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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

When I was a kid, I loved Mac & Cheese. That beautiful orange, creamy sauce over soft white pasta... mmm....

And of course, there was the jazzed up version of this classic with cut up hot dog and perhaps a little bit of ketchup. Yes, those were the days before I really understood what was in that package. Before I dared to ask why the sauce was made out of an orange powder instead of real cheese.

I haven't had a package of mac & cheese in years. Perhaps over a decade. However, the idea of mac & cheese conjures up feelings of childhood, home and comfort.

So, I decided to make some. I found a great recipe online for Rachel Ray's pumpkin mac & cheese. I tweeked it a little, and here it is. Oooey, gooey, delicious (and healthy)!

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Serves 4

500 grams Whole Wheat Pasta
2 cups Frozen Peas
4 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp Flour
3 cups Skim Milk
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2 cups Pumpkin Puree
1 cup Sharp Aged Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper

Cook the pasta as per the package instructions. When pasta is almost done, add the frozen peas. Drain the pasta and the peas and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir, cooking until the flour soaks up all the butter and starts to lightly brown (1-2 minutes). Slowly whisk in the milk. Add the maple syrup, mustard, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the pumpkin puree and the cheeses. Season the sauce to taste with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Add the pasta and peas to the sauce and stir until coated. Serve immediately.


  1. This looks amazing! I have a tin of pumpkin in the cupboard and I'm not a huge fan of pie so I've been looking for something to do with it - this could be the answer! Does it freeze well do you think?

  2. it probably would freeze quite well! you could probably also make it like lasagne (layer noodles with the cheese sauce). Cut it into portions before freezing!