Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

PumpkinMac3

Why in the world have I waited so long to start cooking with pumpkin? No obviously I’ve baked with pumpkin, but until now- savory pumpkin recipes were nothing but a figment of my imagination. But they are here and now I can’t get enough. The mild nutty flavor that lends itself so well to spices, sugar and pretty much every baked good you can think of is also delicious when swirled into cheese sauce. I mean pretty much everything is good in cheese sauce, but still.

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Though I’m not quite at that stage yet with my own little one, I imagine this recipe would be a great way to sneak some veggies in for picky eaters. (I’m hoping the fact that Hugo eats Indian food like a boss is a sign he’ll continue to eat anything and everything!?) I for one couldn’t really taste a strong pumpkin flavor- it blends right into the creamy cheesiness and adds just a touch of something. Warm, cheesy, a bit toasty- are these adjectives helping?

PumpkinMac2

Can you believe it’s already October? I think this has to be my favorite month of the year, especially my favorite month in New York. I remember last October so vividy, my big belly waddling around the city feeling hopeful and restless. Now I have an 8 month  old with 5 teeth who pulls himself up, crawls, said Dada (tear,) and is just a little teeny human. How has he never known October? I’m looking forward to feeding him all sorts of savory pumpkin deliciousness this month…my little pumpkin!

 

Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 oz small shell or macaroni pasta
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3-4 cups milk
  • 16 oz grated cheese
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1.5 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Rinse and set aside.
  3. In a large saunce pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk with butter until golden brown. Add 1 cup of milk and rosemary and whisk until smooth. Add another cup of milk and stir constantly until thick and bubbly. (This will take a few minutes.)
  4. Add all but a small handful of the grated cheese to the sauce and stir until melted. Stir in the pumpkin puree and paprika- add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Pour into a 9x13 casserole pan and top with the panko and remaining cheese
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Let cool slightly before serving.

Notes

Recipe adapted from: PBS

Did you make this recipe?

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20 Comments

  1. I love the addition of pumpkin in this mac and cheese. Pinned!

  2. Oh my…baby Hugo is just soooo adorable! I can’t believe he is already 8 months old…time flies! By the way, this pasta bake looks delicious, and would be a perfect Fall comfort food, especially since I always try and put pumpkin in anything and everything during this time of year!

    xo, Elisa

  3. If you’re into sneaking in veggies to add to the nutrition content, try the cookbook Deceptively Delicious.

  4. What kind of cheese do you recommend?

    1. I used Cheddar but Jack, Colby, etc would work too

  5. So excited to try this! My husband would totally love it.

    Also, you have the world’s most adorable baby. I can’t handle that little face.

  6. October is my favorite too! I love butternut squash in savory dishes but have only used pumpkin a handful of times…definitely need to try it again this fall! This mac and cheese looks like a mighty fine recipe to start with!

  7. Ummm I am going to print that picture of Hugo and hang it up on my wall. Not weird at all. TOO CUTE.

    Also I want to dive into this headfirst. And eat my way out. Yay for savory pumpkin!

  8. This looks delicious. I noticed step 4 was not filled in. Is this where the rest of the milk is added ?

    1. Thanks for letting me know- it’s just a formatting error :)

  9. This looks delicious! I’m sure it would taste great with any cheese, but is there any particular cheese you recommend? Thanks!

  10. Made this tonight for dinner, subbing thyme for rosemary, and it was a hit. Thanks for a great recipe.

  11. I’m totally intrigued by this. I have only had pumpkin in a few savoury dishes, none of which I made myself. Mac and cheese seems like the perfect jumping off point.

  12. I have tried a handful or so of homemade Mac & cheese recipes and this one is the BEST! So glad to now have this recipe in my repertoire :)

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