This Easy Baked Pumpkin Mac And Cheese is a homemade recipe that brings the flavors of the fall with the addition of canned pumpkin. Delicious!
Who doesn’t like Mac and Cheese, this comforting dish we all grew up with? Many cultures around the world have a mac and cheese version, using ingredients that are specific to that region.
Here you have an example of a Spanish version of baked pasta with Spanish chorizo and tomato paste. I am also inviting you to take a look at this German version of baked pasta with cheese: Baked Cheesy German Spaetzle Pasta with Caramelized Onions.
While growing up in Romania, for example, we had two types of mac and cheese: one made on the stove and one that was baked. The baked version was more elaborated and used cheese, eggs and sour cream that acted as a binder.
The one made on the stove was simpler, with just butter and cheese.
We used available ingredients we had in the fridge, but the most used type of cheese was Feta (or telemea as we call it in Romanian).
Sometimes, the Farmer cheese was added for a sweeter version of mac and cheese pudding, where sugar and raisins were added to the mixture.
It was definitely not creamy, like the American mac and cheese style. It was very good, probably healthier, as fewer ingredients were added, but had a different texture.
We never added flour, milk or mustard. It was always sour cream, butter and cheese and eggs in case we made the baked version.
Anyway, I don’t know anybody that doesn’t have warm, fuzzy memories about mac and cheese they ate while growing up. I, personally, loved pasta when I was young.
I remember a dish that my grandmother used to make: Cooked pasta mixed with butter, sugar and walnuts. It was simple, delicious and gorgeous.
Perfect for a light dinner, especially for the kids and extremely economical.
This recipe of baked pumpkin mac and cheese is definitely a decadent one compared with the versions I grew up with.
Even if it uses ingredients that are easy to find, it is still a rich version of the regular mac and cheese I grew up with.
I would not be ashamed to bring this recipe of pumpkin mac and cheese to the Thanksgiving table, to a potluck or just a regular party.
It is creamy, delicious and the pumpkin pure brings the autumn theme to the table.
I am not going to lie to you. I almost did not want to write this recipe on the blog.
There are so many recipes of pumpkin mac and cheese out there, that I am not very sure if my recipe is going to be any interesting to you.
However, I made it and I think it deserves a place to my table, so I decided to share it with you.
It is also a good option to sneak in some pumpkin pure into the diet of the family members who are fussy about vegetables.
By the way, if you love pumpkin and want it in your life for a longer time, stock up on pumpkin pure, so you can make different things with it the entire winter.
Is it just me, or it seems that you can find all kind of squash and pumpkins before Thanksgiving, but after that, not that much.
I think they should be considered in season for a little bit longer, don’t you think?
Anyway, I hope you try the recipe. It is very easy to put together, delicious but not low in calories, for sure. Between me and you, who eats mac and cheese to lose weight anyway?
I forgot to tell you that you can make it any day of the week, but I am sure you already know that, right?
Serve it as a side dish, next to green beans, or a beautiful salad. Leftovers are great as well. Enjoy!
- 1 pound pasta(farfalle, elbow, shells, etc)
- 4 tablespoons butter/1/2 stick/2 oz/56g
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour/1oz/30g
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon mustard(your choice)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup canned pumpkin pure
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups/10oz. shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Butter or oil a 9x11" baking pan and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the water.
- To make the sauce:
- In a large pan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook and stir until mixture is light brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in milk and heavy milk. Cook and stir until the mixture is smooth and thickens.
- Add the pumpkin pure, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Add 2 cups of cheese and stir until it melts.
- Add pasta to the sauce. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer to the baking pan and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
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