Sweet Potato and Spinach Mac and Cheese

If you don't have panko you can use regular bread crumbs instead. Slideshow: More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes 

Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese with Chicken
Photo: © Ian Knauer
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
6 to 8


  • 1 pound pasta spirals

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese

  • 1 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

  • 6 ounces baby spinach

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat until hot, then stir in the sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, until the flour is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then bring to a boil, whisking. Boil until the milk is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheeses until melted, then whisk in the spinach. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta together with the sauce and transfer to a 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs.

  4. Bake the mac and cheese until the filling is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.

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