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20-minte, easy feta cheddar and sweet potato mac and cheese

20-Minute, Easy Feta, Cheddar and Sweet Potato Pasta


  • Author: Julie
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 450g of Penne pasta or short pasta
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, grated and divided
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Panko Bread crumbs, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put a medium-sized pot of salted water on to boil for the sweet potatoes. Once it’s boiling, boil the sweet potatoes for about 8-10 minutes, until they are very tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and add them to a bowl. Reserve the water to cook the pasta. Use the slotted-spoon or a fork to lightly mash the sweet potatoes. Set them aside.
  3. Option 1 (fast option): Melt the butter with the garlic in a large saucepan. Once it is melted, whisk in the flour, this will form a roux. Turn down the heat slightly and whisk in the milk. Once the sauce appears smooth you can turn the heat back up. Continue to whisk while adding in the paprika while the sauce thickens. Whisk in the feta cheese and the cheddar cheese until it’s melted and then whisk in the mashed sweet potatoes. Season the sauce if needed.
  4. Cook the penne according to package directions in the water that you boiled the sweet potato in. Drain the pasta and add it to a large bowl. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked penne and stir to coat the pasta. Scoop the pasta into bowls and enjoy!
  5. Option 2: Melt the butter with the garlic in a large saucepan. Once it is melted, whisk in the flour, this will form a roux. Turn down the heat slightly and whisk in the milk. Once the sauce appears smooth you can turn the heat back up. Continue to whisk while adding in the paprika while the sauce thickens. Whisk in half the feta cheese and half the cheddar cheese until it’s melted and then whisk in the mashed sweet potatoes. Season the sauce if needed.
  6. Cook the penne in the water that you boiled the sweet potato in. Undercook it by 2 minutes because it will finish cooking in the oven. Drain the pasta and add it to a large casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked penne and stir to coat the pasta. Add the rest of the cheddar cheese and feta on top of the pasta. You can sprinkle panko breadcrumbs on top if you want a bit of extra crunch. Bake on the middle rack for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and bubbling. Scoop the pasta into bowls and enjoy!
  7. Reserve any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  8. Make ahead: You can prepare the Feta, cheddar and sweet potato mac and cheese ahead of time by following the instructions in option 2 and then instead of baking it in the oven, store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and then when you are ready to eat it, bake it in a 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 20-25 minutes or until warmed through and the cheese on top is melted and bubbling.