Enjoy this classic comfort food made healthy! Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there’s actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.
Makes 4 servings
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (2 cups)
1 medium sweet potato (about 12 ounces)
2 cups nonfat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 small clove garlic, minced
1¼ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Active time 30 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
- Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Coat a 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain; set aside.
- Meanwhile, prick sweet potato with a fork in several places. Microwave on High until tender all the way to the center, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Whisk milk, flour and garlic in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until steaming and hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat.
- As soon as the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, cut open and scoop the flesh into the steaming milk. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, transfer to a blender and puree just until smooth, then return to the pot; use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
- Add cheese, mustard, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese melts. Add the pasta and peas to the sauce and stir to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Combine breadcrumbs and oil and sprinkle on the pasta. Broil on the upper rack until the top is lightly browned and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes.
To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.
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