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Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

By: FaveHealthyRecipes.com Test Kitchen

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
This image courtesy of favehealthyrecipes.com

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese gives a classic dish a Southern twist. This unique macaroni and cheese is more filling than the traditional dish, due to the delightful combination of comforting sweet potatoes, crispy onions and a melted cheese of your choice. This recipe also substitutes whole wheat macaroni for regular, which makes it more nutritious. Only six basic ingredients are required, which makes this meal an excellent dinner option if you're on a budget. It doesn't take very long to prepare, so you can easily whip this up on a weeknight for you and the family. This sweet potato mac and cheese is going to become a standby for when you just need some lightened up comfort food.

Serves: 8

Cooking Vessel Size: 9 x 13 inch casserole dish

Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 8 ounces low-fat shredded Cheddar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (see note)

Love your mac and cheese? Check out our collection of The 9 Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipes.


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook the pasta in 5 quarts of water as the package directs; drain well.
  3. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter and cook the onion, stirring, for 2 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute to cook the flour, then gradually add the milk, stirring until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the cheese, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the mashed sweet potato until smooth, then combine the pasta with the sauce and spoon into the prepared casserole.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until it is bubbly and the top is beginning to brown.

Calling all pasta lovers! We've got 13 Healthy Easy Baked Pasta Recipes just for you!


Notes

This is a very effective, delicious - and somewhat devious - way to add nutrition to the mac-and-cheese standby. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene and other valuable vitamins and nutrients. Because of the color, vegetable adverse diners probably will not notice! Cooked butternut squash or pumpkin are good substitutes to achieve the same result. You can increase the amount of mashed vegetable to 1 cup if you wish.

White pepper is simply black pepper with the husk taken off.  It is used here to avoid black specks in the sauce, but feel free to use ground black pepper instead.

 

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This twist on mac and cheese makes me feel less guilty about whipping it up for my next dinner! I've never thought about adding sweet potatoes, but I love how it can add a sweet kick without going overboard.

I made this for dinner earlier this week and loved it! I'm always looking for ways to lighten up high-cal classics, and while my boyfriend was very suspicious of sweet potatoes hiding in his mac and cheese, he ended up really enjoying it, too. I also tossed in some leftover barbecue shredded chicken, which was a tasty way to add to the protein. Next time I make it, I might increase the milk, because the sauce wasn't quite liquid-y enough for my liking. But I definitely will make this again!

This was a nice, hearty dish with a hint of sweetness. The bonus fiber from the sweet potatoes is a nice touch as well.

I love trying new versions of mac and cheese. It's always nice to have a healthier option!

I'd never thought of putting sweet potato in my mac and cheese, but you know what? It was pretty good.

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