Mac and Cheese Baked in a Pumpkin

For a fun Halloween meal to get in the spirit of the spooky season, bake mac and cheese in a pumpkin!

Mac and Cheese Baked in a Pumpkin

Add more drama with a scattering of leaves spray-painted in black. 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!

Ingredients

  • 1 large pumpkin, about 11 inches in diameter, preferably with one flat side
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups small elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
  • 6 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 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

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove fiber and seeds. With spoon or ice cream scoop, scrape out some of flesh so shell has a thickness of 3/4 to 1 inch.
  4. 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.
  5. Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions while pumpkin bakes; set aside.
  6. 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.
  7. Add mustard, red pepper and Worcestershire. Gradually whisk in milk and continue stirring until sauce thickens and returns to simmer. Reduce heat to low.
  8. Add 7 cups of grated cheese and stir until melted. Add macaroni, stirring until well coated; remove from heat.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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.

Yield: 16 servings

Recipe and photo used with permission from: Cabot Creamery Co-operative

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