Introducing the McGowan family! Angie and her family are fellow Floridians and they publish the popular Eclectic Recipes blog and the fact that she has a recipe category called “Spanglish” wins my heart. Oh and that cute little boy, Julien, she’s got there wins my heart too. I love Angie’s blog – her recipes are simple and happy – check out these colorful Springtime Flower Treats perfect for kids and the Nutella Mug Cake!!!!
This week, Angie is my guest on Steamy Kitchen, featuring her Greek Style Mac ‘n Cheese recipe — packed with olives, spinach, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese.
Greek Style Mac and Cheese
by Angie McGowan, Eclectic Recipes
I was just tickled when Jaden asked if I would like to guest post on Steamy Kitchen. I have been following Steamy Kitchen ever since I started blogging, and have picked up many tips and tricks not only about food and cooking, but also about photography, blogging and all the other aspects of social media. Jaden is such a huge inspiration to me, and always there when I need a bit of advice in this much to complicated world of food blogging.
So I guess your wondering who I am. My name is Angie and I have been blogging for about 2 years now. My blog is Eclectic Recipes, and I am also a daily contributor to Babble’s Family Kitchen. I grew up in rural north Florida, which is very southern and much more like rural Alabama or Georgia than south Florida. I grew up eating very southern foods. We raised catfish, chickens, goats, pigs and cattle (although not all at the same time). We had pecan trees, fruit trees and a prized persimmon tree. We had a huge garden with just about everything, and what we didn’t grow, we would get at local u-pick type farms.
I currently live in Orlando, Florida with my husband and three year old son, Julien. Although we don’t have any space for a garden yet, I try to plant as many herbs as I can in containers. I can’t wait until we have a good-sized yard where I have room for at least a small garden. When I’m not in the kitchen, I enjoy crafts, movie night with my family, and outdoor family activities like hiking, boating and skiing.
My family loves macaroni and cheese any way they can get it, but I get tired of doing the same old same boring recipe over and over. I like to experiment with using different cheeses, adding different vegetables, bits of ham or chicken, and even sometimes tuna. This is my Greek style mac and cheese. I used feta and creamy havarti with dill to make the cheese sauce.
I got the havarti with dill in the deli section of my supermarket, and just asked them to cut my a half pound slice so I could shred it. I also added some good pitted kalamata olives, a few capers, a bit of sun-dried tomatoes and lots of fresh spinach. This made the perfect quick fix vegetarian meal, and since it’s mac and cheese, it will even satisfy your little picky eaters. I served this as a main dish, but you could add some grilled chicken and a small Greek salad if you’d like.
Greek Style Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
- 1 10 oz bag fresh bagged spinach, roughly chopped
- generous pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups grated Havarti cheese with dill , or regular Havarti plus 1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 8 oz package feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 12 oz jar Kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko crumbs
- Preheat oven broiler to low. In a large pot, cook the macaroni pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl in 1 tablespoon olive oil and add onions. Saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for an additional 2 - 3 minutes. Add spinach and salt. Continue to saute until spinach is wilted. Remove spinach mixture from pan and set aside.
- Wipe the skillet dry and return to the stove over medium heat. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. When the oil is hot, whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk while adding a generous pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk over medium heat until flour smells nutty and is a light golden color. Whisk in milk and bring mixture to a boil while stirring frequently. This mixture will thicken. Simmer for about 5 minutes then remove from burner and stir in the Havarti cheese until the cheese is melted. Add feta and whisk, feta will get melty, but will stay in chunks.
- Spoon in the sauteed spinach mixture, chopped olives, capers and sun-dried tomatoes. In a casserole dish, combine all of the ingredients with the macaroni. Mix well and top with bread crumbs. Brown under broiler for about 5 minutes before serving.
I have never seen a Greek take on Mac & cheese. Looks so so good!
I am of Greek descent and made lots of Greek macaroni, but I can hardly wait to try this version, as the olives and spinach sold me!
My 9 year old son would love these flavors. What a twist to the regular Mac n Cheese. Bookmarked to be tried. Thanks, Angie. 🙂
Tried and loved this recipe, as did the whole family. Total genius rendition!
Thanks for the tidbit about the moisture! I will be aware of that for the luncheon :).
Way to go, Angie! I was just up in Pensacola visiting family and thought how cool it could be if I could just drop by and meet you in person… So wonderful you and Jaden are connected 🙂 Beautiful recipe as always.
Great recipe, Angie. How fun to see you on Steamy Kitchen!
Thanks for sharing, Angie! It looks so comforting and delicious 🙂
I made this tonight – I LOVE it!!!!!!
So yummy, thanka 🙂
I think it’d be great with pancetta or anchovies too
I am always looking for new ways to spice up old classics! Will def. put this on the menu this week!
I love Angie and her blog. She creates awesome recipes always with a touch of spunk. This greek style mac n cheese looks wonderful. The addition of spinach is a nice touch for color & to get some veggies. Love the pic of Angie & her family 🙂
Angie girl, you have out done yourself. All of my favorite flavors all wrapped up in gooey cheesy goodness 😉
This looks delicious! I found your wonderful blog VIA stumbleupon.
Wow! This picture really makes you wanna try these Mac and Cheese. They look delicious and the recipe is so Mediterranean: olives, garlic… Great. Ciao Sabrina.
I am always looking for a new version of mac n’ cheese..
This one looks like a keeper!
I am such a sucker for Havarti and I have a nice little bunch of fresh dill in my frig right now!
I made this last night and was disappointed. It was all going great until I whisked the flour into the oil and it became a lumpy mess. Added the milk and whisked away hoping it could recover. It was alright for what I put into it. Havarti cheese is not cheap! Probably will not make again.
I tried to grow herbs last year in pots outside…kept forgetting to water them which is not a good thing in Florida! I want to try again this year…
This recipe looks great! I love macaroni and cheese in all variations! Thank you for sharing.
What a great idea to spruce this dish up! The briny olives, the creamy cheesy sauce. Beautiful combination.
I made this last night — thanks!
It was a bit of a project, but *well* worth it. We very much liked the effects of the different cheeses and the addition of olives/sundried tomatoes.
My only quibble was that the mac ‘n’ cheese was warm but not really hot enough for my taste when it came out of the broiler. So next time I would either time the pasta to be done just when the cheese sauce is ready, or bake the combination at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, instead of broiling.
WOQ! How awesome is that to do a guest post for Jaden!!!! This dish looks amazing, and the pics are mouthwatering…I am TOTALLY adding this to my must make list. Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
The combination of the havarti and feta is so interesting – I bet they are fantastic together. Looking forward to trying this one!
I think it will be fine. The day I made this, the next day I had leftovers, and heated it up in the oven on low, and it was a little drier, but was still very tasty! The spinach was fine, maybe if you add a little more milk so it doesn’t dry out, it will be perfect.
I was looking for a great recipe that I could prepare ahead of time for the young ladies lunch after church… and here it is! Thanks for the awesome post! I will definitely try it, as it seems very well balanced and flavorful. I’m sure it would go very well with a nice salad and some warm, crusty bread :)! I will let you know how it goes with all the girls.
One question though, as I do not do this very often, but how well do you think it would last if I were to prepare the dish the night before and bake on a low temperature the next day during service? I think it would do okay since I have done so with traditional macaroni and cheeses, but I’m concerned about the integrity of the spinach and if it will hold up well. Tell me what you think.
I am with @Sylvie, I love how an old favorite was lightened up, and merged with some of my favorite flavors! Greek foods have a place in my heart, so do melty cheesy foods. Love the photos!
Sounds delicious – may have to make this one night when the kids aren’t around – or I might have a revolution on my hands!
This is one of the more complex mac and cheeses I’ve seen. And it’s beautiful. Did you see the thai version that was just posted by vert? I think that was the name. March is definitely turning out to be mac and cheese month.
Oh my gosh! This looks so good. I can’t wait to try it~
Angie, a brilliant food blogger and one of the kindest and most generous, is always up to something special in the kitchen. I simply love this inventive twist on good old old mac & cheese, with so many of my favorite flavors combined in such an interesting new way. Well done Jaden and Angie!
What a great combination of bold Greek flavors, I love how Angie has jazzed up an old favorite like mac and cheese.
Yum, this sounds delicious!
What a great way to make mac and cheese slightly healthier! Thanks for sharing 🙂
This is my kind of mac n cheese!!I love the twist on it…and that breadcrumb topping 🙂 Great post!
This recipe just might make me a convert to macaroni and cheese. Growing up in the midwest, long before real cheese, the very thought of Mac’n’Cheese gives me Velveeta-induced PTSD. But I think you’ve cured me with this tasty twist! Thank you!
Sounds fantastic! I have never even thought of a Greek style mac n cheese, genius!
Oh wow….I LOVE greek flavors!! Especially kalamata olives & feta cheese. YUM!! I can get fairly creative with flavors, but I would have never thought of this dish. Incredible!! 🙂
This looks awesome! Great post!
This is my kind of mac and cheese!
Great guest post! Love the Greek twist on this classic dish. Yum!
Looks delish, Angie and Jaden! I am a hound for mac & cheese too! Any new spin on the old classic recipe is a good thing! This looks like a more healthy version … veggies and pasta! yip yip yippee!
This looks so yummy! Definitly making this for dinner tomorrow night! Thanks!
This looks so tasty! I love learning new mac and cheese recipes 🙂
This looks fantastic! I cannot wait to try this twist on a classic ( and it is a great excuse to buy havarti! I”ll have to buy double for snacking purposes !!) thanks for sharing!