- 16 oz elbow macaroni
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese reserve 1/2 cup for topping
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
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!
- 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.
Calories: 569kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 9237IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 365mg | Iron: 2mg