Easy Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

Lighten up classic mac and cheese with the addition of sweet potatoes.
    • Makes: 10 servings
    • Prep Time: 25 minutes
    • Cook Time: 20 minutes
    • Difficulty Rating: Easy


  • Nutrition Highlights: Nutrition Highlights per Serving (1/2 cup): 220 calories, 11 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 275 mg sodium, 10 g protein, 2 g fiber, 23 mg cholesterol, 22 carbohydrates, 4 g sugar


  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups dry, whole-grain elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder or onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • cooked vegetables, such as peas and carrots, broccoli or peppers (optional)


  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Place sweet potato cubes into boiling water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Mash cooked sweet potato until smooth. You should have about 1 cup. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk for about 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly.
  4. Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the mashed sweet potato; blend until well combined. Next, add the cheese and stir until melted.
  5. Remove the pot from heat. Sprinkle in garlic or onion powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir in the cooked macaroni until well coated with the cheese sauce. Add cooked vegetables if using; stir until smooth and well combined.

Tips & Notes

Cut prep time in half by making the mashed sweet potatoes earlier in the day or purchase mashed sweet potatoes from the supermarket. Feel free to swap the pureed sweet potato with pureed butternut squash.