A recipe for Pumpkin Mac and Cheese! Noodles are coated in a thick and creamy sauce packed with pure pumpkin puree and three types of cheese.
Add a little Autumn flavor to your pasta with Pumpkin Mac and Cheese! Packed with three types of cheese and pure pumpkin puree, this creamy stove-top version comes together in less than 20 minutes for a quick and delicious meal that is sure to be a fall favorite for the whole family.
After creating the roux with butter and flour, milk is slowly whisked in to form the base. It is then flavored with pure pumpkin, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder before adding the Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Parmesan.
Finally, fold in the al dente pasta immediately before serving. If desired, top with an additional sprinkling of Parmesan and a little black pepper.
I came across Vesuvio dried pasta during a recent trip to the Italian market and it was such a fun shape to pair with this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.
Named after the volcano, the short and twirly shape originated in Campania. All the twists and grooves are perfect for holding the creamy pumpkin cheese sauce in every bite.
I have yet to come across it, but Zucchette (translates to small pumpkins) is another shape that would be wonderful for the sauce thanks to the outer ridges and hollow interior.
Of course, the macaroni and cheese will be just as delicious with a simple macaroni or shell shape too!
A Few Tips
Slowly whisk the milk into the roux (butter and flour mixture). Adding too much in the beginning will create lumps in the sauce.
Make sure the sauce is not bubbling when adding the cheese. The pot should be removed from the heat source and just hot enough to melt the cheese. If the mixture is too hot, the cheese (especially the Cheddar) may separate into an oily mess. Gently place back over low heat only if needed to melt the cheese.
If possible, shred the cheese at home and avoid pre-shredded packages. This will help create a smoother and more creamy texture.
If the sauce is too thick after all the cheese has been incorporated, mix in a splash more milk or some cooking water from the pasta. Be careful to not add too much. If too thin, add a little more cheese. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Cook the pasta until just al dente, barely tender. It will continue to soften a little more as it is mixed into the hot cheese sauce.
Set aside a little of the Parmesan or grate extra to sprinkle over the top of the Pumpkin Mac and Cheese immediately before serving.
Looking for more Mac and Cheese recipes?
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe
Adapted from Inspired Taste
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound (454 grams) dried medium-shaped pasta
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons (27 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (473 milliliters) milk
- 15 ounces (425 grams) pure pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 6 ounces (170 grams) sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 ounces (113 grams) Mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 ounces (57 grams) Parmesan cheese grated, plus more for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, just tender. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking:
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk until golden.
- Slowly whisk in the milk until all the flour is absorbed and no lumps remain. Continue to stir often until the milk thickens.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the pumpkin, dijon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Adjust to taste.
- Once the mixture begins to bubble, remove from heat. Slowly stir in handfuls of the shredded cheese until smooth.
- Fold in the drained pasta and serve immediately topped with additional grated Parmesan cheese.