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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Creamy, cheesy, and secretly healthy pumpkin mac and cheese.

EASY Pumpkin Mac And Cheese Recipe

I’ve probably mentioned more than once on this blog how much I love macaroni and cheese.

I grew up on my Italian grandmother’s homemade version (seriously the best comfort food ever), and I also really loved both Velveeta and Kraft Mac and Cheese. My dad would make it with extra milk so there was twice as much cheese sauce, and I called it “cheese soup.”

It was one of my favorite Sunday lunches.

Also Try This Cauliflower Mac And Cheese 

Creamy Pumpkin Macaroni And Cheese

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Pumpkin Cupcakes – Cream Cheese Frosting

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For as long as I can remember, I have always chosen pasta over everything else.

Even when I’d find myself at a steak or seafood restaurant as a child, my first move would be to scan the menu for mac and cheese.

(Outback Steakhouse makes a surprisingly good mac and cheese. Who knew?!)

Secretly Healthy Pumpkin Mac & Cheese Recipe

Healthy Pumpkin Mac And Cheese

In this healthier take on mac and cheese, pumpkin stands in for the heavy cream, cutting way back on the calories and fat while giving you over 200% of your daily requirement for Vitamin A!

There are just 6 ingredients needed to make the sauce, and you can put it over anything you wish – pasta, rice, veggies, spaghetti squash (see how to cook spaghetti squash), quinoa—or eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon.

Easy Creamy Pumpkin Mac & Cheese Recipe
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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

A creamy and secretly healthy pumpkin mac and cheese recipe.
4.83/5 (29)
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 3 cups sauce


  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin or roasted butternut squash
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more if desired
  • 2 tbsp butter, such as Earth Balance or Smart Balance Light, OR 2 tbsp olive oil and a little extra salt if needed
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as Follow Your Heart or Daiya OR 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • whatever you wish to go with your sauce (macaroni, quinoa, spaghetti squash, rice, veggies, etc.)


  • Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe: Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a complete boil. Lower the heat, and stir until the buttery spread and shredded cheddar melt completely. I add a little extra salt, but taste and season to your preference. Sauce thickens as it cools and is much thicker the next day. Makes about 3 cups sauce. I cooked 8 oz dry macaroni for this recipe.
    View Nutrition Facts


Or try this pumpkin-free version: Vegan Mac And Cheese.

Have you made this recipe?

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More About The Cookbook

4.83/5 (29)

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Published on September 11, 2019

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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  1. Kathy says

    I also grew up on Mac & Cheese. During my 3 years in high school I ate the Morton Mac & Cheese that came in tins every single night after school. No Lie!! My mother bought them by the case and I had either one or two every night until I graduated. If I ever did deviate from the mac & cheese, I would eat french fries. But that was rare. Love Love Love cheese and it was hard to give up when I went vegan. (I do still occasionally cheat when I find some really good organic cheese) But, giving up the mac & cheese was my only hard spot in going vegan. So delic!

  2. Elaine says

    Hi Katie, does this taste like pumpkin? I have 2 picky kids and would love more ways to incorporate veggies into meals. Thank you so much for all you do!

    • Shelley says

      I couldn’t taste the pumpkin at all. It just tasted creamy and cheesy! I’d cut down on the salt next time, but thats it.

  3. EVA says

    AM I?! Actually, I wouldn’t eat mac and cheese if it WASN’T Kraft, haha. And if you made me the ones with the Pokemon shaped-noodles, I was yours forever. My twin sister and I are famous for being “pasta only” people; whenever we’d go out to a restaurant, we would never order anything other than mostacholli. Spaghetti, yes, but there was something more delectable about the spyglass noodles. And the day we discovered Noodles and Company at ten years old….our lives were changed for the better!

    Unfortunately now that I’m GF, pasta is an at-home specialty that I rarely have time to make, so now when we eat out, I’m famous for ordering a salad rather than pasta. Oh….sniff….how I miss thee, greasy spoon marinara….

  4. Gavin Larsen says

    No, I detest mac ‘n’ cheese, but this recipe sounds so good I might actually try it! Now, if you can get me to like macaroni and “cheese”, you can give yourself a big pat on the back because many people have tried, but none succeeded. 🙂

  5. Lindsey @ SimplyLindsey says

    I loveeee mac n cheese! The best mac n cheese I’ve ever had is at Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria. It’s made with smoked gouda and prosciutto and served in a cast iron skillet! 🙂

  6. Karlei says

    This sounds delicious! I absolutely love mac and cheese but usually avoid it because of the calories and lack of nutrition, but I cannot wait to try this! I’m going to make it this Friday and then if I like it, might add it to the Thanksgiving menu 😉

  7. Hailey says

    It depends on the mac and cheese… Kraft or other brands with lots of gloppy cheese sauce are absolutely disgusting to me, but I love my mom’s homemade kind. 🙂

  8. Molly says

    Hi Katie!!!
    Firstly, AOTD: YUS!!!!!!
    Secondly, I’m sorry if this is a really silly questions, but I was reading your nutrition info and i thought it was really low for mac and cheese including the noodles. Is it just for the sauce or for 1/2 of a cup including noodles?
    Finally, Your recipe looks amazing as always and I, along with everyone else, really appreciate the thought you put into them to make them healthy and delicious! Thank you!!

  9. Vanessa says

    Wow I can’t wait to make this even though the weather is warming up over here. I adore mac and cheese but I never have it because it’s just fat and carbs! Now I have a healthy version! Thank you !!

  10. Heather Mason says

    woa, what a crazy combo! I feel like it would have a weird flavor with the pumpkin, but your recipes have never disappointed in the past so I’m going to try it! Thanks Katie!

  11. jenna @ just j.faye says

    I love mac and cheese, but never eat or make it unless I’m up for a huuuggee splurge. This is definitely something I could make and feel satisfied with minus all the guilt. I will have to try it out!

  12. Kim Reid says

    I am in India at the moment and we have curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And i am over it. I am going to the city and get pasta and cheese and i am going to add sauted onion and green chilli, in pure mustard oil and perhaps some indian spice! I cannot wait. So i am going to have curry again!!

  13. Veronika says

    I adore mac & cheese! I’ve never had the dairy kind, but all the vegan recipes I’ve tried so far have been delicious. I can’t wait to try this pumpkin version, as pumpkin/squash is my favourite fall veggie!

  14. Jen says

    Katie, I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, except I sprinkled in some pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne at the very end for a little more zip of flavor. Very yummy! Even my skeptical boyfriend loved it – he even wolfed it down faster than me! Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  15. jill says

    omg, katie, you brought this out at just the right time for me! i love mac n cheese (have loved the kraft version in the past, as well, and used to doctor it up with veggies), but lately have been into the dairy free/soy free/gluten free version that is available in the frozen food section. i’ve been wanting to get “off” of that, but didn’t know how to create a healthy version of it for myself. your recipe sounds delicious and perfect! i love pumpkin, too, so that will be a great addition! and i’ve been wondering how i’ll use the nutritional yeast i bought. i love the suggestion of putting the sauce over quinoa or veggies (or both)! i am totally making this one, and i can’t wait. thank you so much!

  16. Angela says

    Just whipped this one together with butternut squash and nutritional yeast. It is savor and delicious. I think it would be the perfect dish to take to a fall family gathering. Also added onion flakes and diced cherry tomatoes for zazz. Thanks for the recipe!

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