Creamy pumpkin macaroni and cheese is quick, easy, and satisfying – the ultimate comfort food for fall!
When the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop, my thoughts turn to cozy flannel pajamas, snuggling down under a blanket with a good TV show or movie, and hearty foods like rib-sticking stews and luscious, creamy casserole dishes. Every year around this time, I get the urge to experiment with canned pumpkin and working it into both savory and sweet dishes.
I’m a firm believer that everyone needs a good mac ‘n cheese recipe up their sleeve. Quick, easy, and satisfying. What could be better? The hint of nutmeg gives this pumpkin macaroni and cheese a seasonal flair. And the fact that this dish is loaded with pumpkin puree- which lends a creamy texture without the addition of cream- makes you feel slightly better about it as you spoon a second, generous helping onto your plate.
- 1 lb macaroni (or other small cut pasta like shells and bow ties)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups milk
- 10 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring water to boil in a large pot and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In an oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan, melt butter over low heat and add flour. Stir together and cook for about one minute.
- Add milk, whisking constantly, until no visible clumps remain and the sauce is thickened. Add cheese (reserving half a cup) and stir until it is melted into the sauce. Stir in pumpkin puree, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Sprinkle reserved cheese evenly on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the top is slightly brown. Serve warm.