This sweet potato macaroni and cheese is incredibly creamy and sneaks in a little added nutrition with sweet potato! With options and gluten-free whole grains.
There are so many recipes that I want to do, but I has been drawn to this first recipe because I’m always looking for ways to eat vegetables more palatable for me. People say that I’m just cooking vegetables bad, but nope. I hate them. I like regular potatoes prepared in many ways and sweet potatoes in the form of roasted fingerlings / French. That’s all. Everything else, I puree (totally serious here) and wash down with water.
The recipe in the book is actually for sweet potato macaroni and cheese cups but with Father’s Day coming, I wanted to make it more Father’s Day friendly. It’s really easy to make mac and cheese cups, but I have one oven, and which is dedicated to turkey and dinner rolls.
The first time I did that, I’m not the full amount of cheese on hand and had the strangest effect. I swear … it tasted like Cheetos! That was delicious. 😀 Next time, I used the full amount of cheese and it tasted just like regular mac and cheese. If you want a taste of the sweet potato more pronounced, try adding more mashed puree.
I used white cheddar and mac and cheese still had that beautiful orange color to it. I use white cheddar because to write this post, I thought everything was orange cheddar artificially colored. It looks like a cheddar is cheddar but others dyed naturally using the seeds of annatto tree. I think I’ll still stick with white cheddar! I do not think I’m missing something sage flavor-wise.
This sweet potato mac and cheese is perfect as is, but he also had to be big to customize! I like to keep things plain with just a little added garlic powder, but he loved his Texanerin with bacon. I think next time I’ll add a bit of ham for a little added protein. Whatever you add, there is sure to be delicious! 🙂
- 2 cups milk
- 1 medium sweet potato (mine was 370 grams and was a little more than what was needed)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups elbow macaroni (whole wheat or gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat or a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend)
- 2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese (I used 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I left this out and used garlic powder instead)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, peel and dice the sweet potato into 1/2" pieces. Place in the boiling water and cook until tender, about 10-20 minutes. You can alternatively place the potato on a baking sheet and bake at 400 °F for 1 hour or until soft and then scrape out the flesh.
- Mash the cooked sweet potato well and measure out 1 cup (245 grams).
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the mustard, if using, cheese, and 1 cup of mashed sweet potato. Remove the pot from the heat and stir until smooth. I didn't mash my sweet potato well enough and used an immersion blender to make it totally smooth. Add in the salt, pepper and then the macaroni.