Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese is an alternative to traditional Mac and Cheese. Mashed sweet potatoes and spinach are added to macaroni and cheese then baked. The dish is a more colorful and healthy because of the sweet potatoes and spinach.
I found recipes for Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese on the Epicurious site and on the Naturally Ella site. I used those recipes as well as my mother's traditional baked Macaroni and Cheese as inspiration for this dish.
You start this dish by washing, peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes into one-inch cubes. Then, cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water for about 10-minutes. Using the back of a spoon, mash but do not puree the sweet potatoes.
Using the same water that you boiled the sweet potatoes, cook the pasta until almost done. Once the pasta is almost done, combine it with the mashed sweet potatoes and spinach.
Next, make the cheese sauce then combine it with the sweet potato mixture. Bake then enjoy!
My husband doesn't usually like baked macaroni and cheese but he does like this dish. He went back for seconds and took leftovers for lunch, so this dish is a success in our household!
I hope you enjoy the Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese!
Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 pound sweet potatoes
- 10 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked About 2-cups uncooked macaroni.
- 1 cup spinach, frozen and thawed
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika Plus more for dusting the top before baking.
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups Mexican Cheese Blend, shredded You can use cheddar or your favorite cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Lightly grease a 12x8x2 baking pan. Set aside.
- Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into about 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
- Bring about 3-quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.
- Once the water is boiling, add 2-teaspoons of salt to the water.
- Add the cubed sweet potato to the boiling water.
- Boil the sweet potatoes for about 10-minutes or until tender.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the water using a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Do not pour out the water because you will use it to boil the pasta.
- Using the back of a large spoon, mash the sweet potatoes but do not puree them.
- Place the pasta in the boiling water and boil for about 5 minutes or until almost done. The pasta will continue to cook after removed from the water.
- Reserve about one cup of the sweet potato/pasta cooking water. Set aside.
- Remove the pasta from the water and drain.
- Combine the pasta with the sweet potatoes.
- Add the spinach to the sweet potato mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Stir in the remaining salt (1/2 teaspoon), pepper, dry mustard, paprika and flour. The mixture will be pasty.
- Gradually stir in the milk.
- Stirring frequently, cook until the mixture is thickened.
- Remove the milk mixture from the heat then add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
- Combine the cheese mixture with the sweet potato mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- If the mixture needs to be loosened up a bit, add a little of the reserved sweet potato/pasta water. I haven't found the need to do this yet.
- Pour the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
- Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Dust with paprika.
- Bake in a preheated oven, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, or until the mixture is golden brown and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10-minutes.
- Serve hot.