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Cheesy Baked Penne with Sweet Potato Sauce

This is the coziest autumn meal to tuck into; silky smooth sweet potato sauce, enrobing tender pasta, topped with rich, bubbly, golden cheese?! Yes please!

This is a slight riff off my Butternut Mac n’ Tease – a fan favourite – but I’ve streamlined the process so this version can easily be made on a busy weeknight. The sweet potato sauce is vegan, and can be used for any kind of dipping situation, or poured over roast veggies, steamed grain or legumes, even stirred into soup. If you want to keep the whole dish vegan, simple swap out the dairy cheese for one that is plant-based.

If you’re short on time, or you forgot to soak your cashews, simply place them in recently-boiled water and let them sit for 10-15 minuets until softened – then they’re ready to use.

I hope this simple, but delicious family-friendly recipe makes it into your autumn meal rotation! For some of the amazing pantry pulls in this recipe, and so much more, do check out Solspring Biodynamic products like the penne, olive oil, and salt shown here.  

Cheesy Baked Penne with Sweet Potato Sauce


  • ½ cup / 75g cashews soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 2 sweet potatoes 800g / 1.75 lb.
  • 1 cup / 250ml water from steaming
  • 1 Tbsp. white miso
  • ½ cup / 45g nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Solspring olive oil
  • ½ tsp. Solspring fine sea salt
  • 3 cups / 250g Solspring penne
  • 2 cups / 145g grated gruyere cheese or melty cheese of your choice, dairy or plant-based
  • 2 cups / 65g packed baby spinach
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds finely chopped
  • Finely minced parsley for garnish if desired


  • Scrub the sweet potatoes well, slice them into rounds of equal thickness, then steam for 12-15 minutes until tender.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender with the drained and rinsed cashews, steaming water, miso, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil and salt. Blend on high until completely smooth, then taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Remember that the sauce will be poured over pasta and will taste less intense in the final dish, so amp up the flavour if need be!
  • While the sweet potatoes are steaming, cook the penne in salted water until al dente. Drain well and pour the sweet potato sauce over top and mix very well to combine. Fold in the spinach and 1/4 cup / 20 grams of the grated cheese.
  • Transfer the pasta to an ovenproof baking dish, scatter the top with the remaining cheese, and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds. Place in a 400°F / 200°C oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve immediately, say thank you and enjoy.


Serves 6-8