Saturday, October 19

Spicy Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

I am back from my little break. Feeling much better. Thanks. I wanted to share this before I jumped back into my challenge of 30 Rachael Ray recipes. This recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay. She posted this yummy pasta mac and cheese recipe and her pictures immediately made me hungry. But as I was making it I was like you know this would taste better if it had a zing or punch to it. I blame it on football season - all those chip and salsa first downs... lol. So i upped the ante a little bit by giving it some heat and adding all my favorite things more cheese, more fat, and more veggies. What recipe doesn't need a touch more bacon? Love that stuff. Its also safe to say I have a good working relationship with cheese.  So here goes it. Happy Pumpkin eating!

 The recipe 
Serves 4 comfortably
prep + cook time = 20-25 minutes 
(including time for bacon to cook & water to start boiling)

2 cups of veggie pasta rotini 
3 large carrots, peeled if you want, or just washed well and finely diced ( 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup or 6 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup (6 pieces) of cooked crisp crumbled bacon 
2 oz cream cheese (not fat free)
1/2 tsp salt + 1 tsp for the pasta
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup of evaporated milk, fat free
1/4 - 1/2 cup of pepperjack cheese *

Step 1: Cook pasta as per directions on the box with 1 tsp salt. Half way through cooking time add in the chopped carrots (no more than 5 minutes so they stay tender crisp)

Step 2: Drain pasta the return it to the same pot on the stove over low. Add in all the rest of the ingredients except green onions. 

Step 3: Stir the pot until all the cheese is melted and it looks like mac and cheese. Taste add additional salt or/and pepper if needed. 

*Note: I have an approximate amount of pepperjack cheese listed because this brand was spicier than most and I didn't put it in my son's mac & cheese. So I scooped his bowl up and then left the pot on low while i let the rest of the cheese melt into the remaining pasta for everyone else. I am telling you this because I do look for family friendly - kid friendly recipes and want to be real on how things really work in my kitchen. 

Step 4: Sprinkle each bowl you serve up with green onions for texture, color and freshness :)

the kid's bowl - hes not super fond the purple color but it looks good in this picture with the orange veg.

Enjoy!  We really liked this meal and I enjoyed how easy it was to incorporate veggies into homemade mac & cheese (a staple at my house) Next time I might cut half of the carrots out and put in some frozen peas. I really like the whole green orange october color themed bowl I stumbled onto :) 


  1. Stephanie, this looks delicious. I've been wanting to try a pasta mac & cheese recipe now for a while, and yours looks so delicious. :)

    1. Thanks Jo! I love homemade mac & cheese. Do try it while its still pumpkin season :)


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