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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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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!

Delish!

One Pot Stove-Top Pumpkin Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

    1. Hey Rebecca,
      I would make this recipe the day of Thanksgiving:) I hope this recipe turns out well for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  1. 5 stars
    Hi everyone!

    I am planning on making this recipe tomorrow but I am curious about not draining the water. Should you keep that much water in the pot before adding the pumpkin pure, cream cheese and other cheeses? Has anyone drained it first?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Laura,
      Please follow the recipe as written and keep the water, most of it will evaporate while the pasta cooks and anything remaining will make the sauce. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. Hi! I made this today to practice for thanksgiving and the texture was not great / as creamy as in your photo. I followed recipe to a tee besides garlic but the texture of sauce was very chunky / kind of similar to texture of pumpkin purée.

    1. Hi Maddie,
      Thanks for trying the recipe, sorry to hear your texture was off. Did you use freshly grated cheese? I would highly recommend that. I hope this helps! xx

  3. I am thinking of making this for “leftover Thanksgiving party” What do you think about adding this into a baking dish and adding some buttered crumbled breadcrumb stuffing over it and baking until heated through in a roasting pan?

  4. 5 stars
    This was a great recipe. I made it this week to try it out before Thanksgiving and I will absolutely be making it as a side dish for the “big day”. My husband is not a lover of Mac n cheese, but he ate an entire bowl of this and loved it! You really can’t taste “pumpkin”, it just adds a creaminess and extra layer of flavor. It’s a good, savory, fall dish!

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Happy Friday!!❄️ Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx

  5. Your recipes are simply amazing. Thank you. I was wondering if this is a recipe that is good to double for a larger Thanksgiving group? Also if was a little nervous for peeps who are not huge fans of pumpkin if using 1/2 the amount the recipe calls for would be okay? Thanks again for your amazing recipes and Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Hey Marnie,
      Yes, you can double this recipe and reduce the pumpkin or use squash, that would be delicious! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  6. 5 stars
    Adapted this recipe using plant-based cheeses, both the cream cheese and the shredded cheeses, and used coconut milk. It was so tasty and creamy. I was surprised that you couldn’t really taste the pumpkin, it seemed to just contribute to the color and creaminess. Nothing was left to bring home from the Halloween party we took it to it was so good! I would say, though, that we took it in a crock pot to keep warm and while it was still delicious, it was at its best directly after cooking it. Looking forward to making this again to eat at home fresh from the pot. This will definitely become a regular for us – thank you!

    1. Hey Stacee,
      I truly appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, love to hear that it was enjoyed! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you!❄️ xx

  7. Part 2 – in other words, – how can I incorporate the pumpkin, cream cheese, sage elements into a modified version of this recipe for a baked Mac and cheese with this flavor profile?

  8. Hi there. I’m looking for a great Mac and cheese recipe for Thanksgiving that will stand up well if it’s not served immediately piping hot – some Mac and cheeses once they are not piping hot can congeal a little. The flavors of this recipe are incredible but I’m a little nervous about how it will stand up if it’s not served immediately. Is is better to use a recipe where it’s baked in the oven to hold in the heat? Can I do that with this and if so how does the recipe change?
    Thanks 🦃

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      This recipe should be just fine, I would actually transfer it to a slow cooker and keep it on warm, should be great for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

    1. Hey Angela,
      Awesome!! 🍂 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for trying it out! You could definitely do this for Thanksgiving dinner! xx

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now and it was delicious each time! I followed the recipe as it’s written, only using slightly more cheddar than Gouda the second time because that’s what I had. This will definitely be going into my fall comfort food rotation.

    1. Hey Lex,
      Happy Sunday!! I truly appreciate you giving this a try and sharing your feedback, so glad it was enjoyed:) xx

  10. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious and easy. The pumpkin really elevated the taste. I will be making this again.

    1. Hey Jill,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xx

  11. 5 stars
    Holy schmoly bajoly this was fantastic! Followed the recipe exactly, did use smoked gouda. From the fried sage to the silky sauce we were blown away by this dish! Thank you thank you thank you!!

    1. Hey Maggie,
      Happy Sunday!! I truly appreciate you giving this a try and sharing your feedback, so glad it was enjoyed:) xx

  12. 5 stars
    Holy moly. This is amazing. It’s raining in Tennessee today and I made up a pot of this. It’s amazing. Rich, decadent and the perfect hint of pumpkin. Not something I could make all the time but what a treat when the mood hits.

    1. Hey there,
      Awesome! Love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend:)

  13. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS! My fiancé questioned the pumpkin at first but he knows to NEVER doubt your recipes at this point!! Huge hit.

    1. Hey Allison,
      Happy Friday!!🌻 I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for trying it and sharing your review:) xT