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.

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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!

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overhead image of 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.

sweet potato mac and cheese freezer label

Printable Freezer Label

Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!

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


More Baked Pasta Dishes

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Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese_square
4.15 from 41 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. 


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.

4.15 from 41 votes (40 ratings without comment)

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  1. Have you tried freezing this? Would you assemble and then freeze it, or make it completely and then freeze afterwards?

    1. Yes – I have frozen it with great results. I like to assemble and freeze (then defrost and cook later). The only change I’ve made is that I find I need to add a bit of extra liquid – 1/2 cup of water or stock to the sauce since the freezer tends to dry things out a bit.

  2. 5 stars
    This is so healthy. Loving your recipes I’ve only just stumbled across your blog. I tried this today and everyone loved it. I switched up the vegetable broth with white sauce and the greek yoghurt with double cream making it a little bit less healthy but still just delicious.

  3. I just came across this recipe and it looks so delicious! I’ll be trying it for dinner tonight! Have you ever added any kind of meat to it? Do you think tuna or chicken would work?

  4. Loved the inspiration I got from this recipe! I had minimal supplies and love just winging it in the kitchen so I only used: pasta, sweet potatoes, vegetable broth & Parmesan on top with salt, pepper, sage & cayenne. I am sure your recipe turned out better (and creamier) but I’m thrilled I was able to find your guidance & expertise to make it work!

    1. That’s so great to hear Sarah – I love, love adaptations, and I’m so happy to hear that you were able to make this work with what you had!

  5. OMG…I made this tonight and loved it! Nice and sweet and light. Definitely keeping it in the recipe repertoire. Thank you!
    (PS: I was just in KC with my partner at the end of August visiting the in-laws. Hope to be back for the Holidays. Love your city.)

  6. I made this for dinner and loved it! It’s such a creative way to make a spin off of “mac and cheese.” I’m definitely glad there are leftovers so we can enjoy eating this again. Thanks for the recipe!