If you're searching for a fall inspired recipe, look no further. This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is a favorite! It's creamy, cheesy, and quick!
This pumpkin macaroni and cheese recipe blew me away. After telling my husband and friend about this recipe, they were skeptical. That is, until they tried it. It blew them away too.
Who knew that pumpkin and macaroni cheese could taste so good?
Why You'll Love This Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- The sauce to noddle ratio is spot on
- Quick and easy to make
- Homemade cheese sauce
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients
- Pasta: I suggest using a rotini, elbows or shells.
- Butter: Started with butter vs. olive oil provides a deeper, richer flavor.
- Onion: We're using finely diced sweet onion. Allowing them to slow cook in the butter
- Flour: The flour helps start the "roux." The roux helps thicken the sauce.
- Milk: It's best to use a higher fat milk like whole milk.
- Pumpkin Puree: Make sure that you're using real pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Cheddar Cheese: Any type of cheddar cheese works for this recipe though I prefer to use a very sharp cheddar.
- Garlic, Ground Mustard, Salt & Pepper: For flavor.
The Best Pasta To Use
For any macaroni and cheese recipe you want to use a pasta that hold the cheese sauce. The best part. I suggest using a rotini, elbows or shells.
For this recipe, I'm using Ancient Harvest veggie rotini pasta. What I love about Ancient Harvest is that it's certified gluten free and non-gmo project verified. Plus, my 8 month old loves it too!
Ancient Harvest offers a wide variety of different types of pasta— veggie pasta, protein pasta, and more!
How To Make Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- Cook the Pasta: Cook the pasta of your choice until tender, drain, then toss with little butter to prevent them from sticking together. Make sure you heavily salt the pasta water.
- Start the Cheese Sauce: Like all macaroni and cheese recipes, start with butter. Melt the butter on the stove with the onion and garlic. Once soft, add the flour. The flour will start to soak up the butter to start making a "roux." The roux is the base of the cheese sauce.
- Add the Milk & Pumpkin: Whisk in the milk and pumpkin then bring to a simmer. The sauce will thicken.
- Add the Cheese: Once the sauce has thickened, whisk in the cheese.
- Add the Ground Mustard & Parsley: Stir in the ground mustard and parsley. Give the cheese sauce a taste, add more salt, pepper, etc. if you need to.
- Pour the Cheese Over Pasta: Stir together in a large bowl.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 lb pasta (shells, elbows, rotini)
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely diced sweet onion
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 and 1/4 cups milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (8 ounce) block cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cook the pasta as directed. Drain the cooked pasta, pour into a large bowl and stir in 1 Tablespoon of butter. Set aside.
- In a large sauce pan, melt the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat with the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions are very soft, about 5-7 minutes. Once cooked, whisk in the flour to form a thick paste. Cook and whisk for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk, then pumpkin puree. Bring to a simmer. Then, whisk in the shredded cheese. Stir in the ground mustard, dried parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
- Leftovers stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can get thick in the refrigerator as the pasta soaks up the sauce, but warming them up in the microwave thins out the sauce.
- Make Ahead Instructions: This can be made in advance up to 1 day. Store in the refrigerator, covered with foil, bake for 30 minutes until heated through.
- Pasta: Any small-type pasta such as rotini, elbows, or shells works best for this recipe.
- Milk: For best results, use whole milk.
- Cheese: Any type of cheese works for this recipe, though we love to use sharp cheddar.
Thank you Ancient Harvest for sponsoring this post!