This super creamy sweet potato mac and cheese uses pureed sweet potato, almond milk and two different kinds of cheese. It’s indulgent while being a little healthier for you and sneaking in some spinach!
*This post has been updated to include a video on how to make Sweet Potato Mac ‘n Cheese with Spinach. Scroll down to watch!
Years ago, I was addicted to 30 minute meals, like the Rachael Ray tv show, not actually cooking them or anything.
I can remember the retro studio kitchen she taped all the episodes in down to every dumb this-is-clearly-not-a-real-kitchen detail.
The microwave in particular really bothered me and I’ve never been a fan of retro design so I’m honestly not sure how or why I continued to watch the show for the three long years I did.
One of the many Rachael-isms besides the classic “evoo” and “a dab will do ya” was the “hmmm what is that?” phrase she’d say when adding a “weird” ingredient to a pretty basic dish to describe someone’s reaction when tasting it.
She must’ve said it at least 100 times in all the episodes I watched but the one that stands out most in my head is this simple spinach sauté she made once. It was just spinach sautéed in some evoo (of course) with garlic, red pepper, salt, pepper and the “weird” ingredient of, wait for it…
I’ll admit, I’ve made that spinach dish countless times adding the nutmeg and while it definitely doesn’t make me say “hmmm, what is that?” because 1. I added it and 2. nutmeg has a pretty distinct, identifiable flavor, I do adore it combined with spinach.
It’s the perfect thing to get the otherwise boring spinach to pop.
So, in a nod to Grenada, the nutmeg capital of the world that I just spent two weeks in, eating nutmeg in pretty much 95% of the food and drinks I consumed, I added nutmeg to this sweet potato mac and cheese.
I feel like Rachael would be proud.
The creaminess factor in this sweet potato mac and cheese is threefold: sweet potato puree, two different kinds of cheeses and Silk Unsweetened Original Almondmilk.
Try this creamy white bean pasta too for another vegetarian take on creamy pasta sauce.
With the sweet potato, spinach and almond milk, it’s practically health food too.
Don’t be fooled into thinking mac and cheese needs copious amounts of butter, flour and whole milk to be creamy and decadent.
This proves quite the opposite.
And who would’ve thought a tv show from 10+ years ago would be to thank for the inspiration?
Check out –> Creamy Greek yogurt mac and cheese with peas and bacon or this turkey skillet mac and cheese for more health(ier) inspired mac and cheese dishes!
Sweet Potato Spinach Mac and Cheese
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and chopped
- 1 3/4 cups Silk Unsweetened Original Almondmilk
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese
- 1/2 pound elbow pasta
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Place the potatoes in a small sauce pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, place the potatoes in a food processor with 1/4 cup of the almond milk and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.
- Meanwhile, over medium heat, melt the butter with the garlic and red peppper flakes in another large pot.
- Once melted, add the flour, stir and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the remaining almond milk and whisk continuously until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato puree to the milk and stir until combined.
- Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the cheese and spinach until the cheese melts and the spinach wilts.
- Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pot with the cheese mixture. Stir until fully coated and serve immediately.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.