Spinach and Salmon Mac N Cheese

Spinach and Salmon Mac N Cheese, or fancy words for salmon and noodle casserole. You know, like the old-fashioned tuna and noodle casserole? Everyone who knows me just had their jaws drop to the floor – did she seriously just say casserole? Yep, I did. This casserole-banning girl just said casserole. Maybe I’m ok with it because it doesn’t have any “Cream of…” soups in it, or that the spinach can make an arguable healthy statement, or maybe because Molly Yeh from Molly on the Range made casseroles cool again. Or maybe because its just THAT GOOD. Whatever it is – I caved. But I’m still going to call it mac n cheese…even though I topped it with crushed potato chips…

You could definitely say that I’ve hit the “building a house and moving and packing” speed bump of all speed bumps. Because we haven’t even started packing yet and I’ve hit a wall! I’ve been resisting and holding myself back from going to the grocery store, so you could say that its been a struggle. All of this fresh produce around me and all I want to do is cook! But, I must stay focused and eat up what we have on hand so that we can restock the new house with fresh groceries. So that is what got us here. I opened up the cupboard and fridge and this is what I found: a half used box of macaroni shells, packs of salmon, a half used bag of spinach in the fridge, a goat cheese log that only had a tablespoon left to give, and a bottle of heavy cream that was begging to be used before summer comes around. BOOM. Spinach and Salmon Mac. How is this not the best weeknight meal?! Just open up your fridge and pantry and use what you have on hand. Don’t have spinach? Cool, use frozen peas or whatever green veggie you have on hand. Tuna instead of salmon? Ok! Bowties instead of shells? You get the picture. Customize it and make it your “moving and building” mac – or “whatever is going on in your life” mac. Because sometimes we just need some mac n cheese.

Please note: this recipe is going to be measured by half-used products that you may have in your pantry for kicks and giggles :). If you are using “whole” ingredients (such as a whole box of pasta), then simply double the recipe below.

 

Spinach and Salmon Mac N Cheese

 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 box (8 oz) macaroni shells (or a 16 oz box if doubling the recipe to use a full box)
  • 5 oz packaged salmon (I used 2 -2.5 ounce packets)
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 1oz bags potato chips, crushed (or 1 1/2 cups)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, boil the pasta according to package instructions to cook to al dente.
  3. In a separate sauce pan while the pasta is cooking, bring the heavy cream to a low boil. Whisk in the mozzarella until smooth and creamy. Reduce the heat and whisk in the goat cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Drain the pasta and place back into the saucepan used to boil it over very low heat. Pour the heavy cream mixture over the top of the pasta and stir to coat. Add in the salmon and spinach and stir until the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat and pour the mac n cheese mixture into an oven safe baking dish such as a tart pan, pie dish, 9×9, or a 9×13 if doubling the recipe.
  5. Sprinkle the crushed potato chips evenly over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  6. Enjoy! Saves and reheats great as leftovers!