Macaroni cheese is a quick and simple meal for a weeknight dinner - and this recipe reminds us we can still get our nutrients for a cheesy, carb-rich meal.


  • 400 g (14 oz/about 1 large) sweet potato, peeled and chopped

  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) dried spelt macaroni (or wholemeal wheat or gluten-free pasta)

  • 300 g (10½ oz) cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • 1 large kale leaf, finely chopped stalk removed (about 1 cup) 

  • 130 g (4½ oz/1 cup) crumbled feta cheese

  • 300 g (10½ oz/3 cups) grated cheddar cheese

  • Sauce

  • 80 g (2¾ oz) unsalted butter

  • 65 g (2½ oz/½ cup) spelt flour

  • 420 ml (14½ fl oz/12/3  cups) milk

  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tinned coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

  • 2.

    Put the chopped sweet potato in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes or until very soft. Drain, mash until smooth, then set aside.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, stir well, then cook for 10–15 minutes until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Add the sweet potato mash and stir to combine.

  • 4.

    To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. When the butter has melted but not browned, add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes thick and crumbly. Whisking continuously, gradually add the milk until smooth and well combined. Add the coconut milk, then simmer, whisking regularly, for 5 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and season with the salt and pepper.

  • 5.

    Stir the sauce into the pasta and sweet potato mixture and combine well. Add the cauliflower, kale, feta and 100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) of the grated cheddar and mix well. Spoon into a shallow 2 litre (70 fl oz/8 cup) capacity ovenproof dish, and scatter with the remaining cheddar. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

  • Energy 267903kj
  • Fat Total 1995g
  • Saturated Fat 770g
  • Protein 9633g
  • Carbohydrate 51776g
  • Sugar 2017g
  • Sodium 28487mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Image and recipe from 'A Whole New Way To Eat' by Vladia Cobrdova (Murdoch Books RRP $39.99) with photography by Rob Palmer.

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