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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. This was absolutely delish! Curious how it would be if I skipped the cream cheese? Would I need to reduce the water?

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      You could skip the cream cheese but I might add something else for the creamy factor like mascarpone! Let me know if that helps! Thanks for making the recipe! xx

  2. 4 stars
    I had pie pumpkins lying around from my fall home decor and I hated the thought of just throwing them out, so I roasted them and made some pumpkin pure (too much work, I probably won’t do that again lol). Then I had to do something with that pumpkin pure. So, I went on HBH as I was sure to find some amazing recipes (that weren’t just pumpkin pie). This was one that I made. I thought the flavours were excellent! My only complaint (and this was probably something I did wrong) was that when I first finished the cooking process, it was more of a soup dish than a true mac & cheese (I followed the measurements carefully, I promise!). Not sure what happened there. However, if any of you end up in the same point, you need not fear. Just let it sit for a while. My leftovers thickened up nicely and had the perfect consistency! So my initial dish was 3/5, my leftovers were 5/5!

    1. Hey Christine,
      Happy Friday! ☃️ So glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, I appreciate you making it! Thanks for sharing your feedback and what worked well for you! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Another hit out of the park!
    I used protein pasta and followed all instructions. Worked great. Husband did not notice the pumpkin and all loved the spice palate. Will make again.

    1. Hey Susan,
      Wonderful!!🎄 I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review! xx

    1. Hi Helen,
      Of course, any cheeses that you like will work well for you here! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hi Kerri,
      You are going to add the garlic powder in step 4. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope this recipe turns out well for you! xx

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. The perfect amount of pumpkin to not be overwhelming but add that extra creaminess. Would 100% make again.

    1. Hey Bronwyn,
      Happy Wednesday! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xxT

  5. 5 stars
    I made this for the first time for a potluck around Halloween, and this is hands down my go-to pumpkin mac from now on! In the past I always combined a few recipes, but this one works as is. Everybody loved the flavor combo, and the leftovers reheated really well in the same pot. I did add some extra milk to reheat, and got a few great meals out of this. It was such a hit that my friend who’s having foot surgery this weekend has requested it as one of the post-surgery healthy comfort foods I’m making her! I’d never tried to make mac and cheese in one pot without draining the pasta, but this worked perfectly. Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe!!

  6. 5 stars
    This is soo good, Tieghan! I was planning to make for thanksgiving, but time got away from me and I forgot. I had everything needed though, so made it the day after an am so glad I did! My husband and I have been eating on it every day since! I hate to say it, but am glad we got it all to ourselves!

    It reheats really well in the microwave with a splash of milk and a little extra cheese

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! I wanted to make something different for Thanksgiving this year and thought mac and cheese would be perfect. I made a test batch the week before and my immediate family loved it. I made it again for thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! I even made another batch for my Friendsgiving this weekend and everyone really enjoyed it! Needless to say this will definitely be added to my personal recipe collection!

  8. 2 stars
    This recipe was a huge bust for us. This is my first time making stove top mac n cheese and will likely be my last. We had planned on bringing this dish for a Thanksgiving dinner. I should have listened to my gut and gone with something more traditional. Our finished product tasted like a butternut squash nacho cheese dip. It looked like nacho cheese dip too. Needless to say, we did not bring the dish to share. We ended up bringing roasted carrots instead. I’m giving it two stars only because I really like this recipe site and have had success with other recipes.

    1. Hi Sally,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback. So sorry to hear it was not enjoyed. Please let me know if there is something that I can help with! xx

  9. 5 stars
    I made this for thanksgiving. It was a huge hit. I ended up cooking the pasta separately because i didn’t read the directions beforehand. So i added some pasta water while making the sauce. I added a few tablespoons of brown sugar to bring all of the flavors together. I found it made a huge impact on the flavors coming together.

    1. Hey Danielle,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:)

  10. I made this recipe last Sunday and it was a hit! Even our extremely picky eater liked it – which I did not expect. I always ask my husband – should I make this again – to be sure he really likes it and isn’t just being polite. He said – Yes!

    1. Hey Dee,
      Happy Thanksgiving!!🦃🍁 I am so glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xT

    1. Hey Chelsea,
      How far do you want to make ahead? You could try and just add some more milk when reheating. Happy Thanksgiving! xT

    1. Hey Katie,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

  11. 5 stars
    After one bite of this, my husband looked at me and said “This is the best mac & cheese I’ve ever had.” I’m making it again tonight and can’t wait for dinner. My suggestion to anyone struggling with texture issues is to follow the recipe and grate your own cheese. It’s more labor intensive but so worth it. I don’t really care for sage, so I left it out and used a generous dash of paprika instead, and used neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese (it’s what I had) — still delicious. Leftovers warm up nicely in the microwave on a low-medium power setting. Thanks, Tieghan!

    1. Hey Dawn,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃