Pumpkin isn't just for sweets, it's for mac and cheese!
For the most part, however, my pumpkin admiration was mainly dedicated to sweets. I had never really tried any sort of savory dish with pumpkin, unless you count roasting the seeds and throwing some cajun or garlic spice on them.
So after drooling over recipe after recipe on Pinterest, I finally decided the first savory pumpkin dish I should try would most definitely be a macaroni and cheese bake. Seriously, it's macaroni and cheese, how can it ever go wrong?
Turns out, it doesn't, even when you do it in the crock pot and forego the whole following a recipe thing (I wasn't uber impressed by most of the ones I saw when thinking about translating them into veganism).
And besides, it's October, it's a little early for pumpkin pie, but I bet you've got a few cans of the pureed stuff laying around anyway.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
1 16 oz box of your favorite pasta (I went with whole wheat wheels, man, because they're cool)
1 medium sweet onion
1 can pureed pumpkin
1 stick vegan butter
1 container vegan cream cheese (I opted for Trader Joes brand, but you're more than welcome to make your own!)
1 wedge of Daiya cheddar cheese
1 cup Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Salt or pepper to taste
Cook your pasta according to the box. Turn your crock pot on high, dice up your onion and add it and the pasta to the crock pot. Stir in pureed pumpkin, cream cheese (softened) and butter (softened).
Chop up your wedge of Daiya cheddar (I wouldn't recommend trying to use a grater, it's much too soft for this. Just cut it up as tiny as you can without wasting a ton of time. You WANT to use the wedge for this recipe because it's super creamy and adds the perfect texture.
Stir all of this together and add a dash of salt and pepper.
Allow this to cook on high for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally, then stir in the panko breadcrumbs (if you just put them on top they won't really cook much). Sprinkle the one cup of cheddar shreds on top and cook on low for another hour.
Serve with some sort of green vegetable, because this mac and cheese is SO rich you're going to want something healthy to go along with it!