Who says you can’t make food festive AND still keep it healthy? Catherine of Weelicious couldn’t wait to start making St. Patrick’s Day foods for her kids, but was nervous to use food dyes. So, she came up with a way to make her mac n’ cheese green without any. With spinach, broccoli, and peas, she created a dish that was cheesy, creamy, flavorful, and of course, green! Once your kids get a taste, they’ll probably be asking you to make it all year long.

1 lb elbow macaroni (you can also use campanelle, cavatappi or shells)
3 c whole milk
1 c packed fresh spinach
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
4 c grated white cheddar cheese
2 c chopped broccoli florets
1 c peas

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Cook pasta in salted water for about 3 minutes less than package directions call for, until al dente. Reserve half a cup of the pasta water and strain.

3. While the pasta is cooking. Place the milk and spinach in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth.

4. In a large pot melt the butter and then add the flour, whisking continuously over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until sauce is gently bubbling and starting to thicken.

6. Add reserved pasta water and cheese and whisk until melted. Stir in the pasta, broccoli and peas.

7. Transfer to a greased 13″ x 9″ baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and the pasta is set.

This recipe is featured courtesy of Catherine at Weeliciousone of our favorite food blogs. Be sure to visit Weelicious.com for more kid-friendly healthy, simple and fast recipes.

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