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Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese {with Bacon!!}

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese You all know that I’m on Facebook right? Well, I have a confession: I find great joy in de-friending and hiding all my “friends” who send me requests for Farmville, SimCity or any other annoying game. You clearly HATE ME if you send me these requests 8200 times in a 36 hour period.

Also, do you REALLY just play Farmville all day? If so, please stop by my house and I will gladly give you a job to do {besides virtual farming}. Cause I’m nice like that.

I pay in food and that cannot be beat! {Unless I take a nap in which case, I will buy you a pizza.}

Maybe.

Anyways, this Macaroni and Cheese is RIDICULOUS. Straight from the heavens and filled to the brim with melty, cheesy, bacony goodness that YOU get to shovel into your mouth.

If you’re looking for a show stopping dinner that takes 30 minutes to make and only in 1 pot, then this is for YOU. Very simple ingredients go into this and it tastes amazing. In my opinion, anything that involves cheese and/or bacon has my vote. Always. Come October, pumpkin gets added to that list. Oh, potato chips is also on that list. So is butter. And oreos.

I could go on and on, but I’m tired {surprise surprise}, so I’ll get to it. Here’s how you make this:

Mac n Cheese 1 Start by boiling some water and cooking your pasta. While that is cooking away, chop up some garlic, bacon and onions.

Mac n Cheese 2 Once your pasta is al dente, drain and set aside.

Mac n Cheese 3 Place that hot pot back onto the heat, spray with a little non-stick {if desired} and render out this bacon until crispy.

Mac n Cheese 4 Then you’ll sauté the onions and garlic in the bacon grease and stir in some pumpkin and spices.

Mac n Cheese 5 Stir in a jar of alfredo sauce and a little milk too and then

Mac n Cheese 6 add in all your grated cheeses. I used sharp cheddar and fontina. Mmmm….cheese.

Mac n Cheese 7 After a minute or two, the cheeses should be melty and fabulous.

Mac n Cheese 8 Stir in the cooked pasta and half the bacon. Now stand back, take a big whiff and behold your work of art.

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese 1 Spoon this out into some bowls, top with some broken ruffles chips and the rest of the bacon and serve immediately. That’s it!

So delicious and super easy that this will instantly become a classic at your house this Fall! Give it a whirl today and send me a thank you card tomorrow. You’re welcome, America.

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Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese with Bacon

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 lb. short cut pasta, such as rotini
8 slices bacon, sliced
1 cup diced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
1- 15 oz. jar prepared Alfredo Sauce
3/4 cup milk
1/2 pound grated fontina cheese
1/3 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
plain ruffles chips, for garnish {optional}

Directions:

Bring large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside. Place hot pot back on heat and cook bacon until browned and crispy {or cook how you like it}. Remove bacon from pot and drain onto paper towels. In the bacon grease, sauté onions and garlic until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, spices and alfredo sauce. Pour milk into dirty alfredo sauce jar, replace lid, shake and pour into pot. Stir until combined. Sprinkle in cheeses and stir slowly to melt. Stir in cooked pasta and half the cooked bacon. Spoon into dishes and top with remaining bacon and crumble chips over top and serve immediately.


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44 Comments

  1. This looks sooo good, Lauren! I just made mac ‘n cheese today too! But no pumpkin in mine…darn! :)

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  2. I LOVE mac a cheese! and I love this seasonal version! why play farmville when you can be reading delicious posts like this!

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    • Lauren — October 18th, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

      Agreed!!

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  3. I thought I was the only one that liked to add chips to my mac n cheese!

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    • Lauren — October 18th, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

      OMG! So good. And LIFE CHANGING all at the same time.

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  4. Pumpkin, cheese, chips, and bacon? I’ll gladly show up at your house wearing my cleaning clothes for a big bowl of this. In fact, have a spare room? I’ll clean all day everyday for this!

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  5. I’ve made pumpkin mac and cheese before, but that bacon totally has me on this. Holy delicious!!

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  6. I find joy in defriending people too.
    I also find joy in bacon-y, cheesy pasta, especially when pumpkin is added. YUUUUUM!

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    • Lauren — October 18th, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

      I think we could become fast friends….

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  7. Oh, I cannot wait to try this!!!

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  8. This looks amazing! I never would have thought to pair pumpkin, mac and cheese with bacon together but it looks like a match made in heaven! I would love to come to your house! ha you have the best recipes.

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    • Lauren — October 18th, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

      Come on over any time!

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  9. This looks splendiferous. And if I don’t even call it macaroni and cheese, I bet my kids will never even think to compare it to that stuff in the box lol!

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  10. This was so amazingly good!!!!!! I love your recipes and it was so easy like I didn’t even have to cook it just stir :)!

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    • Lauren — October 18th, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

      I know! Perfection! And, you’re right! Your avatar is pretty smokin’!

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  11. Oh My Goodness Lauren! This looks so yummy!! Your recipes always wanna make me break my health kicks! I will definitely have to make this one on a cheat day!!

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  12. I made this the other day and was super excited for it! I was actually kind of disappointed, the flavor was odd. It just didn’t sit right with me or my room mate. Sad :(

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  13. Would turkey bacon be a good substitute?

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    • Lauren — October 21st, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

      No, because you need the extra grease to cook the onions and garlic. OR, if you don’t mind the taste of turkey bacon, just use a few tablespoons of butter to cook the onions and garlic. It won’t taste the same, but it could work.

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  14. This literally combines my three favorite things in the world. Pumpkin, Bacon, and Mac and Cheese. Oh yeah chips aren’t bad either :)

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  15. Made this last night. Both my husband and I liked it. My 13 year old said it was good but there were too many flavors…lol cheese, bacon, cinnamon, salt etc. Great comfort food for a fall Sunday night of football and baseball!

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  16. is there an alternative to the fontina cheese? i live in a smallish town and it is sometimes hard to find some things.

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    • Lauren — October 23rd, 2012 @ 7:14 am

      Gouda or mozzarella!

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      • Rachel — October 26th, 2012 @ 10:30 am

        Thanks! I ended up making it with mozarella and it was yummy. I actually found the fontina, but it was a bit on the pricy side. my hubby liked it, too. I didn’t tell him it had pumpkin it because he probably wouldn’t have even tried it. =)

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  17. I just stumbled onto your website and I am in love! Your recipes are simple, and creative. And your photos are wonderful and helpful. I hope you are making some money by doing this because you should never stop. (unless you really really want to, of course)

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  18. I don’t like pumpkin…so could I swap out the pumpkin for maybe cream of mushroom soup? If not then what would you suggest? Other than the pumpkin this sounds yummy!!!

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    • Kellie — November 7th, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

      Oh and I don’t like sweet potato either lol.

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  19. Yeah. Making this tonight. Cookin’ on the fly this week and I love it!!

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  20. Hi! I know I’m about a year late, but I just made this tonight and wanted to tell you it’s amazing! I couldn’t find grated fontina at Walmart so I subbed in mozzarella. Other changes I made: I left out the cinnamon, used light alfredo sauce, and topped it with kettle-cooked salt and pepper chips. Even my husband, who claimed before I made it that he would hate it, really loved it. I found him stealthily eating it out of the pot on the stove. Thanks for the great recipe!

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  21. any suggestions on substituting the Alfredo sauce, we are not fans of that :(

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    • Lauren — September 5th, 2013 @ 8:32 am

      Do you not like jarred alfredo, or alfredo itself all together? Homemade alfredo is always an option, or Trader Joes carries a great version that doesn’t have anything funky in it.

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    • Jessica B. — September 26th, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

      We don’t like Alfredo, either, but my mac ‘n’ cheese calls for a roux with butter, flour, and milk, and then a few pieces of American cheese to make a creamy cheese sauce. (Normally we don’t eat that, either, but it gives it the consistency it needs.) It would require a separate pan, but should give you very similar results. I am hoping to try it with this recipe and see what we think. Good luck!

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  22. I just made this and it was absolutely as delicious as I envisioned it to be from your photos! I ended up adding peas (just to get another veggie in) and I thought it went quite well together. Thanks for the recipe! I really enjoy reading your blog (and occasionally trying some of your recipes).

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  23. This sounds yummy. I think I would probably make a white sauce and add the pumpkin bacon and cheese to that instead of using sauce out of a jar. I can’t stand the taste of jarred alfredo sauces.

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  24. Love this!!! It looks absolutely amazing. :)

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