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Pumpkin Recipes

Baked White Cheddar Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Baked white cheddar pumpkin mac and cheese made with white cheddar cheese, spinach and a walnut breadcrumb topping. A cozy and healthy spin on typical mac and cheese and can also be made gluten free!

baked white cheddar mac and cheese

There’s nothing more cozy (and delicious!) then a bowl of mac and cheese on a cold winter night– like tonight! This healthy mac and cheese that is infused with more veggies than your typical mac and cheese (hello pumpkin and spinach) will soon be a favorite in your household like it is in mine.

Move over blue box, it’s pumpkin mac and cheese time!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know pumpkin is a year round food for me. I’m all about all things pumpkin in the fall of course, but my mission is always to show people how it should be a pantry staple year-round cause you can make so many delicious meals, snacks and treats with it.

This homemade white cheddar mac and cheese recipe with spinach and a walnut breadcrumb topping can easily be made gluten free by using a gluten free pasta. I love Banza as a gluten free option, and any medium-shaped noodle will work.

ingredients for baked white cheddar pumpkin mac and cheese

  • rigatoni, cavatappi or pasta of your choice – Feel free to use gluten free pasta if desired.
  • fresh spinach 
  • fresh garlic
  • butter
  • all purpose flour – You can also use 1:1 gluten free flour instead.
  • non-dairy milk (or milk of your choice) I used unsweetened oat milk when I made this recipe.
  • white cheddar cheeseIf you have regular cheddar cheese on hand, that would work too!
  • gruyere cheese
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • nutmeg 
  • cinnamon 
  • Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • panko breadcrumbsOmit or use gluten free breadcrumbs if making gluten free
  • walnuts
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baked white cheddar mac and cheese

Baked White Cheddar Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 45 servings 1x
  • Category: pumpkin recipes
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Baked white cheddar pumpkin mac and cheese made with white cheddar cheese, spinach and a walnut breadcrumb topping. A cozy and healthy spin on typical mac and cheese!


Ingredients

Scale

For the pasta: 

  • 10 ounces rigatoni, cavatappi or pasta of your choice 
  • 2 cups fresh spinach 

For the pumpkin cheese sauce: 

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour 
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (or milk of your choice)
  • ½ cup white cheddar cheese, grated 
  • ½ cup gruyere cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg 
  • pinch of cinnamon 
  • 1 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree

For the topping: 

  • 2 tbsp. cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. walnuts, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Heat a medium saucepan over low to medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of butter minced garlic, stir and heat until fragrant. Once butter is melted, whisk in a little bit of the flour and then slowly add in milk, a little bit at a time, alternating with the flour and vigorously whisking away any lumps. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and stir every so often, until the sauce thickens up.
  3. Once the sauce has thickened up turn off the heat and stir in cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese,  salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the pumpkin puree.
  4. Stir in the noodles and spinach until noodles are well covered and spinach has slightly wilted. 
  5. Add mixture to a 9X9 baking dish. 
  6. In a small bowl, mix chopped walnuts and breadcrumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle mixture on top of of the pasta and bake for about 25 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown. 

Keywords: mac and cheese; baked mac and cheese

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