Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Do you still have rows of canned pumpkin stacked in your pantry? Or is that just us?

Well, if you have a surplus like we do, and you’d prefer to use them up before the flowers bloom this spring, then we have a recipe for you. It’s cheesy. It’s creamy. It’s pumpkiny. It’s a new take on a classic comfort dish.

Start by simmering 1 can of pumpkin with 1 cup of chicken broth.

Meanwhile, process 1 piece of bread into fine bread crumbs.

And grate 2 cups of sweet, buttery Gouda cheese.

Saute 1/2 of an onion in butter, then add flour and milk to create a roux. Then add 1/2 of the cheese, a handful of Parmesan, nutmeg, and cayenne.

Finally, add the pumpkin to complete the sauce.

Pour the pumpkin-cheese sauce over 1 lb of cooked whole wheat pasta. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese, and bake for 20 minutes until the top is crunchy and golden.

We quickly sauteed a bunch of beautiful kale with garlic and olive oil to serve as a side dish. Because you need some greens to balance out all of that cheese.


What do you suggest we do with the rest of our canned pumpkin?

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

(Printable Recipe)

servings: 6


  • 1 thick slice whole wheat bread, crust removed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 12 oz dried whole wheat pasta
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Tear bread into chunks and process in blender or food processor until fine crumbs form. Mix with half of the Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir pumpkin and broth together. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and pour into a 2-quart baking dish.
  4. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for another minute. Slowly whisk in milk and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook, whisking frequently, until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in half of the Gouda, the remaining Parmesan, and the salt, nutmeg, and cayenne; whisk vigorously until melted and smooth. Slowly add pumpkin mixture, whisking until well blended.
  6. Pour pumpkin-cheese sauce over pasta and stir gently to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining Gouda and then the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until crumbs are golden, about 20 minutes.

18 thoughts on “Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Okay, y’all are GENIUSES! I have one little lonely can of pumpkin left and you know I can’t pass up fancy mac-n-cheese! Bookmarked for the next time Mr. Lactose Intolerant is out for the evening 🙂

  2. Ship the pumpkin to me! Just one of the many American things that are incredibly hard to find (or not at all available) over here. Sigh! This looks amazing!

      1. Sounds good!!! We have regular pumkin, but nothing canned – so everything from this recipe, to cookies, to pie to… is difficult to make. We will have to come up with a recipe plan for when we come visit. I am so excited!

  3. Looks yummy… and now I’m hungry! As for the rest of the pumpkin you have just lying around, you can always make it into pumpkin roll. One small can makes enough for two nice rolls and would probably be appreciated by the folks at work (or neighbors!)! I think canned pumpkin is good for a few years, so maybe just keep it as a back-up if the pumpkin crop is compromised this season. 🙂

  4. This looks fab!

    One suggestion for the pumpkin surplus: Pumpkin Pad Thai! I know — Peanut butter + pumpkin sounds weird, but it’s really yum! Just add a scoop of pumpkin into the wok when making the sauce.

  5. That looks sooooooooo good. I have an idea for your extra pumpkin. I have a fantastic pumpkin grits recipe. Now I just have to find it. I’m going to look right now.

  6. I’ve been looking longingly at this recipe since it was posted and I just made it. I made the whole thing gluten free and you know what? My pumpkin-loving husband loved every bite of it. Perfect for cold Canadian fall days.

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