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One Pot Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

pumpkin mac and cheese

This recipe is here to replace that box with the packet of orange powder, whether you keep only for emergencies or serve regularly, it is time to change up your source of orange. This one pot recipe can be whipped up with pantry and freezer staples, using only one pot, no strainer and ready in under 20 minutes. Bonus, you will get loads of vitamin A from this mac. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 12 ounces whole wheat pasta macaroni, fusilli, shells, penne, etc. 
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch nutmeg 
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets or 4 cups frozen
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree 
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Place the dried pasta in a 3-quart straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven.
  2. Add the water, garlic, butter, 2 teaspoons salt, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and a generous amount of black pepper, and bring to a full rolling boil uncovered over high heat.
  3. Using tongs or a wooden spoon, stir and turn the pasta frequently to prevent sticking.
  4. Cook until al dente*, approximately 9 to 10 minutes. Reduce flame to medium-low.
  5. Add the cauliflower, pumpkin purée, and Parmesan, and stir and toss until smooth and creamy and very hot.
  6. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve garnished with extra nutmeg.

* “al dente” is Italian for “to the teeth” and it refers to pasta that is cooked just long enough that it is neither crunchy nor too soft, and its texture appeals to the teeth.