Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. It’s pumpkin season! Pumpkins are not only used for pumpkin pie, or carving jack-o-lanterns. Add pumpkin puree to your mac and cheese to get a delicious creamy sauce. Trust me you won’t know it is there.
To make really good mac and cheese, you need to start with some strong flavored cheese. Gruyere or old Cheddar is traditional but you can add smoked Gouda, Parmesan or even Blue cheese. For this recipe I used Gruyere and smoked Gouda.
There are many recipes that call for some Dijon mustard to your mac and cheese. It adds some acidity and kick to the mac and cheese.
Start your recipe by making basic white sauce. Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter in a pan. Add the flour and stir for about a minute.
Remove from the heat and slowly add some milk.
When you have added all the milk, allow the mixture to simmer until it thickens. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine. The pumpkin puree adds a nice orange color to the mixture, making it seem as though you are adding a lot of yellow cheddar.
Add 3/4 of the cheese and stir together. The rest of the cheese will be sprinkled on top.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. I like to add some Panko crust to the top of mine to give it a nice crunch.
Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is nice and golden. This would be awesome baked in mini pumpkins!
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe Serves: 6
- 1 16-ounce box uncooked elbow macaroni (about 3 cups)
- 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 (plain and not pie mix- use one 398 ml can)
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese or Gruyere
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni as directed on package.
- While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and cook while stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Place back onto heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer and stir 1 minute until thickened. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg, mustard and pumpkin puree. Add 1 3/4 cups of cheese then cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.
- Drain macaroni. Add macaroni into cheese sauce and stir until coated. Pour into an ungreased 3-quart casserole dish then top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
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