Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese – Lightened up classic mac and cheese with the healthy addition of spinach, artichoke and garlic make a fancy one pot weeknight dinner!
We’ll eat pasta any time of the year but we enjoy it especially in Winter. Some of our usual favorites include Pasta Caprese, Penne Alla Vodka and Spicy Taco Pasta. We have been appreciating the creaminess of the Pasta dishes cooked in the Instant Pot a lot! All that flavorful starchy water does not get drained out which makes pasta so much more flavorful and rich without having to add cream or milk.
Our newest pasta obsession is this spinach artichoke macaroni and cheese pasta cooked in the Instant Pot. Toss with some red chili flakes, to add a nice hint of spice to this flavorful and comforting dish.
We make it without milk, plus the recipe can be modified to as much or as little cheese you like. With the convenience of canned artichokes and baby spinach the prep-time and cleanup is so minimal. You can add your favorite cheeses as much or as little that you like. We love a small quantity of cream cheese, parmesan and lots of ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 10 garlic cloves minced
- 1 can artichoke hearts drained and rough chopped
- 1 LB uncooked macaroni shells or any pasta
- 12 oz baby spinach
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth divided
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature room temperature
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup low fat mozzarella, grated
Turn Instant Pot to saute(more) mode. Once the ‘hot’ sign displays, add oil. Add onion and mix well. Cook for 2 mins with glass lid on.
Add garlic and stir well cooking for a minute. Add artichoke hearts and sauté for another minute.
Add uncooked pasta and 3 cups of broth plus 2 cups of water. Mix well. Make sure that most of the pasta is under the liquids.
Note: Each pasta shape is different and you may need more or less water.
Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual/Presure Cook mode for 4 minutes followed by quick release.
Open Instant Pot, give a quick stir to the pasta.
At this stage add remaining water to the pasta. If the pasta looks a bit watery skip this step.
Gently fold the spinach into the pasta and cook on saute mode for a couple of minutes as the spinach wilts.
Add cream cheese, mozzarella and grated parmesan. Add red pepper flakes and mix everything well until the cheeses blend well in the pasta.
Each pasta shape required different amount of water. Make sure most of the pasta is under water before closing the Instant pot Cook time for the elbow macaroni was 9 minutes. I half the cook time for Instant Pot. Hence cooked for 4 minutes. Adjust the cook time according to the pasta box instructions.