Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stove Top Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

I believe I can use the words healthy and mac and cheese in the same sentence when describing this recipe. 

I could also use the word easy. {read: 1 pot!} 

Or creamy.

Or all together delicious. 

For a quick lunch or lazy Sunday night dinner, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Stove Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese


  • 2 C milk
  • 2 C whole wheat pasta
  • up to 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 medium sweet potato, steamed and pureed (~1 C puree)
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese,shredded
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • additional salt & pepper, to taste
  • Peas or a green veggie!


In a large saucepan, combine 2 C milk with 2 C whole wheat pasta (we used shells) and up to 1/2 tsp. salt.  Stir well. 

Meanwhile, grab 1 C sweet potato puree and add that to the pasta.  You could use pumpkin puree here as well. 

Then, shred the cheese and steam the peas. 

Place the saucepan with the pasta in it on the stove, and turn on the heat to medium-high.  Stir the pasta nearly constantly until the mixture begins to bubble. 

Reduce the heat to low at this point, and continue stirring often for 5-7 minutes while the pasta cooks. 

When the pasta is done, remove the pan from the heat. 

Add in 2 T Parmesan cheese and stir. 

Then, toss in 4 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, and allow the heat from the pasta to melt the cheese. 

If desired, mix in peas – otherwise, serve these alongside the mac and cheese. 

Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, as well as parsley for garnish. 



  1. Ooh, this looks really good and it's so easy! Do you think it would work with canned sweet potatoes too?

    1. You could use canned sweet potatoes, but baby food pureed sweet potatoes are likely a better match. Reason being: canned sweet potatoes are often packaged in syrup that makes the final product much sweeter. I've used them before -- in our pumpkin mac and cheese with roasted veggies, but I much prefer baby food puree or homemade puree due to the reduced sweetness.

    2. I ended up buying canned yams so I don't think they were extra sweetened. I'm making it now! I had to add extra milk because the pasta wasn't cooking enough. But it tastes good...I'm sampling as it cooks!

  2. lol...I'm a little confused why this is called pumpkin mac and cheese if it's made with sweet potatoes. :-p

    1. Good question! You can easily use pumpkin puree in this recipe; but, in our house we have allergies. Anything "pumpkin" flavored here is really made with sweet potatoes.

      Here's a little back story on why we use sweet potato as a pumpkin substitute (and actually why it's better for you too!):

      I could have named it sweet potato mac & cheese, but that name doesn't have the same draw as pumpkin! Sorry for any confusion.

      Hope you give it a go - either with sweet potato puree or pumpkin puree.

    2. Oh! My bad! I didn't know about the allergies. I do love sweet potatoes though :-)

      However, I have a large pumpkin that my parents gave me during my last trip home but we never carved it so I've been trying to think of some uses for it.
      I'm most definitely going to roast the seeds and was thinking about making our family's pumpkin soup recipe but that will still leave a lot left. Do you think I could steam and puree the flesh of my pumpkin for this recipe?

    3. No worries!

      As long as the pumpkin is a good cooking pumpkin, you should easily be able to make pumpkin puree. Pioneer Woman has an excellent tutorial:

      Hope that helps and that you enjoy the recipe!

  3. That looks fantastic! I have been craving mac and cheese, but dreading the work and clean up. This looks like a winner! Thank you!

  4. I made this for dinner tonight using butternut squash instead of pumpkin or sweet potato, and it was awesome. My boyfriend loved it!


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