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  • Lauren Palmeri

Pumpkin Mac 'n' Cheese

It's almost Halloween; time to bust out the slow cookers and cauldrons for the hungry trick or treaters! I like to make the mac and cheese and keep it warm in my slow cooker to be enjoyed throughout the night. The pumpkin adds a little sweetness and goes really well with the nutmeg -- classic fall flavors. In the end it adds a lightness and depthless of flavor -in case too much pumpkin spooks you! Happy Halloween!

3 Tbsp butter

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp dried mustard

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 Tbsp AP flour

4 cups whole milk

1, 15 oz can pumpkin puree

1 lb cavatappi

1 lb shredded yellow cheddar

8 oz shredded gruyere

8 oz mozzarella

1 tsp hot sauce, or to taste

toasted pumpkin seeds

Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.. Add onion, season with salt, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add spices and flour, cook for 2 more minutes. Add 1/4 cup of milk and stir until there are no lumps. Continue to add milk slowly until there are no lumps, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, cook on low heat until the milk thickens and coats back of spoon, 8-10 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and whisk to combine. Remove from heat, add cheeses, whisk to combine and adjust seasoning and add hot sauce to taste.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Strain and add to cheese sauce. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, enjoy!

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