19. 5 stars
    We enjoyed the mac and cheese on a cold, windy, and rainy day in Michigan. We increased the amount of and added some diced grape tomatoes. So yummy!

    1. Hey Justine,
      I would recommend transferring to an oven safe baking dish. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jag,
      Yes you can cut the recipe in half and I would use some red pepper flakes. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  20. 5 stars
    So easy and so delicious!! Loved that you don’t have to drain the pasta — although these days that’s the only way I’m able to get a facial! My family could not stop raving about it and my 7-year old, who does not like baked pasta, cleaned his plate!

  21. 5 stars
    Awesome and comforting recipe! I was nervous about not draining the pasta water but it worked out perfectly and saved some time! Overall this recipe took me about 30 min to prepare and everyone loved it. Thanks so much 🙂

  22. 5 stars
    This looks delicious! I wanted to make this for a dinner party at a friend’s house, but I want to serve it hot. I was wondering if I could perform all the steps except actually baking the dish, bring the uncooked baking dish to my friend’s house, and then bake it for 20 minutes?

    1. Hey Alison,
      Yes that will work well! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  23. 5 stars
    I actually made this the day before you posted it from your cookbook! I loved it and so did everyone I shared some with! This mac and cheese is so easy and delicious!

  24. Made this for election day and it was so comforting/delicious. I used kale instead of spinach and add pickled spicy peppers for an extra kick. i think it would have lacked flavor without the peppers so I highly suggest!

  25. Wait. I’m confused. Do you add the milk to the 4 cips of pasta water? I envision it being soupy, but I’ll give it a go.
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Kim,
      Yes that is correct, no need to drain the water. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Nicole,
      So sorry I do not provide that information, only an estimated calorie count. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Caroline,
      No need to drain the water:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Brigid,
      Yes you can freeze just before baking. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Whit,
      Yes that is totally fine to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey there,
      No need to drain the pasta. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  26. 5 stars
    My partner is not a fan of baked pasta but I made this tonight and it was a HIT! Thank you Tieghan — it was so simple!

    1. Hey Haley,
      I think chicken would be great here! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey there,
      Yes totally fine to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan