Super creamy, super cheesy and thyme-roasted cubes of pumpkin in every bite, this roasted pumpkin macaroni cheese is a perfect Winter Warmer!
Can you believe it’s the 1st November?? This year has flown past at an alarming rate. It kind of feels like we’re in limbo between Autumn and Winter here in the highlands.
The last few days of October brought the first morning frost, yet the lush Autumnal colours of the leaves on the trees are still around.
We had some beautiful sunshine today, but you couldn’t deny the icy chill in the air.
It’s the time of year when we are all in need of some good old comfort food – and macaroni cheese is comfort food of the highest order.
Adding little cubes of roasted pumpkin adds a little sweet earthiness that goes so well with the creamy, cheesy pasta.
I usually prefer my mac and cheese with no added extras, but this is just so good.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED FOR MAKING ROASTED PUMPKIN MACARONI CHEESE
- Macaroni (obviously!) I like to use elbow macaroni – it sucks up all that delicious sauce beautifully.
- 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes, about 2cm
- Olive Oil
- A few stalks of fresh thyme, or use 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Cheddar Cheese – I use mature cheddar for the best flavour.
- Butter and Milk for the sauce
- Dijon or Wholegrain Mustard – I can’t make a cheese sauce without adding mustard! You don’t have to, but it makes such a difference.
- Salt and Pepper
how to make roasted pumpkin macaroni cheese
- Place the pumpkin cubes in a roasting tin. Drizzle over some olive oil. Add the stalks of fresh thyme or the dried thyme. Add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Roast the pumpkin in the oven at 200C/180Fan/400F for about 25-30 minutes or until the pumpkin cubes are tender but not mushy.
- Make the macaroni according to packet instructions. Set aside while you make the cheese sauce.
- Combine the macaroni, cheese sauce and pumpkin. Place in a large casserole dish. Sprinkle over cheddar or parmesan cheese and place under a hot grill for 5-10 minutes or until the macaroni is bubbling and golden.
TIPS FOR MAKING PUMPKIN MACARONI CHEESE
I don’t bake my macaroni – I don’t like the way the sauce thickens in the heat of the oven. I don’t want to lose any of that creamy sauce, so I just pop it under the grill for a few minutes until the gooey, cheesy top is melty and bubbly!
You can sprinkle over some grated mozzarella or parmesan on top of the macaroni before grilling if you like. I never say no to extra cheese!
CAN YOU MAKE ROASTED PUMPKIN MACARONI CHEESE IN ADVANCE?
Yes you can. Simply mix the cooked and drained macaroni with the roasted pumpkin cubes and the sauce sauce. Leave to cool before covering and placing in the fridge for up to 3 days.
However, I would not do the grill method if you’re going to re-heat the casserole from chilled. When you’re ready to cook the macaroni, sprinkle with cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven (200C/180Fan/350F) for 20-25 minutes or until piping hot.
On a freezing cold night, all I want is to be curled up on the couch in my pjs watching Netflix with a big bowl of this roasted pumpkin macaroni cheese. My idea of heaven!
I often serve macaroni cheese with sausages, but it’s honestly perfect just as it is.
MORE MACARONI CHEESE RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY
MORE PUMPKIN RECIPES
I’m sharing this post with #CookBlogShare, the weekly blog linkup hosted this week by Eb of Easy Peasy Foodie.
PIN THIS ROASTED PUMPKIN MACARONI CHEESE FOR LATER!
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Roasted Pumpkin macaroni cheese
- 1 small pumpkin or one butternut squash peeled and chopped into small dice
- 4-5 stalks Fresh thyme leaves picked
- One tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 400 g Macaroni
- For the sauce:
- 50 g butter
- 25 g flour
- 1 1/2 litres milk
- 1 tsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Good grinding of pepper
- 250 g mature cheddar cheese grated plus 50g for the topping
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180F/400F.Place the pumpkin and fresh thyme in a roasting tin, drizzle the olive oil and a little salt and pepper over. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender but not mushy.
Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions. Drain well and set aside while you make the sauce.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook the roux for a minute or two, then remove from the heat. Switching to a hand whisk, slowly add the milk, whisking well after each addition.
- When all the milk has been added, place back on the hob and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. When the sauce has thickened, add the mustard, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, stirring quickly until melted and smooth.
- Pour your drained pasta and roasted pumpkin into the sauce, stirring to mix everything together. Pour into a large heatproof dish and sprinkle over the remaining 50g cheese.
- Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and the top is bubbling.