Halloween Mac and Cheese

This Halloween mac and cheese is ultra creamy, made with natural ingredients and has a secret ingredient that makes it green (but you can’t taste it at all!). With a gluten-free option.

This recipe is based on my Gluten-free Mac and Cheese. If you’re not gluten-free – don’t worry! Today’s recipe just has a gluten-free option and can be made with whatever pasta you’d like.


  • Elbow macaroni – use whatever fits your diet! Gluten-free, whole wheat, or grain-free. For grain-free, I love the cassava noodles from Jovial. You can use whatever shape you like.

  • Fresh baby spinach – I don’t recommend frozen or regular, fully-mature spinach. More on that below!

  • Milk – whole milk was used in the photos, but you can use whatever type you’d like. I think coconut milk would be terrible, but if you like that in mac and cheese, then you can use it here. I normally use cashew milk as I shouldn’t have so much dairy, and it tastes great!

  • Flour – you can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, a gluten-free baking mix that’s meant as a 1:1 sub for all-purpose flour, or cassava flour. I’ve made this recipe with Otto’s Cassava Flour, and it worked great.

  • Granulated garlic – this is important! It helps cover up the spinach taste. I added just enough so that the spinach taste is covered up.

    If you like the taste of spinach, you can reduce it to 1/4 teaspoon. 3/4 teaspoon is quite a bit, so if you don’t like garlic and don’t want to taste the spinach, you probably don’t want to make this recipe (unless you add some other seasoning and spices).

  • White cheddar cheese – make sure to use white cheddar! If you use the usual orange stuff, then the mac and cheese won’t have the nice green color we’re looking for. Green from the spinach + bright orange from cheddar mixed together doesn’t seem like it’d be a very appealing color.

  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan – I always use Pecorino Romano over Parmesan. I just prefer it. But feel free to use Parmesan or whatever hard cheese you’d like!

  • Unsalted butter

How to make this green mac and cheese

You can use a regular blender for this recipe. That’s what was used for the photos.

But if you use a high-speed blender, you can get the spinach puree 100% smooth, without any specks of spinach.

A small food processor would probably work. I say a small one because the volume of the spinach and milk, which is what you blend together, fprobably isn’t large enough to blend properly in a large food processor bowl.

So you blend up the spinach and a part of the milk and then set that aside.

Then on the stove over medium heat, you mix together the butter, flour, granulated garlic and pepper.

Then you add the spinach mixture. It’s a lovely bright green color!

When you add the cheese, it makes it less vibrant, but it’s still nice and green.

Then you add your cooked macaroni and can dig in!

Does it taste at all like spinach?

Nope! I wanted the spinach to be undetectable to the kids you’re likely serving this to. And to me. ;)

The first time I tried to turn my gluten-free mac and cheese into this Halloween mac and cheese, I followed the recipe and just added in some pureed spinach. I could taste the spinach, which I didn’t like, so I added more cheese and tripled the granulated garlic.

I added just enough extra to cover up the spinach taste, so I don’t recommend reducing either of the ingredients.

I wanted to make sure other people with different brands of cheese had the same experience, so I asked my photographer. She said:

“I couldn’t taste the spinach in the mac and cheese at all. I told my husband I was making a Halloween-themed green mac and cheese last week and he said, “Oh, that’s cool.” Then I told him it was colored with spinach, and he screwed up his nose because he has the palate of a toddler. But when I served it for dinner, I asked him if he could taste the spinach, and he said no, not at all. That it just tastes like mac and cheese. Not sure if it matters, but I used Tillamook Sharp White Cheddar and Frigo Parmesan.”

So there you have it! Approved by two adults with the palates of toddlers. I’m the other one. 🙈

Spinach type

I used baby spinach because it’s sweeter and milder than regular spinach. I thought that would be preferable for a recipe in which I don’t want to taste the spinach.

Baby spinach is also more tender than regular spinach, which I also figured would be better when blending.

If you like the taste of spinach and have a high-speed blender, then I think regular spinach would be okay.

I say high-speed blender because I’m not so sure how well it’d blend in a regular blender. But if you remove the stems, I think it’d be fine in a regular blender.

But, as always – since I haven’t tried it, I can’t say for sure.

How to reheat it

If you plan to make it in advance, it’s best to keep the macaroni and the cheese sauce separate until it’s time to serve it.

Then you can warm up both, separately, in the microwave, and then once they’re really hot, stir them together.

If you mixed everything together and have leftovers, you can just put it in the fridge and then warm it up in the microwave or stovetop.

Does it freeze well?

Nope. Cooked pasta rarely does.

I haven’t actually tried it with this recipe, but I have frozen mac and cheese in the past, and it’s a bit mushy and weird when thawing. So I wouldn’t do this unless the option is to freeze the mac and cheese or throw it away.

More Halloween recipes

If you’re looking for Halloween treat recipes, I’ve got options!

I hope your family enjoys this Halloween mac and cheese! If you try it, I’d love to hear how it came out. Thanks!

Halloween Mac and Cheese

Rated 5.0 by 12 readers
Halloween Mac and Cheese
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 side servings


  • 12 ounces (3 cups) elbow macaroni (GF macaroni if you're GF)1
  • 4 cups (100 grams) fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups (473ml) milk2, divided
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons (23 grams) all-purpose, whole wheat or gluten-free3 flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 2/3 cups (10.5oz / 300 grams) freshly shredded white4 cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup (2.3oz / 66 grams) freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan5
  • salt to taste


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente (don’t forget to salt the water!). It’s important not to overcook it. Do NOT rinse when done cooking - just drain the water.
  2. While it’s cooking, rinse the spinach and place in a blender. Add ½ cup of the milk. Blend until no chunks of spinach remain, but don’t blend longer than needed or the bright green color might be affected. You might need to push the spinach down occasionally, depending on your blender. If ½ cup of milk isn’t enough for your blender to get things moving, then use another ¼ cup (or whatever you need - but remember to subtract this amount of milk from what you add to the pan later).
  3. Prepare the cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, pepper and granulated garlic until combined.
  4. While constantly stirring, gradually add the REMAINING milk (so, 1 ½ cups if you used ½ cup in the blender) and the spinach mixture.
  5. Once the mixture starts boiling, turn down the heat to low and let simmer for 1 minute while stirring constantly.
  6. Gradually add the cheese and stir until totally combined. Taste and add salt, if desired.
  7. Add the pasta and stir until totally coated.
  8. Serve immediately. Let leftovers cool completely and then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If you want to make it in advance, it’s best to keep the macaroni and the cheese sauce separate until rewarming to serve.


  1. You can use gluten-free, whole wheat or regular macaroni. Just follow the directions on the package.
  2. I recommend whole milk over 2%, but you can use whatever you prefer. I actually usually use unsweetened cashew milk to cut down on the amount of dairy.
  3. I've used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Flour and King Arthur Gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour with the same results as regular all-purpose flour.
  4. The recipe calls for white cheddar so that you get the nice green color! I don't recommend using yellow or orange cheddar for color reasons.
  5. I much prefer Pecorino Romano over Parmesan. Give it a try if you haven't!

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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28 comments on “Halloween Mac and Cheese” — Add one!

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  • Jenn
    September 7, 2023 @ 3:41 pm

    This is so fun, and you’re right . . you really couldn’t taste the spinach (not that I would mind though). I love how vibrant it is. So clever for Halloween and the kids loved it. I also did something once similar with twice-backed green potatoes and my kids were never the wiser!

    • Erin replies to Jenn
      September 7, 2023 @ 9:05 pm

      Oh, those potatoes sound fun! I’m glad that your kids enjoyed the mac and cheese. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Amy says
    September 5, 2023 @ 12:53 pm

    This is such a perfect recipe for kids. So healthy and delicious, they loved it right away. I loved how I “cheated” my way with the spinach.

    • Erin replies to Amy
      September 7, 2023 @ 9:10 pm

      Woohoo! That’s great to hear. Thanks for your feedback! :)

  • Cleo
    September 5, 2023 @ 12:43 pm

    I love this sneaky way of getting in a veggie! The kids thought the color was super cool and the cheesy flavor was delicious.

    • Erin replies to Cleo
      September 7, 2023 @ 9:06 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that! And same here. Love getting in the veggies in a sneaky way. ;) Thanks so much for your comment. :)

  • Julie
    September 4, 2023 @ 2:53 pm

    This mac and cheese turned out so creamy and delicious! I love the addition of the spinach, which is not only fitting for the occasion, but adds in some extra nutrients!

    • Erin replies to Julie
      September 7, 2023 @ 9:08 pm

      Yay! I’m glad to hear that. :) Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Marie
    September 3, 2023 @ 1:44 pm

    This is so fun! I make a green oatmeal for St. Patrick’s Day so I don’t know why I didn’t think of this for Halloween! Kids thought it was a blast and I love that they’re getting veggies in unbeknownst to them!

    • Erin replies to Marie
      September 7, 2023 @ 9:09 pm

      Oh, yay! I’m happy to hear that they enjoyed it. Green oatmeal sounds fun, too! Thanks for your feedback. :)

  • Sally
    July 1, 2023 @ 12:18 pm

    This was the perfect recipe for kids before sending them off to trick or treat! Usually they’re too excited to eat dinner, but this changed their minds. I made it last year and am planning my Halloween menu for this year. This is definitely on there again!

    • Erin replies to Sally
      July 1, 2023 @ 6:55 am

      Woohoo! That is excellent to hear. Thanks a bunch for your feedback! I appreciate it and love that it’s going on the menu again this year. :)

  • Amy
    June 28, 2023 @ 7:49 am

    This was so easy and delicious! My kids have no idea there was spinach in there. 🥳 Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Erin replies to Amy
      July 1, 2023 @ 6:52 am

      That is wonderful to hear! I’m glad that your kids liked it. :) Thanks for your feedback!

  • MArk
    June 27, 2023 @ 2:45 am

    This mac and cheese looks just like something a witch would make – and devour gladly! My kids were so excited when I served it for dinner, haha. Thanks for devising this dish.

    • Erin replies to MArk
      July 1, 2023 @ 6:56 am

      Haha. I’m so happy to hear that! You’re welcome and thank you for the great feedback. :)

  • Sue
    June 25, 2023 @ 1:59 am

    I made this for some mac and cheese loving clients. The kids thought it was so much fun to eat green noodles. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Erin replies to Sue
      July 1, 2023 @ 6:53 am

      You’re welcome! I’m thrilled that the kids enjoyed it. :D Thanks for your feedback!

  • Moop Brown says
    June 16, 2023 @ 6:17 pm

    As a mac and cheese lover myself I loved how festive this recipe is and also the addition of greens in it. So yummy!

    • Erin replies to Moop Brown
      July 1, 2023 @ 6:57 am

      Thanks! I’m glad that it found it yummy. :D

  • Lizzy
    May 30, 2023 @ 5:38 am

    I love the vibrant color of this mac and cheese. The kids were fascinated and they loved it! Perfect for whenever we have leftover spinach.

    • Erin replies to Lizzy
      July 1, 2023 @ 6:58 am

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! I’m really glad that the kids were fascinated. :D Thanks for your comment!

  • Millie
    May 26, 2023 @ 5:23 am

    Yummy and goulishly delicious. My kids loved this for their monster themed party and we will make it again for Halloween.

    • Erin replies to Millie
      July 1, 2023 @ 6:59 am

      That’s great to hear! I love that you’ll be making it again. :) Thanks for your feedback and sorry for just now seeing it!

  • Leonie
    May 1, 2023 @ 4:57 am

    I’m making this mac and cheese again for Halloween, for sure. It was so creamy!

    • Erin replies to Leonie
      July 1, 2023 @ 7:02 am

      I’m glad to hear that! Thanks for your feedback and my apologies for just now seeing it. It was in the spam folder (I don’t know why!).

  • Erica
    April 30, 2023 @ 5:07 pm

    Spinach! What a brilliant idea. My son didn’t know. lol. Thanks for finding a way to get in some spinach!

    • Erin replies to Erica
      July 1, 2023 @ 7:01 am

      Haha. I’m happy to have helped. :D Thanks for your feedback! I’m glad that he didn’t know it was in there and sorry for just now seeing your comment! A few got stuck in spam for some weird reason.


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