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I love macaroni and cheese…, but then again, who doesn’t? I wanted to make it this week for a few side dishes with dinner but I wanted to add nutritional value to it. I remembered that one time I made packaged mac and cheese and randomly decided to mix in some pumpkin puree I had in my fridge…and I loved it! I decided I would actually plan to do that in this recipe to still give the rich creamy texture, but cut out half of the cheese/fat as normal. It was delicious and a little spicy so you couldn’t even tell it had pumpkin in it! It went great with leftover bratwurst and sugar snap peas.

*When I first met Josh I noticed that he added ketchup to his mac and cheese all the time and I thought it was gross…until I tried it. It adds a lovely sweet/salty zest, I would recommend trying it 😉

Sneaky Mac and Cheese

Servings: 6

Prep/Total Time: 20 minutes

Nutrition Info: Calories-282; Fat-10g; Cholesterol-33mg; Sodium-346mg; Carbohydrates-33g; Fiber-6g; Protein-18g; Sugar-9g


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound whole wheat shells 
  • 18 oz pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups non-fat milk
  • 4 ounces 2 % extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 ounces 2% Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender but firm, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl
  3. Meanwhile, place the pumpkin puree and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally
  4. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, Jack cheese,yogurt, mustard and cayenne pepper
  5. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine
  6. *(Add ketchup)