Healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free sweet potato mac-n-cheese

Healthy, Gluten-free, Dairy-free Sweet Potato Mac-N-Cheese

Today hubby and I were very busy in the kitchen.  This is the second new recipe we made– I guess we were on a roll!

When I was in college, I became lactose intolerant.  It was a major bummer for someone whose favorite foods included mozzarella sticks, fettuccine alfredo, and ice cream.  But what I missed the most was mac-n-cheese.  I used to eat it almost every other day.  Now, out of necessity, it was banned from my diet.

I’ve tried various dairy-free (I use this term to mean lactose-free…butter doesn’t have lactose, and therefore is not a dangerous food for me) recipes throughout the years, but they just weren’t tasty.  At all.  I pretty much gave up on being able to have my once-favorite food, and settled into a life devoid of mac-n-cheese.  Until today.

While on an airplane recently, I read an article which featured a spicy and smoky vegan mac-n-cheese recipe made with sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes?  Mind blown!  Of course as soon as I got home I gave hubby instructions to create his own gluten-free AND dairy free sweet potato mac-n-cheese, minus the smoke and the spicy-ness (so the kiddos could have some too.)

Healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, sweet potato mac-n-cheese

Hubby suggested adding a little bit of bacon, because everything is better with bacon right?  I went back and forth on it– should I stick with vegan or go with bacon…mmmm, bacon.  So it was settled– bacon it is!  (Note– you could definitely leave out the bacon and use a butter substitute and it will be a vegan dish.)

I think I made the right decision– the finished product was not only good, it was out of this world!  It was rich, creamy, and bacon-y.  It tasted like there was NO way it could be good for you, but it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and each helping has two servings of veggies.  It’s totally good for you!  In moderation of course…don’t forget about the bacon! 🙂

Here’s what you need:


  • 1 box gluten-free pasta elbows (we had quinoa pasta on hand, but brown rice pasta would work well too)
  • 1 large sweet potato (use two if your potatoes are on the smaller side)
  • 1 package (7oz) of shredded cheddar “veggie” cheese (soy-based cheese)
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (technically, this counts as dairy, but it’s safe for lactose intolerant peeps like me)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (we like a lot, but you can use as much or as little as you please)
  • juice of half a lemon

STEP 1: Prepare pasta according to directions on package.

STEP 2: Cook bacon and set aside.

STEP 3: Bake sweet potato (or microwave) until soft.  Remove skin and add potato to mixing bowl.  Mash well.

STEP 4: Roast sliced mushrooms for 10 minutes at 350° with a little salt and oil of your choice.  Add to mixing bowl with sweet potatoes.

STEP 5:  Add cheese, butter, onion powder, almond milk, lemon juice, and 1 cup of the water in which the pasta was cooked.  Mix well.  (We used a stand mixer on low.)

IMG_3413 IMG_3415

STEP 6:  Add pasta to mixing bowl and stir by hand until well combined.


STEP 7:  Pour entire mixture into 9×12 glass casserole dish.  Coat with chopped bacon and green onions.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350°.  Uncover and bake for 10 additional minutes.


This stuff is soooo good, it’s addicting!  I’m definitely not missing out anymore!

Healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free sweet potato mac-n-cheese Healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free sweet potato mac-n-cheese

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