Pumpkin Mania: Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Stir in some pumpkin goodness in a comfort food classic with this Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese.

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese by FamilySpice.com

We have been going on a pumpkin craze at my house. After roasting a pumpkin of our own (instructions here), we’ve been using our homemade pumpkin goodness in countless recipes. I’ve revamped my pumpkin bread recipe to use less fat and less sugar (Nut-Crusted Pumpkin Bread). I’ve made Pumpkin Scones, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Whole Wheat Chocolate-Chip Waffles and now, Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese!

nut_crusted_pumpkin_bread

I saw on Spicie Foodie’s blog a delicious picture of macaroni and cheese with squash. I remembered that I would use cauliflower purée to sneak in nutrition for the Professor’s favorite food: macaroni and cheese. I decided it was time use pumpkin as my secret weapon. Of course, I didn’t keep it a secret. I told him. He is 9 1/2. He’s been eating pumpkin-everything for almost two weeks without complaint.

He said, “Okay.”

He’s come a long way from when he was 3 and demanded, out of the blue, that he didn’t like spaghetti sauce and wanted to eat plain spaghetti with butter. Luckily for both of us, I ignored his demands and his tantrums and now he eats rather well.

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese by FamilySpice.com

I took my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe and modified it, modified it, modified it. I came up with this creamy, cheesy recipe. The Professor loved it. He couldn’t tell there was pumpkin inside. My little Princess, who also loves this cheesy meal, wrinkled her nose at the thought of Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese until I snuck a spoonful into her cute mouth.

“Mmmmm! I like it! Okay, I’ll eat it.”

Who says you can’t feed kids a healthy meal?

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones with Cranberries and Pistachios by FamilySpice.com

It goes to show that experimenting with food and flavors can be worth the effort, especially if it means that your kids begin to eat healthier foods.

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Celebrate Autumn with pumpkin hidden inside a family favorite: Creamy Macaroni and Cheese! Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb macaroni
  • 2 TBS butter, unsalted
  • 2 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Butter or apply non-stick spray to a 9" baking dish.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  4. When water is boiling, add:
    • 1/2 lb macaroni
  5. Cook according to the macaroni package directions, until pasta is firm and slightly undercooked, approximately 8 minutes.
  6. Drain macaroni in a colander and reserve.
  7. In the meantime, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and melt:
    • 2 TBS butter, unsalted
  8. When butter is foamy, whisk in:
    • 2 TBS all-purpose flour
  9. Cook flour for two minutes.
  10. Slowly whisk in:
    • 2 cup milk
  11. Whisk until there are no lumps.
  12. Whisk in:
    • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  13. Cook until sauce thickens, approximately 2 minutes.
  14. Remove from heat and whisk in:
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
    • 3 cup cheddar cheese , shredded
  15. When cheese has melted completely into the sauce, mix sauce with the reserved macaroni.
  16. Pour macaroni and cheese into prepared pan.
  17. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Use different shapes of pasta made of whole wheat, spinach and other healthy ingredients. You can also add pumpkin purée to boxed macaroni and cheese.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time:

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese Detail

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7 Responses to Pumpkin Mania: Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Looks delicious! I'm going to have to give this one a try. My girls LOVE mac & cheese and have been very patient with me while I try putting pumpkin in everything, too. This looks like it'll be a hit in my house too!

  2. baking.serendipity at #

    I'm loving pumpkin with anything these days too, but haven't thought to try it with pumpkin! Sounds awesome 🙂

  3. Squeaky Gourmet at #

    what a super fun and creative idea!

  4. earlier we went into town to do our grocery and my husband asked if I can make some mac&cheese; these days and now, reading your recipe sounds like a great idea for a dinner (pumpkin I already have from the pumpkin patch: P )

  5. ~RED~ at #

    Hmmmm, how was it?? I bet pumpkin would add a creamyness to it 🙂
    And yes, GET the King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion, seriously.. it is incredible!

  6. The Cheese Goddess at #

    This is the best looking and most creative recipe for macaroni and cheese I've seen! Cheese with pumpkin… oh, the possibilities!

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