I tossed a pumpkin in the pressure cooker the other day, wanting to make basic butternut squash soup (I use pumpkin in that recipe, too) but I ran out of time. Then it was a few days later and I didn’t want soup.
I wanted mac and cheese! So here we have some pumpkin mac and cheese.
Don’t have any pumpkin on hand? I’ve also got this recipe for sweet potato mac and cheese! I wouldn’t call either recipe exactly healthy, but some added veggies is always a good thing.
If you have picky eaters, you can still make this. You can’t taste the pumpkin and it doesn’t look any different than regular macaroni and cheese. I used white cheddar so if you use the regular orange stuff, this pumpkin mac and cheese will be even more orange.
I’ve made this with whole milk for my husband and also with almond milk for myself (because I can have cheese and butter but not plain cow milk). It worked just as well! It also works well with goat milk / butter / cheese.
I also made my version with gluten-free macaroni and cassava flour for the roux. There are so many kinds of grain-free pasta out there and I’m sure you could use whatever grain-free noodles you’d like. As long as you think it’d taste good with this cheesy pumpkin sauce!
If you don’t have cassava flour and need it to be gluten-free, a 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Mix also works. And of course, white whole wheat and all-purpose flour work for a non-gluten-free version.
I’d love to hear what you think about this pumpkin mac and cheese if you try it!
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- 375 grams whole grain, gluten-free or grain-free macaroni (about 3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoon (21 grams) white whole wheat, all-purpose flour, a 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Mix or 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cassava flour
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk plus more as needed
- 1 cup (240 grams) pumpkin puree
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 ounces (225 grams) aged cheddar cheese (or a mix of cheeses - I like using about 2 ounces Pecorino Romano) grated or thinly sliced
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once it starts to boil, add a generous amount of salt and add the pasta. Cook for the recommended amount of time and then drain and set aside until ready to use.
- in a small pot, melt the butter over medium low heat. Stir in the flour and whisk while cooking for 2 minutes. Add the milk and pumpkin and whisk while cooking until thickened. Add the salt, garlic powder and cheese and reduce the heat to low. Once the cheese has melted, stir well. Add macaroni to the sauce. Thin with a splash of extra milk and season with extra salt if needed and serve while still hot.
This stores really well in the fridge. To enjoy as leftovers, add a splash of milk while you’re heating it up to loosen up the sauce.