Annabel Karmel’s haddock and spinach pasta bake recipe

(184 ratings)

Kids will love this tasty haddock and spinach pasta bake, with just a little smoked haddock to give this dish a lovely deep flavour

Annabel Karmel’s haddock and spinach pasta bake
(Image credit: Getty)
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Cost RangeCheap

Annabel Karmel’s haddock and spinach pasta bake is easy to prepare and makes a lovely dinner for the whole family. 

Smoked haddock and spinach might not seem like an obvious food combination to serve young kids, but really does go down a treat. A pasta bake is a comfortingly familiar dish, so it's a great way to introduce new flavours and textures to your little ones, and widen the choice of foods they like. It's easy to prepare and ready in less than three quarters of an hour. It uses both smoked and unsmoked haddock - you only need a little of the smoked variety to give a lovely rich flavour. 


  • 225g (8oz) penne pasta
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 50g (2oz) plain flour
  • 600ml (1 pint) milk
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 100g (4 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g (7oz) baby spinach
  • 200g (7oz) fresh haddock, skinned
  • 50g (2 oz) smoked haddock, skinned
  • juice of ½ lemon




  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and refresh in cold water. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir over the heat for 2 minutes. Add the milk slowly, stirring until combined. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes until it has thickened. Add the mustard, dill and half of the Parmesan. Season well.
  4. Heat a frying pan, add the spinach and fry over a high heat until wilted, then add to the sauce. Mix the penne with the sauce. Slice the haddock into 2 cm cubes and fold them into the mixture with the lemon juice.
  5. Spoon into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 20–25 minutes until bubbling and lightly golden on top.

Top tip for making Annabel Karmel’s haddock and spinach pasta bake

Use undyed smoked haddock if you can - it has a better natural flavour than the dyed variety.

You might also like...

Annabel Karmel

Annabel Karmel MBE is a chef and author of over 40 cookbooks based on nutrition, and cooking for babies, children and families. With her career spanning over 25 years she has pioneered the way families feed their babies and children all the world over.