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This stovetop pumpkin macaroni and cheese is a super quick weeknight recipe, made in under 30 minutes. It has an element of creamy richness and spice. Serve it with my endive salad and my zuni-style pollo a la brasa chicken.
I am a macaroni and cheese lover. And stove top macaroni and cheese (you may like my cacio e pepe macaroni and cheese), is a favorite of mine because it’s quick, easy, weeknight-friendly.
This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is a contender. It’s a little spicy and very, very cheesy. You could use another cheese, but I chose to go with raclette, a French cheese that offers a lot of flavor and cheesiness.
Ingredients for Stovetop Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- Cheese – Listen, you don’ t have to use raclette. It’s expensive
- Jalapeños – A little kick to an otherwise creamy macaroni and cheese.
- Pasta – I used teeny macaroni because I wanted it to be delivery of lots of that delicious sauce.
- Pumpkin puree – This is the perfect recipe for that leftover pumpkin puree from making pumpkin pie (like this butterscotch pumpkin pie).
- Milk – A roux is my favorite way to make macaroni and cheese. It creates a silky smooth texture.
For the rest of the ingredients, please see the recipe card below!
How to Make Stovetop Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- Boil the pasta. I used macaroni for this. But feel free to use shells or any other type of pasta.
- Shred the cheese. You always want to use a block of cheese that you have to shred. It won’t have any coatings on the cheese and this will result in a cheesier sauce.
- Make the roux. Do this by boiling the milk in a butter/flour/jalapeño combination. This will thicken the sauce and then add the cheese.
- Pour the macaroni into the sauce.
- Serve it up!
Tips and Tricks
- Low and steady wins the race when melting cheese – no one fancies a stringy situation.
- A whisper of nutmeg can bridge the gap between the raclette and pumpkin.
- Want to sneak in some veggies? Spinach or kale will do the tango with the pumpkin.
- Save a bit of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce if it gets too thick.
- Let the mac & cheese sit a moment after baking – it’s hot and needs to catch its breath.
You sure can! If raclette’s a no-show at your local store, gruyère or a sharp cheddar will also cozy up real nice with pumpkin.
Elbows are the old-school choice, but shells or cavatappi can catch more of that creamy sauce. Go for what makes your taste buds tap dance!
Canned pumpkin is the jack-of-all-trades here; just make sure it’s pure pumpkin, not the spiced pie filling.
Aha! Scatter breadcrumbs and a few dollops of butter on top before baking – it’ll crisp up like autumn leaves.
You bet. Assemble it, chill it, and then bake it when the craving hits. Just add a smidge more baking time.
What to Serve with Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
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Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 (4-quart) Dutch oven or large skillet
- 1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni
- 2 to 3 jalapeños, deseeded and diced
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 + 1/2 cup whole milk, divided
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 4 ounces raclette cheese, finely grated
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, finely grated
- Kosher salt , to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Pour in the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 5 to 6 minutes, or as directed per the instructions on the package of pasta.
- To a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, add the jalapeños, butter and flour. Cook the roux, until the butter melts and a paste forms. Whisk in the 2 1/2 cups of milk and bring the sauce to a very slight boil, whisking the entire time, and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the milk mixture to cool for about 3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and cheeses. If it’s a bit too thick, you can add a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup milk. Give it a taste and add salt to taste; I added about 2 teaspoons of salt.
- To the pot, add the macaroni and toss with the cheesy sauce. Give it another taste and adjust the salt to taste (I added a bit more). Serve immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.