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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. 5 stars
    I’ve made so many of your delicious recipes, but I had to comment on this one. As other reviewers said, it was universally loved in my household, even by my picky 8yo who likes his unadulterated Annie’s Mac n Cheese and typically won’t touch any other kind. He ate three servings last night! I made a few modifications, as I wanted to integrate zucchini, which I blended into the pumpkin to hide all traces of green. I also pureed some leftover chickpeas to add a little protein. All of this to say that vegetables can be surreptitiously added and the kids will be none the wiser. This recipe will definitely be added into our rotation. Thank you!

  2. I made this last year as a side for Thanksgiving. It is sooo good! My grown kids were skeptical when they heard there was pumpkin in it. They were presently suprised & raved about it after tasting it! It’s great on its own as a meal with applesauce as a side.

  3. Do you think I could make this ahead and warm it up in a crock pot for a group? I just tried this recipe and it is so yummy!!

  4. 5 stars
    Was I suppose to keep leaves in or take them out with the sage? Leave whole branches in and remove with garlic?

    1. If you mean the thyme, you use just the tiny leaves (no stems) and I think she means leave them in the recipe. Hope this helps.

  5. 5 stars
    WOW! My son is home from university and has lost weight in just two weeks…the food on campus is not good, he is really disliking the dining options. I told him I would make him some meals that he can keep in the freezer and microwave…I came straight to your website to look for comfort food for him. This pumpkin Mac and cheese is absolutely INCREDIBLE! One batch of your recipe yielded three 7 x 4 inch (approx) tin foil containers you can pick up at your local grocer…they are about 2 inches deep. Three, delicious home cooked meals for my boy. I’m hoping this will freeze well – I added some extra milk so it stays saucy. Thanks so much Tieghan!

    1. So glad you and your family are enjoying this recipe! Sounds like he is in need of some yummy cozy home cooked food haha! 🙂 xT

  6. 5 stars
    We couldn’t decide what to make last night and the SO (who rarely knows what he wants for dinner) suggested this recipe out of the blue. Totaly forgot I made it last year but he remembered, and so glad he did. We’re keeping it in the rotation now; It’s like a neon sign for people living in dinner indecision city! It was so delicious and I’m counting down until we are eating dinner tonight.

    1. Hey Tracy,
      Happy Wednesday!❄️ I appreciate you making this recipe and I’m so glad it turned out well for you! xT

  7. 5 stars
    Made this with dried ground sage and dried thyme, added at the beginning and just left in, and accidentally added the nutmeg at the same time as the other spices instead of as a garnish, no issues with either and it was genuinely lovely. I also included 1/2 tsp mustard powder and I think it worked well! Lovely recipe.

  8. Such a great recipe! I’ve made it a few times now.
    One revision I’ve made is that I add about 1/2-1 cup more of water – the first time I made it, the sauce was just so thick. The extra water adds a little extra sauciness.

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Happy Wednesday!! ❄️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

    1. Hi Jan,
      I am delighted to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you giving it a try! Have a great weekend:)

  9. I love this recipe. I made it for dinner, for thanksgiving and now going to bring it to a work Christmas party. An ideas on how to keep warm for a party? Could I do the cheese melting in a crockpot or even transfer to a crock pot and keep on warm? Or ideas on how to reheat?

    1. Hey Anna,
      Thanks for making this recipe! I would just transfer to a crockpot to keep on warm:) I hope this helps! xx

  10. 5 stars
    Such a great recipe!! I made it exactly as called for, except I used only sharp cheddar and no gouda because it’s what I had on hand. Next time I’ll make sure to do the gouda instead since I found myself missing it. Highly recommend!

    1. Hey Kathryn,
      Wonderful!!🎅 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it and your comment! xT