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Classic macaroni and cheese gets a twist with a sauce made from pumpkin, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese that’s topped off with bacon and roasted Brussels Sprouts.
I don’t know about you but as soon as the end of August hits and schools start going back I start thinking about pumpkin. While there has been a bit of a pumpkin shortage this year I’ve been lucky enough to find it anytime I’ve needed it.
A few weeks ago I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Mac and Cheese. Now when I make homemade mac and cheese I’m usually making it as an entree because it’s labor intensive and because it’s a pasta dish it’s very filling. Since this version has bacon in it and roasted vegetables it definitely worked as a complete meal.
- macaroni noodles
- pumpkin puree
- garlic cloves
- chicken broth
- cheddar cheese
- cream cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Brussels Sprouts
Most of these ingredients are things I have on hand so the only thing I had to check on was whether or not I had Brussels Sprouts and pumpkin. I had everything so I was ready to go.
The great thing about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. I made it at noon one day and then we had it for dinner later on. If you are eating it the same time you make it then it will be in the oven less time.
Start by boiling the noodles and preheating the oven. Once the oven is heated add the Brussels Sprouts so they can get roasted. Everything else can be made in a single saute pan.
I fried up my bacon and then removed it to drain. Instead of using butter in my sauce I just left the bacon grease and used it instead. I sauteed the onions and garlic in the bacon grease then added in the flour. Once the flour had browned I stirred in the milk and broth.
After that your sauce is almost ready. Simply mix in the pumpkin and cheeses, heat over low until they are melted, then remove from the stove top.
In a large baking dish combine the noodles and sauce and bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the top with bacon and Brussels Sprouts and bake for 5 more minutes or until the dish is hot and bubbly.
More Mac N Cheese Recipes:
- BBQ Brisket Stuffed Mac N Cheese Shells
- Stove Top Mac n Cheese
- Roasted Veggie Mac n Cheese
- Gnocchi Mac n Cheese with Peas
- Lighter Two Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
I loved the flavor of this macaroni and cheese. It was super creamy and the pumpkin worked so well with the cheddar cheese.
The bacon added a salty crunch and the Brussels Sprouts made the whole dish seem not quite as rich. This would be a fantastic side dish for Thanksgiving or another holiday but it also makes a yummy main meal.
Pro Tips and Substitutions:
- To make this a heartier meal add in kielbasa or sausage instead of bacon.
- Want a vegetarian mac and cheese? Get rid of the bacon and pile on the roasted veggies! Butternut squash, broccoli, and onions would be delicious in this dish.
- Switch out different types of cheese to make this dish your own. Swiss, fontina, or gouda would be good choices.
- 12 oz. Brussels Sprouts
- 16 oz. macaroni noodles
- 6 slices bacon
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 c. whole milk
- 1/2 c. chicken broth
- 15 oz. pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the Brussels Sprouts into quarters and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they have softened and are browned.
- Meanwhile, heat a pot of boiling water on the water. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- Place the bacon in a large saute pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Add the onion to the saute pan with the bacon grease and saute over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 additional minute.
- Add the flour and heat for 30 seconds or until it begins to brown.
- Slowly whisk in the milk until it is well combined.
- Add the chicken broth and mix well.
- Stir in the pumpkin and spices and heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add in the cheeses. Stir until they have melted then remove from heat.
- Pour the macaroni noodles into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour the sauce over top and mix well to combine. (If not baking right away place the dish in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours at this point. )
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with the crumbled bacon and roasted Brussels Sprouts. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Our Good Life
Note: If baking from the refrigerator you will need to bake for 20-25 minutes total.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 830mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 19g