Recipes using blue cheese

This delectable recipe for pasta with blue cheese spinach sauce has All The Good Things in it! Creamy blue cheese sauce, healthy spinach all swirled into pasta – it’s your new favorite supper!

Blue cheese and I have a complex relationship. I absolutely love it…in moderation. It has a strong and sassy personality, and is always the ingredient yelling “Hey, look over here at ME!” Which is why this recipe for pasta with blue cheese spinach sauce is one of my faves, because there is just enough blue cheese in it to make things interesting, but the pasta and the spinach keep it in line. So if you like your blue cheese to behave itself, this is the recipe for you. And if you are a believer in The More Blue Cheese The Better, you can toss even more of it into this dish. Either way, let’s make it!

First, the spinach part. I always go for baby spinach in recipes and that is what I am advising here. You definitely can use regular spinach in this one, but personally I have about one million other things I would rather do then stem giant pieces of spinach when the cute little baby spinach leaves are right there ready to roll. Next, the pasta part…I used my old favorite campanelle pasta, but any short pasta will do just fine. The blue cheese can be whatever kind is your personal favorite. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, you name it – this recipe welcomes all blue cheeses. The only other ingredient we’ll be using is butter and for me there are only three kinds of butter in the world: Kerrygold, Kate’s Homemade Butter, or literally my own homemade butter.

So here we go: cook up your pasta according to the package directions in nice salty water, and scoop out a cupful of pasta water right before the pasta is done. As soon as you scoop out the water, drop in the spinach so that it can quickly wilt in the hot water with the pasta. This will happen in a matter of seconds, so have that colander ready to drain things.

Once the pasta and spinach are drained, put them right back in the pot with the butter and blue cheese. Give everything a good toss with tongs until the cheese and butter are nice and melty and everything is mixed together. Drizzle a little of the pasta water in until you have a nice sauce, and season things up with salt and pepper if you think it needs anything. Blue cheese is naturally salty so make sure you taste first. (Tasting is my favorite part of cooking.)

And that is that! Unless you like your blue cheese dishes nice and sassy, like the Southern husband does. In that case, put some blue cheese crumbles on top of those servings. It takes all kinds of blue cheese lovers to make the world go ’round!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short pasta (campanelle, ziti, penne, farfalle, etc)
  • 8 ounces baby spinach (or regular spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped)
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, plus extra for garnish if you like
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. About one minute before it is done, scoop out a cup of the pasta water. About 30 seconds before it’s done, add the spinach and stir until the spinach is just wilted. Drain.
  2. Return pasta and spinach to the pot and add the butter and cheese. Toss with tongs until butter and cheese is melted and everything is mixed together.
  3. Drizzle in just enough pasta water to make a light sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Serve at once on warmed plates, adding some blue cheese crumbles to the plates belonging to true blue blue cheese lovers!

Adapted from The New York Times recipe

Hi there! I’m Kate, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover. I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and my mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN! My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too. And if you make this recipe, I would love you to tag @FramedCooks on Instagram so I can see the deliciousness!

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1. Celery and stilton soup

If I ever needed a reason to be thankful, it is to the happy accident that led to the discovery of blue cheese. A combination of conditions – bacteria and man’s willingness not to be put off by a bit of mould – means that we now have a whole glorious array of piquant blue cheeses that taste fabulous and cook beautifully. It is yet again another example of serendipity in the world of food. The fact that it goes so beautifully with my favourite celery means happy days.

In season, I like to use Fenland celery, a pale variety that was once a Victorian winter favourite, which is available from October to December, and has a mild, sweet and nutty flavour. Otherwise any celery will do, although often in winter I will substitute celeriac, a root vegetable, which to the uninitiated looks like something you would see on an episode of Dr Who; it has a somewhat monstrous and alien appearance, a bit like Captain Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean. But don’t be put off by its tentacle-like roots. Celeriac has both an intensely celery flavour, with a hint of smokiness and goes beautifully with any tangy blue cheese.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
50g butter
1 English onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 head of celery (including the leaves) or a medium celeriac (about 750g to 1kg), peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 litre stock (vegetable or chicken)
100ml white wine (optional)
1 bay leaf
a sprig of fresh thyme (or half tsp dried thyme)
250ml milk
200g stilton or other blue cheese, crumbled (set a little aside to garnish the soup)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and add the onion. Cook over a gentle heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, celery (or celeriac) and carrots. Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the stock and white wine and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer and add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes.

Set aside and leave to cool before blending. Do not try to blend when hot, as this can be dangerous, particularly if using a jug blender. A combination of hot soup, a build-up of steam and vibration, can cause the hot liquid to explode out of the blender. Safer to let it cool a little!

Before blending remove the bay leaf and if using a sprig of thyme the woody stem. After blending, you may decide to pass the soup through a sieve for extra smoothness. Return the soup to a clean saucepan and bring back to a simmer. Add the milk and warm through.

Add the crumbled stilton and stir continuously until the cheese has melted into the soup. Do not let the soup boil as it may curdle.
Check the seasoning. It is unlikely you will need any salt as the cheese will be quite salty.

Serve with a little of the stilton crumbled over each bowl.

Tip: For a thicker soup, add a couple of boiled potatoes when you add the celery.

2. Roasted apple, cheese and shallot pithivier

Roasted apple cheese and shallot pithivier Photograph: /Rachel Kelly

I love making pithiver (a French puff pastry pie) made by baking two circles of pastry with a delicious filling that oozed melting cheese). It is very simple, particularly if you use ready-made puff pastry. It has a bit of the wow factor, if I say so myself. It tastes even better.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
olive oil
500g eating apples, cored, quartered and sliced about 5mm
300g shallots, peeled and sliced, about 5mm thick
fresh thyme sprigs
100g blue cheese (or cheddar), crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 thyme branches
plain flour (for rolling out the pastry)
500g ready-made, butter puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.

Combine the apples and shallots with roughly 50ml of olive oil. Add half a teaspoon of salt, a generous grinding of black pepper and the thyme sprigs. Tip into a roasting dish and spread out the mixture. Roast for about 20 to 30 minutes, turning the mixture occasionally. The mixture should be a light golden brown and tender. Set aside to cool.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to about 5 or 6mm thick. You will need to cut out two circles, one bigger than the other. I used plates to cut around. The pastry base had a diameter of 25cm and the pastry top was 29cm. You need to make sure that there is at least a 3cm difference as the larger piece will be going over the smaller one and the topping.

Lay the smaller pastry circle on a lined baking tray and prick several times with a fork.

Lay out some of the apple and onion mixture over the smaller circle. Make sure that you don’t go all the way to the edge; leave a margin of at least 2cm (as this will form your pie edge). Add a little of the crumbled cheese. Season with black pepper.

Repeat the layers. Depending on how big your pastry base is, you may only get two complete layers in or perhaps three.

Brush the pastry margin with a little of the beaten egg.

Lay the larger pastry circle over the top (trying to keep it centred!)

Press down on the edges with your fingers to seal the filling in.

I knocked up the edges and then decorated the top by using a very sharp knife to make half-moon shapes spiraling from the centre. I also cut out a tiny circle in the top, to allow steam to escape, but gently rested the pastry circle on its hole (as the pastry will expand when cooking).

Brush with the beaten egg and set aside in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 5.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Careful before serving, it will be hot!

Tips: Works beautifully with other cheeses such as cheddar, Lancashire or a hard goat or sheep milk cheese. My mother used to make individual sized pithivers with Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms and goats’ cheese to serve to any vegetarians she might have been feeding. The vegetarians usually ended up having to fend off the meat-eaters as these little pies were gorgeous. This recipe is also wonderful with pears and with celeriac.

3. Blue cheese and honey tartine

A tartine is a French open-face sandwich, often made with sourdough bread; just a slice of bread or toast with delicious toppings, very similar to bruschetta or crostini. So don’t just have it for breakfast, it is the perfect party food too.

Serves 4 (or 2 if you’re feeling greedy)

Ingredients:
4 slices sourdough bread or good-quality rustic bread
50-60g blue cheese, such as stilton, gorgonzola or roquefort. (It also works with soft blue cheeses such as dolcelatte and cambozola.)
2-3 tbs runny honey

Lightly toast each side of the bread.

Sprinkle one side of the toast with cheese. Grill for about 1 minute or until the cheese is beginning to melt.

Drizzle over a little honey and serve immediately.

Tips: If your honey isn’t runny then put the jar (minus the lid) in the microwave and microwave on Medium-High in 10 second bursts until it begins to soften. Alternatively put the jar in a bowl with some boiling water. (You may have to refresh with more boiling water.) But after 10 minutes or so the honey will begin to loosen to drizzling point. Equally, honey is easier to drizzle if you run hot water over a metal spoon before dipping it into the honey jar, (assuming you are not using the stuff that comes in a squeezy bottle). Nice additions to your tartine are caramelised apples or pears, grilled figs, crisp bacon, cured meats or chopped nuts such as hazelnuts or walnuts. (Although possibly not all at once.)

4. Blue cheese, leek and mushroom pasta bake

Blue cheese leek and mushroom pasta bake Photograph: /Rachel Kelly

Stilton is such a good cheese for cooking and works beautifully with the leeks and the nutty flavour of chestnut mushrooms, although most blue cheeses would work well. In this case I actually used a mixture of stilton, danish blue cheese and the last inch or a wedge of brie.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
500g dried penne or rigatoni
1 tbsp olive oil
a knob of butter
1 leek, cleaned and sliced (use some of the more tender green parts)
125g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
75ml double cream
white wine
150g blue cheese (I used a mixture of stilton, danish blue and brie, but dolcelatte would be lovely too)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large lidded saucepan. Add the butter. When it has melted, add the leeks. Gently cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook with the lid on for another 5 to 8 minutes until the mushrooms have softened and are a golden brown. Stir occasionally.

While the leeks are cooking, cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water according to the packet instructions, minus a couple of minutes. The pasta is better if it is slightly undercooked as you will be baking it. Drain, refresh with cold water and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.

When the vegetables are cooked add a generous splash of wine. Simmer for 2 minutes before stirring in the cream. Add three-quarters of the cheese and stir through until the cheese melts.

Remove from the heat

Stir until the cheese melts. Take off the heat.

Check the seasoning. (I love lots of black pepper.)

Tip in the cooked pasta and stir to coat. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Dot with the remainder of the crumbled blue cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes at 190C/Gas Mark 5 until the top is lightly browned. (I like it when some of the pasta is slightly charred and crisp.)

This is delicious served with a peppery green salad.

Tips: Frozen peas would be a nice addition, as would cooked bacon or pancetta. Enrich the sauce by stirring a beaten egg into the cheese sauce before baking. Top with a mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese.

Other recipe ideas for leftover blue cheese

5. If I am not eating Marmite on toast with a poached egg for breakfast, my second favourite thing to have is to crumble bits of blue cheese over toasted bread. Drizzle with honey and then grill until the cheese begins to melt. This works with most blue cheeses whether hard or soft, especially gorgonzola, roquefort, cambozola, stilton and dolcelatte. Or cut a baguette into rounds and make crostini or bruschetta – perfect party food.

6. Cheeky Spouse at Tastebud Travels has a lovely rustic roquefort cheese, pear and potato pie.

7. Jack Monroe proves yet again that thrifty can be delicious with her blue cheese and onion tattie scones.

8. Roasted butternut squash salad with spiced plums, hazelnuts and blue cheese, which is delicious with grilled pork chops. I haven’t tried it but I suspect if you exchanged the squash for beetroot and the hazelnuts for walnuts, that you might have something equally delicious.

9. Crumble bits of cheese, such as blue cheese, feta or goats cheese into vinaigrettes for a tangy salad dressing. Or what about this creamy buttermilk and blue cheese salad dressing from Marie Rayner at The English Kitchen.

10. Fromage fort (strong cheese) is a similar concept to the English potted cheese. This recipe uses bits of hard cheese, soft cheese, blue cheese, garlic and white wine. However, use a smaller proportion of blue cheese than of the other cheeses as it will otherwise overwhelm the other flavours. Celia at Fig, Jam and Lime Cordial, blogging from Australia, has a great version of fromage fort, adapted from Jaques Pepin’s recipe.

11. I love the idea of baked eggs with cheese so much. You should also have a look at Linda Duffin of Mrs Portly’s Kitchen’s four-cheese pots as well.

12. Anneli Faiers at Delicieux’s cheese-stuffed potato rosti of which she says “Crispy grated potato with a delicious hidden filling of oozy melted cheese. I mean really, who wouldnít like the sound of that?” I’d agree, it is pretty inconceivable!

13. Love Food Hate Waste have a Jill Dupleix recipe “anything goes quesadillas” – tortillas stuffed with roasted vegetables and leftover bits of cheese.

Rachel Kelly is the Guardian home cook of the year 2013. Read more on her website or follow her on Twitter @MarmadukeS.

Interested in finding out more about how you can live better? Take a look at this month’s Live Better Challenge here.

The Live Better Challenge is funded by Unilever; its focus is sustainable living. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled advertisement feature. Find out more here.

What to do with leftover blue cheese

1. Stilton and bacon gratin – it’s like no other gratin you’ve had before.

2. Roasted red onion, walnut and blue cheese pasta – a quick and easy midweek meal that’s on the table in 35 minutes.

3. Ham and blue cheese croquettes – also a great way to use up leftover ham.

4. Ragù and blue cheese baked pasta – the meatiest, cheesiest baked pasta dish.

5. Stilton and spinach pancakes with soft egg – the perfect Boxing Day brunch.

6. Roast pumpkin with toasted hazelnuts, blue cheese and thyme – a great option for a dinner party starter – especially for vegetarian guests.

7. Cauliflower, leek and blue cheese gratin – British comfort food at its best and the perfect dish for a cold winter’s night.

8. Sweet potato and parsnip gnocchi with blue cheese and pine nuts – a sweet, nutty, blue cheese-covered dish that would make any vegetarian weak at the knees.

9. Potato and stilton soup – a delicious soup that you can freeze and save for later

10. Mushroom and blue cheese risotto – add a little blue cheese to your mushroom risotto and you’ve got something a little more indulgent.

11. Sage and blue cheese shortbreads – use your leftover blue cheese for these savoury shortbreads – perfect for your next cheeseboard.

12. Leek, potato and gorgonzola tart – the Queen of Hearts would love this vegetarian lattice tart… and so will you.

13. Broccoli and blue cheese soufflé – impress your guests with individual soufflés – they only take 35 minutes to make.

14. Individual stilton cauliflower cheeses – because sometimes sharing isn’t caring and it’s better if everyone gets their own…

15. Roast squash with blue cheese and pickled walnuts – jazz roast squash up with blue cheese and pickled walnuts and you’ve got a side dish that’ll steal the show.

Blue cheese is certainly an acquired taste, a sharp, often salty flavour that goes nicely with a pear chutney and a sweet red wine. But there’s often far more dishes you can create with a good wedge of the smelly stuff.

Whether you’re buying a piece of specifically for the meal, or using leftovers from your cheeseboard, here are eight stunning dishes you can create with blue cheese.

1. BROCCOLI AND BLUE CHEESE SOUP

This delicious recipe also works well with cauliflower, and served with crusty bread.

Read the full recipe here.

2. HAM AND BLUE CHEESE STRAWS

Blue cheese always receives a warm reception at a dinner party, but these fun straws are perfect for a more informal canape affair.

Read the full recipe here.

MORE: 7 QUICK WAYS TO CREATE THE PERFECT CAULIFLOWER CHEESE

3. STEAK WITH BLUE CHEESE AND MUSHROOM PAPPARDELLE

This luxurious steak, blue cheese and mushroom pasta dish is quick to prepare and sure to satisfy.

Read the full recipe here.

4. CAULIFLOWER SOUP AND SPICY BLUE CHEESE TOASTIES

This warming cauliflower soup served with piquant blue cheese toasties is a perfectly satisfying supper.

Read the full recipe here.

MORE: 15 OF THE BEST TRIPLE-TESTED CHEESE RECIPES

5. BLUE CHEESE POTATO CAKES

Add a kick of flavour to your standard savoury cakes and try this triple-tested blue cheese potato cake recipe. Serve alongside meat and fish dishes.

Read the full recipe here.

6. BROCCOLI AND BLUE CHEESE GNOCCHI

Figs add a burst of freshness to this decadent gnocchi dish.

Read the full recipe here.

MORE: 5 OF THE BEST MAC AND CHEESE RECIPES

7. BLUE CHEESE AND SWEET ONION TART

Enjoy the creamy filling of melted cheese and caramelised onions in this triple-tested tart. Serve for lunch, supper, or thinly sliced as a starter.

Read the full recipe here.

8. PUMPKIN, WALNUT AND BLUE CHEESE GNOCCHI

This hearty vegetable dish is comfort food at its best.

Read the full recipe here.

MORE: ​HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CHEESEBOARD