BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Brown Butter-Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

  • Prep Time 0:15
  • Cook Time 0:22
  • Estimated Cost $9.50

I am loving pumpkin lately. It adds an earthy richness to dishes, plus lots of fiber, few calories and zero fat. Since I’m constantly reinventing mac and cheese, I figured I might as well try it with pumpkin.

The result was a creamy, satisfying mac with a rich sauce that will make you want to lick your plate. Brown butter, aged white cheddar and nutmeg perfectly complement autumnal pumpkin and taste so rich, you will forget that this dish has less than half of the fat and calories of regular mac and cheese.

Want step-by-step videos of this recipe? Cook it along with me on Appetites for iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch!


  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni, penne, shells or other small pasta shape $1 for 16 oz.
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter plus more for the pan $1 for a stick
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour Pantry
  • 3/4 cup milk (any kind) $1 for a pint
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin $1.50 for a 15-oz. can
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp shredded aged white cheddar cheese $3.50 for 8 oz.
  • dash nutmeg $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • salt and pepper to taste Pantry

Recipe Serves 4


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter an 11"x13" baking pan or 4 ramekins/oven-proof bowls
  2. Cook macaroni in salted boiling water according to package directions.
  3. While macaroni cooks, melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. As soon as it begins to brown, add the flour and whisk until you have a very sticky dough.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk to form a creamy white sauce.
  5. Continue whisking as you add the pumpkin and 1/2 cup of the white cheddar. You should have a very creamy orange sauce. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  6. Drain the pasta and return it to its pot. Use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat the pasta evenly.
  7. Scrape the sauced pasta into the prepared pan(s) and top with the reserved cheddar plus more salt and pepper.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the cheese is very bubbly and lightly browned on top. Serve hot.

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What They're Saying

BeeBee, on Oct 18, 06:38 PM, wrote:

I made this not telling the family that the secret ingredient is pumpkin. Well, the pumpkin hater LOVED it. It is delicious. Thanks!

Mike, on Oct 20, 07:09 AM, wrote:

I made this last night, it was a big hit! The only thing I would change is using even more pumpkin (I used about half of a fresh sugar pumpkin).

Michelle Hon, on Oct 20, 07:20 AM, wrote:

I love pumpkin and I love cheese! I might just add this as a daily special at my soup bar. Thank you for the great recipe!

Angie, on Oct 21, 05:38 AM, wrote:

Made this on Tuesday and it was fantastic – thanks for another m&c variation!

Chad F., on Oct 23, 10:18 AM, wrote:

Made this one last night. Came out fantastic!! Even better was that we had most of the ingredients already in the house, so it was nice and cheap. Great recipe!

Heidi, on Oct 25, 02:28 PM, wrote:

I diverted some of the squash I was putting in the squash-apple soup for this and it turned out great!

Laura, on Oct 26, 03:44 PM, wrote:

Made this tonight and it was fantastic! I’ve always loved butternut squash mac and cheese but had never made it and when I saw this and that I had all the ingredients in my apartment I knew I HAD to make it! My boyfriend devoured it! Thank you so much for this simple, tasty and healthy recipe!

Morgan, on Nov 24, 01:10 PM, wrote:

i added toasted pumpkin seeds on top and it was tasty!

Lynn McCormick, on Mar 9, 05:32 PM, wrote:

I have tried and enjoyed many of your creations, but this is my favorite. I have made this over and over! Sometimes I have a little bit of a hard time finding white cheddar up here, but it is worth the hunt. I first made this just after you first posted this and it was the right time of year to process and freeze pumpkin.
Thanks for this wonderful site, I tell all my friends. Lynn

Lara, on Oct 1, 08:24 AM, wrote:

Just found this via Pinterest…can’t wait to make it!

celiamcmartin, on Oct 11, 06:40 PM, wrote:

I just made this, and it is great. I used a really sharp aged cheese and it is very tasty. thanks!

Haley, on Oct 14, 11:26 AM, wrote:

LOVED your mac and cheese! I’m featuring this recipe on my blog next week, thanks for sharing!!

Alice, on Oct 30, 08:27 PM, wrote:

All enjoyed this rich nutty dish! A perfect meal after gutting and carving pumpkins. YUMMY!

CulturalReform, on Oct 31, 08:27 PM, wrote:

Holy. Cow. I doubled the recipe and my roommates cleaned the pan within minutes. I think this one can be called BombAss Gourmet!

elleblue, on Nov 4, 10:36 PM, wrote:

I LOVE mac & cheese and am always looking for something new that is creamy and has less fat. THIS does the trick, thank you!

Jenn, on Nov 6, 02:13 PM, wrote:

Making this today for Sunday Funday football games. Wow, so delish! I also made the fire roasted tomato soup. Comfort food at it’s finest. Thanks.

cait, on Nov 12, 02:57 PM, wrote:

thank you SO much for this recipe! it has become my go-to mac & cheese recipe. i’m more than a little addicted to it, which means we eat it almost every week in my house :) thank you for such fabulous and cheap recipes!

Emily, on Nov 28, 11:21 AM, wrote:

Big hit on Thanksgiving! Everyone loved it, including my sister-in-law. She has high mac & cheese standards and this passed with flying colors.

Urbang, on Dec 7, 05:42 PM, wrote:

I added corn flakes to to the top for a bit of crunch, very tasty!!

Amanda, on Sep 3, 01:14 PM, wrote:

I made your Pumpkin Mac and Cheese tonight and boy was it wonderful! I tried a Pumpkin Mac and Cheese recipe last year (cant remember by whom) and it just wasnt so great. I am glad I took a second try with your recipe because I loved it! I followed your recipe to a tee, except I added some topping to it :crushed corn flakes, panko breadcrumbs, crushed walnuts, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon. Stirred it all together and sprinkled on top of the mac!! Added a nice crunch and extra flavor!

Adriann, on Sep 30, 05:58 PM, wrote:

I don’t have any pumpkin on hand, but in true brokeass fashion, I used what was in the fridge. And I have BROCCOLI! (I get a farm box, so the veggies just keep coming). So, with your inspiration, we’re having broc n cheese casserole for dinner!

Tamara, on Jan 25, 03:55 PM, wrote:

I tried this tonight. I must admit, when I opened the can of pumpkin and smelled how strong it was, I was worried. I mean, I love pumpkin pie, but that’s pumpkin pie. Totally different. Finished baking and although it looked great, I was still worried. I just had a bowl and I must say, it is AMAZING!! I will be using pumpkin (and this recipe) in all future Mac and Cheese!!! Side note: I used 2% sharp cheddar and fat free milk for an even healthier version.

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Dyana, on Oct 11, 11:53 AM, wrote:

Hi! I’m excited to try this! I am going to a party Sunday but would love to make this ahead on Sat. Has anyone tried that? Will it work okay? Should I do everything but baking the day before and then just bake it on Sunday? Any advice would be appreciated!

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This sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to make it! After reading all the beautiful comments, I can’t wait to try it!

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It’s in the oven right now. I love cheese so i added way more than the recipe called for. Also added some cayenne. I’ll report my findings later… can’t wait to be a test bunny., on Jun 11, 01:46 AM, wrote:

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