Kick Off Fall with Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese | Fresh Tastes Blog | PBS Food

Kick Off Fall with Pumpkin Mac n’ Cheese


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Hello, Fall! It has officially started (well, tomorrow it begins) and I decided to kick it off with this creamy and delicious stove-top pumpkin macaroni and cheese.


I feel like baking macaroni and cheese and stove-top should be in two different categories. One is crispy on top and has that lovely crunchy cheese texture on the sides and the other one is creamy and delicious. I will always favor the stove-top variety because of the creaminess. It’s also WAY faster to make (no baking!).


This one is super simple. You make a very easy roux, add some pumpkin puree and a ton of black pepper. I added two types of cheese: a Parmesan-Reggiano and a classic cheddar. They both complemented the pumpkin so nicely. But I say get wild. You could do pepper jack, gouda, fontina or any other sort of melty cheese.


Happy almost-first-day-of-fall!

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese

A blend of cheeses complements the flavor of pumpkin in this mac n cheese very nicely. Top with crispy crackers and there's delicious side dish. (Recipe Credit: Adrianna Adarme of Fresh Tastes)



  • 1 pound pasta of choice (I used these twists) 
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 + 1/2 cup whole milk, divided
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 4 ounces finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano, plus more as garnish
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper 


  1. Bring a pot of salter water to a boil. Pour the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 to 6 minutes, or as directed per the instructions on the package of pasta.
  2. To a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, add the butter and flour. Cook the roux, until the butter melts and a paste forms. Whisk in the 2 1/2 cups of milk and bring the sauce to a very slight boil, whisking the entire time, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the milk mixture to cool for about 3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and cheeses. If it's a bit too thick, you can add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk or even a splash of pasta water to help. Add salt to taste; I added about 2 teaspoons of salt. Then add about 10 rounds of freshly cracked pepper. Give it a taste again and adjust any seasoning that you like.
  3. To the pot, add the macaroni and toss with the cheesy sauce. Give it another taste and adjust the salt to taste (I added a bit more). Garnish with a bit more grated Parmesan and black pepper.

Yield: 4

Adrianna Adarme - PBS Food Fresh Tastes BloggerAdrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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