Casseroles

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Hi everyone, this is Heather visiting from Food Lovin’ Family. Today I want to share a twist on traditional macaroni and cheese by adding pumpkin and sage to the mix.

OK, I know by now you are probably tired of pumpkin but stay with me. When it comes to cooking with pumpkin, many people associate using it for sweet things like pies and the always popular pumpkin spice latte. Pumpkin, however, also makes a wonderful ingredient in savory dishes.

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese - Creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious! If you haven't added pumpkin to your mac and cheese, you are missing out.

One of my favorite ways to use pumpkin in savory meals is with pasta. Pumpkin gives this macaroni and cheese dish another layer of creaminess. It does not add a very strong pumpkin taste but just enough to keep your taste buds happy.

For this recipe I am using two different cheeses, Fontina and sharp cheddar. Fontina is a mild, creamy cheese and paired with sharp cheddar is a home run. If possible try to shred your own cheese for optimal freshness. To spice up the mac and cheese I add some sage and a pinch of nutmeg, giving it some extra fall flavor. This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is then topped off with a golden Panko bread crumb and Parmesan crust.

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese - Creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious! If you haven't added pumpkin to your mac and cheese, you are missing out.

To make this pumpkin macaroni and cheese you will need canned pumpkin, shredded Fontina, sharp cheddar and parmesan cheese, pasta, panko crumbs, a little milk, heavy cream, flour and butter. I used medium shells as the pasta because I love how the cheese gets all up in the shell. Elbow macaroni, cavatappi and rigatoni would be great substitutes.

Melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in flour, milk and cream. Let this thicken and then add in cheese, sage and nutmeg. Pour over cooked pasta and then transfer to baking dish. Cover the macaroni and cheese with a combination of butter, Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan. Bake until golden brown.

If you have never made homemade mac and cheese NOW IS THE TIME! The taste is out of this world! Your friends and family will thank you.

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese - Creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious! If you haven't added pumpkin to your mac and cheese, you are missing out.

Yield: 8

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious! If you haven’t added pumpkin to your mac and cheese, you are missing out.

Ingredients:

1 16oz box medium shells

1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For Topping

  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and then return to pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat and stir in flour.
  4. Gradually stir in cream, milk, salt and pepper and cook until it starts to thicken and bubbles.
  5. Mix in pumpkin, sharp cheddar cheese, Fontina cheese, sage and nutmeg.
  6. Pour over cooked shells and stir to coat.
  7. Transfer to a 2 or 3 qt. baking dish.
  8. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons melted butter, panko and Parmesan. Sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese - Creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious! If you haven't added pumpkin to your mac and cheese, you are missing out.

Heather

Heather lives just outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and three young children. She blogs over at Food Lovin' Family where she creates and shares family friendly recipes, crafts and the occasional party.

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