This creamy, cheesy and savory Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comforting fall pasta dish!
The pumpkin flavor in this dish is very subtle and not overpowering whatsoever. It’s a perfect complement to the cheddar and Gruyere cheese sauce seasoned with nutmeg and thyme… savory deliciousness!
It’s finished off by topping with panko breadcrumbs and baked to perfection. Fall comfort food at its finest!
Helpful tips for This Recipe:
- Have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go. This recipe moves fast!
- Don’t use pre-shredded bagged cheese. It contains additives and doesn’t melt as well as block cheese. Take the time to shred your own cheese (you’ll totally be glad you did!).
- Make sure to use canned pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie mix.
This creamy and savory macaroni and cheese with a hint of pumpkin flavor is the ultimate comforting fall pasta dish!
- 1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Cook macaroni al dente (firm to the bite – about 1 minute before package instructed cook time) and drain.
- While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Slowly add flour, about a tablespoon at a time, while whisking until smooth.
- Slowly add milk, whisking frequently until mixture just starts to boil and is thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in pumpkin, nutmeg, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Slowly add cheeses, one handful at a time, stirring until cheese is melted and mixture is combined.
- Remove from heat and add cooked and drained macaroni to cheese mixture. Stir well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Spoon macaroni into an ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.
- Bake (uncovered) for approximately 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly around edges.
- Regular bread crumbs can be substituted for panko bread crumbs.
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pumpkin mac n cheese, baked pumpkin mac and cheese
Originally published October 22, 2012. Updated with new photographs, recipe revised and republished on October 4, 2019.