Using the best of all the ideas out there, this mac n' cheese incorporates old-style methods with hidden veggies and a crunchy, new topping that will please both kids and adults. I like to use 'smart' pasta that has calcium and fiber. It's too good to be good for you!

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still very firm to the bite, about 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink, and rinse with cold water until cold; set aside.

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  • Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk the evaporated milk and water into the flour mixture, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season to taste with red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until the mixture is thick and smooth, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

  • Place the garbanzo beans into a blender. Cover, and puree until smooth. Scrape the puree into a small bowl and stir in the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; set aside.

  • Once the sauce has thickened, whisk in the sweet potatoes and sour cream; return to a simmer. Whisk in half of the yellow and white Cheddar cheeses until melted. Stir in the macaroni until well coated with the sauce, then pour half into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar cheeses overtop, then cover with the remaining macaroni. Smooth the top, then dot with the garbanzo bean mixture and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the sauce is bubbly, and the top is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow the dish to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

624.1 calories; 24 g protein; 65.6 g carbohydrates; 81.4 mg cholesterol; 495.3 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (18)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2009
Dianne thank you!!! My husband and I really enjoyed this dish. I scaled it back to 4 servings and still filled a large casserole dish. I made a few changes and it was excellent: cornstarch instead of flour/butter roux cayenne powder instead of red pepper flakes Italian-seasoned bread crumbs instead of plain fat-free evaporated milk and fat-free sour cream and sprayed the top of the casserole with non-stick cooking spray instead of dotting with butter. After it baked for 30 minutes I switched to broil on Low for a couple minutes to brown the topping and make it crispy. I will be making this again for Christmas eve but with 8 servings this time for the family. THANK YOU AGAIN! Read More
(13)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
10/13/2016
I found it to be dry and tasteless. Read More
24 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2009
Dianne thank you!!! My husband and I really enjoyed this dish. I scaled it back to 4 servings and still filled a large casserole dish. I made a few changes and it was excellent: cornstarch instead of flour/butter roux cayenne powder instead of red pepper flakes Italian-seasoned bread crumbs instead of plain fat-free evaporated milk and fat-free sour cream and sprayed the top of the casserole with non-stick cooking spray instead of dotting with butter. After it baked for 30 minutes I switched to broil on Low for a couple minutes to brown the topping and make it crispy. I will be making this again for Christmas eve but with 8 servings this time for the family. THANK YOU AGAIN! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2009
Dianne thank you!!! My husband and I really enjoyed this dish. I scaled it back to 4 servings and still filled a large casserole dish. I made a few changes and it was excellent: cornstarch instead of flour/butter roux cayenne powder instead of red pepper flakes Italian-seasoned bread crumbs instead of plain fat-free evaporated milk and fat-free sour cream and sprayed the top of the casserole with non-stick cooking spray instead of dotting with butter. After it baked for 30 minutes I switched to broil on Low for a couple minutes to brown the topping and make it crispy. I will be making this again for Christmas eve but with 8 servings this time for the family. THANK YOU AGAIN! Read More
(13)
Rating: 4 stars
12/01/2008
Very good. The kids liked it and the men did too. It took me a while to make it though. I had to boil and then mash the sweet potatoes. I would make it again and recommend it to others. Read More
(13)
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Rating: 4 stars
11/06/2008
This was very good but the kids didn't accept the topping as well as I'd hoped. The littlest ones seemed to discern in between the "good" and "bad" parts but I thought it was good. Definitely made me feel better about eating so much cheese. I will make this again very soon but I will probably change up the topping a little. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
04/03/2009
Mild and mellow! Great when served warm just as good cold! This was a hit with my family. I used whole wheat macaroni and flour and all sharp cheese when making this. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
10/23/2008
This is a very good recipe. Great Recipe Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/09/2012
This recipe was delicious and even my very picky husband who hates sweet potatoes and saw me preparing one just for this recipe loved it! You can't taste the sweet potatoes or chickpeas. It's just mac and cheese with the nutrients you get from the chickpeas and sweet potatoes! I must say though, that the prep time took me much longer than 25 minutes because I had to make the mashed sweet potatoes prior to everything else. Also, I ran into a scalding issue with the evap. milk and roux. That wasn't really a problem in the recipe. More a problem with the clean up. The entire recipe from beginning-end took me about 2.5 hours, and I'd consider myself an intermediate cook. This recipe also made a ton of leftovers! We didn't have a 9x13 pan, so I improvised and used 2 9inch pie pans. Worked just as well and my husband liked how I just cut our mac and cheese portions into pizza-shaped triangles. :) Yes, he's a 10 year old trapped in a 30 year old's body. But I love the man. Try this recipe! Also, I recommend adding more salt to the evaporated milk/roux mixture. The mac and cheese wasn't very salty, but the cheese really packs a punch! Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
05/11/2012
Great recipe. My husband does NOT like chick peas and found the recipe printed out on the kitchen table. However for anyone dubious about them you cannot even taste them so DO NOT let that stop you from making this very yummy dish. I followed the directions exactly and used portion sizes of 1/16 which was PLENTY to eat. I can't imagine eating more for a single serving. I portioned it all out and am going to freeze my pieces to save as a Friday night treat instead of pizza. My husband however LOVED it and wants to eat his until it's all gone.: ) Thanks so much for sharing. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
02/11/2012
I liked this recipe but not a lot. The sweet potato and garbanzo beans made it very filling and it was a good cheap meal. (I substituted the random cheese I had on hand(Mexi-cheese and Mozzarella) so I didn't have to go out and buy the cheddar) The flavor may have been a bit better if I used the cheddar according to the recipe. I'll probably try this one again! Thanks! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
05/25/2012
Yummy recipe. I didn't put the garbanzo beans on top instead I did seasoned matzah meal and parm cheese with a few fried onions. This was a special treat for Shavuot and a great treat at that. Next time I will used whole wheat or quinoa noodles. Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
10/13/2016
I found it to be dry and tasteless. Read More