Sweet Beet Mac & Cheese

Thanks to our partner, PowerUp 4 Kids, for this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 + 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
  • Beet green tops from 1 bunch of beets (4-5 beets), chopped (about 2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Start by piercing sweet potatoes with a fork 8-10 times all over. Bake covered at 350°F until soft. Let cool on counter. Using a fork, remove the skin and mash smooth.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions to al dente*. Drain and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Heat a medium saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time as the mixture thickens.
  5. Once slightly thickened, remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper, mashed sweet potato, 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  6. In a large casserole dish (2 quart), mix together the cheese sauce, pasta, and the diced beet greens until they are slightly wilted. Sprinkle 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese on top then bake for 25 minutes until top is browning slightly.

* “Al dente” is an Italian phrase for cooked pasta and rice that is tender but firm.

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