Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Makes 4-6 Servings
Serve this delicious pumpkin mac and cheese in a Cinderella Pumpkin. Not only is it a dramatic presentation, but you get the added bonus of enjoying the sweet taste of pumpkin in every serving.
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  • 1 Cinderella or Princess Pumpkin (optional)
  • 2 - 16 ounces packages (900g) fusilli pasta
  • 5 tablespoons (75g) olive oil
  • 2 cups (450g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½  cups (135g) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 ½ cups (350ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) garlic powder
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (270) fresh kale leaves, stems removed
  • 12 sage leaves, stems removed and washed


Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).  

Wash the exterior of the pumpkin with soap and water and thoroughly dry.  Cut the top off creating a lid with a sharp knife.  Scoop out all the seeds and scrape the flesh clean.  Remove any extra flesh and seeds from the lid and set aside.  Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper and place the top back on the pumpkin.  Place it on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until flesh is soft and fork tender.

Wash and prepare the kale leaves into large bite-sized pieces.  Making sure the leaves are dry, take 2 cups (135g) of kale and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons (30ml) of olive oil and massage into the leaves.  Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10-12 minutes till crispy at 450°F (230°C).  Remove and set aside.  

In a frying pan over medium/high heat, add the freshly minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the 2 cups (135g) of kale leaves and sauté for one minute till wilted.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Wipe the pan clean and add 2 tablespoons (30ml) of olive oil over medium/high.  Add the sage leaves when oil starts to glisten.  Fry the sage leaves for 30 seconds or until just brown on the edges.  Remove with tongs and place on a paper towel.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the breadcrumbs to the pan.  Sauté until lightly toasted and remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add the heavy cream, pumpkin puree, parmesan cheese, mustard, nutmeg and garlic powder.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.  Stir to combine over medium heat until the cheese is melted.  

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions making sure not to over cook.  Drain and reserve ½ cup (120ml) of pasta water.  Return the pasta back to the pot and add the sautéd kale.  Combine gently.  Next, add the cheese sauce and mix until the pasta is covered.  Add a small amount of pasta water if the sauce is too thick.  

Add the pasta to the pumpkin.  Garnish the top with the breadcrumbs, crispy kale and sage leaves.  Serve immediately or warm it in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350F (176C) to heat through.  Add a tent of aluminum foil to prevent the pasta from drying out.

Chef Note: This pasta dish can be made on the stove top and served directly into bowls.


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