Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese
Photo: Ben Cole
This traditional-with-a-twist meal is sweet and oh-so cheesy.

What You'll Need:
Serves 4

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, about 600 g (1 lb 5 oz), peeled and cut into 4 cm (1½ in) pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt for the macaroni cooking water
  • 300 g (10½ oz) macaroni
  • 625 ml (21 fl oz/2½ cups) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 1 tablespoon Vegemite, or use soy sauce
  • 60 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 35 g (1¼ oz/¼ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 185 g (6½ oz/1½ cups) grated cheddar cheese
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/½ cup) grated parmesan cheese
  • 35 g (1¼ oz/¹⁄₃ cup) panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Step 2: Put the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat and boil until very tender, about 15 minutes, testing with the point of a sharp knife. Drain, reserving 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) of the cooking water, and return the sweet potatoes to the saucepan over low heat for 1 minute to ensure any excess water has evaporated. Mash thoroughly until very smooth.

Step 3: To cook the macaroni, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat. When the water is boiling, add the macaroni and cook until still slightly firm, about 7–8 minutes. Drain and set aside. The golden richness of sweet potato and the savory flavor of Vegemite lift this macaroni cheese to the sublime. Add crisp breadcrumbs to the mix and this may well become your new favorite.

Step 4: Heat the milk and Vegemite in a saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling, whisking constantly to ensure the Vegemite dissolves in the milk.

Step 5: In a separate saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until foamy and add the flour, stirring until smooth. Stir over the heat for 2 minutes to cook out the floury taste. Remove from the heat and whisk in the hot Vegemite milk, a little at a time. Continue to whisk as you add more milk and the sauce thickens. When all the milk is added, put the sauce back over medium heat until bubbling. Add the pepper and cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Stir in 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of the sweet potato cooking water until the sauce is smooth and creamy.

The Potato Cookbook

Extracted with permission from The Potato Cookbook by Dale Whybrow, published by Hardie Grant Books April 2017, RRP $24.99.