Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese is one of those wonderfully comforting, almost coma inducing dishes that make me very happy. I have been making it for my family for years and we all love it. I have created many different variations of mac’n’cheese usually adding different chunky veggies to boost our veggie intake. However, I have never tried it with veggie puree and what better puree to try it with than the pumpkin one to make Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese?

This recipe is not complicated at all although it takes a bit of planning to get your pumpkin puree ready. Take a look at my guide to making your own pumpkin puree here. If you have some already frozen or prefer to use tinned one, by no means feel free.

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

To add that bit more flavour here I have thrown two unpeeled garlic cloves onto the tray to bake together with my pumpkin. Once roasted you simply squeeze them out of their skins and puree with the pumpkin. It works beautifully as garlic retains lovely, almost sweet flavour without all the harshness. If you’ve got puree already made and you don’t want to turn on the oven for the sake of roasting two garlic cloves (I don’t blame you), you could infuse the milk you will be using for your cheese sauce. Simply pour the milk into the saucepan and add two (peeled) garlic cloves and bring it (almost) to boil. Turn it off and let it sit for few minutes (the longer the better). Fish the garlic out and use the infused milk as you would per recipe below. Alternatively, you can leave garlic out.

I have gone for fresh thyme as my main herb to pair with the pumpkin but you could use fresh sage which works beautifully although my kids are not fans. The pumpkin I’ve used here was rather small and only yielded approx 250g puree but by no means use more than that. I think anything up to 400g would be fine without macaroni & cheese losing what it’s loved for – it’s cheesiness πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

If you’ve got some surplus pumpkin puree after making your Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese, make sure to put it to a good use. How about trying my Pumpkin & Cinnamon Muffins with Plum Jam or Pumpkin & Plum Conserve Steamed Pudding. And don’t forget those pesky pumpkin seeds. My Smoked Paprika Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe will help you put them to good use!

And now to the recipe for Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese itself.

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Yield: 4

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese


  • 300g whole wheat fusilli or any pasta of your choice
  • 250-400g pumpkin puree (depending on size of your pumpkin)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 200g mature cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 garlic cloves roasted in their skins (optional)
  • 1tsp mustard powder or English mustard
  • grating of fresh nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
  • 30g regular or panko breadcrumbs
  • 30g parmesan cheese (grated)


  1. Start with roasting your pumpkin to make puree. You can find recipe here. Pop garlic cloves in the baking tin together with pumpkin to roast (if using). Once roasted squeeze them out of their skins and puree together with the pumpkin.
  2. Boil large pan of salted water and cook pasta according to packet instructions or couple of minutes less for more al dente version (it will cook some more in the oven).
  3. To prepare your cheese and pumpkin sauce melt butter on a low heat and add flour mixing vigorously until you got paste like consistency (roux). Add milk, mustard powder, grating of nutmeg and thyme leaves (stripped off the stalks) and mix gently over low heat until mixture starts to thicken. Next add grated cheddar cheese and mix it in. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Add pumpkin puree to the cheese sauce and mix until well combined.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well until sauce coats all of the pasta.
  6. Pour onto prepared, buttered dish.
  7. Prepare the topping by mixing breadcrumbs with grated parmesan. Sprinkle over the pasta and bake at 180C for approx. 20-30min until golden and bubbly.
  8. Enjoy with some green salad and crusty baguette if you wish.

Pin For Later!

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

I’m linking my Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese with the following pages:

Cook Blog Share hosted this week by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes  and Eb at  Easy Peasy Foodie

Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice

Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by Vicki at Honest Mum Blog

Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily at A Mummy Too

Simple and in Season hosted by Katie at Feeding Boys

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  • Reply Corina Blum

    I’m planning to make some pumpkin puree next week and I love the idea of adding some to a macaroni cheese! Such a great way to make it just a little bit healthier. Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

    November 3, 2017 at 9:09 pm
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      I definitely recommend it Corina! You can make pumpkin flavour as subtle or as strong as you want depending on the amount of puree added. I absolutely love this version of mac’n’cheese and so do the kids! x

      November 4, 2017 at 9:19 am
  • Reply Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

    Love this idea! I did a similar thing last year with butternut squash, but I love the idea of roasting and pureeing the pumpkin and garlic first – that just sounds gorgeous! Eb x
    Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie recently posted…Slow Cooked Beef and Pumpkin ChilliMy Profile

    November 4, 2017 at 11:31 am
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Eb! I usually make macaroni and cheese with broccoli or cauliflower florets and have done butternut squash cubes before too but thought that using puree would almost create unadulterated, creamy dish but still with added veg plus you can add as much or as little puree as you fancy. Kids and even hubby preferred this version for its smoothness πŸ™‚ Job done! lol πŸ™‚ x

      November 5, 2017 at 8:53 am
  • Reply Monika Dabrowski

    This dish looks very creamy, just as it should be, it’s a great way of sneaking more vegetables into our diet! Thank you bringing your delicious recipe to #CookBlogShare:)
    Monika Dabrowski recently posted…Butternut Squash Chicken Stew with Black BeansMy Profile

    November 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Monika! πŸ™‚ The creaminess is definitely key when it comes to macaroni and cheese and veg addition is a bonus plus a flavour boost too. πŸ™‚ x

      November 5, 2017 at 9:03 am
  • Reply jenny walters

    Love this Jo.I love sage too but my kids aren’t keen either.Heathens!This looks divine!xx
    jenny walters recently posted…Sticky Toffee PuddingMy Profile

    November 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Jenny! Yet another example of everyday maternal sacrifice lol. Thyme does go lovely here but if it was down to me it would have been sage for sure! xx

      November 7, 2017 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply Christina

    I keep pumpkin puree in my house all year round because I feed it to my GSD with peanut butter. Whelp, my little furbaby is going to have to skip her regular treat today because momma wants some Pumpkin Mac & Cheese! This looks and sounds so freaking yummy!

    November 6, 2017 at 9:22 pm
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thank you so much Christina! πŸ™‚ I hope you like it as much as we did and definitely prepare yourself for a little bit of cheese induced coma lol, my favourite kind! πŸ™‚

      November 7, 2017 at 7:57 pm
  • Reply Jacqui

    This dish looks and sounds delicious. I still have some pumpkin to use so may well try it, I think it would make the family very happy. I like sage with pumpkin so maybe with sage.

    November 7, 2017 at 11:57 am
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Jacqui! I’m so with you on pumpkin and sage! It would work beautifully here! Sadly, I would have faced serious dinner time riots so had to compromise and thankfully thyme worked really well here too! πŸ™‚ x

      November 7, 2017 at 8:02 pm
  • Reply Jennifer @ Because Food Is Love

    Sounds delicious! I love macaroni and cheese and I often like to experiment with it. New takes on a classic dish are fun! I especially like that you’ve added a veggie to a veggie-less dish. My kids love mac and cheese and pumpkin (I love roasted garlic) I’ll definitely have to try this out. Thanks for the recipe!
    Jennifer @ Because Food Is Love recently posted…Everything Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

    November 7, 2017 at 6:01 pm
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Jen! It was a hit with entire family and my boys liked how smooth, creamy and most of all cheesy it was. Clean plates all around! πŸ™‚ Hope you all like it too! x

      November 7, 2017 at 8:07 pm
  • Reply Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    Jo, this sounds absolutely scrumptious! A perfect warming meal for a cold night, and cheese and pumpkin are two of my favourite things!
    Kat (The Baking Explorer) recently posted…Double Chocolate Cheesecake (No Bake)My Profile

    November 9, 2017 at 9:42 pm
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Kat! Definitely, it’s a proper warmer-upper, comfort food at its best in my humble opinion πŸ™‚ Cheese and pumpkin are super high on my list of favourite things too! πŸ™‚ x

      November 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm

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