November 12, 2019
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
If you are looking for a unique twist on a classic dish, look no further. This pumpkin mac and cheese is a wonderful way to add a nutritional boost to your usual mac and cheese recipe. Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, particularly alpha- and beta-carotene, high in fiber and provide 100% of your daily value of vitamin A in just one serving. This creamy, delicious dish is not only perfect for a fall dinner, but contains 14g of protein and 5g of dietary fiber.
- Canola oil cooking spray
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 8 oz. whole-wheat pasta
- 1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (2 1/2 oz.) sharp light (50 percent) Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 6 cup baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a separate bowl mix together breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Add oil and using your fingers, toss to coat breadcrumbs, then set mixture aside.
- In large pot, boil 4 quarts of water. Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes, until slightly al dente. Drain in colander, and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, heat milk in microwave or small saucepan, until it steams, and set aside.
- In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking slowly. Remove from heat and gradually add milk while whisking to avoid lumps. Return pot to medium-high heat and simmer sauce until it thickens to consistency of stirred yogurt, about 3 minutes.
- Add Cheddar cheese, pumpkin, mustard, black and cayenne peppers and nutmeg (optional), and stir until cheese melts completely.
- Mix in cooked pasta to cheese mixture.
- Spread mac and cheese in prepared baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumb and parmesan cheese mixture over top.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Per Serving: 340 calories, 13 g total fat (6 g saturated fat), 41g total carbs, 5g dietary fiber, 14g protein, 250mg sodium.