Sweet Potato Mac And Cheese
Talk about comfort food: This grand prize-winning mac and cheese recipe includes sweet potatoes, garlic and four different kinds of cheese.




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March 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Pasta

Gourmet Macaroni And Cheese Recipes

Award-Winning Mac & Cheese So Good, You’ll Want To Throw A Party

Page 1: Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic & Rosemary Macaroni & Cheese Recipe


CAPSULE REPORT: The fourth annual Tillamook national macaroni and cheese competition wrapped up in October 2008. Because of holiday recipes, New Year’s diets and Valentine’s Day, we’ve saved these beauties for now. Thousands of participants submitted recipes, with the winning selections feature ingredients ranging from apples and cornbread, to sweet potatoes and rosemary. Here, we present the four winning recipes. You can also view the 2007 winners and 2006 winners. If you have a recipe that’s a national contender, check with Tillamook Cheese for the 2009-2010 competition rules; the contest will open later this year. This is Page 1 of a four-page article. Click on the black links below to view other recipes. And enjoy!



Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic & Rosemary Macaroni & Cheese

This recipe was created by Aggie Phillips of Tarzan, California. It took the grand prize, netting her $5,000 cash, title of “The Big Cheese,” a year’s supply of Tillamook cheese and endless bragging rights.

Yields 8 servings.


  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 large (about 1 pound) orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal (learn the difference between sweet potatoes and yams)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese (mozzarella, Parmesan & smoked provolone)
  • 3/4 cup asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs from rustic Italian bread


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes; remove cloves and place in ice water. When cloves have cooled, use a garlic press to press the blanched cloves; set aside.
  3. Bring water back to a boil and add sweet potato slices and cook for 5 minutes or until tender; drain.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sweet potatoes and cook, flipping occasionally, until they develop a caramelized crust (about 5 minutes). Dice sweet potatoes.  Set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, bring another large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
  6. In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add in salt and pepper, and, with a wire whisk, gradually add the half & half. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring. Reduce heat, and then simmer for 1 minute. Stir 1-3/4 cup Italian blend shredded cheese and 1/2 cup asiago cheese until melted and smooth. Add the blanched pressed garlic, diced sweet potatoes, minced garlic, rosemary and cooked pasta. Stir to combine. Pour into greased casserole dish.
  7. To make topping, combine remaining tablespoon olive oil, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Italian blend shredded cheese and 1/4 cup asiago cheese in a small mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle on top of pasta.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the topping golden brown. Serve.

Continue To Page 2: Cornbread Topped Apple Macaroni & Cheese

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In fact, most award-winning recipes use other shapes.
See the different pasta shapes in our


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