What is a cheese and potato bake?
This cheese and potato bake recipe with spinach added for extra nutrition is such a quick and easy recipe to make. Its great to warm you up on cold evenings and its also a winner with the kids. There’s two things I love the most for a comfort dish. Melted cheese and potatoes. This recipe features them both in good quantities! You’d think a meal loaded with cheese and potato would be a pretty high calorie meal but no! This recipe contains just 260kcal per portion.
Do you have a diet restrictions?
This cheese and potato bake recipe is:
- Gluten free
- Nut free
- Low Fat
- 1 Syn (using healthy option A)
All slimming world related info is gathered from various internet sources. Syn values may be incorrect or outdated. If you see one is wrong, please let me know so I can update the information!
Step 1: Preparing the potatoes
To start with to make your cheese and potato bake, cut 700g worth of potato into large chunks like you would for roast potatoes but leave the skins on. I think leaving the skins on the potatoes adds another level to the dish and it helps the potatoes to retain their shape instead of melting into the cheese sauce. Potato skins also hold the most of the nutrients of the potato so they’re really beneficial to eat. They’re one of the highest sources of potassium and contain lots of vitamin C among other nutrients. Add your raw potato to an oven proof dish capable of serving 4. Mine was roughly 6″x8″.
Step 2: Preparing the other ingredients
Along with potato we need to prepare spinach and onion. I love to buy ready cooked frozen spinach in cube form because its so handy to just chuck into various dishes. One thing I’ve discovered recently though is that it is full off excess water which i now like to squeeze out once its defrosted, except for recipes that don’t mind a little extra liquid of course. So, if your using fresh spinach, wilt it down in a dry saucepan, if your using frozen spinach, defrost approximately 7 cubes. Then, however your spinach started, squeeze any excess liquid out. Add these to your potato along with 3-4 chopped cloves of garlic.
Step 3: Start Cooking
Chop and fry an onion in a pan. Even if a recipe is destined for the oven, or some other type of cooking I think pre cooking the onion in a frying pan is a step really worth doing. When you fry an onion in a frying pan (although admittedly as I don’t use oil, technically its not frying) the onion cooks a lot nicer than when its cooked within liquid. Have you ever noticed in stews the onion can often stay as large pieces and be quite stringy in texture? Where as fried onions are crisp and tasty? Well, that’s why we still fry the onion for this type of recipe instead of just chucking it in the oven dish with the raw potato.
Step 4: Create the creamy sauce
Now that we have the potato, spinach and onion in the pan, we can move onto our cheese sauce. As with many of my sauces, it starts with a butterless roux. To make this, weigh out 300ml of milk. In a bowl, measure out 2 tbsp of cornflour and use a splash of the milk you just poured to mix the cornflour into the milk. This is called a cornflour slurry, leave this to one side for a moment. Add the 300ml of milk to a saucepan and heat. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of mustard, salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon oregano and mix well. Stir in the cornflour slurry whilst the milk warms and continue stirring for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Step 5: Bake the cheese and potato bake
Once your butterless roux has thickened take it off the heat and add in 25g of low fat cheddar and 100g of low fat soft cheese. Once this has melted, pour your sauce over the spinach and potatoes and mix everything together well before topping with another 20g of cheese. Bake your cheese and potato bake in an oven, preheated to 200c for 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven once all of the cheese topping is golden and crispy and the potatoes are cooked.
Serve with fresh steamed vegetables.
What milk can I use to make the sauce?
Any milk you enjoy! Traditionally a roux of any kind either butterless or not would be made with a dairy milk probably just because that’s what has been readily available for the last few hundred years however I make my cheese and potato bake with oat milk due to a dairy intolerance. I have not tried other plant based milks however I see no reason why these wouldn’t work just as well as my delicious oat milk does.
Can I freeze my cheese and potato bake?
Yes! Build your cheese and potato bake as instructed above and freeze before baking. Defrost thoroughly before cooking. Alternatively once your hot pot is cooked you can portion into microwavable containers, freeze and then reheat from frozen in the microwave for 8-10 minutes.
Can I reheat this recipe?
Yes! Most cooked dishes will stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days. Thoroughly reheat any leftovers in the oven or microwave.
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