Cheese, spinach and walnut pasta bake

(26 ratings)
Cheese, spinach and walnut pasta bake
Cheese, spinach and walnut pasta bake
  • Serves: 4

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

The whole family (even the kids!) will love this cheesy pasta bake with wilted spinach, walnuts and nutmeg. It only takes half an hour to make too.


  • 300g penne pasta
  • 500g semi-skimmed milk
  • 3tbsp cornflour
  • 130g reduced-fat mature cheese, grated
  • A grating of nutmeg (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g spinach, washed
  • 50g walnut kernels, broken into pieces
  • 50g reduced-fat mature cheese (for topping)

Nutritionist Juliette Kellow says: This balanced meal is suitable for the whole family and a great way to disguise those dreaded greens so the kids will eat it! Use skimmed milk to reduce fat and saturated fat content further.


  1. Bring a saucepan full of salted water to the boil. Add in the pasta and boil until tender.
  2. Heat the milk in a non-stick milk pan until tiny bubbles form around the edges. Place the cornflour into a small dish and pour over 5tbsp of the hot milk. Mix together to form a paste then return it to the milk pan.
  3. Over a low heat, stir the milk until it starts to thicken. It will get lumpy as it thickens but it will eventually smooth out. Add the reduced-fat mature cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  4. In a separate pan, wilt the spinach and then strain all of the liquid out of it.
  5. Strain the pasta, then stir through the cheese sauce. Add the spinach and walnuts and top with the rest of the reduced-fat mature cheese.
  6. Place under a hot grill for 5 mins or until the cheese has melted and gone slightly golden.

Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 597(kcal)
  • Fat 22.3g
  • Saturates 9.0g
  • Sugars 9.5g
  • Salt 1.2g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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  • 3
(26 ratings)

Your comments

Katy goodtoknow Recipes

Hi all. This recipe doesn't use a traditional butter and flour roux because it is a reduced fat recipe. You do need to give the sauce a good stir to keep the lumps out, or if you prefer you can make a traditional roux with equal parts butter and flour, then add in the milk and follow the rest of the recipe from step 3. If you're looking for a quick dish, ready in 30 minutes, then finish it under the grill, as per step 6. Or you can pre-heat the oven to 180°C and bake for 20 mins, with a final 5 mins under the grill if you prefer. Hope that helps!


also should be baked for 20 mins not grilled that just burns the top and doesn't cook the middle


This is a good recipe but bad instructions. the way to do the sauce was a disaster, i should have stuck to the way i normally do cheese sauce which would end up with no lumps and no burnt saucepans. you can just wilt the spinach by mixing it in with the pasta as well instead of wilting it in a different saucepan if you don't have enough space. it should be nice just mabe not done the way suggested


Your way of doing the rue was slightly silly! We would recommend to future spinach and walnut penne bake makers that they stick to a traditional way of making a rue as opposed to the method suggested above. Thank you and enjoy!

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