Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese -the perfect comforting one pot dish for fall. Best of all, loaded with 3 cheeses and so easy to make in less than 30 minutes. Plus recipe video.
Fall calls for all things comfort. If you asked my kids, they would tell you that there is nothing more comforting than a creamy bowl of mac & cheese. It’s usually a toss up between this stovetop macaroni and cheese and this slow cooker version. But once October hits, this Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese climbs to the top of our must make list.
It’s the perfect solution to those busy fall weeknights. And the best part is, it’s super simple to whip up and comes together in about 30 minutes! Plus the hint of warm spices like nutmeg and cayenne pepper make this so warming for the chillier months.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
To make this pumpkin macaroni and cheese, you’ll start off by boiling your favorite elbow macaroni or small shell pasta a big-heavy bottomed pot. Once you rinse and drain the pasta, just combine the other ingredients together in that same pot.
Gruyere, Swiss, Montery Jack, Gouda, Parmesan, Asiago or Pecorino would also be great!
If you like an extra crunchy baked topping, you can toss the pot into the oven, and bake or broil for a few minutes.
Cheesy, creamy and the ultimate comfort dish for fall.
Pumpkin Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese
Pumpkin Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese makes the perfect comforting dish. Easy to make in less than 30 minutes and full cozy fall flavors.
- 2 2/3 cups dry elbow macaroni (or any other fun shape works too!)
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 5-6 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
- 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard, optional
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (about half a 15 oz can)
- 1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated plus more for topping
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
- 6 ounces cream cheese (can use more mozzarella or Provolone if desired)
- 1/2 cup toasted panko style breadcrumbs
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Fill a large heavy-bottomed (oven-safe if broiling) pot to a boil on the stove. Add in pasta and cook for about 6 minutes or until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Bring the same pot back to the stove on medium low heat, melt butter and whisk in flour creating a roux. Whisk constantly, until a smooth slurry forms - about 1 -2 minutes. Slowly pour in milk and continue to whisk until smooth and creamy.
- Whisk in nutmeg, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add pumpkin and cheeses and stir until sauce forms and thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt or black pepper as needed.
- Once cheese sauce is smooth, add the cooked macaroni and toss to coat. Remove from heat.
- Add more milk or cheese as needed for the consistency desired. Sprinkle with reserved cheese, chopped parsley and toasted panko crumbs. For an extra crunchy-topping, place (oven-safe pot) under the broiler for 2 minutes. (You an also cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 20 minutes).
- Plate and serve hot.
Recipe is best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat on low heat prior to serving leftovers so cheese doesn't separate and add milk as needed to desired creamy consistency.
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