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Cherokee Grill Macaroni and Spicy
Cheese with Spinach

A reader requested the recipe for the macaroni and spicy cheese with spinach served at Cherokee Grill in Gatlinburg and at Copper Cellar on Cumberland Ave.

The recipe originated with Curt Gibson, director of operations of Copper Cellar Corp. It is served as a side dish, available at lunch and dinner.

The macaroni is combined with Velveeta, yellow Cheddar, Monterey Jack and white American cheeses. It then is topped with grated Cheddar cheese for a really rich dish. The addition of 2 ounces of dark beer is optional.

The following recipe makes 1 gallon, and you may have to put it into two 9 x 13-inch casseroles.


  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 2 ounces dark beer, optional
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese
  • 8 ounces yellow Cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces Monterey jack cheese
  • 8 ounces white American cheese
  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, for topping


  1. Thaw frozen spinach in the refrigerator overnight. Squeeze as much excess water as possible out of spinach and set aside.
  2. Place milk, garlic and crushed red pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer with low to medium heat.
  3. Sauté finely diced onion in 1 tablespoon butter for about 5 minutes. Add onion to milk and then add Dijon mustard, Tabasco and beer. Continue to simmer; stir often so the milk does not burn.
  4. Make a roux by melting the 5 tablespoons butter and whisking with flour until smooth. Cook on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add to the milk mixture and mix well. Continue to simmer until sauce thickens. Then reduce heat.
  5. Cut cheeses into small cubes so it will melt faster and add to the sauce. Stir until cheeses are melted completely and blended into the sauce. Remove from heat.
  6. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked macaroni, cheese sauce and spinach. Mix until blended. Transfer to a large casserole pan (or into two casseroles). Top with grated Cheddar cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until hot.

Posted by GayleL at Recipe Goldmine 3/3/2002 9:45 pm.


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