Transition into Fall Pumpkin & Cider Mac & Cheese

Fall. It’s a transitional season that I always associate with unpredictability. On some autumn days, I am still wearing sandals, shorts, and sleeveless tops to enjoy the warm, lingering days of summer, while on other days, I am in boots, jeans and a sweatshirt in much cooler weather. Often, the change from summer attire to fall attire is within the same day!
 Apple and pumpkin are both very popular fall flavors. Have you ever noticed that fruits & vegetables that ripen at the same time often make great dishes together? I have and these two are a good example. I’ve used the pumpkin & apple combination in a few past posts. There was a Pumpkin Soup with Apple-Cranberry Relish as well as a Pumpkin Apple Dessert Pizza. (I also posted a Butternut Squash Soup with Apple & Peanut Butter. Butternut squash is similar to pumpkin in taste and texture.) I love the apple & pumpkin flavor combination. The low-key flavor of pumpkin tempers the sweetness of the apple (cider, in this case) and adds creaminess to the cheese sauce in this seasonal mac & cheese recipe. Enjoy!

Pumpkin & Cider Mac & Cheese

Pumpkin & Cider Mac & Cheese (adapted from bakeaholicmama.com)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound box of dry pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • sage leaves and bacon crumbles for garnish

Directions:

Prepare the pasta according to the box directions.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk them together until a paste forms.

Start the cheese sauce.

Whisk in the cider and milk, and bring the mixture to a low boil. Mix in the shredded cheese, cream cheese, pumpkin, salt, and pepper, mixing it all together until it is smooth.

Add the cheddar cheese, pumpkin, and cream cheese to the sauce.

Combine the prepared pasta with the pumpkin & cider cheese sauce.

Add the cheese sauce to the cooked pasta.

Mix the sauce & pasta together until it is well combined.

Serve each bowl with bacon crumbles and garnish with fresh sage, if desired.

A fall riff on mac & cheese!

Fall flavors go well with mac & cheese!  ~Linda

Pumpkin & Cider Mac & Cheese (adapted from bakeaholicmama.com)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound box of dry pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • sage leaves and bacon crumbles for garnish

Directions:

Prepare the pasta according to the box directions.

Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk them together until a paste forms.

Whisk in the cider and milk, and bring mixture to a low boil.

Mix in the shredded cheese, cream cheese, pumpkin, salt, and pepper, mixing it all together until it is smooth.

Combine the prepared pasta with the pumpkin & cider cheese sauce.

Serve each bowl with bacon crumbles and garnish with fresh sage, if desired.    

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