Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese: House of Bedlam


Sweet potato mac and cheese, a Thanksgiving side dish both kids and adults can enjoy!

House of Bedlam Chef’s Tip: Kid-friendly Thanksgiving Side Dish

House of Bedlam Chef’s Tip: Kid-friendly Thanksgiving Side Dish


  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb. box pasta, elbow, mini penne, or ditalini
  • 1 cup diced ham (optional)
  • 1 ½ cup gruyere cheese, grated, reserve ½ cup
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated, divided


  1. Peel sweet potato and cut into large chunks. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt to the water and bring to a boil. Cook sweet potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and mash with a fork. Set aside. The mash can be done ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. (Use a large enough pan to hold six cups of liquid.) Add flour to melted butter and whisk together for about a minute. Whisk in milk and 2 cups of water.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook, stirring often, until sauce gets slightly thick and glossy, about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Stir in sweet potato mash, salt and pepper, and whisk until sweet potato is incorporated into the milk.
  6. Toss dry pasta, ham and 1 ½ cups of the cheese (1 cup gruyere, ½ cup cheddar) in a large shallow baking dish.
  7. Pour milk mixture over the pasta. Do not stir! The pasta should be completely submerged. It will seem like a ton of liquid but don’t worry it will become cheesy and gooey and yummy.
  8. Cover the pasta with foil and bake until pasta is almost tender, about 20 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake, uncovered until pasta is tender, edges are bubbly, and top is golden brown.

This post is part of our series on Thanksgiving Tips from Our Pros. To see more tips, click here: Thanksgiving Tips from the Pros.

Have a question of your own? Ask our experts in our live chat at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6. We might feature your question (and its answer) in print.


About Author

House of Bedlam columnist, Elaine Studdert, started cooking later in life, after having her three children. At first it was a matter of necessity. Taking three kids under the age of three to a restaurant, was just not fun in any way shape or form. So she started cooking more and more at home. As time passed and her boys got older, it became more important to expose them to real food. She didn’t want to raise her kids on processed food and knew that starting them on healthy food early was the way to go. She blogs at House of Bedlam where she creates and tests recipes each week with her kids. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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