If you think sweet potato dish options have been exhausted, think again. This homemade macaroni and cheese recipe with sweet potato invites the starchy root vegetable into a traditional family favorite, and it doesn’t disappoint. Thick, aromatic, and full of robust flavors, you’ll start to crave this twisted mac ‘n’ cheese all year round.
It’s almost ironic that a macaroni and cheese recipe this authentic would bare the glossy yellow-orange color of the store-bought, artificially-flavored, and over-processed mac ‘n’ cheese of our childhood. You can thank sweet potato for that!
But there is more to this homemade sweet potato macaroni and cheese recipe than its color – it’s a true ode to the fall season. The flavors of earthy sweet potato, salty feta, and bitter sage marry together to create a macaroni and cheese that tops off a brisk day with warm comfort and cheer. Enjoy!
Homemade Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
- 1 pound sweet potatoes
- 10 ounces short pasta
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Dash of white pepper
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Once the water is boiling, toss the sweet potato into the water and let them cook until softened throughout – about 10 minutes. Scoop the sweet potatoes out and place them in a bowl. Set the pot with water aside for later.
Use the flat end of a fork to mash the sweet potatoes.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk together to form a roux. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the milk. Combine until smooth and then return the saucepan to the heat. Use a wooden spatula to stir the mixture while it heats until it resembles a thick sauce. Add the mustard, paprika, and white pepper. Stir and then turn off the heat.
Bring the same pot and water you used to cook the potatoes to a boil. Cook the pasta to package instructions, but stopping short by 2-3 minutes--the pasta will cook more when baked later. Drain and rinse the pasta. Preserve about ½ cup of the water, also for later use.
Add the pasta to the sweet potato mash and fold the ingredients together. Add in the feta cheese. Fold. Next, add in the béchamel sauce. Stir until well combined. Incrementally toss in the grated cheddar cheese as you fold the mixture together. If the mixture feels too thick, pour in a bit of the reserved water you used to cook the sweet potatoes and pasta.
Once well combined, spoon the mixture into 4 separate ovenproof bowls. Sprinkle with extra cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper. Top each bowl with chopped sage leaves.
Place the bowls on a baking sheet and pop the sheet into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture has cooked through, the cheese has melted, and the top of each homemade sweet potato macaroni and cheese bowl is crisp. If you are using one singular baking dish, bake for 35-40 minutes.
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Macaroni and Cheese Image from Shutterstock