Remember when I said in my Disney Dinners: Cinderella episode that pumpkin mac ‘n’ cheese using my leftover roasted fairytale pumpkin sounded delicious? Well I can now confirm: it is! Sure, you can absolutely use a cup of canned pumpkin for this recipe but if you’re bold enough to roast a pumpkin, you’ll get that extra punch of flavor, especially when you roast it with garlic and rosemary. Plus, it’ll make your house smell like fall!
One of the best things about this stovetop mac ‘n’ cheese is that it heats up remarkably well. The pumpkin stabilizes the sauce, making it pretty darn tasty to heat up a day or two after you make it. If you love mac ‘n’ cheese with turkey on Thanksgiving, this would be a show-stopping dish to serve!
1 cup roasted fairytale pumpkin (recipe follows) or canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup asiago cheese
3 cups macaroni or similar pasta, cooked and drained
- Purée leftover roasted pumpkin with an immersion blender.
- In a large ovenproof pan, melt the butter over a medium-low heat.
- Gradually mix in the flour to create a roux.
- Slowly add in the milk, whisking in between.
- Cook the sauce for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Stir in garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk in pumpkin purée.
- Turn off the heat and slowly whisk in grated cheddar and asiago cheese until sauce is smooth. Fold in pasta.
To roast a fairytale pumpkin:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a 3 pound pumpkin in half lengthwise (not through stem). Remove seeds and scoop out innards. Score flesh. Season with salt and pepper. Fill each half with 5-6 rosemary sprigs. Cut a head of garlic in half. Rub each half around the rim of the pumpkin, then toss the cut garlic in the center of each half. Drizzle pumpkins with olive oil. Roast for 45-60 minutes or until flesh is soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.**
- Let pumpkin cool for at least fifteen minutes. Remove rosemary and discard. Remove garlic and set aside for use in the soup. Scoop out the pumpkin filling. You only need one cup for this recipe. Save the rest for my fairytale pumpkin soup.
- **Note: don’t panic if there’s liquid in the pumpkin. This will absorb back into the pumpkin as it cools. Pumpkin water is extremely nutritious!