When I suggested making Pumpkin Maccaroni and Cheese to bring to friends, Rich was pretty skeptical. Then, as I was putting the mac & cheese into the casserole dish to bake he was practically licking the pot with the extra pasta clean! Through mouthfuls he was telling me how much this totally worked even though he didn’t think it would. I’ll take it!
This recipe would work wonders on your Thanksgiving Table (it maybe a bit late for this suggestion, sorry). Everything in this recipe works and is perfect for any of your fall mac & cheese cravings. The pumpkin does not come out and smack you in the face like it would in a pumpkin pie but the flavor balance is spot-on and delicious.
Get out your pots and your stretchy pants, and enjoy some of this amazing savory Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese!
Pumpkin Mac n Cheese
- 16 oz small shell pasta
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 4 cups milk
- 16 oz grated cheese blend
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree (about half 15-oz can)
- 1.5 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a heavy pot over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk together and cook for thirty seconds. Add 2 cups milk and minced rosemary and whisk until smooth. Add another cup of the milk (reserving one cup) and continue to whisk. Cook for four minutes while whisking. The mixture will get very thick! Add 12 ounces of the grated mixed cheese (reserving about a handful of grated cheese) and stir well so that the cheese melts. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne followed by the additional cup of milk and the pumpkin puree. Once everything is smooth, add the cooked macaroni and toss well. Pour into a 9″13″ casserole pan and top with the remaining grated cheese and the breadcrumbs.
Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling
Yield: 8 servings
*Note – I had a 12 oz container of pasta so I just took out about 3/4 cup of cheese sauce before mixing the pasta in. Then that can get used in a soup (think cheddar soup, pumpkin soup, beer n cheese soup) or to make more pasta another day or on top of potatoes or whatever you like!
And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What food combinations are you not sure will work but then turns out tastefully delicious?