Spinach & Mushroom Béchamel Bake
My good ‘ol friend Hiral has done it again! I’ve got a great new recipe to share with you today: my Spinach & Mushroom Béchamel Bake. Betcha-who?! Fret not my grasshoppers! Béchamel sauce is commonly found in many italian dishes and is often called “white sauce”. It’s also one of the key ingredients in many lasagna recipes. The combination of vegetables gives this sauce depth and great flavor. And it also makes it look really good too! After all, we do eat with our eyes first. I’m always a little hesitant to make white sauce pasta for my family since they aren’t really big fans of it. I usually end up bringing out a bottle of marinara sauce so that everyone can add some into their pasta, but this recipe has finally brought them over to the dark side! Who were these people?! It took everything I had in me not to faint right then and there, haha.Give this recipe a try and you surely won’t regret it. And who knows, you may ever have a few people crossing over to the dark side as well. Enjoy!
This recipe contains pasta (rotini, whole grain), milk, butter (unsalted), flour, garlic, crushed red pepper, onions (white), mushrooms (portobello), spinach (baby), tomatoes, oregano, parsley (fresh), tomatoes (cherry), salt, black pepper
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
- 1 lb. Whole Grain Rotini
- 4 Cups Milk (I use 2% Milk, but you can use whole milk too)
- 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (1 Stick)
- 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper (more or less per your liking)
- 1 Medium White Onion, medium diced
- 1 Cup Diced Portobello Mushrooms
- 4 Cups Baby Spinach
- 1 Cup Tomatoes, medium diced
- 1 Tsp Oregano
- 2 Tsp Freshly Chopped Parsley (or 1 Tsp dried)
- 1 1/2 Cups Halved Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- 2. Put a pot of water to boil. Once boiling, salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Set aside.
- 3. While the pasta is cooking, pour the milk in a microwave safe bowl and pop in the microwave for about 1 minute. Set aside.
- 4. Meanwhile, in another saucepot, melt the butter over low heat. Add in the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook for a minute or so. Slowly add in the flour while whisking to ensure that there are no lumps. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- 5. Gradually add the milk and keep whisking because the mixture will thicken quickly until all the milk is added. Keep whisking until the flour/butter is mixed completely into the milk and there are no lumps. Add in the 2 ½ tsp of salt, 1 tsp of ground black pepper, oregano, parsley, and the cream cheese. Cook over medium heat until the mixture has thickened.
- 6. While the sauce is thickening, sauté the onions and mushrooms over medium heat with a little olive oil for about 3-4 minutes. Add the spinach to the pan and season with ½ tsp salt and a pinch black pepper. Continue to cook until the spinach has wilted. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for another minute.
- 7. Add in the sautéed vegetables into the cream and stir. Add in the pasta and stir until the pasta is evenly coated. Pour into a large greased baking pan, cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.
- 8. Remove from the oven and top with the mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes.