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My daughter loves macaroni and cheese, and around the corner I decided to work on some pumpkin.
Yes, the first pumpkin recipe of the season and it's a total winner. My family loved this macaroni and cheese.
The flavor of the pumpkin is very subtly present without being overwhelming and what you notice is how cheesy and creamy the macaroni tastes.
I wrote a cookbook with over 50 pumpkin recipes and in the cookbook there is a recipe for baked macaroni and cheese topped with breadcrumbs. However, my daughter likes her more classic, basic and direct macaroni and cheese. There are no breadcrumbs, bacon, or truffle oil, which makes my job even faster and easier since there's nothing to bake and it's ready in 30 minutes.
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To keep it healthier and lighter, I used silk-free cashew milk and it's irresistibly creamy and thick, but with fewer calories than skim milk. Eating more plant-based protein is a big goal, and silk cashew milk or silk almond milk are my milk of choice for baking, smoothies, and creamy pasta dishes.
They are so low in calories and fat, they are vegan and dairy free, and I always get impressive flavor results. It is the perfect combination between tasty and blameless.
The recipe is easily duplicated in case you want to freeze leftovers in individual servings and you can take them out and reheat them at any time.
If you need ideas on what to do with the leftover pumpkin in the can, I have hundreds of pumpkin recipes in between my blog and my book.
Easy 30-minute stovetop pumpkin macaroni and cheese
My daughter loves macaroni and cheese, and around the corner I decided to work on some pumpkin. The flavor of the pumpkin is present without being overwhelming and what you notice is how cheesy and creamy the macaroni tastes. My daughter likes her more classic, basic and direct macaroni and cheese. There are no breadcrumbs, bacon, or truffle oil, which makes my job even faster and easier since there's nothing to bake and it's ready in 30 minutes. It is healthier and lighter thanks to the silk milk used. The recipe is easily duplicated in case you want to freeze leftovers in individual servings and can be reheated at any time.
- 12 ounces medium pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 of 1 stick)
- little 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cashew milk without sugar (or the milk you choose)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not stuffed with pumpkin pie)
- 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) extra strong, grated cheddar cheese (grate yours because pre-grated cheese in bags does not melt well)
- 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and put pasta.
- In a large skillet, add the butter and heat over medium heat to melt.
- Add flour and beat constantly until mixture turns light brown and has bubbled for about 1 minute. Cook long enough to cook the taste of raw flour, but not so long that it is browning too much.
- Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, making sure to smooth out any possible clumps that have formed.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, optional dry mustard, optional nutmeg and whisk to incorporate.
- Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to incorporate. (Need recipe ideas for leftovers? Check here or here)
- Add cheddar cheese, parmesan, and beat until melted and smooth.
- Add pasta and stir to coat evenly. Depending on the preference, if the macaroni and cheese is on the thicker side, add a little milk or water to thin to taste. I didn't need to do this, but it's an option just in case.
- Serve immediately. The recipe is best lukewarm and fresh, but will stay airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 4 months. Reheat very gently before serving the leftovers so that the cheese does not separate.
Adapted from macaroni and cheese Easy Stovetop 30 minutes
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