Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Yes, that's right. Pumpkin Mac and Cheese. I saw this recipe and thought, "I HAVE to try that!"

Friends of ours are having a "Pumpkin Party" this Saturday and everyone is to bring a pumpkin food or beverage (I'm going to be so pumpkined out after this month! I think I've had something pumpkiny like everyday! :) So I figured everyone will probably bring something sweet because there aren't too many savory pumpkin recipes that come to mind. I was searching through recipes for something different to bring to the table, and I came across this Rachel Ray recipe: Pumpkin Cheddar Mac & Cheese

I did a test run last night and cut the recipe in half (which was still more than enough for Immanuel and I). It was SO different and really yummy! Immanuel gave it his approval, and you know how much that boy loves his mac & cheese! The cheese sauce reminded me of a beer cheese soup. The pumpkin adds a creaminess and an added depth of flavor, although you can't really taste the pumpkin.

*A few notes:
- I added chicken to make it more of a meal.
- I also used brown rice pasta to make myself feel better about eating such a rich heavy dish.
- Be careful with the spices... nutmeg, clove and cayenne are strong spices... you don't need a lot and you can always add more if you need to.
- I used a Pumpkin Beer. It only seemed right. And you can drink the rest of it with the meal which pairs perfectly!

Ok now give it a try and let me know what you think!

Here is the recipe:


  • 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain short-cut pasta, such as rigatoni or penne
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 slightly rounded tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup amber beer
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • A couple of pinches ground cloves or 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • About 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin purée or 2 cups puréed fresh roasted pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese, divided
  • Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
  • Chopped parsley or chives to garnish

Yields: 4-6


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it and cook pasta to al dente. Drain and reserve. Preheat broiler.
Melt butter in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook for 1 minute, then raise heat a bit and add beer. Reduce until almost evaporated then whisk in honey or syrup and milk. Season with cloves or allspice, mustard, cayenne, a little freshly grated nutmeg, some salt and pepper. Thicken to coat spoon, a couple of minutes, then taste to adjust seasonings.
Whisk in pumpkin purée then stir in about 2 cups grated cheese with a wooden spoon until melted. Combine pasta with sauce and arrange in a casserole or individual ramekins. Sprinkle remaining cheese and a light dusting of paprika. Broil to brown and bubble. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives.


Tiffany said...

Weird, my friend and I were just talking about a really yummy pasta pumpkin recipe she made last year and trying to find the recipe. Sounds really close to this one. I think it had sausage in it too though. This sounds really good and different. I'm trying to get back into testing out new recipes instead of just sticking to all my old basics. This sounds like a great start.

And the Pumpkin Party sounds like an awesome idea. I'll have to keep that in mind for next year. A cute theme for a party without being obnoxious. Let me know how it goes and what kind of things people brought!

Brittany Tally said...

This looks like my kind of thing! Unfortunately my 5 year old husband will hear that it has pumpkin in it and turn his nose up at it before he gives it a chance, so maybe I'll make it for a girls night or something.

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