Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

I just discovered - late in the game, apparently - how to make cheese taste even better this time of year. Enter: Pumpkin.

After work on Friday evening, I wanted nothing but a comforting, home-cooked meal. I had recently seen some of my fellow bloggers posting recipes for pumpkin macaroni and cheese, so I decided to improvise and make my own version of this seasonal, delicious-sounding dish. (Please be advised that measurements for spices aren't exact - I just eyeballed them as I was cooking. Just be sure to taste as you go to ensure the dish is seasoned to your liking).

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Yields: 8 servings
-1 box whole wheat pasta, cooked (I used penne)
-3 tbsp. butter
-3 tbsp. flour
-3-4 cups soy milk, divided
-2 heaping cups grated Gruyere cheese
-1/2 15 oz. can pumpkin 
-1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
-1 tbsp. garam masala
-1/4 tsp. cayenne
-Salt and black pepper, to taste
-1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.) In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk together and cook for about 30 seconds. Add 2 cups of the soy milk and dried rosemary, and whisk until smooth. Add another cup of the milk and continue to whisk. Cook for four minutes while whisking, allowing the mixture to thicken.
3.) Add Gruyere cheese and stir well, allowing the cheese to melt. Add the garam masala, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add more milk if necessary, if the sauce is too thick for your liking (I added about another 1/2 cup of milk). Then, add the canned pumpkin.
4.) Once the cheese sauce is smooth, add the cooked pasta and toss. Pour into a casserole pan and top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
5.) Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. 

The salty, gooey cheese, rich pumpkin and unique spices (i.e., garam masala) made this one incredible fall dish. The garam masala I used - which consists of black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and coriander - added that "wow factor" that really rounded out the dish. Let's just say I've never been more excited about having leftovers.

Have the flavors of fall inspired you to make any new recipes in your kitchen lately?


  1. I've been craving lots of roasted root vegetables this fall. In fact, I'm planning on making a roasted sweet potato side dish tonight for dinner!

  2. Your rendition of this warm, fall dish sounds (and looks) incredible! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I've never had pumpkin mac n' cheese, but I will certainly have to try it now!

  4. Michelle, that side dish sounds lovely! Hope it ends up on your blog... :)

  5. Pumpkin mac and cheese is a great Fall recipe! This one sounds delish :)

  6. I've been seeing so many pumpkin mac and cheese recipes lately -- one of these days I'm going to end up making some. It looks amazing. I've been cooking with brussels sprouts a lot and with pumpkin too.