Oct 17

Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese Please!

in Main Course, Recipes by Type, Rice & Noodles

I love finding ways to make well-loved foods, that aren’t necessarily known for being healthy, a bit healthier. Mac and cheese is one of those comfort foods that is well-loved by kids (and many adults as well!) but isn’t usually in that healthy category because of all of the cheese in it. This mac and cheese reformulation has less cheese in it that the traditional mac and cheese recipe. The addition of pumpkin makes up for the “missing” cheese so that the pasta is still creamy and gooey, just as mac and cheese should be. So this one is for you kiddos and kids at heart.
Fuji Mama

Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese
Adapted from this recipe
Makes approximately 5-6 servings

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan
1 1/2 tsp. butter, melted
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (Optional: adds a hint of kick)
salt and pepper, to taste
10 oz. your favorite small pasta (approximately 4 c. uncooked pasta) (I used whole wheat rotini)
1/3 c. bread crumbs (I used panko instead)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Boil pasta according to package directions until al dente.

3. Heat pumpkin puree in medium saucepan over medium to high heat. Add milk and thoroughly combine.

4. Reduce heat to low. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and the mozzarella cheese. Stir until melted into pumpkin mixture.

5. Add mustard, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper (if using), salt, and pepper.

6. Mix pumpkin sauce with drained pasta until thoroughly combined. Mix in rest of cheddar cheese.

7. Place pasta mixture in 9×9-inch casserole dish, or separate into ramekins for individual servings.

8. Mix breadcrumbs with 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese. Add melted butter and mix well. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top of pasta and place in oven.

9. Bake for 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.

* Don’t miss out! You have until tonight (Friday, October 17, 2008), 8:00 PM PST to enter the Pumpkin Palooza Giveaway (go here for instructions on how to enter).

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Penny October 17, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Interesting…. I never would have thought of that!!


Jackie October 17, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Oh I wish we were neighbors! You might get a kick out of this, I just barely did the same sort of thing only with butternut squash. Yours sounds really good though, much more fancy with the spices, yum!


Meg October 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm

What a wonderful use of pumpkin!


RecipeGirl October 18, 2008 at 7:06 am

I can see how this would be good as I have a couple of pasta recipes that I’ve tried that use pumpkin puree. Cute kiddo though… looks like she liked it!


miri October 18, 2008 at 9:42 am

Oh, this pasta looks wonderful! It made me crave for some pumpkin mac n’ cheese. Your little girl is just adorable!


Cate October 18, 2008 at 9:55 am

oh man, does this look good. yay! another way to use the very abundant pumpkin that has been taking over our kitchen recently.

xoxo, tribeca yummy mummy


FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels October 18, 2008 at 11:20 am

A great autumn dish…I’m going to try it.


Veronica October 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm

You made it!

I’ve been eating a lot of this lately. I had leftover coconut milk, so i’ve been using that in my mac and cheese lately. So good but so bad. :P


LollyChops October 18, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Squirrel looks like she was creating her own little batch of leftovers for later.

I guess lots of folks have kids so that’s probably a normal thing.. but wow that’s really something. I am NOT used to seeing stuff like that (I mean it’s like bath time in the pumpkin mac and cheese). hmmm I think I see where she’s coming from actually. When you have a really good meal you sometimes feel like rolling around in it. You go Squirrel! You have one cute kid Fuji!


[email protected] October 20, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Super cute-the food and the kid! I’ll be linking to this!


Joanna October 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm

this is such a cool recipe. i’m vegan, so i’ll definitely try to veganize this one!


FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels October 28, 2008 at 7:47 am

while I didn’t get to try this recipe yet, I did give you a shout out/link in a post today. Come visit my blog.


Mrs. Mandy October 30, 2008 at 8:38 am

Yum! I will definitely try this fabulous idea. I’m always looking for ways I can cook pasta and eat it, too! xoxo


Aggie October 30, 2008 at 10:11 am

This looks delicious and just gave me a serious craving!!

First time here…found your blog on Food Buzz!


Cheese Mac November 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Oddly, this is the second time today I have come across this concept. I am going to have to try this one out.


Abigail February 16, 2009 at 9:39 pm

FM, I made this today and it was GORGEOUS!!! You hit the mark, girl! :) I added some sauteed finely diced chicken (so Matthew didn’t know it was in there), onion, and garlic, and didn’t have time for the breaded topping or baking, but just served it straight out of the pot. I kept going back for just ONE more spoonful…ha. Matthew ate a ton of it (for him).


Spoon It On April 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I think I’ll have to give this a try! Thanks!


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