Serve up a batch of this creamy, dreamy Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese recipe. This vegan mac and cheese is loaded with creamy flavor in every single bite. Pumpkin, lemon, salt, pepper, and more all join forces to make an epic adult mac and cheese.
Do you ever crave pasta? I know in our home we do. When it is fall, you can count on this pumpkin pasta being served up. Lunch or dinner—or even lunch prep—with your leftover creamy pasta.
This pumpkin mac and cheese pasta is..
- made with real pumpkin puree
- gluten-free (if you reach for gluten-free pasta)
- a delicious lunch or dinner the whole family can enjoy
- made with simple ingredients
- creamy and cheesy
How To Make Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Start by cooking your pasta as directed on the back of the box. Once done, drain the pasta.
- Then in a blender, toss in your pumpkin puree, cashews, all the spices, coconut milk, and blend till creamy.
- Pour the cheese sauce into the drained pasta. Return to stove and heat until the mixture is warmed through.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Bake The Mac and Cheese
Once you have your creamy pasta, you can pour it into a baking dish and then top with a crumb topping. Bake to allow the top to crisp up a bit. This transforms the texture into a baked pumpkin macaroni and cheese.
Add in Veggies
Consider stirring in some veggies at the end to make this a healthier dish. Broccoli, carrots, peas, or even cauliflower would be a great addition to the recipe.
Pumpkin Mac And Cheese FAQs
Can I leave out the nutritional yeast in the recipe?
The nutritional yeast in this creamy pasta recipe offers a tangy flavor that resembles parmesan cheese. It also partners with the cashews to help give you that cheesy consistency you want and love when it comes to traditional macaroni and cheese.
Is there an alternative to soaking cashews overnight?
If you happen to forget to soak your cashews or don't have the time, here's a tip. Boil your cashews on the stove for one hour in water. This is going to speed up the process and still provide that ultra-creamy texture you want!
Can you lessen the calories in this mac and cheese recipe?
If you want to lighten up the dish a bit, here is one option. Combine 2 parts water with 1 part lite coconut milk. Then measure out the same amount called for in the recipe—so 1 cup of liquid would still be needed for this pasta dish.
Can I make this pumpkin pasta with spaghetti squash?
If you want to skip pasta, spaghetti squash, or even zucchini noodles can be a great alternative. Just simply shred "noodles" out of the squash and then cook until ready. Then stir in the sauce, heat, and serve when ready.
Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked in cool water overnight or for 1 hour in boiling water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 10 ounces rigatoni pasta medium-sized macaroni shells, or pasta of your choice
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and salt generously. Cook the pasta according to the box directions until al dente and drain in a colander.
In a high-powered blender, add the pumpkin, the soaked and drained cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, nutmeg, salt, black pepper to taste, lemon juice, and coconut milk. Blend until the sauce is completely smooth and creamy, about 1–2 minutes. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly, adding more salt as needed.
Return the cooked and drained pasta back to the saucepan and add the cheese sauce.
Heat over medium heat until the sauce is well combined with the pasta and warmed through. Season the mac and cheese to taste.