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This super easy One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is the perfect recipe for sneaking in autumn vegetables. Simply brown some butter and garlic in a large pot and toss in some elbow macaroni and canned pumpkin. Then boil everything together in water with a splash of milk and a few ounces of cream cheese. Together these ingredients create a creamy mac and cheese that’s wholesome and delicious. This simple pumpkin mac and cheese is made all in one pot, in just 30 minutes.

One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese |

I wasn’t going to make this, but then I made this, and I am so pleased that I did. Sometimes simple recipes really shock me with their ease and deliciousness. And I have to say, this recipe shocked me.

So much flavor in such a simple and quick cooking recipe that only uses one pot. I hesitated to make this for two reasons. I have been baking and cooking with a lot of pumpkin lately. And if it’s not pumpkin, it’s butternut squash. I don’t want us all to get tired of pumpkin recipes before November even starts.

One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese |

But I got home from New York and this sounded really delicious and simple to make. Which after traveling all day was very, very ideal.

And then, on top of that, I came home to 20-degree temperatures and bitter-cold snow. It’s officially gone from fall to winter here. Most of the leaves have fallen. This first round of snow brought any stragglers down.

This means all the more reason to make a cozy pumpkin mac and cheese recipe. I didn’t question it, and to my surprise, it ended up turning out even more delicious than what I had dreamt up in my head.

One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese |

Here are the details

This recipe starts out with butter, garlic, thyme, and sage. Cook this mix together and allow the butter to brown. Once you’ve browned the butter, remove the sage from the pot and set aside, but leave everything else.

Add the pasta and toss it in with the butter. Next goes the water to cook the pasta. And then a nice pinch of salt. Stir this until the pasta is al dente.

The rest is quick and easy. Add the milk, some cream cheese to thicken the sauce, canned pumpkin, and a mix of cheddar and gouda cheese. Then add the spices.

Stir the pot and continue cooking until the cheeses have all melted.

One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese |

When it’s creamy and looking delicious (and delicious smelling), it’s done. I top the mac and cheese with the reserved sage leaves and grated nutmeg. And honestly, it’s perfect.

You can taste the warm sweetness from the pumpkin, but it’s subtle and so yummy when paired with gouda cheese.

One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese |

Asher ate this up right away and never questioned the addition of pumpkin, so I’d say it’s also kid approved! Happy to now have this recipe as a staple for the fall months.

It really is perfect. Quick to make and very little mess. It’s a wonderful creamy mac and cheese that I think is even more delicious than classic!


One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese |

Looking for other one pot recipes? Here are my favorites: 

French Onion Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

One Skillet White Chicken Chili Bake

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

Brown Butter Pumpkin Tortellini Alla Vodka

Lastly, if you make this One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 617 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Melt the butter with the garlic, thyme, and sage in a large pot set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown around the garlic, 3-5 minutes. Once browned, remove the sage leaves and set aside.
    2. To the pot, add the pasta and toss with the butter. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Do not drain the water. Stir in the milk, cream cheese, and pumpkin, and cook until the cream cheese has melted and the pasta is al dente, about 4-5 minutes more.
    4. Pick out the garlic cloves and set aside. Add the cheddar and Gouda, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and nutmeg, and stir until melted and creamy. Remove from the heat.
    5. If desired, chop or mash the garlic and stir in the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce feels thick, add ¼ cup milk or water to thin.
    6. Divide the mac and cheese between bowls. Top with black pepper, the reserved sage, and grated nutmeg.
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One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese |

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  1. Made this again tonight. This time I used chipotle chili powder instead of cayenne and left out the nutmeg.

    Subbed dried thyme and sage for fresh (1 tsp each) and added that when I added all the other spices.

    AND… I cooked up some chopped thick bacon first and used 2 tablespoons bacon grease instead of butter then topped the mac and cheese with the crumbled bacon. Yum!!

  2. This was fine the night I made it but was ABSOLUTELY DIVINE the next day. In the future I’ll make this a day or two ahead and then put in the oven to warm before serving because the flavors really needed time to infuse the cheese and noodles.

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this a second time ! So creamy and delicious. Like other reviews, my husband didn’t even know it had pumpkin! Thanks again for an amazing recipe !!! The garlic sage butter smell is my favorite!

    Notes–used the whole can of pumpkin and it worked fine !

  4. Do you think I could make this ahead? The day before, refrigerate and reheat? Or would a baked Mac and cheese do better for that? Thanks!

    1. Hey Rebecca,
      Sure, I think that would be just fine for you to do! Just add more milk if needed when reheating. I hope you love this recipe! xx

  5. 4 stars
    Flavor was great but the texture was off. It was really grainy instead of being smooth and creamy.

    I followed all the directions and didn’t make any substitutions (used whole milk and grated my own cheese). Did I leave it on the heat too long? Or what else would make it grainy? Thanks!

    1. Hey Christy,
      Thanks so much for trying this dish, so glad it tasted great! Sorry about it being grainy! My only guess is the high heat or is it possible it needed to be stirred more consistently? xx

      1. After a bit of Googling, I think it was the heat. I stirred it consistently but probably should have taken it off the heat as soon as I added the cheeses. I cook on electric (which I hate but can’t change!) and I think the pan just stayed too hot even though I had turned the heat down.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for a family gathering … it was amazing. I followed the recipe except I couldn’t find sage leaves, so I just used ground sage it worked out perfectly. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      That’s fantastic to hear! Thanks for trying this dish and your comment, love that it was enjoyed! xT

  7. 5 stars
    This was so good! Though made a few substitutions to make this less dairy-heavy and a little healthier:
    – Earth Balance vegan butter
    – Violife vegan cream cheese
    – Oatmilk instead of whole (store was out of coconut!)

    The result was still so creamy and delicious with the pumpkin puree. You would never have known that the dairy was cut in half!

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Happy Sunday!!🍂 Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and your review, so glad it was enjoyed:) xx

  8. 5 stars
    Delicious!! I wanted to use what I had so made a few substitutions but it didn’t alter the directions or the overall taste. I only had rigatoni which worked great. I didn’t have Gouda so I subbed in extra sharp cheddar and Parmesan. I used a whole can of pumpkin as I didn’t need the excess and didn’t want to be wasteful. So so so yummy!! My husband hates pumpkin and didn’t even taste it. I’ll definitely be making this again!!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe and sharing your review, so glad it was a hit! xT

  9. 5 stars
    Soooooo good, will definitely be making this again! I substituted for cashew cream cheese and it came out perfect, thanks for always coming with the good stuff Tieghan!

  10. 5 stars
    Perfect fast weeknight meal and so delicious! Definitely making all season long! Would be a great fun side dish for thanksgiving/friendsgiving

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe is such a lifesaver! It came together so fast, and is so delicious! I used chicken stock instead of water and smoked Gouda. The flavor was so cozy and warm. The perfect recipe for a cold fall day!

  12. Hello, I don’t see where it says to add in the garlic powder? Do you add it in with the onion powder, or with the fresh garlic?