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Smoky Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Smoky Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Garlicky Breadcrumbs

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x


This smoky pumpkin mac and cheese recipe is made with the most dreamy smoked gouda pumpkin sauce and sprinkled with crispy garlic-herb breadcrumbs.



Mac and Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 pound uncooked pasta (I used pipe rigate)
  • 12 ounces smoked gouda cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach

Garlicky Breadcrumbs Ingredients:


  1. Make the breadcrumbs. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add Panko, rosemary, salt and pepper. Continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, until the Panko reaches a toasted golden brown color. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted boiling water until just barely al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta and return it to the stockpot.
  3. Mix. Add the smoked gouda, Parmesan, pumpkin purée, warmed milk, smoked paprika, spinach and ½ cup of the starchy pasta water to the pasta. Stir until the cheese is combined and has melted into a smooth and creamy sauce. If the sauce seems too thick or the cheese has not fully melted, add in an extra ¼ to ½ cup of the starchy pasta water as needed.
  4. Serve. Serve immediately, garnishing each portion with a generous sprinkling of garlicky breadcrumbs.