Havarti Mac and Cheese with Spinach Pesto

Serves 6.
Prep Time:
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Havarti Mac and Cheese
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Helpful Equipment:

food processor

This is super creamy and surprisingly easy homemade mac and cheese made with Havarti cheese. A stirred in homemade spinach pesto adds some nice vegetable and herb flavors.

Recipe from the Two Peas & Their Pod cookbook by Maria Lichty


12 ounces macaroni pasta, al dente
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, room temp
2 cups shredded Havarti cheese

Spinach Basil Pesto:

4 cups packed spinach leaves
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large lemon, juice only
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


For Spinach Pesto:

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and blend for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and blend until smooth. If you want a thinner pesto, add more olive oil. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

Store pesto for up to two weeks in the fridge. It’s good on so many things!

For Mac and Cheese:

  1. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk in flour to create a roux. Add milk slowly and whisk until smooth. Increase heat to medium and whisk until sauce starts to thicken, about two minutes. Stir in cheese and stir until melted. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of pesto.
  3. Add pasta, stirring to combine and continue to cook until pasta is warmed through.
  4. Serve immediately seasoned with salt and pepper and extra pesto!