Change up your Mac n Cheese with this healthy and kid-friendly Pumpkin Mac and Cheese recipe. Don’t miss this delicious make-ahead recipe that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or as a Thanksgiving Dinner side dish.
Kids can be particular when it comes to their Mac n Cheese, but when my kids went back for seconds, I knew this recipe was a winner!
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is a great recipe to have on hand year round and takes the taste of regular Mac and Cheese, but creamier. The orange from the pumpkin blends right in so kids won’t know the difference.
This is a great Thanksgiving dinner side dish as well, especially if you’re going to have kids around. Love that you can make the entire casserole ahead of time and then just bake before serving.
This is also healthier than other Mac and Cheeses with the boost of nutrients from the pumpkin puree. You can use whatever milk you have on hand for this, skim or one percent would work fine. I personally use one percent.
Give this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese a try and you’ll agree that pumpkin puree is good for so much more than pies!
How to Make Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If you’re short on space, you could even bake this in a stovetop toaster oven!) Boil the macaroni according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and continue whisking until light brown in color, about a minute. Add in the milk and seasonings and whisk until thickened and bubbly.
Turn off the heat and whisk in the pumpkin puree.
Stir in the cheeses and mix until melted.
Pour the sauce over the cooked macaroni and toss to combine.
Pour in a baking dish or a casserole dish like this Corning Ware “French White” (1.5 Qt.) Oval Casserole Baking Dish – a classic beauty that’s perfect for any occasion! Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and golden.
The dish comes out so delicious and creamy, you wouldn’t even guess that there’s pumpkin in it. Be sure to comment down below if you try it. Enjoy!
More Tasty Baked Pasta Recipes
- Baked Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo is a simple make-ahead dish with the flavors you love.
- Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce is a comforting classic that’s a real crowd pleaser.
- Cheesy Baked Tortellini Casserole comes together in minutes with no boiling required.
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- 12 ounces small round pasta, like macaroni or shells
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (half a stick)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the flour and continue whisking until light brown in color, about a minute. Whisk in the milk and seasonings, and bring to a light simmer. Shut off heat and whisk in the pumpkin puree and cheeses until cheese is melted. Add in the cooked pasta and toss to combine.
- Pour the pasta into a casserole dish or 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.