November is National Sweet Potato Month and National Gratitude Month, so let’s show some gratitude for these delicious, versatile vegetables. Sweet potatoes are common ingredients in sweet dishes, from pies to waffles. But did you know that sweet potatoes taste delicious with savory dishes? With Thanksgiving is right around the corner, why not update your classic mac and cheese recipe? Sweet potato mac and cheese may be your family’s new favorite dish.
The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Mac and cheese isn’t a traditionally healthy dish, but the added sweet potatoes can do your body a world of good. Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Plus, they can help fight heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
Ready to sneak even more vegetables into your family’s dinner? Give Audra’s recipe for a try.
Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
(recipe from Audra of the Baker Chick)
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 3 cups of grated cheese (use your favorite cheese like sharp cheddar)
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 6 cups of pasta
- 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Wash two sweet potatoes and pierce them with a fork (to let steam escape).
- Bake sweet potatoes until easily pierced with a fork (about 30 minutes).
- Take the potatoes out and let them rest.
- Start cooking the pasta per the package instructions. Cook until al dente.
- In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk constantly until golden brown. Gradually add the milk and stir until smooth and thickened (about five minutes.)
- Add all but a small handful of the grated cheese, and then salt & pepper to taste. Stir until smooth and creamy.
- Scoop the sweet potato out of the skins into a food processor and pureé until smooth. Or, put the sweet potato chunks directly into the cheese sauce and use an immersion blender to pureé the sauce.
- Stir in the cooked pasta, tossing until evenly coated.
- Turn the sauce/pasta into an 8×8-baking dish and top with panko and the remaining grated cheese. Top with a bit more freshly ground pepper, and bake at 375F for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
- Broil for an addition 5 minutes to really crisp up the top if desired.
Bonus. Want to bake a sweet potato pie for the holidays? Try jazzing up your menu with a beautiful purple sweet potato pie. Made with South American purple sweet potatoes, this pie is a unique deep purple color but is still sweet and delicious. This pie will add festive color to your dinner table and your guests will be impressed.