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Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe to Bake at Home

Vegan pumpkin mac and cheese is a creamy and flavorful twist on the classic comfort food, using pumpkin puree to create a rich and velvety sauce. It’s a dairy-free alternative that’s perfect for those following a vegan diet or looking for a healthier version of the traditional dish.

Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

vegan mac and cheese

Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is a comforting and creamy dish with a twist. Velvety pumpkin puree blends harmoniously with savory seasonings, creating a luscious sauce that coats each bite. This plant-based version of the classic comfort food is both satisfying and wholesome, making it perfect for a cozy dinner.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook 4 ounces of macaroni pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup almond milk, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika to the saucepan. Stir well to combine.
  4. Cook the sauce for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.
  5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour the pumpkin sauce over the cooked macaroni and stir until the pasta is well coated.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy your delicious Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese!

Notes

  • For added creaminess, blend the pumpkin sauce in a blender before mixing it with the cooked macaroni.
  • Feel free to customize the spices to your liking. Add more smoked paprika for extra smokiness or a pinch of nutmeg for warmth.
  • To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free macaroni pasta.
  • For a crunchy topping, sprinkle breadcrumbs mixed with a little olive oil on top before baking.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped herbs like parsley or thyme for a pop of color and flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 181mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Ways to Eat Your Mac and Cheese

There are many ways to enjoy this great recipe.  Below are 3 different options:

Vegan Mac and Cheese with Kale

Vegan pumpkin mac and cheese with kale is a wholesome and nutritious twist on the classic dish. The addition of kale adds a pop of color, texture, and extra nutrients to the creamy pumpkin sauce. Simply sauté chopped kale until tender and mix it into the pumpkin mac and cheese before serving for a delicious and satisfying meal.

plant-based recipes

Spicy Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Spicy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese is a flavorful twist on the classic dish, adding a kick of heat to the creamy pumpkin sauce. To make it spicy, you can add ingredients like red pepper flakes, diced jalapeños, or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the sauce while cooking. Adjust the amount of spice to your preference, and serve the mac and cheese hot for a comforting and satisfying meal with a fiery twist.

spicy plant-based recipes

Topping for a Jacket Potato

Try using the vegan pumpkin mac and cheese as a topping on a jacket potato.  Creamy and indulgent, the pumpkin mac and cheese adds a rich and flavorful twist to the classic baked potato. Simply spoon a generous amount of the warm pumpkin mac and cheese over a fluffy baked potato, then garnish with your favorite toppings such as green onions, vegan bacon bits, and a dollop of dairy-free sour cream. The creamy texture of the mac and cheese perfectly complements the fluffy potato, creating a comforting and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

best vegan pumpkin mac and cheese on a potato

Health Benefits of Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Vegan pumpkin mac and cheese offers a variety of health benefits, making it a nutritious and satisfying alternative to traditional mac and cheese. Here are some key health benefits:

  1. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Pumpkin is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. These nutrients support overall health and can help boost the immune system.
  2. High in Fiber: Pumpkin is naturally high in fiber, which aids in digestion, promotes bowel regularity, and helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after meals. A diet rich in fiber is also linked to a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.
  3. Low in Calories and Fat: Compared to traditional mac and cheese made with dairy and high-fat ingredients, vegan pumpkin mac and cheese is typically lower in calories and fat. This makes it a lighter option for those looking to manage their weight or reduce their intake of saturated fat.
  4. Plant-Based Protein: While pumpkin itself is not a significant source of protein, vegan pumpkin mac and cheese can be made with ingredients like nutritional yeast, which is high in protein and provides all essential amino acids. Adding protein-rich ingredients to the dish can help support muscle growth and repair.
  5. Heart-Healthy Ingredients: Many of the ingredients used in vegan pumpkin mac and cheese, such as pumpkin puree, almond milk, and olive oil, are heart-healthy choices. These ingredients are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to dairy products, making them beneficial for heart health.
  6. Suitable for Various Dietary Restrictions: Vegan pumpkin mac and cheese is naturally dairy-free, making it suitable for those who are lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet. It can also be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta, making it accessible to individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Overall, vegan pumpkin mac and cheese is a delicious and nutritious dish that provides a range of health benefits. By incorporating this wholesome alternative into your diet, you can enjoy the creamy, comforting flavors of mac and cheese while supporting your overall health and well-being.

Ingredient Substitutions for Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

If you’re looking to customize your vegan pumpkin mac and cheese recipe or accommodate dietary restrictions, there are several ingredient substitutions you can make. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Pasta: While macaroni pasta is traditionally used in mac and cheese recipes, you can substitute it with your favorite pasta shape such as penne, rotini, or shells. Additionally, opt for gluten-free pasta if you follow a gluten-free diet.
  2. Pumpkin Purée: If you don’t have pumpkin puree on hand, you can substitute it with butternut squash puree or sweet potato puree for a similar texture and flavor profile. You can also get fresh pumpkin and put it in a high-powered blender.
  3. Almond Milk: Unsweetened almond milk adds creaminess to the sauce, but you can substitute it with other plant-based milks such as soy milk, oat milk, cashew milk or coconut milk. My favourite plant milk is oat.
  4. Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor to the vegan cheese sauce. If you don’t have nutritional yeast or prefer a different flavor, you can substitute it with vegan cheese shreds or a tablespoon of miso paste for umami richness.
  5. Olive Oil: Olive oil adds richness to the sauce, but you can substitute it with other cooking oils such as coconut oil or avocado oil.
  6. Spices: Feel free to customize the spices in the sauce to suit your taste preferences. You can add additional spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning for extra flavor.
  7. Toppings: While fresh herbs like parsley or thyme are commonly used as toppings, you can get creative with other toppings such as chopped green onions, crispy breadcrumbs, fresh sage or roasted pumpkin seeds for added texture and flavor.

By making these ingredient substitutions, you can tailor the vegan pumpkin mac and cheese recipe to your taste preferences or dietary needs while still enjoying its creamy and comforting flavors. Experiment with different ingredients to create a dish that’s uniquely yours.

Serving Suggestions

Enhance your dining experience with creative serving suggestions that complement the creamy and flavorful nature of vegan pumpkin mac and cheese. Here are some delightful ideas to elevate your meal:

  1. Side Salad: Serve vegan pumpkin mac and cheese alongside a crisp green salad tossed with fresh vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Drizzle with your favorite dressing for a refreshing and balanced accompaniment.
  2. Garlic Bread: Pair the indulgent flavors of pumpkin mac and cheese with warm and crusty garlic bread. Toast slices of your favorite bread and spread them with garlic-infused vegan butter for a savory and satisfying addition to your meal.
  3. Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, and cauliflower, complement the creamy texture of pumpkin mac and cheese beautifully. Toss the vegetables in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast until tender and caramelized for a hearty and nutritious side dish.
  4. Crunchy Toppings: Add texture and flavor to your pumpkin mac and cheese by sprinkling it with crunchy toppings, such as toasted breadcrumbs, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or crispy fried onions. These toppings provide a satisfying contrast to the creamy sauce and pasta.
  5. Fresh Herbs: Garnish your pumpkin mac and cheese with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, or chives, for a pop of color and freshness. The bright and aromatic herbs complement the rich and savory flavors of the dish beautifully.
  6. Pickled Vegetables: Add a tangy and refreshing element to your meal by serving pickled vegetables, such as pickled onions, cucumbers, or jalapeños, alongside your pumpkin mac and cheese. The acidity of the pickles helps balance the richness of the dish and adds a burst of flavor.
  7. Fruit Salad: For a lighter and refreshing option, pair your pumpkin mac and cheese with a fruit salad featuring seasonal fruits, such as apples, pears, and grapes. The sweetness of the fruit provides a delightful contrast to the savory flavors of the dish.
  8. Soup: Enjoy a comforting and satisfying meal by serving pumpkin mac and cheese alongside a bowl of your favorite soup, such as tomato basil or butternut squash. The combination of creamy pasta and warm soup creates a cozy and comforting dining experience.

By incorporating these serving suggestions, you can create a well-rounded and memorable meal featuring vegan pumpkin mac and cheese that’s sure to impress your family and guests alike.

More Options for Healthy Vegan Meals

This pumpkin mac and cheese is a vegan recipe which can be adapted for vegetarians by adding actual cheese.  For more vegan meal inspiration, check out the recipes below:

This post was a Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe

Thank you for checking out my easy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese recipe.  If you tried this recipe at home, please leave a review and star rating.  Vegan pumpkin mac and cheese offers a delicious and wholesome twist on a classic comfort food favorite. With its creamy pumpkin cheese sauce and tender cooked pasta, it’s the perfect dish to enjoy during pumpkin season or any time of year.

Whether you’re serving it as an easy weeknight meal or preparing it ahead for a special occasion, storing leftovers in an airtight container ensures that you can savor the delicious flavors of this dish for days to come.  Whether you’re a fan of fall-flavored sides or simply looking for a healthier take on a classic pasta dish, this creamy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese is sure to become a new favorite in your plant-based repertoire. 

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