Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

16 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2014

Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there's actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (2 cups)
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1¼ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Coat a 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prick sweet potato with a fork in several places. Microwave on High until tender all the way to the center, 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk milk, flour and garlic in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until steaming and hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat.
  5. As soon as the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, cut open and scoop the flesh into the steaming milk. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, transfer to a blender and puree just until smooth, then return to the pot; use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
  6. Add cheese, mustard, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese melts. Add the pasta and peas to the sauce and stir to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Combine breadcrumbs and oil and sprinkle on the pasta. Broil on the upper rack until the top is lightly browned and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Tip: To make your own coarse dry breadcrumbs to top this baked mac & cheese, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread, tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, 10 to 15 minutes. (One slice of bread makes about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs.)

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1¼ cups
  • Per serving: 481 calories; 14 g fat(7 g sat); 10 g fiber; 68 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 71 mcg folate; 38 mg cholesterol; 13 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 10,891 IU vitamin A; 13 mg vitamin C; 437 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 519 mg sodium; 620 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (218% daily value), Calcium (44% dv), Vitamin C (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 4 starch, ½ nonfat milk, 1 high-fat meat, ½ fat

Reviews 16

March 18, 2018
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By: Ashley Kay
Really blah. Not as cheesy and yummy as I thought it would be.
May 11, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Creamy! 2 out of 3 thumbs way up in our house! The hubby is very garlic fussy so while he liked it ok, he didn't love it. My son and I both loved it! I used regular macaroni partly for my hubby's sake (he's really fussy, folks!) and partly because I couldn't find whole wheat elbows. I've not had good results with whole wheat spaghetti or rotini so I have to admit, i didn't search very hard for elbows. I will definitely make this again! Pros: I love that this has normal, easy to find (mostly), inexpensive ingredients!
March 06, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Better Baked We love sweet potatoes so decided to give this recipe a try. After transferring to baking dish noticed it was to soupy. I decided to bake the casserole at 350 for 20 minutes. It came out perfect. We are not big mac and cheese eaters, however, I will make this recipe again.
January 19, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Too Sweet My kids liked this dish, but it was way too sweet for me and my husband. I even doubled the sharp cheddar as another reviewer suggested. Pros: Creamy Cons: Too Sweet
May 21, 2014
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By: eveningmoon
Gloopy I was not expecting this to taste like normal macaroni and cheese but I also wasn't expecting it to taste like vomit. This was disgusting. The texture and flavor were both unappetizing. If this is what healthy mac and cheese tastes like then I think I will just stop eating mac and cheese. Pros: Healthy Cons: Disgusting
April 27, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
A little tweak We make this recipe using squash instead of sweet potato, any type of squash works, and even though it's sweet, I think it's slightly less sweet than with sweet potato. Instead of topping the dish with bread crumbs we top it with some shredded cheddar, parmasean and dried herbs. I feel like that really helps make it more savory. With those tweaks this recipe is a real winner for us. Pros: Whole family eats it
April 09, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty and works in crockpot This is more involved than boxed mac 'n cheese, but well worth a try. I followed other people's advice to use a little more cheese and to add paprika. I doubled the recipe (and using 2 cups shredded cheddar, 1/4 cup shredded Colby jack, and 1/8 cup Parmesan), mixed all ingredients minus the breadcrumbs, and put everything into my crockpot the night before a potluck instead of a baking dish. I cooked on low for 3 hours to heat it up, and it came out great. I got many compliments and requests for the recipe. Many people couldn't tell that there were sweet potatoes in it as the garlic and paprika make it savory and not sweet. This is a great way to sneak veggies to non-veggie eaters! Leftovers taste great too! Pros: Healthy, Yummy,
February 11, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Too sweet! I 'm all for adding hidden veggies to family favorites, but the sweet potato in this dish added far too much natural sugar. The dish didn't even taste savory in the end. I added Parm to try and balance out the dish, but in the end, it didn't really taste like mac and cheese. Too bad! Pros: Better for you than traditional mac and cheese Cons: My kids didn't love it
January 19, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Cheese lovers couldn't tell the difference I have a family of extreme cheese lovers -- to the point they will get the cheese lovers' pizza and add extra cheese. I didn't have dijon mustard, so I used 1 tsp of ground mustard and used white pepper instead of black. It tasted just like the homemade Mornay sauce I make with the butter, cream, and lots of cheese. My teenager said it was the best mac & cheese he's ever had and he & my daughter ended up fighting over the scraps left in the baking dish. (Dad won when they weren't looking). Definitely will be making again! Pros: Fast,healthy, huge serving size
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