Pesto Havarti Mac and Cheese Recipe

Pesto Havarti Mac and Cheese Recipe

How To Make Pesto Havarti Mac and Cheese

A delicious spin to the classic mac and cheese, this dish adds the flavors of spinach pesto to a thick sauce made smooth and creamy with Havarti cheese.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes



For Spinach Pesto:

  • 4cupsspinach leaves,packed
  • 2cupsfresh basil leaves,packed
  • ½cupextra virgin olive oil,or more for a thinner pesto
  • ¼cupparmesan cheese,grated
  • 2tbsplemon juice,(1 large lemon), fresh
  • 2garlic cloves,peeled
  • ½tspkosher salt,plus more to taste
  • ¼tspfreshly ground black pepper,plus more to taste

For Mac and Cheese:

  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3cupswhole wheat elbow macaroni,(12 oz), or orecchiette
  • 4tbspunsalted butter
  • ¼cupall purpose flour
  • 2cupswhole milk,at room temperature
  • 2cupshavarti cheese,or mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3tbspspinach basil pesto,or store bought pesto



  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides down with a spatula and blend again until smooth.

  2. For a thinner pesto, add more olive oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.*


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 8 minutes just until al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

  2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste. Add the milk and whisk until smooth.

  3. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking for about 2 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

  4. Stir in the shredded cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Fold in the pesto.

  5. Add the pasta, stirring to combine, and cook just until the pasta is warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*The pesto can be stored in the fridge in a covered container for up to 2 weeks, or pour into ice cube molds and freeze for up to 6 months.


  • Calories: 732.79kcal
  • Fat: 48.50g
  • Saturated Fat: 18.95g
  • Trans Fat: 0.83g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 20.07g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.40g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.72g
  • Fiber: 2.79g
  • Sugar: 5.95g
  • Protein: 24.24g
  • Cholesterol: 78.25mg
  • Sodium: 605.00mg
  • Calcium: 530.72mg
  • Potassium: 427.70mg
  • Iron: 2.29mg
  • Vitamin A: 345.87µg
  • Vitamin C: 9.34mg
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