Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Veggies
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Ingredients:
- 1 organic pie pumpkin, about 28 ounces OR 1 (15 ounce) can organic pumpkin puree
- olive oil cooking spray
- 16 ounce cauliflower florets, cut into 1-in. pieces
- 16 ounce quartered Brussels sprouts
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 ounces gluten-free or wheat rotini pasta, I used Delallo*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 2 tablespoons all purpose or gluten-free flour*
- 1 1/2 cups fat free milk
- 2/3 cup reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 5 ounces fresh grated Sharp Light Cheddar, I used Cabot 50%
- 4 ounces fresh grated Gouda
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
- Kosher salt
- pinch nutmeg
- fresh pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F°. Line 2 large baking sheets with aluminum foil, and coat with olive oil spray.
Toss cauliflower and Brussels sprouts with olive oil, and season with salt. Spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
If you are roasting the pumpkin yourself, cut the top of the pumpkin as you would if you were carving a jack-o-lantern. Then cut it in quarters. Scoop out the seeds (if you wish to make roasted pumpkin seeds, rinse and lay them out on a baking sheet overnight to dry out). Place the pumpkin on the prepared sheet pan and roast with the other veggies in the oven at 400°F for 35 to 37 minutes, stirring the vegetables and rotating pans halfway through cooking time, until vegetables are soft and have begun to brown around the edges and the pumpkin is soft if pierced with a knife.
Remove the vegetables and pumpkin from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, remove the pumpkin from the skin. This will come off easily. Discard the skin and place pumpkin in a food processor. Puree until smooth, adding water by the tablespoon if needed about 3 tablespoons until smooth.
While vegetables roast, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting fat and salt. Drain, and set aside.
Over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes, add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 4 to 5 minutes until it thickens slightly. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and pepper.
Once it begins to thicken, stir in pumpkin and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheeses and parmesan and mix well until melted. Add the cooked macaroni and mix well, fold in the roasted vegetables.
- Swap out the pumpkin and use butternut squash in it’s place.
- Swap the Brussels sprouts for broccoli florets.
- For more protein, add sauteed chicken sausage.
- Swap out the rotini pasta for any small pasta shape, such as elbows.
- For a baked mac and cheese, top it with breadcrumbs and finish it in the oven.