Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Add pumpkin to your next batch of mac and cheese to create the creamiest pot of comforting pasta you’ll ever make. This recipe is 100% kid friendly and done in 30 minutes! It’s fun to change up the basics once in a while!
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Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: comfort food, mac and cheese, pasta, pumpkin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 445.35kcal
Author: Megan Porta

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. package elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 oz package cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese reserve 1/2 cup for topping
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 2 minutes shy of until al dente. Drain, rinse and add the cooked pasta to the prepared pan in a single layer.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until combined. Add milk and whisk until mixture is creamy and thickened, approximately 3 minutes. Add cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups cheddar, pumpkin puree, salt and pepper to the pan and stir until cheese has melted.
  • Pour the cheese mixture over the top of the pasta in the pan. Mix it slightly with a spoon and top with Parmesan cheese and reserved 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is very lightly golden brown around the edges. Serve immediately!

Notes

  • To reduce or increase the pumpkin flavor in this mac n cheese recipe, either decrease or increase the amount of puree added. Do not exceed 2 cups and use at least 1/2 cup.
  • Any type of milk works great in this dish. Whole milk, 2%, 1%, skim or even almond milk will all work great.
  • A great replacement for pumpkin puree (if you’re not a fan) is 1 1/2 cups of roasted, pureed butternut squash. Cooked spaghetti squash would add a different flavor to the mix, but would work great, as well.
  • Olive oil can replace a portion of the butter, if desired.
  • To enhance the flavor in this dish even more, make your very own batch of pumpkin puree!
  • Add cooked ham or bacon pieces to add flavor and when serving as a main dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 445.35kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.84g | Protein: 15.99g | Fat: 27.74g | Saturated Fat: 16.11g | Cholesterol: 79.45mg | Sodium: 675.14mg | Fiber: 2.84g | Sugar: 3.3g