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Updated: / First published: 43 reviews

If your family likes creamy pasta and cheese i Are you looking for an easy way to increase your vegetable intake, why aren’t we always?!, This super simple 5-ingredient Mac and Pumpkin Cheese should be on your menu as soon as possible!

mac of pumpkin and cheese in bowls

Mac and Butternut Pumpkin Cheese

The beauty of this recipe is that pumpkin adds that classic orange color and extra nutrients, but kids get the cheesy pasta flavor and texture they love.

And the method is so simple as everything is cooked in the same pot, making it a perfect choice for a busy weekday night.

You can start with a whole pumpkin and cut it yourself, or grab a bag of pre-cut pumpkin and literally just fill a pot with water to start this recipe!

I love this children’s pasta recipe to share with the whole family, either as a vegetarian meal or as an easy dinner along with chicken or fish and a salad.

The taste of pumpkin isn’t very strong, but I like to tell my kids what’s in the recipe so they always know what they’re eating.

ingredients in pumpkin and cheese mac

Ingredients you need

To make this recipe you will need:

  • Peeled and diced butternut squash: You can start with a whole pumpkin or pick up a pre-cut bag at the store.
  • Milk: I use whole milk for maximum creaminess.
  • Grated cheddar cheese: I like to use yellow to match the color of the pumpkin.
  • No salt butter
  • Pasta: A small, classic form of mac and cheese like elbows or mini-shells works great here.

TIP: Learn more about cutting butternut squash here or use the diced pumpkin from the store.

Ingredient substitutions

  • Gluten Free: Use a preferred type of gluten free pasta if you wish.
  • Subscribe with sugar-free milk, if preferred.
  • You can also use diced or sweet potato butternut squash.
how to make mac and pumpkin cheese step by step

Step by step instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this dinner easy. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pumpkin until tender.
  2. Transfer to a blender with a slotted spoon. (Leave the water in the pot as you will use it for the pasta!)
  3. Add the milk, butter and cheese.
  4. Super soft mix.
  5. Cook the pasta in the same pot of water. Drain it.
  6. Incorporate the sauce into the pasta and serve.

TIP: You can make it more or less juicy, so start with just a little sauce and see what your kids think.

three bowls of pumpkin and cheese mac

Frequently asked questions

What type of pasta works best on this mac with healthy cheese?

You can do this with any form of pasta your family prefers (elbows would be a great option if your kids are used to the classic canned variety) and you can add broccoli or peas if you want to further increase your vegetable intake.

This recipe is also easy to scale to make with a whole pound of pasta. Just click “2x” on the recipe card at the bottom of the post to double all the amounts.

Can I do this with canned pumpkin?

If you have a can of pumpkin, you can submerge it and skip the step where you will need to cook the pumpkin. Simply add it to the blender and mix.

Can I use roasted butternut squash?

Of course, if you have some roasted pumpkin left, you can add it directly to the blender with the milk, butter and cheese.

Butternut-Squash-Mac-i-formage-en-bols
What else can I use the cheese sauce for?

The simple pumpkin cheese sauce is also a wonderful topping for roasted broccoli, green beans, asparagus or any other vegetables your kids need a little extra encouragement to swallow!

How to store

Serve the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days and heat for 30-60 seconds in the microwave to heat. You can also make the cheese sauce and store it, then use it as needed throughout the week with smaller portions of pasta.

Freeze the sauce on an ice tray for easy portions in the future.

mac-pumpkin-and-cheese-in-bag

How to store

Serve the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and heat for 30-60 seconds in the microwave to heat.

The best tips for success

  • Use the type of pasta your family prefers, be it whole wheat, gluten-free, bean-based or traditional.
  • Try serving the cheese sauce as a sauce for other cooked vegetables.
  • You can use canned butternut squash puree if you wish.
  • Use orange cheese to get the brightest orange color.
  • Stir in the frozen peas (which will thaw into the hot pasta) to add another easy vegetable.
  • My kids like this with a little less sauce than the recipe does, though I prefer it to be juicy. You can stir as much or as little as you want and store the leftover sauce in an airtight container for use another day.
  • Fold the recipe to make more!
  • You may also like Mac and Cauliflower Cheese, Mac and Single Pot Broccoli Cheese, Mac and Cheese with Peas and Mac and Sweet Potato Cheese.

I would love to know how your family enjoys this recipe, so please comment below to share it!

This post was first published in September 2018.

pumpkin-pasta-mac-and-cheese-with-shell

Mac and 5-ingredient pumpkin cheese

Use your family’s favorite shape and type pasta in this recipe. (We like elbows or mini shells!)

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 20 minutes

Total time 30 minutes

Course Dinner

The kitchen American

Rations 4

Calories 152 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tax peeled and diced pumpkin
  • 1/3 tax milk
  • 3/4 tax grated yellow or white cheddar cheese
  • 1 spoon butter
  • 8 ounces pasta

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  • Add the pumpkin and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft when pricked with a fork. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the pumpkin to a blender, draining all the liquid.

  • Add the milk, cheese and butter to the blender with the pumpkin and puree until completely smooth.

  • Meanwhile, boil the water again and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and return to the pot.

  • Stir in the cheese sauce, season to taste and serve hot.

Notes

  • Serve the leftovers in an airtight container and heat for 30-60 seconds in the microwave to heat.
  • To make it for 6-8 people, simply double all the amounts with a whole pound of pasta. You can also add more cheese if you want.
  • Use the type of pasta your family prefers, be it whole wheat, gluten-free, bean-based or traditional.
  • Try serving the cheese sauce as a sauce for other cooked vegetables.
  • You can use canned butternut squash puree if you wish.
  • Use orange cheese to get the brightest orange color.
  • Stir in the frozen peas (which will thaw into the warm pasta) to add an easy vegetable.
  • Try sweet potato or another favorite winter squash.
  • Trade in cauliflower for pumpkin to make Mac and cauliflower cheese.
  • Fold the recipe to make a larger batch.

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 7gFat: 11gSaturated fat: 7gPolyunsaturated fats: 1gMonounsaturated fats: 3gTrans fats: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 464mgPotassium: 359mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 4299IUVitamin C: 11mgKicks: 201mgIron: 1mg

Keyword pumpkin and cheese mac

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