Mid November and the fall vibes are strong around here! I’m already forgetting why I was sad that summer is over. Life is just so cozy right now and I love it. And I am more than a little obsessed with this baked pasta dish right here. Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Cheddar and Lager Beer. Imagine rich, cheesy cheddar fondue, but with pasta. Oh yeah.
What’s in this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Here is what you’ll need to make this uber-cozy fall meal:
- Pasta – choose a small shape (like girelle) that has nooks and crannies for the sauce to cling to
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Cream cheese
- Quality lager beer
- Canned pumpkin puree
- Dry mustard
The beer you choose matters in this recipe. A quality lager is important, but don’t go crazy with expensive ones. You’re cooking with it, not drinking it! My favorites for this Pumpkin Cheddar Mac and Cheese are Samuel Adams and Yuengling. They lend a hoppy, earthy flavor to the cheese sauce without being overpowering.
That said, if you are a beer lover, you might have fun with a darker beer like Guinness. The darker the beer, the more you’re going to taste it in this dish. Guinness is kind of amazing, in my humble opinion. But choose what you like.
And when choosing a cheddar cheese, go as sharp as you can! My favorite sharp cheddar for cooking is Cabot.
How to make Pumpkin Cheddar Lager Mac and Cheese
Cheese fondue is a very rare treat, and one that I savor. This Pumpkin Mac and Cheese gives all the feels of a decadent fondue, plus pumpkin cause, you know – fall.
Traditional fondue starts with garlic and either wine or beer, and that’s exactly how this recipe starts:
- First, get the beer and garlic sizzling in a little butter.
- Then, stir in the dry mustard and pumpkin.
- The sharp cheddar goes in last.
- Once you get a creamy consistency, it’s time to toss it with your pasta.
You can serve this mac and cheese directly from the stovetop. Personally, I like to bake my mac for a few minutes just to get a little bit of crust on top.
I’m thinking that this Pumpkin Cheddar Lager Mac & Cheese is going to end up on our Thanksgiving table this year. The kids are so complainy about traditional side dishes (I know, so rude), so I know that this dish will get gobbled up in no time. No pun intended.
If you make this Pumpkin Cheddar Lager Mac and Cheese, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Tag me in your photos and drop a rating down below. Enjoy!
For more cozy pasta recipes, try these:
For more recipes with pumpkin, try these:
- Pumpkin Burrata Toasts with Fig & Crispy Sage
- Quick Pumpkin Spice Bread Recipe
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Cheddar Lager Mac & Cheese
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 bottle (12 oz.) lager beer
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
- 1 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 400. Cook and drain the pasta according to package directions.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.
- Whisk in the garlic and flour. Whisk until bubbling, about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the beer, pumpkin puree, dry mustard and salt.
- Lower the heat and stir in the cheeses. Stir until smooth. Add the pasta.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Bake 10-15 minutes, until bubbling.
Sean Drake says
I am wondering aloud what seafood would work as your protein. Secondly, it’s rather heavy on the palate so would adding Vodka or some type of herb elevate it. Help!!!!!
Hi Sean! This is a pretty hearty, earthy recipe. The only seafood that I think might work would be lobster? I would lean towards pairing it with roast chicken or pork for protein. In terms of herbs, fresh sage or rosemary – even thyme – would be amazing! Hope this helps.