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Mac and cheese in a casserole dish on a table with mini pumpkins, sage, and wheat

Pumpkin Sage Mac & Cheese

5 from 2 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound pasta (elbows, fusilli, or another shorter noodle)
  • 5-6 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
  • 4 ounces pureed pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast Optional

Instructions
 

For the Pasta

  • Choose a larger pot so you can use it later to build your sauce.
  • Bring a large amount of generously salted water to a rolling boil.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions, making sure to cook it to the minimum time suggested. Do not overcook your pasta; it is going to cook again in the oven.
  • Drain the pasta. Set aside the pasta and cover with a light tea towel or lid. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stovetop to build the sauce.

For the Sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Turn the stovetop burner to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the same pot you used to cook your pasta.
  • Add your diced onions, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring as needed.
  • Add your chopped sage and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the mixture with the AP flour and cook for 2-3 minutes while continuously stirring.
  • Pour in your cup of milk, stirring to thoroughly combine with the flour mixture. You do not want to see any lumps.
  • Add the 4 ounces (half a small can) of pureed pumpkin. Stir into the mixture.
  • Small handful by handful, add the grated cheese, stirring to completely incorporate it before adding the next.
  • Once all the cheese is added, taste your sauce. Add salt, pepper, and any additional sage as needed. Add the nutritional yeast if you are using it.
  • Turn off the burner and remove the pot from the heat.
  • Add the pasta back to the pot and stir to completely coat the noodles with the sauce.

For the Baked Mac & Cheese

  • Butter your 9x9 casserole dish.
  • Add your noodles to the dish. Press the noodles down with your clean hands if need be.
  • Sprinkle the top with your panko or breadcrumbs. You may want to add more cheese, too.
  • Cook your mac & cheese for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Remove from the oven and serve hot. Enjoy!