Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

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My Pumpkin mac and cheese will become your new fall favorite comfort food that you’ll want to start enjoying right now! What better way to enjoy one of your most loved comfort foods this fall than by adding a little pumpkin to the mix, right?!

This Pumpkin Mac and Cheese may sound like an unusual combination yet it just works so well! The smooth pumpkin puree keeps the macaroni nice and moist while the melted cheddar coats and flavors the dish. Lastly, top your pumpkin mac and cheese with crispy bacon pieces, grab a fork …and get stuck in!

It’s perfect as a season-inspired midweek family meal when those comfort food cravings get the better of you. Serve a bowl of this pumpkin mac and cheese as is or alongside a fresh green salad or roasted vegetables.

pumpkin mac and cheese topped with crispy bacon pieces

Here are Some F.A.Q.’s You Might have

Serves: 8 hefty servings or 12 smaller portions.

ingredients for pumpkin macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shell macaroni
  • 4 slices of bacon, fried and chopped
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese + ½ cup for the topping, shredded
  • 8 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Topping

  • 1 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 slices of bacon, fried and chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
creamy pumpkin mac and cheese portion

HOW TO STORE PUMPKIN MAC

If you have leftover pumpkin mac or you plan on making this dish ahead of time, there are two main options for storage:

The Fridge

Store this pumpkin mac in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days, once completely cooled.

The Freezer

Store this mac in an airtight container in the freezer (once fully cooled) for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then in the oven (covered with aluminium foil) at 350℉ for 30-35 minutes till it’s hot and bubbly.

WHAT OTHER TYPES OF CHEESE CAN I USE IN THIS PUMPKIN MAC?

As always, you can use any cheese that your heart desires. With that said, I opted for cheddar cheese for its wonderful sharp taste that definitely enhances the flavor of this dish.

Regardless of what type of cheese you decide to use, make sure that it’s the kind that will melt easily.

If you really want to add an interesting cheesy note to your macaroni cheese, try adding a little bit of parmesan cheese. It will melt very well, and it adds some really interesting flavors.

WHAT VARIATIONS CAN I MAKE TO THIS PUMPKIN MAC RECIPE?

  • You can use any other short variety of pasta instead of macaroni pasta. If you do opt to use a different pasta, make sure to check the cooking directions on the box. If selecting larger shaped pasta that will absorb more liquid, add more water (about ½ cup) and extra seasoning to this dish.  
  • Make this mac dish meaty by including some ground beef, chicken or turkey in addition to the bacon or instead of the bacon!
  • Make a chili pumpkin mac by adding 1 packet of chili seasoning and a 10 oz. can of Ro-Tel tomatoes.
  • Consider adding in some veggies to your pumpkin mac such as corn, diced bell pepper, and onion. 

TIPS FOR MAKING PUMPKIN MAC

  • Use salted butter! While salted butter is usually advised against in recipes due to health reasons, it’s absolutely delicious in this dish and does a great job of enhancing all the flavors in this recipe.

Make sure your breadcrumbs are golden! For your breadcrumbs to have the ideal flavor, they need to be gently toasted – don’t be afraid to give them a few extra seconds in the oven until they get that perfect brown coloring. Make sure that all of the butter from the topping is absorbed by the breadcrumbs too – this will create exceptional flavor!

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Yield: 8-10

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

You'll love how creamy and delicious this Pumpkin mac and cheese turns out! It'll be your newest favorite fall comfort food.

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 1 lb shell macaroni
  • 4 slices of bacon, fried and chopped
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese + ½ cup for the topping, shredded
  • 8 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Topping

  • 1 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 slices of bacon, fried and chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Begin by making your bacon and preparing your shell macaroni per their package instructions. Be sure to drain the macaroni noodles. Set both to the side when done.
  2. Oil a 9x13 pan and preheat the oven to 425F.
  3. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the flour slowly and use a whisk to stir in order to avoid lumps. Slowly add milk while still whisking constantly until well combined.
  4. Add  cheese, pumpkin, salt, and pepper to the mixture and stir well.
  5. Add the shell macaroni to the pan and fully fold in to coat all noodles. Add in four slices of thinly chopped bacon as well.
  6. Add the macaroni mixture to the 9x13 pan and spread evenly. Pack it down slightly.
  7. Add the panko, garlic powder, parsley, and butter together and spread over the top of the pumpkin macaroni. Finish with a light sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese and chopped bacon.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 425F.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

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