Vegan Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese

Vegan Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese, a simple plant-based alternative to traditional mac and cheese made with a tasty sweet potato sauce. Super flavorful!

a large pot with plant-based sweet potato macaroni and cheese with a wood spoon

Love macaroni and cheese but not sure how to make it without dairy? Make it with sweet potatoes! This recipes uses a sweet potato “cheese” sauce that’s full of flavor – and high in nutrients.

👉 Ready to learn how to make plant-based sweet potato mac and cheese? Let’s do it!


🍠 Ingredients

  • Macaroni: elbow macaroni pasta, but any type of pasta will work well; choose gluten-free pasta, if needed
  • Sweet potatoes: one large sweet potato, cut into cubes (comes out to be about 3 cups)
  • Onion and garlic: yellow onion and garlic cloves are roasted with sweet potatoes for flavor
  • Plant-based milk: unsweetened plant-based milk like oat or soy milk to mix sauce
  • Sauce seasonings: smoked paprika, ground turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, dijon mustard, white miso pasta, salt, and pepper
  • Recommended tools: baking sheet for roasting potatoes, blender for making sauce, large pot for boiling pasta
sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, macaroni, and spices on a table for swet potato macaroni
Ingredients: sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, macaroni, spices

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Roast sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic

First, we’ll roast the sweet potatoes with the onion and garlic for flavor. To do this, first preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (about 230 degrees Celsius).

Then add sweet potatoes, yellow onion, and garlic cloves to baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine.

Then roast until the sweet potatoes begin to soften and brown, about 20 minutes. Flip the vegetables once when cooking to brown on all sides.

a baking sheet with cut sweet potatoes, yellow onion, and garlic before baking

2️⃣ Step Two: Blend sweet potato sauce

When sweet potatoes, yellow onion, and garlic are done roasting, add them to a blender with plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, ground turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, dijon mustard, and white miso paste.

Blend on high for 30-60 seconds, or until the mixture is well combined. The consistency should be thick, but spreadable.

blended vegan sweet potato cheese sauce inside a blender
Blend sweet potato “cheese” sauce

3️⃣ Step Three: Cook macaroni

Next, cook elbow macaroni pasta according to package instructions.

Typically this means boiling salted water, then adding pasta and cooking for 7-8 minutes, or until al dente (soft, but still firm and not soggy).

When done, drain and add the pasta back to the pot.

a pot of boiling water with a wooden spoon with elbow macaroni pasta
Cook elbow macaroni

4️⃣ Step Four: Mix macaroni with sweet potato sauce

Once pasta is done cooking, pour the sweet potato sauce into the pot with the cooked macaroni.

Stir to combine and coat the pasta in the sweet potatoes sauce. Then enjoy!

a pot with cooked macaroni and sweet potato cheese sauce
Mix macaroni with sweet potato sauce

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

How can you make vegan macaroni and cheese without vegan cheese?

There are various ways to make vegan macaroni and cheese without using vegan cheese. Some options include using cashews, nutritional yeast, and plant-based milk to create a creamy sauce, or using mashed butternut squash or sweet potato to add texture and flavor. In this recipe, we’re using sweet potatoes to make a creamy cheese-like sauce.

What are some recommended spices or herbs to use in vegan macaroni and cheese to enhance the flavor?

Some recommended spices or herbs to use in vegan macaroni and cheese to enhance the flavor include smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard or mustard powder, nutritional yeast, white miso paste, and black pepper.


💡 Ideas for serving

  1. Add crispy breadcrumb topping. Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes the oven until crispy for a crunchy texture.
  2. Make it with broccoli. Add some roasted veggies like broccoli to add some nutrition and color.
  3. Serve as a side, or a meal. Great as a side dish or even as the main event.
a white plate with sweet potato macaroni and cheese with a gold fork

🧊 How to store and reheat

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store leftover sweet potato macaroni in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.
  2. Freezer storage: Freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container for up to one month, then remove to refrigerator to thaw 24 hours before serving.
  3. To reheat: Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or in a pot on the stove for 5 minutes (you may need to add a small amount of liquid, water or plant-based milk) if the sauce is too thick.
a bowl with sweet potato macaroni and cheese with a gold fork on a white table

👉 More plant-based pasta recipes

Want more completely plant-based pasta recipes? Try Lemony Asparagus Orzo Pasta or Pesto Penne with Burst Cherry Tomatoes.

a screenshot of Fork in the Road's 4-day plant-based meal plan
NOT SURE WHERE TO START WITH PLANT-BASED EATING?

Get my 4-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan to start your journey on the plant path.

a white plate with sweet potato macaroni and cheese with a gold fork

Vegan Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese

Kristina Todini, RDN
Vegan Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese, a simple plant-based alternative to traditional mac and cheese made with a sweet potato sauce instead of cheese. Super flavorful!
5 star (1 rating)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Servings 6 servings
Calories 388 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 large pot
  • 1 high powered blender

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups sweet potatoes cut into cubes (about 1 large potato)
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons oil optional
  • 1 ½ cups plant-based milk unsweetened
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni pasta

Instructions
 

  • Roast vegetables: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (about 230 degrees Celsius). Add 3 cups sweet potatoes, 1 small yellow onion, and 3 cloves garlic to baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil and toss to combine, then roast until the sweet potatoes begin to soften and brown, about 20 minutes. Flip the vegetables once when cooking to brown on all sides.
  • Blend sweet potato sauce: When sweet potatoes, yellow onion, and garlic are done, add them to a blender with 1 ½ cups plant-based milk, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon white miso paste, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon dijon mustard. Blend on high for 30-60 seconds, or until the mixture is well combined. The consistency should be thick, but spreadable.
  • Cook macaroni: Cook 16 ounces elbow macaroni pasta according to package instructions. Typically this means boiling salted water, then adding pasta and cooking for 7-8 minutes, or until al dente (soft, but still firm and not soggy). When done, drain and add the pasta back to the pot.
  • Mix pasta with sauce: Once pasta is done cooking, pour the sweet potato sauce into the pot with the cooked macaroni. Stir to combine and coat the pasta in the sweet potatoes sauce. Then enjoy!

Notes

Prep ahead: Make the roasted sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic up to 3-4 days ahead of time, or make the sweet potato sauce up to 2-3 days ahead of making the macaroni.
Leftovers and storage: Store leftover sweet potato macaroni in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container for up to one month, then remove to refrigerator to thaw 24 hours before serving. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or in a pot on the stove for 5 minutes (you may need to add a small amount of liquid, water or plant-based milk) if the sauce is too thick.
Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is an estimate and is includes all listed ingredients. This recipe is completely plant-based. To make this recipe gluten free, use gluten free macaroni pasta.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 11gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 155mgPotassium: 382mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 10134IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 3mg
Keyword vegan sweet potato macaroni and cheese
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