Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese


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Roasted sweet potatoes combine with shredded cheddar for a rich, creamy sauce in this Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese. It uses about half the cheese of classic mac and cheese recipes, but I promise you won’t miss it!

sweet potato mac and cheese in a white oval dish with breadcrumb topping

Cozy season is officially here, and I love everything about it. Give me all the cozy sweaters, warm fires, and warm pasta dinners (including one of my recent favorites, Instant Pot Italian Sausage Pasta). This Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese, with its roasted sweet potatoes, and beautiful warm orange color is made for cooler weather. It’s a bit of a more healthy option than your classic cheesy mac, but no less delicious. And if you need a cool weather side to serve along with it, the fresh green of shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad or Balsamic Brussels Sprouts would be the perfect match. Roasted broccoli is also a great and easy fit. So many vegetables on one warm plate!

Here’s everything you need to know.

adding panko topping to a dish of sweet potato mac and cheese

How to Make it

  1. Roast vegetables. Roast sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions until very tender, about 40 minutes at 400°F.
  2. Cook pasta. Follow the directions for whatever pasta you choose. Any type will work!
  3. Make sauce. Blend the roasted vegetables with vegetable broth until smooth.
  4. Fill casserole. Combine pasta, sauce, and cheese. Spread out in a 9×13 baking dish.
  5. Add breadcrumb topping. Combine melted butter, panko, garlic, and chopped sage. Sprinkle it over the pasta to give the dish great crunch.
  6. Bake pasta. Bake the dish, uncovered, until the pasta is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!
roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions on a sheet pan


  • Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions – Roast all of these vegetables together to give the sauce savory flavor.
  • Dried Pasta – Any type will work. I love how the sauce clings to the rings in Fusili.
  • Cheese – I love the flavor of white, sharp cheddar in this pasta, but any type of shredded cheddar is great.
  • Vegetable Broth – Look for low-sodium to keep the pasta from being too salty. Low-sodium chicken broth works well if you don’t need the dish to be vegetarian.
  • Butter, Panko Breadcrumbs, Garlic, Sage – Combine these to make a buttery, crunchy topping.
cooked pasta in a blue strainer on a blue and grey stripped dish towel
Pouring sweet potato puree over pasta and cheese in a large white mixing bowl

Make it Ahead

You can assemble the entire dish and store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Let it come to room temperature before baking.

mixing breadcrumb topping for pasta bake in a clear glass bowl


  • Swap in squash – This dish is great with any type of roasted winter squash (I love butternut squash here) in place of the sweet potato.
  • Make it gluten-free – Use your favorite gluten-free pasta and gluten-free breadcrumbs to easily make this dish gluten-free.
  • Make it vegan – You can skip the cheese completely for a vegan sauce or add a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast for that savory flavor. Use olive oil instead of butter to make the panko topping.
  • Add protein – Add your favorite protein to the dish. Stir drained white beans into the pasta for a vegetarian option. Cooked sausage or bacon are also great non-veg additions.


If you’re going to freeze this meal, assemble it as directed. Cover the pasta tightly with foil and freeze for up to 6 months. To reheat, thaw in refrigerator for 24- 48 hours before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 400˚ for about 30 minutes, until pasta is bubbling around the edges.

spoon scooping sweet potato pasta out of a white oval casserole dish


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4.25 from 36 votes

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese Recipe

Roasted sweet potatoes make a rich, creamy sauce for this baked pasta. Sweet potato mac and cheese uses about half the cheese of classic recipes, but you won't miss the cheese. Add buttery breadcrumbs on top for crunch.
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Large Saucepan or Stockpot
  • Half Sheet Pan


For Pasta:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 cup chopped Carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 pound Dried Fusilli Pasta (substitute any small pasta shape)
  • 10 ounces White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Fresh Sage (substitute 1 teaspoon dried sage)
  • 3 cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth (substitute low-sodium chicken broth if you don’t need the dish to be vegetarian)


  • Preheat the oven to  400°F / 204°C.
  • Toss the sweet potatoes, onion, and carrots in olive oil and salt. Spread out on a large sheet pan and roast in the oven until tender, turning with a spatula halfway through cooking, 25 to 35 minutes. 
  • Once the vegetables are in the oven, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the broth with the roasted vegetables. Blend until smooth, adding some water if needed to help everything blend. 
  • Stir the sweet potato mixture and cheese into the cooked pasta. 
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or rub it with some olive oil. Spread the pasta out in the dish.
  • Combine the melted butter, panko, garlic, and chopped sage leaves. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pasta. 
  • Bake, uncovered, at 400°F / 204°C, until the pasta is bubbling around the edges and the topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes. 
  • Serve warm. 


To freeze:
If you’re going to freeze this meal, assemble it as directed. Cover the pasta tightly with foil and freeze for up to 6 months. To reheat, thaw in refrigerator for 24 – 48 hours before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 400˚ for about 30 minutes, until pasta is bubbling around the edges. Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!
sweet potato mac and cheese freezer label


Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 685mg | Potassium: 543mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 15269IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 320mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00
Calories: 530
Keyword: baked pasta, family friendly, gluten free adaptable, sweet potato recipe, vegetarian
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. Congrats on eating healthy and prioritizing…eventually when your sweet beautiful daughters get that’s what will happen—prioritizing life. Thanks for taking time out of your day to share with us what’s going on in your life and yummy recipes with!

    Hang in there, y’all got this!☺️

  2. You look great! And that bake looks like a great meal! I hear the missing the family part: thank god for Skype!!

  3. Jess you’re looking fantastic! I can’t believe how fast it’s going.
    Ahh yes whittling down the to do list. I’m amazed how much stuff I used to do because ‘I had to’ that now doesn’t get done at all. We do like to complicate things for ourselves don’t we?
    This looks like my kind of meal. Yum!

  4. Jess! This sounds absolutely delicious. I’m making this right away. Single-girl day recipes are my jam. 😉 I’ve been thinking of you and hoping everything is going well–it’s good to see you post and my, oh my, are you pregnant! Can’t wait for all that’s next for you! 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh you look adorable Jess! And this meal is so my kind of pasta dish. I’ve been using sweet potatoes like crazy lately … it’s time to use them in pasta! I need to learn the same thing about pairing down my to-do lists … they get so out of hand sometimes…

  6. This is so fabulous, Jess. I love creative meatless meals. And you look wonderful!!

  7. I am so saving this recipe. I would eat this all week too. Love the flavor combinations. You look great, BTW.

  8. Oh my gosh this sounds heavenlyy!!!! I have been wanting to try a sweet potato/butternut mac n cheese dish for FOREVER. I better do it before spring gets here! Thanks for the inspiration and keep up your awesome healthy pregnancy eating! (If it were me, I’d probably be stuffing my face with pancakes :/ )

  9. I hear ya on being so far away from loved ones. My family has gone through a lot over the last 6 months, and it’s been super tough being so far away. And having a 9hr time difference for calls and skype dates! I’m sure with the arrival of your babies coming up so quickly you’re really feeling the distance. Good for you for prioritizing so well. It’s something I’ve had to do with the insanity of full time work while finishing my MSc, and I know it’s not easy to let go. The pasta bake looks super delish – just the kind of thing I’m in the mood for on these cold winter days. I wonder if the pasta could be replaced with brown rice to make a rice bake? Will have to play around with it! But the idea of sweet potato and greek yoghurt… yum! Thanks for the recipe, and you are looking amazing!