Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Creamy and extra cheesy Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese loaded with rich fontina, white cheddar and parmesan cheeses, crispy bacon and topped with buttery bread crumbs.  A perfect alternative to traditional macaroni and cheese.

Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese Recipe from ZagLeft

My husband travels a lot on business and frankly, I hate it.  It used to be bad when our five children were small and I was left to do all the cooking, the carpooling and the disciplining.  I can remember plenty of calls to my husband at the end of a long day asking him to step in with a word of warning to one or more our chidren who were involved in a full-blown sibling dispute.

These days, we only have a 13 year-old at home and I’m happy to report that there aren’t any issues with discipline, but I still miss EJ when he goes out of town.  The part I miss most is ending our evening with a glass of wine discussing our day together.  He and I are both intense people and we throw ourselves completely into our work.  It’s nice to shut things off and reconnect at the end of the day.

There is one thing that typically happens when EJ travels  – I tend to cook A LOT.  This, of course, can be very good for a food blogger.  I brainstorm recipe ideas and try out new things and most times, I come up with a really great recipe to share.

This Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese with Bacon is certainly one of those recipes.

My daughter loves macaroni and cheese, and honestly, so do I.  I started to think about making up a quick batch of homemade macaroni and cheese for her for dinner when it was just the two of us, but my mind began to wander.  I started thinking about fall flavors and incorporating them into this recipe.  My mind went straight to sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese | ZagLeft

I didn’t mention my sweet potato idea to my daughter because she’s a bit of a traditionalist.  If I just made it and put it in front of her, she’d most likely love it.  If I discussed my sweet potato idea, she would probably ask me to leave her mac and cheese alone.  So, I kept quiet and I cooked.

I baked 2 small-ish sweet potatoes in the oven, let them cool and scooped out the insides.  Then, I proceeded to make my creamy and extra cheesy macaroni and cheese.

I incorporated plenty of fontina, white cheddar cheese and grated parmesan in the sauce and added the mashed sweet potatoes, elbow macaroni and pieces of crispy, cooked bacon. I poured it into a baking dish and topped it with a buttery bread crumb topping and baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes.  It tasted amazing!

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese | ZagLeft

The Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese reminded me of our classic macaroni and cheese; noodles baked in a cheesy, creamy sauce, topped with toasted, buttery breadcrumbs.  The only noticible difference was the addition of the sweet potatoes.

Interestingly, the color wasn’t much brighter or more orange that our usual macaroni and cheese.  Most likely, that was because I chose a white cheddar instead of our usual bright orange cheddar.

The addition of fontina cheese I highly recommend.  Fontina melts wonderfully and is great in a fondue so I knew it would be a lovely addition to this mac and cheese recipe.

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese | ZagLeft

The sweet potatoes gave the macaroni and cheese a burst of flavor and color.  It also helped to thicken the sauce which allowed me to use skim milk instead of cream.  Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and fiber and this is a great way to easily incorporate extra vitamins into a recipe.  I’m very sure even picky eaters will love it.

This extra creamy Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese is certainly one of our new favorite ways to enjoy macaroni and cheese.

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Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Creamy and cheesy Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese loaded with 3 cheeses, crispy bacon and loads of flavor.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Dish
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potatoes , cooked, peeled and mashed
  • 3 cups elbow macaroni , uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 2 cups fontina cheese , shredded
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese , grated
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 slices of cooked bacon , chopped

TOPPING

  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter , melted (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese , grated

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Lightly scrub the sweet potatoes under cold running water. Prick the sweet potato several times with a fork. Place the potatoes on a roasting tray and bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool..
  • Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in the chicken broth and the milk and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cheeses, the dijon mustard, nutmeg and salt.
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Stir in the cooked noodles, mashed sweet potatoes and bacon.
  • Transfer to a buttered baking dish.
  • Make the topping by combining the bread crumbs, melted butter and parmesan cheese.
  • Spoon the topping over the macaroni and cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown in a 375 degree oven.
  • Remove from oven and serve warm.

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