Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
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This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is a healthy, kid-friendly meal that will add extra vegetables to your dinner table or lunch box.
This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is delicious comfort food that gets a boost of nutrition from the pumpkin puree.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and several antioxidants, so it’s more than just a festive fall decoration. My basic macaroni and cheese recipe is adapted from Joy of Cooking. The addition of pumpkin makes it a little sweeter and creamier than the original version.
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Tips
You can’t actually taste the pumpkin in this recipe, but the creamier texture is wonderful. You can add peas, broccoli, bacon, or anything else you might toss into your macaroni and cheese.
Cook the pasta to a slightly firm texture (al dente) so it doesn’t get too mushy while the mac and cheese is in the oven.
Freeze the pumpkin macaroni and cheese leftovers for another time, or add them to a thermos for a fun school lunch.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- 12 ounces short whole wheat pasta
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs white whole wheat flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese or to taste
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a large cast iron skillet.
- Boil the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In the skillet, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk together over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Gradually add the milk to the butter and flour. Whisk for about 5 minutes over medium heat until it starts to thicken.
- Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the cheddar cheese, pumpkin puree, and salt. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.
- Cover the skillet with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for about 10 more minutes, until the top begins to brown.
- Serve warm.
This recipe costs a total of $5.45, or $.68 per serving. Pumpkin macaroni and cheese is a delicious, kid-friendly meal that adds a healthy portion of vegetables to your dinner table. The adults in the family will probably love this recipe too.
Note: This post was originally published in 2013, and it was updated in 2019.
Hey, thanks! I truly thought the whole ‘cook the mac and cheese in a pumpkin’ thing was a gimmick–until I did a side by side comparison of the extra mac and cheese that didn’t fit into my pumpkin that I cooked in a dish next to it. Pumpkin mac and cheese wins hands down.
It’s so good, Kirsten, and it definitely looks great inside the pumpkin.
I like that you used not a lot of cheese!
I’m glad you noticed that, Sarah. You could easily double the cheese, but it isn’t necessary. Still tastes great!
Interesting! I might have to give this a try! Thanks.
Thanks! You’ll love it.