For a fun and easy Halloween supper, put it in a pumpkin shell! We used a large jack-o-lantern type pumpkin so it would hold enough for a crowd. Add more drama with a scattering of leaves spray-painted in black. For a fun Halloween meal to get in the spirit of the spooky season, bake mac and cheese in a pumpkin! The hollowed out shell will add subtle pumpkin flavors to the dish for pumpkin lovers. Not to mention it’s the perfect presentation for a fall dinner, especially if you decorate the table with colorful leaves. A large jack-o-lantern type pumpkin will hold enough for a crowd, and people will be clamoring for more of this delectable baked mac and cheese. If you want to really impress your guests or add some fun to a family dinner, you can’t go wrong with this pumpkin mac and cheese recipe!
This recipe is the perfect way to add a twist to a classic comfort food dish. Our Cabot Salted Butter combines with Cabot Sharp Cheddar for a creamy, cheesy sauce that will hit the spot. ½ teaspoon of dry mustard, a pinch of ground cayenne pepper, and a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce will add just the right amount of spicy kick to balance the richness of the sauce. To top it all off, buttered bread crumbs add the perfect crunchy texture to the baked mac and cheese. When baked in the pumpkin shell, the macaroni noodles will be perfectly soft and fluffy, and you’ll be able to taste the flavors of the fall season as you dig into this dish.
If you love pumpkin recipes, our pumpkin mac and cheese is a must-try! The kids will love it, dinner guests will love it, and you’ll get an extra kudos for your creative presentation. Be sure to whip up this dish for an upcoming Halloween or Thanksgiving party and watch the satisfied smiles of your guests as they enjoy this amazing mac and cheese. Don’t forget to rate and review the dish once you’ve given it a whirl. Let us know how you enjoyed it and share any tips on how to get even more creative with the recipe.
1 large pumpkin, about 11 inches in diameter, preferably with one flat side
4 cups small elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
6 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon dry mustard
Large pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 cups whole milk, heated
2 pounds Cabot Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated & divided (about 8 cups)
1 cup buttered bread crumbs
Get the ingredients you need at a convenient nearby location.
PREHEAT oven to 375ºF.
PLACE pumpkin flat-side-down or remove thin slice from one side so pumpkin will be stable. With sharp knife, cut pumpkin in half horizontally, slightly above stem, to form bowl.
REMOVE fiber and seeds. With spoon or ice cream scoop, scrape out some of flesh so shell has a thickness of ¾ to 1 inch.
SPRAY top edge of pumpkin with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil, then place cut-side down on pizza pan or baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until pumpkin still holds it shape but flesh is cooked and can be pierced easily with a toothpick.
COOK and drain macaroni according to package directions while pumpkin bakes; set aside.
MELT butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into butter and whisk constantly until you have thick, smooth paste with nutty aroma, about 5 minutes.
ADD mustard, red pepper and Worcestershire. Gradually whisk in milk and continue stirring until sauce thickens and returns to simmer. Reduce heat to low.
ADD 7 cups of grated cheese and stir until melted. Add macaroni, stirring until well coated; remove from heat.
TURN baked pumpkin over with oven mitts. Place in large shallow baking dish or leave on baking sheet. Fill pumpkin with macaroni mixture and top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. (Put any mac and cheese that won’t fit in another small baking dish.)
BAKE until filling is puffed and golden, about 40 to 50 minutes longer (smaller baking dish will be done sooner). Let stand for about 10 minutes to settle before serving.
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I have made this several times and it is always the most popular dish at our events. Delish and beautiful to look at!!
So delicious and festive! Everyone loved it, thanks Cabot for making awesome products!
This was the hit of the party! I took it to a September bonfire and people were lovin’ it. I used my own homemade mac-n-cheese recipe and it turned out beautifully. Will be making this for Thanksgiving also!