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Pumpkin Cheddar Mac and Cheese | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Is it just me, or does it seem like pumpkin starts making a huge showing when the first signs of fall hit, but then you basically don’t hear about it anymore after Thanksgiving? I’m just here to tell you that I think this is just wrong. I don’t know about you, but we usually have pumpkin pie on the Christmas table. And I still see those little sugar pumpkins when I go to the grocery store. So I hope it’s not taboo, because I think that pumpkin should have a little more time in the limelight than a mere 5 or 6 weeks.

So I’m bringing you this pumpkin mac and cheese. Pumpkin, because I think it is wonderful, and it is still very seasonal, and because I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a long time now and wanted to try it out. And mac and cheese, because what better comfort food is there to battle through this cold weather?

I did go into this recipe cautiously. After reading through the online reviews, and seeing quite a few negative reviews, I was prepared to say that this wasn’t a favorite. But I’m glad I decided to try this for myself, because I loved it. Way more than I thought I would. I even loved the leftovers, which mac and cheese leftovers are usually hit or miss with me. I loved the depth that the pumpkin brought, and the hint of spices. And of course, the cheese!!  I would totally, totally make this again, and enjoy every bite of it!

Pumpkin Cheddar Mac and Cheese | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Pumpkin Cheddar Mac and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The ultimate comfort food, this mac and cheese with a pumpkin twist is perfect for cold chilly nights.
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock (use vegetable stock if you want to make it vegetarian)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2½ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • sweet paprika, for sprinkling
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in the chicken (or vegetable) stock and cook until it has reduced down where there is almost no liquid left. Whisk in the honey and the milk. Season with the allspice, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and it coats the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
  3. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Stir in 2 cups of the cheese until melted. Combine the pasta and the sauce and transfer to individual casserole dishes, or one large casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and sprinkle with paprika. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
  5. ----------------------------
  6. Adapted from The Rachael Ray Show


Check out these other takes on Mac and Cheese:

Jalepeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese from Lauren’s Latest
Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese from The Curvy Carrot
Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese from Food52

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20 Responses to Saturdays with Rachael Ray – Pumpkin Cheddar Mac and Cheese

  1. Nisrine M. says:

    As a lover of both mac and cheese and pumpkin, I think this would make me very happy. Pretty photos too. Thanks.

  2. mrsblocko says:

    I’ve made a version this before and thought it was a bit too pumpkin-y. We’re not the biggest fans of squash/pumpkins in our house though. If you like sneaking in veggies to your food, cut the pumpkin down to a cup and you won’t even taste it.

  3. Bev Weidner says:

    These photos are PERFECTION. They just made my stomach growl so hard my body shook.

  4. Chels R. says:

    I made this pasta dish a few years ago and it was really good!

  5. Joanne says:

    Is it fate or just a lucky coincidence that I have 2 cups of pumpkin puree leftover in my fridge? Perhaps a bit of both.

    I plan on cooking with pumpkin/winter squash until at LEAST May. So don’t worry…you’re not alone!

  6. Katrina says:

    This sounds so yummy! Love this 🙂

  7. Jules says:

    Wow! Looks delicious! So gooey and cheesy!!!!

  8. Living in England, I struggle to find canned pumpkin. I have two prized cans in my pantry I’ve squirrelled away…I’m thinking this recipe might be a worthy use of one of them!!

  9. Honey and pumpkin in mac and cheese? I’m intrigued!

  10. kitchen flavours says:

    Your pumpkin mac n cheese looks delicious! I love pumpkin and I know for sure that I would love this!
    I’ve just linked a chili recipe of Rachael’s. Thanks for hosting, have a lovely day!

  11. MelkinWI says:

    Just wondering if anyone had made this with regular (not whole wheat) pasta? I am intrigued, but worried the pumpkin may be too strong especially if I do not have the whole wheat pasta.

  12. Jennifer Frock says:

    I just made this using some of my homegrown organic pumpkins. A bit more work to roast it and cut it up to puree but totally worth it! I was a little skeptical about this recipe, but it is sooo good. Yummy and healthy. I used shells instead. Yay for veggies in classics:)

  13. Jessica says:

    I want to make this for a fall party coming up, but I don’t want to cook the entire thing at the hostess’ house. Any suggestions on where to stop in the preparation? It would be ideal to just do the broiling at her house…Thank you!

    • Deborah says:

      I would probably prepare up to the broiling, and depending on how far away you are, putting it in a 350F oven to warm it up completely, then broiling if the cheese needs some extra melting.

  14. francesca says:

    Hopping on the pumpkin bandwagon, love this idea !

  15. Yamir says:

    We had it today And it was delicious. I’m soo happy that my 10 year old liked them, Its really hard to give him vegetables.


  16. kurt says:

    The ground mustard is left out of the recipe. I’m assuming it goes in when the other spices are added?

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