The College Housewife » Recipes » savory » Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Say hello to a new cozy fall favorite: pumpkin mac and cheese! This creamy, cheesy and easy pumpkin mac and cheese is filled with tons of fall flavor with the same great classic mac and cheese taste. The cheese sauce is made with creamy cheddar cheese, canned pumpkin and topped with a crunchy panko bread crumb and pecan topping. Be sure to save this recipe for Friendsgiving this year!

A huge thank you to ALDI for sponsoring this post, all words and opinions are my own 🙂 

A white square casserole dish filled with pumpkin mac and cheese.

It is crazy to think that we are just a few short weeks away from the kick-off to Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving celebrations. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I always try and squeeze in an International trip in the fall (hello Belgium!), my birthday falls this month (on the 23rd!) and all my family is getting together more often for the holidays.

If you follow along on insta you have seen that this Fall has kicked off in some pretty strange ways. I have brainstormed and worked most of the month from my Nanna’s hospital room. She has unfortunately gone through quite a bit of medical problems but is still holding on. It has been amazing and humbling to see my small family come together during difficult times. Nanna is not only my grandmother but one of my best friends, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today, without her She has been a HUGE influence on who I am today and inspiration for The College Housewife.

In fact, she was one of the main inspirations for today’s pumpkin mac and cheese recipe! Nanna has always made ‘the mac’ for holidays so I knew I needed to do her classic justice for this year’s Friendsgiving!

This year I am spending Friendsgiving with my two friends Alex and Abbie in their cozy kitchen. These girls are practically my family and I am more than thankful for them. We will gather in their adorably decorated apartment for wine, good food, amazing company and more wine. 

This Friendsgiving, I’m teaming up with Aldi to stock up on holiday cooking ingredients. They’ve got amazing products at unbeatable prices. I can pick up everything for this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese and a great bottle of wine because I love being a good guest. Grab the ingredient list below for your one stop shop this Friendsgiving. 

A whisk full of cheesy, pumpkin sauce for pumpkin mac and cheese.

What does pumpkin taste like in mac and cheese?!

I know what you’re thinking! Pumpkin is a bit of a different ingredient for macaroni and cheese…I’m with you! But, I promise you it brings this warmness to the dish that cheese could never recreate. It adds an earthy, fall flavor that is just enough to give mac and cheese an autumn makeover.

If you’re worried this would be too different from the classic (I love the classics on holidays!) it isn’t! It’s just enough flavor to give mac and cheese a little spice and uniqueness! Which in my opinion, makes for the best Friendsgiving recipes! If you’re in need of an easy, but impressive on-the-go dish, this is it!

A pot of macaroni noodles being mixed with pumpkin cheese mixture.

A pot of pumpkin mac and cheese being stirred.

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Sweet Onion
  • Sunshine Bay Sauvignon Blanc 
  • Macaroni Noodles
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Whole Milk
  • Baker’s Corner Canned Pumpkin
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Nutmeg 
  • Black Pepper
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Panko Break Crumbs
  • Southern Grove Pecans 

This year I am taking my holiday grocery shopping to ALDI. It often feels like my spending can be a bit out of control during the holidays between entertaining, gift shopping and activities so I am turning to ALDI to save where I can. They designed their shopping experience to make life easier, and offer high quality food at affordable prices. 

I’m one of those types of people that likes to get in and out of the grocery store and ALDI allows me to do this. They are never going to have 20 types of peanut butter to choose from, just high-quality products that stand out and keep the shopping experience easy. 

Find your nearest ALDI here!

Pecan breadcrumb topping being poured on casserole dish of pumpkin mac and cheese.

How To Make The Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish and set aside. 
  2. In a heavy bottom pot, melt butter and caramelize onions on low for 35-50 minutes, add in white wine and cook for another 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked off.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and cook macaroni noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside
  4. In a large pot or dutch oven melt butter and whisk in flour to create a ‘roux’. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring mixture to a low simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Whisk in pumpkin puree, cheeses and spices. Remove from heat and stir together with noodles and caramelized onions. 
  6. Transfer mixture to a greased casserole dish, top with bread crumb/pecan topping and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. 

A platter of pumpkin mac and cheese in a white square casserole dish served with it's ingredients.

For the best pumpkin mac and cheese:

  • Be patient! Allow those onions to really caramelize at the beginning of the recipe. This will develop a richness to the recipe!
  • You can roast your own pumpkin, but 99% of the time I buy Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin to save myself time and sanity, especially during the holidays!
  • Prep all of your ingredients before starting the recipe. This will make you more familiar with what you’re making and allows less room for error!
  • The panko breadcrumb pecan topping can burn quickly! Keep a close eye when ‘browning’ so you don’t end up with a burnt top and don’t use a broiler for this!

A scoop of pumpkin mac and cheese being scooped for a serving.

More Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love:

If you make this pumpkin mac and cheese recipe, I’d love to know how it goes! Please share with all fraaands in the comments below! For more easy recipes and ideas, follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, too!

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A square casserole dish filled with Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 side portions 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Pumpkin Mac and Cheese! A MEGA creamy Mac and cheese recipe with a fun Autumn spin! This easy mac and cheese recipe is made with canned pumpkin, cheddar cheese and topped with an earthy plank breadcrumb pecan topping for a bit of crunch. 



1 stick of unsalted butter, divided

1 medium organic sweet onion, thinly sliced or diced

½ cup of S
unshine Bay Sauvignon Blanc Wine

1 lb of macaroni noodles

1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

2 cups of whole milk

1 can of Baker’s Corner Canned Pumpkin

1 tsp. of granulated garlic

1/8 tsp. of nutmeg

1/8 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of seasoned panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup of finely chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large rectangular casserole dish with butter or non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom skillet add in 2 tablespoons of butter on medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add in diced onions and cook for 35-40 minutes or until onions are caramelized and golden. Stir the onions periodically. About 5-10 minutes before finish cooking, add half a cup of dry white wine and cook until most of the liquid has dissolved. 
  3. Bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a rolling boil. Add in macaroni noodles and cook until al dente. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining. This is usually 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain noodles with cold water and set aside.
  4. In a large pot or dutch oven add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium high heat until melted. Begin to whisk in flour until creamy and thickened to create a roux for the sauce for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring mixture to a low simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in pumpkin puree, garlic, nutmeg, black pepper and season with salt to taste. Stir in cheeses until melted. If mixture becomes very thick, add in ½ cup of pasta water at a time to loosen. Remove from heat and stir in cooked noodles and caramelized onions until well combined.
  5. Transfer macaroni mixture to greased casserole dish. In a small bowl whisk together bread crumbs, pecans and 2 tablespoons of butter, melted. Top macaroni mixture with bread crumbs and bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Keywords: Pumpkin, pumpkin mac and cheese, cheddar, fall recipe, fall, side dish

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