Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is not just another way to sneak more veggies into your weekly meal plan. Adding pumpkin to your mac and cheese gives your cheesy mac a beautiful orange hue, makes the sauce extra-silky, while adding a slightly sweet and earthier taste to the classic.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
I am a big fan of pumpkin ravioli – there’s just something mouthwatering about pillows of pasta bursting with cheesy and earthy sweet pumpkin.
Luckily, mac and cheese pumpkin style, is not only reminiscent flavor-wise of pumpkin ravioli, it’s also a quarter of the work, when it comes to making it homemade.
Related: Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
The ease of preparation (we’re going to make it without even creating a béchamel sauce), makes this casserole-like mac and cheese a win when you need dinner on the table quick.
I hope this mac and cheese becomes your go-to seasonal comfort food, just as welcome on a Wednesday night as it is at your holiday table. Here is the easiest way to get from a can of pumpkin puree to deluxe mac and cheese at home.
Related: Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
Does It Taste Like Pumpkin?
Pumpkin macaroni and cheese does not have an overwhelming pumpkin flavor, but you will notice a difference in taste, in a good way.
Pumpkin is a lovely flavor, especially when complemented with cheese, and lets not forget how good it is for us!
Between the pumpkin and use of evaporated milk, instead of heavy cream, this is a much healthier version of macaroni cheese compared to the usual.
Evaporated milk boasts more protein than regular milk and less fat than heavy cream, another win for this baked macaroni and cheese with its a thick, creamy filling and not too much greasiness.
The crowning touch? The breadcrumbs on top for texture.
Can I use a different shape of pasta?
Yes, you can use any small cut pasta such as penne, elbow and wagon wheels. I find the sauce adheres to these shapes the best.
Can I top this macaroni and cheese with anything other than panko bread crumbs?
You can change the topping to classic bread crumbs, crushed crackers, or even extra cheese. It’s totally up to you and your preferences?
How can I make this a spicy version of pumpkin macaroni and cheese?
I love to stir in Tabasco hot sauce because its flavor complements the pumpkin perfectly.
Can this be made ahead of time?
You can make this up ahead of time and place it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it off. Let it sit on the counter a hour before baking so it warms up before placing in the oven.
More Fall Season Side Dishes To Make
These recipes will steal the spotlight this autumn season.
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Roasted Leeks
- Pumpkin Sage Biscuits
- Pretzel Bread Stuffing
- Sausage Sweet Potato Hash
- Salt and Vinegar Scalloped Potatoes
- Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash
IF YOU DO MAKE SOMETHING FROM NOBLEPIG, IT WOULD BE GREAT TO SEE HOW YOURS TURNED OUT! Take a snapshot and tag @NOBLEPIG and #noblepig on INSTAGRAM so I can see how it turned out.
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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
- While pasta is cooking, combine cheddar cheese, pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, ground mustard and ground nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Combine (slightly cooled as to not cook the eggs) cooked pasta with pumpkin mixture until thoroughly mixed together. Pour pasta mixture into the prepared baking pan.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine butter and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly on the sides. Cover with foil at any time if you feel bread crumbs are getting too brown.
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