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.
How to make Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
The sauce for this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese comes together easily as the pasta is boiling. 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 and folding in the al dente pasta.
Fun Pasta Shapes for Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
I came across Vesuvio dried pasta during a recent trip to the Italian market and it was such a fun shape to work with. Named after the volcano, this 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 pair well with the Pumpkin Mac and Cheese sauce thanks to the outer ridges and hollow interior. Of course, the Pumpkin Mac and Cheese will be just as delicious with a simple macaroni or shell shape too!
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe 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.
- If possible, shred the cheese at home and avoid pre-shredded. This will help create a smoother and more velvety texture.
- Set aside a little of the Parmesan or grate extra to top the Pumpkin Mac and Cheese before serving.
Looking for more Mac and Cheese recipes?
- Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese Casserole
- One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
- Macaroni and Cheese Soufflé
- Trinidad Macaroni Pie
- Easy Creamy Mac and Cheese
- Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Inspired Taste
**** PIN PUMPKIN MAC and CHEESE to save for later ****
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Packed with three types of cheese and pure pumpkin puree, this creamy stove-top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese comes together in less than 20 minutes for a quick and delicious meal that is sure to be a favorite for the whole family.
- 1 pound dried medium-shaped pasta
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 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 butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk until golden.
Slowly whisk in the milk until all the flour is absorbed and no lumps remain. Continue to whisk often until the milk thickens.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the pumpkin, dijon, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Once the mixture begins to bubble, remove from heat. Slowly stir in handfuls of cheese until smooth. Fold in the drained pasta and serve immediately topped with additional grated Parmesan cheese.