Spooky Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Make the kids this Spooky Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with the leftovers from pumpkin carving this Halloween!
Are you searching for fun ways to add vegetables to your kid’s mouth? Well, this is a great one! A smooth Pumpkin pasta sauce made with cream cheese, cream and a tad of parmesan goes a long way. The meal could end there, but I’ve made it extra cheesy with extra mozzarella gratin on top. Because who doesn’t like to see the lovely cheese strings in their Mac and Cheese? This Pumpkin Mac and Cheese recipe will keep you and your kids strong for the candy hunt!
For picky eaters, pasta is usually a favourite… It’s also an easy dish to hide veggies in. I’ve added some lovely parsley and pumpkin seeds on top of the gratin, but frankly, many kids, like mine, don’t like too many textures in their pasta, so feel free to skip the toppings if you’ve got picky eaters. As for my picky little eater, I give him the bottom part of the dish without the cheese or toppings, the most homogenous possible. Plus, it means mommy gets most of the lovely ‘gratin.’ Everyone is happy this way!
Macaroni or Maccheroni
Maccheroni is the name Italians call long pasta, not necessarily a tube. While Macaroni, or Elbow macaroni, in America, is a tiny curved tube popular with kids. Elbow macaroni is less famous in Europe, so I’ve used penne for this recipe. Either way, with any pasta you cook for this dish, the importance is to cook them really Al dente or not yet done so they don’t get overcooked in the oven.
The sauce looks like a lot in the pan before going in the oven, but remember it will absorb the pasta quite a bit, so you need plenty to keep it saucy!
To make a lovely gratin on top, fresh mozzarella is best! It gives these gorgeous white strings we all dig! When adding the cheese, try to keep it in small pieces; this way, it melts faster. Mainly because it is too long in the oven, it could burn your pasta if you’ve got a torch to finish the job even better!
Other Kid-Friendly Pasta Dishes
- casserole about 20cm
- 500 g penne pasta or your favorite type
- 400 g cooked pumpkin
- 100 g cream cheese
- 150 ml cream
- 30 g parmesan *optional
- ⅓ tsp nutmeg *optional
- salt and pepper
- Blend the precooked pumpkin, cream cheese, cream, parmesan and spices.
- Cook the pasta until almost cooked, *al dente.
- Mix the sauce with the pasta, add to an oven plate or casserole of your choice and top it with the fresh mozzarella, salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the cheese turns golden.