One thing that I’ve learned over the past couple of years is that you guys REALLY like stuffed sweet potatoes. Which makes me so happy. Because I really like them, too. Their list of attributes is long: easy, satisfying, versatile, crowd-pleasing…and so much more.
I’ve got several stuffed sweet potato recipes already published here on Floating Kitchen (here, here and here!). But I decided it was time to drum up a new version. And let me be the first to tell you that today’s recipe is a doozy. If you’ve been craving major comfort food, then these Mac and Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins are here for you!
This recipe isn’t quick, but it’s simple and relatively hands off. The reason I say it isn’t quick is because the sweet potatoes take a long time to bake when you cook them whole like this (typically a full 60 minutes). But it’s a pretty painless task. And while they’re baking, you can also prepare the macaroni and cheese.
I modified a baked macaroni and cheese recipe that I’ve had bookmarked from Smitten Kitchen for a while now. It’s good and it feels kind of “grown up” because it uses a substantial amount of sharp cheddar (which I also think pairs very nicely with sweet potatoes). In addition, it works well here because as I mentioned above, you can prepare the macaroni and cheese while simultaneously baking the sweet potatoes. So the timing lines up. But all that being said, feel free to use your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe (either stovetop, baked or something in between) in its place, if you prefer (if you choose that path, you’ll essentially be skipping steps 3 and 4 in the instructions below).
I love to top these Mac and Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with fresh herbs and a few shakes of hot sauce. And a side of roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts rounds out the meal nicely. Definitely give them a try this Winter!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning the sweet potato skins
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper, plus more for seasoning the sweet potato skins
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 lb uncooked elbow macaroni
- Hot sauce, for serving
- Fresh minced parsley or chives, for serving
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Prick the sweet potatoes all over with the tines of a fork. Then place them on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in your pre-heated oven for 60-65 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the milk, mascarpone/cream cheese, mustard, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. In a medium bowl, toss together the cheddar cheese and Gruyere cheese. Then add about 10 ounces of the cheese to the milk mixture, reserving the remaining 2 ounces. Add the uncooked elbow macaroni and stir everything together.
- Pour the macaroni mixture into a 9-inch round or square baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in your pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. Remove and carefully uncover the baking dish. Gently stir the mac and cheese and set it aside while you finish preparing the sweet potato skins.
- Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out about half of the flesh and transfer it to a medium bowl. We won’t be using this sweet potato flesh for the remaining recipe, but don’t toss it! You can cover and refrigerate it for something later in the week (I like to make mashed sweet potatoes).
- Place the sweet potato skins back on their baking sheet and season them with salt and black pepper. Fill each skin with some of the mac and cheese, using about 1/3 – 1/2 cup per sweet potato skin. Depending on the size of your sweet potatoes, you might not use all the mac and cheese here. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
- Divide the reserved 2 ounces of shredded cheese over top of the mac and cheese stuffed sweet potato skins. Then place the baking sheet back in your pre-heat oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese and re-warm the stuffed sweet potato skins. Remove and set aside.
- Serve warm with a few shakes of hot sauce and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, if desired.