Pumpkin macaroni and cheese makes for an easy fall dish. |Caitlin Houston, special to the Record-Journal

Blogger puts fall twist on comfort food mac and cheese 

Blogger puts fall twist on comfort food mac and cheese 

Blogger puts fall twist on comfort food mac and cheese 

Every fall I enjoy cooking seasonal dishes featuring foods that are at its peak, either in terms of harvest or flavor. Pumpkins are a popular fall food for cooking and decorating.

I’m excited to share an easy stovetop Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

Pumpkins are a type of winter squash packed with nutritional and health benefits. My daughters don’t always want to eat healthy food, so I sneak fruits and vegetables into their favorite meals.

Pumpkin puree has a mild flavoring and pairs well with cheddar cheese (plus it’s the same color!). Not only is pumpkin high in Vitamin A and C, which have natural immunity boosting properties, but its also low in calories.

Adding pumpkin puree to traditional macaroni and cheese makes it a smoother, creamier, and velvety dish. I find pumpkin to be a little bland, so sharp cheddar cheese and salt brings out the flavors.

The addition of crispy prosciutto truly elevates a bowl of pumpkin macaroni and cheese. I cook prosciutto in the oven until crispy and allow the grease to drain on a paper towel. Wait until the prosciutto cools to crumble it or you’ll burn your fingers! If you don’t like prosciutto, bacon is another option.

Looking for a dairy free option? I have made Dairy Free Macaroni and Cheese using Almond Milk, Daiya cheese, and Earth Balance butter. The flavors will be a little different but that is expected when you take full fat dairy out of a recipe. I truly love either variation!

INGREDIENTS

4 tbsp unsalted butter

■1 tsp minced garlic

■1/4 c all purpose flour

■2 c milk

■2 c shredded cheddar cheese

■1 can pumpkin puree

■1 tsp salt

■1 tsp pepper

■1 tsp dried onion flakes

■1 tsp dried parsley

■1 lb cooked pasta

■crispy proscuitto or bacon crumbles optional topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt butter and minced garlic over low heat in a large pot.

Slowly add flour and stir with a spatula until a paste forms.

Slowly whisk in milk until flour paste is combined.

Sprinkle in cheese and whisk continuously until melted.

Add pumpkin puree, salt, pepper, onion flakes and parsley

Fold in pasta until noodles are covered. Serve immediately and enjoy with crumbled proscuitto or bacon bits.

Caitlin Houston is a Wallingford blogger and mom of two who loves sharing all of her favorites on the Caitlin Houston Blog. Learn about fun activities at home, family friendly travels, easy recipes and more.



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