Easy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe Perfect for Chilly Autumn Nights

pumpkin mac and cheesePumpkin. Mac. And. Cheese. I don't think I've heard four more glorious words in my life. Just the thought of it warms me right up.

As soon as fall rolls around the corner, I start making a list of everything I can add pumpkin to. Sure there are the breads and cakes, but adding pumpkin to mac and cheese is just pure genius. It's basically the perfect combination of the ultimate comfort food and the iconic autumn food staple. How much better can you get than that?

Not only is this recipe super easy to whip up on a chilly night, but it can be cooked in two different ways. Either you can prepare it on the stove like you would normally make mac and cheese, or you can add a little bit more time to the cooking process and throw the beautiful, cheesy masterpiece into the oven with a heaping pile of cheddar cheese. Now, the recipe calls for elbow macaroni, but I like to get creative with my pasta shapes. In the spirit of fall, why not try out an autumn-themed pasta?!

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe adapted from Inspired Taste

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) box uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. (Optional) Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni as directed on package.
  3. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in milk.
  4. Place back onto heat and bring to a simmer. Stir for 1 minute or until the mixture has thickened.
  5. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg, mustard, and pumpkin puree. Add 2 cups of cheese, and stir until the cheese has melted.
  6. Drain macaroni, and then add it into the cheese sauce. Stir until coated. You can serve the macaroni now or you can bake the pasta with the remaining cheese.
  7. (Optional) To bake the pasta, pour it into a 3-quart casserole dish and then top it with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
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