Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese Bake

Main Dishes  |  Published Apr 21, 2016  |  Updated Aug 20, 2019  |  By Tawnie

Tired of your same ol' mac and cheese lunch? Turn up the flavor and the nutrients with this sweet potato mac and cheese bake! Perfect for weekday lunches! | Krollskorner.com

April 2016 – Theme

Limpin’ Along for Lunch

Ever get in a lunch rut? Need new ideas for packing your kids’ or your own lunch? Are packable noontime options dwindling? Surely you’ve met the ‘What shall I pack for lunch?” question head-on with creative ideas. Please share your healthy lunch recipe – so we can swap it into our own rotation.

sweet potato mac and cheese in a casserole dish

Recipe Redux blog posts always seem to sneak up on me! I love this theme because so often times with work and busy schedules it is easy to fall into a routine of the same lunch or opting for fast food. I made this sweet potato mac and cheese bake for comfort food but also felt healthy at the same time. 🙂 This bake is perfect for packing for lunch the next day with some chicken or other protein source. I love that the sweet potato is a hidden veggie – perfect for fooling picky eaters! In fact my co-worker even said she was going to take some of it home to her husband and not tell him it has sweet potato in it. (haha!). I used a 4 cheese blend I found at the grocery store – however you can use 6oz. of whatever cheese you would like. (Sharp white cheddar would be my next recommendation mmmmm). 

sweet potato mac and cheese in a casserole dish

I am currently at the California Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Annual Conference & Expo – so if any of you are here, let’s meet up! 🙂 

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Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese Bake

Add a boost of nutrition to your mac and cheese by adding sweet potato, you won’t regret it 🙂
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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 13 oz. elbow macaroni noodles whole wheat or GF if preferred
  • 1/2 cup white onion diced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 4 Tbsp. All-Purpose flour
  • 2 cups Fat Free Milk or whatever percent milk you have on hand is OK
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. red pepper chili flakes
  • 6 oz. four cheese blend or sharp white cheddar
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the breadcrumb topping

  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to boil and add in the sweet potato that has been peeled and cubed up. Boil sweet potato for 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain sweet potatoes and then mash well. You should have ~2-2.5 cups of sweet potato.
  • Next cook the elbow noodles according to the package.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan with onion and garlic. Cook for about 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 30 seconds and then slowly pour and whisk in the milk and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk. Mixture should begin to thicken after 3-5 minutes. Place heat to low and mix in the mustard, salt, pepper, red pepper chili flakes, cheese and sweet potato and spinach. Stir well and then remove from heat.
  • Add in the noodles and mix in well. Taste and adjust any seasonings you may want extra. Pour in a oven safe casserole dish and top with panko crumb/Parmesan cheese mixture. Place in oven, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, or until it gets bubbly.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!
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sweet potato mac and cheese in a casserole dish

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Megan
15 days ago

When does the spinach get mixed in?

Whoa, I love everything about this mac & cheese. I know my daughter would love it (but of course that’s only if there was any left after my hubby and I got to it). Hope you had fun at the expo!

This looks so good! I bet my kids will gobble it up 🙂

6 years ago

YUM! Sounds and looks delicious. I love the idea of using sweet potatoes as the base for a creamy–cheesy sauce.

I love making mac and cheese with butternut squash – haven’t tried it with sweet potatoes, but I’m sure it’s equally as delish! Great leftovers for lunch! Have fun at the conference!

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