Easy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe

How to make extra creamy pumpkin mac and cheese in under 1 hour. The perfect Fall dinner! Jump to the Easy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how to make it.

Adding pumpkin puree to macaroni and cheese makes everything creamier and like velvet. Use homemade pumpkin puree or this is perfect for using up leftover canned pumpkin during the Fall. We usually break out this recipe after making a batch of our pumpkin scones.

Easy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Try our original Mac and Cheese with mounds of cheese melted into a velvety creamy sauce and tossed with pasta. It’s heavenly. See the Crazy Good Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

How to Make Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Whenever Fall hits, we’re on the lookout for every possible way to add pumpkin to our lives. We’ve even added it to our lattes — check out our Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe. This time, it is stirred into a cheesy, velvety sauce.

How to make extra creamy pumpkin mac and cheese in under 1 hour. See the recipe and quick recipe video now.

The sauce is easy and made on the stove. Melt butter in a large pan then whisk in flour until light brown and nutty. Pour in some milk and whisk until the sauce thickens.

Then it’s all about the seasonings. We add salt, pepper, nutmeg, mustard for a little zing, and of course, the pumpkin puree.

How to make extra creamy pumpkin mac and cheese in under 1 hour. See the recipe and quick recipe video now.

This recipe works beautifully with other varieties of squash. Try replacing the pumpkin puree with pureed butternut or other winter varieties.

For the cheese, we use extra sharp cheddar. It just tastes better that way. We also grate the cheese ourselves. Home-grated cheese melts more easily than the cheese sold pre-grated in bags.

When the sauce is ready, stir in cooked pasta. You can stop here for a stovetop mac and cheese or scatter some extra cheese on top and bake it.

Easy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe

If you love this recipe, be sure to check out our Easy Vegetable Lasagna (it has so many great reviews, we can’t keep up), this Baked Spaghetti with a Layer of Creamy Pesto, and our Parmesan Lemon Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chicken (it’s the perfect Fall dinner).

For more ways to use pumpkin puree, check out our Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes from Scratch, our Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bread (it’s utterly delicious) and these Easy, Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, review it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #inspiredtaste on Instagram. Happy cooking!

Recipe updated, originally posted January 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. Back in the day we were contributors for Betty Crocker. We shared this recipe with them. We loved it so much we had to share an adapted version with you. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

Pumpkin puree makes a velvety, rich mac and cheese. Use pure pumpkin puree for this, not the can labeled “pumpkin pie mix” since that has spices added. Homemade pumpkin puree is an excellent option, as well. Or swap pumpkin for another squash such as butternut squash. If you are able, buy a block of cheese, and then coarsely grate it instead of buying pre-shredded cheese. In our experience, home-grated cheese melts better and becomes more creamy than grated cheese out of a bag.

Makes approximately 8 servings

You Will Need

1 pound pasta, such as farfalle, macaroni or shells

Salt, as needed

4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter

1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour

2 cups (470 ml) milk, whole or 2% are best

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup (230 grams) pure pumpkin puree, see our homemade pumpkin puree recipe

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 1/2 cups)

Directions

  • Prepare Sauce
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed on package. (Usually between 7 and 10 minutes). Drain.

    Melt butter in a large, high-sided pan over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the flour. Cook, whisking constantly 2 to 3 minutes until the butter smells fragrant and nutty — the color of the butter-flour mixture will turn light brown.

    While whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Continue to cook, whisking constantly until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Season the sauce with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mustard. Add the pumpkin puree and three-quarters of the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust with more salt or pepper.

    • To Finish
    • Mix the cooked pasta into the sauce until well coated then spoon into the prepared baking dish, top with remaining cheese.

      Bake the macaroni and cheese, uncovered, until golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • If you have one, make the sauce in an oven safe Dutch oven. This way, there is no need to dirty a baking dish. Instead combine the pasta and sauce right in the Dutch oven and bake.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 474 / Protein 19 g / Carbohydrate 57 g / Dietary Fiber 4 g / Total Sugars 5 g / Total Fat 19 g / Saturated Fat 11 g / Cholesterol 51 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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27 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Anne October 8, 2017, 9:11 pm

    My family loved this! It’s a great way to make mac and cheese a bit heathier!

    Reply
  • Ellen Burdett August 30, 2016, 4:17 pm

    I use your recipe for Hummus…..love it. I love pumpkin and found this while looking at your hummus recipe so trying this tonight.
    Thanks you two.

    Reply
  • Sandy June 16, 2016, 8:44 pm

    I didn’t have the dijon mustard but I did make it. It looks good I need to have my family comment. Thank you so much for your straight forward help.

    Reply
  • Maureen February 13, 2016, 9:37 pm

    Hi – have just applied to join you for emails.
    Wanted to print off the PumpkinMac recipe and wondered how I can do so without the pictures , please?

    Reply
    • Adam February 14, 2016, 12:25 pm

      Glad to have your join our newsletter! Unfortunately we don’t have an option to remove the photos from the printer friendly printout at the moment.

      Reply
  • Jessica January 3, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Deeeelicious recipe! Made it today to warm up this snowday from Hercules and it was a HUGE hit!!!! Used skim milk and gluten-free pasta (gluten sensitivity here), baked for 15 min at 350 then turned the oven off and let it bake for another 5. The family loved it and there was not a single bite leftover. I will definitely make this again, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Joanne January 7, 2014, 11:21 am

      So glad you and your family loved the mac and cheese — this is a family favorite for us, too!

      Reply
  • Marilyn May 30, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight (used sharp cheddar) Beautiful color and I loved the taste. Surprisingly Creamy, but not heavy! So easy and fast! This is the third recipe from your site (found site via foodgawker.com) that I have tried this week! Excellent x Three

    Reply
    • Adam May 31, 2013, 8:22 am

      Hi Marilyn, So glad you found us 🙂 The pumpkin mac and cheese is a family favorite around here 🙂

      Reply
  • sarahlee December 31, 2012, 2:54 pm

    Absolutely love this recipe. I doubld the sauce though, extra creamy!!! I made it for Thanksgiving and am making it again now.

    Reply
  • andrea November 22, 2012, 9:23 am

    Great recipe! Thanks! I pinned this for Thanksgiving and am using it today! It is delicious! I think the family will love it!

    Reply
  • Arielle November 21, 2012, 6:58 am

    Hey, can I use Skim milk in this recipe? It looks quite delicious – I wouldn’t want to ruin it for Thanksgiving dinner 🙂

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Adam November 21, 2012, 9:59 am

      We usually use 2%, but skim will be fine. The cheese and pumpkin are rich enough.

      Reply

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