A simple roux of milk, butter, flour and parmesan makes the base of this creamy macaroni and cheese– and the addition of basil pesto and spinach takes it to a whole new level! Try this Spinach & Pesto Macaroni and Cheese for a quick weeknight meal. 

Spinach & Pesto Macaroni and Cheese | Zen & SpiceHappy Wednesday! I can’t believe it’s almost April. This year is going by so fast. I know it’s cliche to say that. But I feel like we just got engaged, and it’s already been three whole months! Wedding plans are coming along. So far we have our date (Nov 5!), venue, DJ, coordinator, photographer, my dress, and I just ordered the bridesmaid dresses on Monday off Etsy!

I looked everywhere for a simple chiffon blush dress and you’d think it would be easier to find. I couldn’t find anything I liked that was affordable and pretty. After a lot of searching I finally found these chiffon dresses! We’re ordering in a blush pink (YW#18) and what’s nice is that they’re custom made. Two of my bridesmaids are pregnant and are due two months before my wedding (and they’re actually due on the same day!) so we had to guess a little on size, but they should be okay. 

Spinach & Pesto Macaroni and Cheese | Zen & SpiceSo whats next? Hiring an officiant, registering for gifts (!! if you have any suggestions for stores/what to register leave me a comment), booking our wedding night hotel, finding flights for our honeymoon (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic), and beginning to think about bridal shower and the bachelorette party. I’m trying to decide what to do about the bachelorette party. Since two girls are going to be pretty pregnant come closer to wedding time, I’m going to have to find something a little more low key haha! Let me know if you have any suggestions! Just 7 months to go until I am Mrs. Weeks!!

Spinach & Pesto Macaroni and Cheese | Zen & SpiceToday I’m sharing a quick recipe for Spinach & Pesto Macaroni and Cheese. I made a big batch of this for our lunches a couple weeks ago, and it lasted all the way through the work week and kept us full during the day. The base of this pasta is a roux, or a butter/flour/milk ratio. A good roux is about a 1:1:1 ratio– so for example if you use 2 Tbsp butter, use 2 Tbsp flour and 2 cups of milk. I made cheese sauces fairly frequently and now I can usually make one without a recipe. 

I had a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer so I threw that in there, along with some pesto that was also in my freezer in need of use! I remade this dish over the weekend and used gnocchi instead of elbow noodles and it was so good as well. 

Spinach & Pesto Macaroni and Cheese | Zen & SpiceThis dish takes under 20 minutes to make. Boil the macaroni noodles while you make the sauce and it should come together smoothly. 

Here’s the recipe for Spinach & Pesto Macaroni and Cheese: 

Spinach & Pesto Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 8
  1. 4 cups macaroni elbows
  2. 2 Tbsp butter
  3. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  4. 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  5. 4 cups 2% milk
  6. 1 cup grated parmesan
  7. 7oz basil pesto
  8. 3/4 tsp salt
  9. freshly cracked black pepper
  10. 16oz frozen spinach
  1. Thaw the spinach at room temperature and then drain in a strainer. Press as much water out as you can, set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the macaroni. Cook according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, add the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and allow it to come to a simmer, while whisking. When it simmers, the sauce will thicken. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the parmesan and pesto, mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the spinach, stirring well, then add the cooked and drained macaroni.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with extra parmesan.
Adapted from Budget Bytes
Adapted from Budget Bytes
Zen & Spice https://zenandspice.com/


  1. this dish looks heavenly! so creamy & comforting! pinned it!

    1. thanks for pinning! :)

  2. Looks amazing! Wedding planning…so exciting!!!
    Do you make the pesto from scratch or use a jar?

    1. I do both– for this recipe I used pesto I found in the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s, or I’ll use the jarred. In the summertime when I can get fresh basil, I’ll make my own!

  3. Totally my kind of meal! Sounds amazing! I always have a bag of frozen spinach in my freezer, easy for just about any meal!

    1. Thanks! I always keep frozen spinach too, great to just throw into meals.

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