Smokin’ Chipotle Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Smokin’ Chipotle Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Smokin, savory and warm out of the oven, chipotle macaroni and cheese! Kick it up a notch on the next game day!

What could be more inviting on a chilly day than a hot casserole dish of macaroni and cheese straight out of the oven? How about a smokin' chipotle pumpkin macaroni and cheese? I cannot emphasize enough to those of you who have not ventured and tried a savory pumpkin dish, that you should try this! So get those visions of pumpkin pie out of your head and instead imagine a smoky, creamy and cheesy macaroni dish with a hint of pumpkin and spice. I really enjoy pairing chipotle peppers with cheese baked casseroles, such as this one. This dish is a must for a cold-day feast.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked macaroni follow package directions for cooking pasta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 chipotles in adobo minced
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotles
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon or honey mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Pinch fresh nutmeg grated
  • Pinch cinnamon powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese shredded
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

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Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drizzle with a little olive oil so it does not stick. Transfer to a baking pan and set aside.
  2. Heat a large pot to medium/low heat. Add the butter. Once butter melts, whisk in the flour until smooth. Continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes to cook some of the raw flour flavor out. Whisk in the milk and pumpkin puree until well incorporated. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients, minus the cheese. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Do not let it boil.
  4. In a bowl, combine the two cheese varieties. Set aside. Once sauce thickens, remove from heat and add 3 cups of cheese. Stir just until melted. Pour over pasta and stir well to combine.
  5. Top macaroni with remaining cheese and seasoned bread crumbs. Spray or drizzle the bread crumbs with a little oil. Bake covered with foil for 35 minutes, then uncover and brown under the broiler for a few minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Chef Notes

This dish can be prepared 2 days ahead of time. Create a mac and cheese bar for your next gathering. Display several add-ins and toppings, such as bacon bits, green onions, avocado, shredded chicken, beef chili, roasted vegetables and extra cheese. Serve in smaller ramekins and let your friends biuld there own mac and cheese.

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