Vegan Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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Saute pan with Pumpkin Mac 'n' Cheese topped with fresh sage leaves

It’s pumpkin season (!!) and I haven’t been able to shake the idea of pumpkin pasta from my mind since I spotted the first pumpkins at the grocery store. Friends, let’s make creamy, dreamy pumpkin mac ‘n’ cheese!

Adorable pumpkins on a baking sheet for making gluten-free vegan Pumpkin Mac 'n' Cheese

Origins of Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Mac ‘n’ cheese is the ultimate comfort food! But where did it come from?

It’s believed that the earliest written recipe for a dish resembling mac ‘n’ cheese comes from a 13th century cookbook from southern Italy. The dish (named de lasanis) was made with squares of fermented lasagne dough layered with spices and cheese.

But maybe that’s not what you picture when you hear mac ‘n’ cheese? The dish has been modified in many ways over time!

It’s thought that mac ‘n’ cheese was first introduced in the US when Thomas Jefferson brought back a pasta machine from his travels in Italy. Or perhaps that it originated from a popular New England church dish called macaroni pudding. Then in 1937, Kraft released their boxed mac ‘n’ cheese and it quickly gained popularity because of its affordability.

Our plant-based, pumpkin-infused version has all the comfort but without the dairy!

How to Make Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese

This easy pumpkin pasta requires just 10 ingredients and simple methods. I even show you how to roast a pumpkin so you can impress your friends and family with this from-scratch meal. (Or buy canned pumpkin to save time!)

Once your pumpkin is roasted, it’s time to make the sauce, which is a simple mixture of ingredients like sage, garlic, nutritional yeast, almond milk, and vegan parmesan cheese. I added a pinch of pumpkin pie spice to add some warmth and spice as well as an optional pinch of red pepper flake for some heat.

Whisking the sauce for gluten-free vegan Mac 'n' Cheese in a large saute pan

Once you cook your pasta, all that’s left to do is mix it with your sauce and serve! I opted to sprinkle on more vegan parmesan cheese, broil for a crusty topping, and garnish it with a bit of sautéed sage (which I consider extra-fancy but nonessential touches).

Serving two bowls of Pumpkin Mac 'n' Cheese from a large saute pan

I hope you all LOVE this pasta! It’s:

Creamy
Cheesy
Pumpkin-infused
Satisfying
Comforting
Easy to make
& Super delicious

This would make the perfect meal when you’re craving something hearty yet healthy this fall and winter. It would also make a beautiful holiday entrée or side dish. While it’s delicious on its own, it would also pair well with this Creamy Kale Salad with Chickpeas & Shallots, Apple Pecan Arugula Salad, or Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables!

For more pumpkin goodness, be sure to check out our Simple Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Pie Bars, Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie, and Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of comforting gluten-free vegan Pumpkin Mac 'n' Cheese with some vegan parmesan cheese for serving

Creamy Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Amazing, creamy, flavorful pumpkin mac ‘n’ cheese made with 10 simple ingredients! The perfect dairy- and gluten-free entrée for fall and the holiday season!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Pan of Vegan Pumpkin Mac 'n' Cheese topped with fresh sage leaves
4.71 from 54 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 as side, 2 as entrée
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 1 (2-3 lb) sugar or pie pumpkin (or sub 2 cups (450 g) canned pumpkin puree*)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil (optional )
  • 2 cloves garlic*
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1-1 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond or rice milk (start with lower end of range)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped sage or thyme (I used half thyme, half sage)
  • 4-5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake or cayenne pepper (optional)

PASTA

TOPPINGS optional

  • Vegan parmesan cheese
  • Fresh sage sautéed in oil over medium heat for 1 minute or until just slightly browned
  • Pine nuts

Instructions

  • If baking your pumpkin, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Otherwise, if using canned pumpkin puree, skip to step 4.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the tops of your pumpkin off and then cut pumpkin in half. Use a sharp spoon or ice cream scoop to scrape out all the seeds and strings. (Save the seeds for roasting!)
  • Optional: Brush the flesh with a neutral, high heat oil, such as avocado. And place flesh down on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin. In the last 20 minutes of roasting, add the two cloves of garlic still in skin to the baking sheet to slightly brown and soften. Then remove pan from the oven and let the pumpkin cool. Also peel garlic cloves and set aside.
  • If serving with pasta, start boiling water and cooking pasta at this time. Once pasta is cooked, drain and set aside. Optional: I like to drizzle mine with a little olive or avocado oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and vegan parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
  • To make the sauce, add 2 cups (as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) baked pumpkin (or pumpkin puree) to a high-speed blender along with peeled roasted garlic, arrowroot starch, dairy-free milk (starting with amount at lower end of range), sea salt, sage or thyme (I used both), nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan cheese, pumpkin pie spice, and red pepper flake (optional).
  • Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed. Add more salt for saltiness, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, sage or thyme for herbiness, vegan parmesan cheese for depth of flavor, pumpkin pie spice for pumpkin flavor and warmth, or red pepper flake for spice (optional).
  • To heat/thicken the sauce, pour into a rimmed skillet and heat over medium-low heat, whisking frequently until sauce is hot and slightly thickened – 3-5 minutes. If it gets too thick, thin with a bit more dairy-free milk.
  • To serve, add cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Serve as is or (optional) sprinkle with 2 Tbsp (10 g // as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) vegan parmesan cheese and broil on medium for 1-3 minutes, watching very carefully until barely browned.
  • Enjoy hot and garnish with pine nuts or sautéed sage if desired. Cool leftovers and store in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days.

Notes

*2 cloves garlic is equal to ~1 Tbsp minced.
*If using canned pumpkin puree, add the garlic raw to the blender or sauté in 1 Tbsp oil for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat before blending.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without additional toppings.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 297 Carbohydrates: 54.2 g Protein: 11.3 g Fat: 4.7 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 306 mg Fiber: 4.4 g Sugar: 3.9 g
AMAZING Pumpkin Mac 'n' Cheese! 10 ingredients, cheesy, hearty, SO delicious! #vegan #plantbased #pumpkin #pasta #recipe #glutenfree #minimalistbaker

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  1. tim says

    Sorry for maybe asking a silly question, perhaps my English is failing me, but what exactly do you mean by “starting with amount at lower end of range”?
    Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tim, sorry for any confusion there! If an ingredient says 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, that would mean starting with 2 tablespoons. We write it that way because if you want to modify the number of servings, it wouldn’t modify the instructions if we wrote “starting with 2 tablespoons.” Does that make more sense?

  2. Roxy says

    Made this dish for thanksgiving and it was my favorite thing I made! I didn’t have vegan parm so I added extra corn starch, nutritional yeast, a pinch more salt + plus a little miso and it was still perfection!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Roxy. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  3. Sabrina says

    I can’t get over how DELICIOUS this recipe is! Saving it in my favs and going to remake it often for sure. Thank you for such tasty, simple food!

  4. Amelia says

    This recipe is amazing!! I made it last night using roasted butternut squash puree instead of pumpkin puree, and it came out ridiculously
    smooth and creamy. I love that this recipe doesn’t use cashews, as I don’t have a high speed blender. I really can’t get over how luxurious and velvet-like the texture of this sauce is. I even forgot to add the arrowroot powder, but I didn’t notice a difference. Thank you so much for the fabulous recipe!

  5. Kathleen says

    This was incredible. I haven’t had a great mac and cheese in ages. Fed it to 4 kids, all of whom loved it. Lightened up on the spices (no thyme, less sage, no pumpkin spice) because they can be a picky bunch. Made a double batch and all of it was gone! Amazing recipe, thanks!

  6. Giada says

    Hello
    I made this recipe last night, it was very good and unique. I personally found the flavor of sage too strong, so next time I would use less of it.
    I put the pasta and the sauce in a casserole and cooked it in the oven for 10 minutes at 150 celcius , and then grilled it for 5. It made a little crust soo good!

  7. Cindy says

    I can’t tell you how delicious this was!! Made it tonight and it is so creamy and flavorful. So easy too…The blender does all the work! I didn’t have sage so added basil and it was still delicious. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  8. Kirsti says

    Holy moly was this tasty! The husband and I love pumpkin and pasta so making this dish was a no-brainer, and it delivered! SO good. Except for the use of canned pumpkin – it was already in the cupboard – I followed the recipe to a tee. The husband topped his with some extra cheddar shreds but the end result was so smooth I don’t know if it needed it… The best thing about this dish is it satisfies that love of creamy pasta without feeling like you ate a brick!

  9. Kim H says

    This was so YUMMY! I roasted 2 small squashes from my CSA box (Koginut and Black Futsu) and proceeded as directed. Simple to make and so delicious. I was too lazy to add fried sage leaves to the top but I really should have. I imagine it would have been even better. Thank you for a great dinner!

  10. Esther says

    I just made this and it was absolutely delicious! I froze some the sauce, will see how it turns out…
    I only used a couple leaves of dried sage as it tasted quite strong, no thyme, replaced the pumpkin spice with just a dash of cinnamon and used espelette pepper instead of cayenne.
    It’s definitely going to become a weekly recipe of mine!

  11. Nicole says

    WOW!
    I will make this all year long. Not just autumn.
    What a cozy pasta, and SOOOO easy to prep. I used canned pumpkin, and had enough for the pumpkin biscuits 😋

  12. Jessee urbaitis says

    We made this last night, and my husband couldn’t get over how savory the sauce was! I used canned pumpkin with great results and didn’t buy fresh thyme but the store bought spice version still really stood out in the recipe. Topped with chopped pecans for crunch. Perfect! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Jessee. We are so glad you both enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  13. Julie K says

    We have way too many pumpkins in our yard, so this recipe came in handy! The pumpkin I used was mildly flavored, probably since it was rather large. So I used a little extra nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan. It was a perfect cheesy consistency using the exact amount of “milk” and arrowroot specified. I added the pasta and sauce and some diced tomatoes to a casserole dish, and topped it with more grated vegan cheese, sage and bread crumbs, then put it under the broiler for 5 minutes. It turned out awesome!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Carolina, we’d suggest more pumpkin and/or almond milk to try to dilute the sage a bit. Hope that helps!

  14. Shannon says

    This was delicious and very easy to make! I followed the sauce recipe more or less as written using canned pumpkin purée and thyme, and just added a little extra vegan parmesan and a splash of apple cider vinegar for some zing. I mixed a bunch of sautéed kale in with the pasta + sauce and topped it with some hot sauce (Cholula green pepper sauce was A++ on this). I think this would also be great with other veggie add-ins (e.g. broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms). We’ll be making this again regularly!

  15. Karina says

    Oh my, this was just oh so good! I really loved it. I used hazelnut milk as that was the only milk I had and it tasted amazing! Next time, I think I will try doubling the garlic, it smelled so heavenly when I was roasting it so I think I would like to taste it more in the finished sauce.

  16. Cathy says

    Made this tonight and mmmm! Used organic pumpkin puree from TJ’s, pan sauteed the garlic in olive oil, used brown rice pasta, and oat milk as subs. Only used 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast since this was the first time we ever tried it (I’ve heard it can upset your stomach if you overdo it the first time). My 2 year old son and I loved it! Thank you for the recipe! We are trying more vegan dishes than not this year and this was a familiar, warm and flavorful dish. Delicious!

    • Alex says

      Hi I’m making this tonight, I was just wondering why it’s not suitable for freezing? Thanks :)

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Alex, we find the texture isn’t desirable once frozen. You could freeze the sauce though.

  17. Heather says

    Hello Dana,
    I made this yesterday and it was so yummy. I used Banza chick pea pasta (and I had my Italian friend on the phone coaching me through the pasta because I’ve never been able to do dry pasta well) I had to use pumpkin puree from a can. I didn’t modify but will likely add more nutritional yeast next time. And the Vegan Parm was so easy.
    It came out great and tasted good cold for lunch today at work with plain greens. I love cold mac and cheese so I was very happy. Thank you for all these great recipes and bringing foods to my kitchen that I once thought were only available at restaurants.

    As an aside, a DIY video on making great dry pasta would be helpful to me. It seems so simple but I ruin it most of the time.

  18. MJ says

    I recently used chickpea pasta, pumpkin purée, sage only, and added smoked paprika for additional flavor. Love this recipe! I’ve also tried this with jalapeño cheddar cheese in place of the vegan cheese substitutes — and it was delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! We’re so glad you enjoyed it!

  19. Sandra says

    Hi Dana
    I was wondering if I could use oat milk instead of the rice/almond milk?
    Just wanted to also let you know that our family has become vegans over the last six weeks as it is our lifestyle change. I found your website on day one and have continued to use your recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner…..and desserts of course. Thank you….you are our godsend! Love, Love, Love all your recipes. 100% success!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Sandra! Thanks so much for sharing! Oat milk should work well. Let us know how it goes!

  20. Betsy says

    Delish! Such a festive pasta dish. I used chickpea pasta and it worked beautifully. I doubled the entire recipe for a pot luck and have a lot of sauce left. Would just the sauce be freezer friendly? Thanks so much for all of your amazing recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing that tip, Milena. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  21. Molly says

    A perfect amalgamation of flavors. I used canned pumpkin but would like to try the whole pumpkin route next time. I loved the pine nuts and sauteed sage garnish. Looking forward to trying your other pumpkin recipes soon. :3

  22. Danni says

    First recipe I’ve EVER followed that turned out literally perfect. I’m going to make this again and again and again, it’s absolutely genius. 100% impressed. Making this literally made my week. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Danni. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  23. jane says

    Wow! This was gourmetish. I made this for my daughter and I. A sauce with sausage for my husband. He preferred ours! Who wouldn’t?! This was nothing like the mac n cheese we have here. This is good enough for company. I too used 1/2 fresh thyme and 1/2 fresh sage. Devine! Added a tsp of veggie broth powder as well. Served with a side salad and baguette. Bookmarked and a keeper! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jane. We are so glad you all enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  24. Kelsey says

    I’m making this recipe soon for a friend who is allergic to cashews so I won’t be able to use your recipe for vegan Parmesan. Do you think it will work if I buy a package of grated vegan (nut-free) Parmesan from wholefoods?

  25. Chloe says

    I’m in love I’m love and I don’t care who knows it!!! This is my new favorite fall dinner recipe, and I’m psyched that it’s only the beginning of September. I followed it to a T and you really are missing out if you don’t try this golden dish. <3

  26. jules says

    I made this by roasting a pumpkin and subbed arrowroot for corn flour. so yum! I couldn’t find vegan parmesan cheese (thnx australia), so only had nutritional yeast. it missed the sharpness, so i shall be adding lemon to my left overs! yum!!!

  27. Tamara says

    This is one of my ultimate favourite minimalist baker recipes! It’s quick, easy, and cheesy (without cheese!) Highly recommend!

  28. Emily says

    Made this for Thanksgiving dinner this year and it was a huge hit with the family! Had to share the recipe with several family members the next day upon request :)

    I used canned pumpkin and it worked just fine!

  29. Claudia says

    My mom gave me 4 cups of left over frozen pumpkin, so I had to give this recipe a try. I used cornstarch instead of arrowroot and used coconut milk for the plant milk. It was absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making again.

  30. Nicole says

    I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the flavor combination but I actually really liked how everything came together. My only suggested change would be using less arrowroot (1 tablespoon max) as this did taste a bit starchy.

    I decided not to use the blender since I was using Pumpkin Puree and just made sure to mix everything together in my saute pan. Fewer dishes to clean on a Sunday night can never be a bad thing…

    I added a lot of crushed red pepper and sauteed mushrooms to mine, then broiled for 3 minutes with additional vegan parmesan cheese and panko to top everything off.

  31. Taylor R says

    Made this as a dish for thanksgiving and it was so yummy! I used corn starch instead of arrowroot (cuz I couldn’t find any) added cinnamon and extra pumpkin pie spice, also lots of the vegan parm cheese which was delicious, and baked it for 15 min after. Would definitely make this again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Taylor! Next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. xo!

  32. Megan Stewart says

    This was my first time using fresh sage. Google it. It’s extremely bitter and do not use too much! It ruined the whole recipe. Next time I would just stick with the dried thyme I have in my cabinet. Dana, I feel like it would be helpful to note *dried* in the ingredients list or mention a warning in the post.

    I saved time by cooking the whole pumpkin in the instant pot.

  33. Lilia Miranda says

    I made a blogger account a few months ago, and i added some pictures to my sidebar and don’t know how to remove them. I used the image hosting site ‘Photobucket’ to put the pictures on my blog, and put my login information there nd they did it for me. I don’t like how one of the pictures look and I really want to remove/delete it. Help? Thanks..

  34. Libby says

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it several times and tweaked it a bit each time. Since I usually serve it as an entree, I like to bulk it up and add more protein. So, I added 1 can of white beans to the blender with everything else and then adjusted the seasonings. Sometimes, I add roasted kale (tossed with a little oil, salt, and pepper) on top too.

  35. Klara says

    Hello! I made this recipe yesterday for dinner but apparently I made too much pumpkin purée! I have a lot of leftover. Any idea what I can do with the rest of a pumpkin purée? The sauce was delicious, thank you for this recipe!
    Klara

  36. Lindsay says

    This was absolutely amazing and so easy to make. I ended up adding more fresh herbs and more red pepper flakes for spiciness. I did add some black pepper st the end too.

    I would like to know if you think this would be worth baking? I am going to make it for thanksgiving and will be using smaller noodles. My thought is to put in a casserole dish, and top it with bread crumbs and bake for maybe 15 @ 350? I want it to stay creamy and not sure if it will.

    Any advice is welcome. Thank you for being my
    Main go-to for recipes. My omnivorous husband loves you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lindsay! We haven’t tried baking this dish and can’t say for sure, but if you experiment with it, report back! Good luck!

  37. Sarah says

    Hi Dana! I have a friend I’m making this with that’s intolerant to garlic. I love garlic, and would love to include it, but I clearly can’t. Do you think the recipe will be okay without it or do you have any mods (extra spices, etc) that may be a good substitute?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      This recipe does not freeze well and our other ones don’t either, but you can keep leftovers and store in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. Hope this helps!

  38. Sophie says

    This is my FAVORITE go-to recipe! So cheap, simple, easy, AND delicious! I don’t have a high-capacity or high-powered blender… So I sautee the sage, garlic, and pumpkin pie spice in the oil before adding in the pumpkin. Absolutely no need to blend – it’s delicious as-is! For a bit of added protein, I swap in red lentil pasta… Soooo dreamy and filling! Every time I warm it up at work, I get loads of compliments on the smell.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We are glad to hear you enjoy this recipe, Sophie! Thanks for sharing your recipe changes :D

  39. Miranda R says

    I mostly loved this! It was creamy, warm, and satisfying. However, I’m not big on sweetness, so the pumpkin pie spice gave it too much of a dessert vibe for me. I tried balancing it out with extra nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper, which helped. I want to try this with canned butternut squash to see what that does to the flavor!

  40. Linda says

    I LOVE this recipe – I’ve made it a couple of times and tonight I really wanted some comfort food – also had fresh peas. It was wonderful- thank you !!
    Wish I could send a picture –

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’d love to see what you cooked up, Linda! To share a photo, upload it to Instagram and use the hashtag #MinimalistBaker so we can check it out!

  41. Merry says

    Love lots of your other recipes and keen to give this one a try. Would it be possible to substitute sweet potatoes instead of the pumpkin?? Or would that not work?

  42. Sophie Rock says

    This was AMAZING! Used canned pumpkin, and instead of blending I sauteed the garlic, sage, and spices in a pot, added the pumpkin and milk, and then slowly incorporated (TONS) of nutritional yeast until it hit desired flavor and texture! So easy and SO delicious!

    THANK YOU for the recipe!!

  43. Ellen says

    I added a rinsed tin of white beans, whizzed up in my nutribullet to up the protein content. Tasted delicious!

  44. veganista says

    I made this on a cold Spring night. Amazing texture and flavor! I did not have sage or thyme handy but added 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence, dijon mustard and omitted the arrowroot starch. I placed the pumpkin ‘cheese’ sauce with the gluten free pasta into a casserole, topped it with Daiya cheddar cheese, popped it in the oven for 15 mins for an extra crispy topping. I garnished the dish with fried capers. Really an inspirational recipe, thank you, Dana!

  45. AmberEm says

    I’ve made this twice and I only used Canned pumpkin. I added garlic infused oil to the pumpkin as instructed in the notes and it really helped!
    I added steamed broccoli, vegan cheese, basil and sriracha to it and this is definitely a keeper!
    Thank you!!??

  46. Shelby says

    Made this for dinner tonight, using canned pumpkin. Was pretty good, but agree that fresh pumpkin would have been better.

  47. Tulsi says

    For me, this dish needs something to make it interesting. It was bland. I used the fresh pumpkin, and I like pumpkin, but the sauce tasted starchy and flat dispite the seasonings.

  48. Valerie says

    I love this recipe! Today was my second time making it and I didn’t have a dairy free milk this time! So I subbed it with Trader Joe’s Veggie Stock and it was just as delicious! Noms, noms, noms in my belly it went!

  49. Liz says

    I just made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! It satisfied my craving for something warm and creamy on a rainy day. I could eat this sauce with a spoon! That being said, I actually served it with some gluten free gnocchi and threw in some pan seared tempeh for extra protien. I found that adding the red pepper flakes and a little extra salt really made a difference in the taste.

  50. Chrissy says

    I made this last night, and I loved it. I was looking for an alternative to tomato sauce and this recipe was a welcomed change. I used canned pumpkin and found my sauce to be a little off (too bitter maybe?) so I added some unsweetened applesauce to take the edge off and that worked out great. I wonder if baking the fresh pumpkin makes the sauce naturally sweeter. I’m too tired when I come home from work to do that extra step. I also liked the consistency of the sauce, very comforting on a winter night. Thanks again for sharing your amazing ideas with us!!

  51. Jackie says

    I made this last week (with canned pumpkin) and it was better than I was anticipating. I’ve never had pumpkin pasta before, so I wasn’t really sure what to think before cooking, but this turned out well! Even my boyfriend said that he was surprised at how good it was! The leftovers weren’t my favorite – I find that cashew cream sauces thicken up so much that it makes the leftovers a bit less appealing to me, but I would definitely make this again.

  52. Nicole says

    I made this last night for my husband and I. He usually dislikes cheese and never grew up liking mac and cheese, and he loved it! The sauce was perfect and I used red lentil pasta to hopefully up the protein. We made it with salad and roasted veggies as well! Thanks for the recipe!!

  53. Milen Moodie says

    Hello,!
    Thank you for the perfect recipe! You solved my problem – what’s new to cook from a pumpkin.
    Milen
    Weedit.photos

  54. Megan says

    I made this tonight. Dear sweet Baby Jesus: the BEST vegan mac and cheese I have ever had. Hands down. We grew “tan cheese” pumpkins in our garden this Autumn which are wonderfully flavorful. I roasted one of those. I subbed cashew milk for almond (I try to minimize almond use due to the water issues in CA). I didn’t have pumpkin pie mix and used cinnamon instead. Added the optional red pepper flakes. Definitely used your vegan parm (love it!). I had fresh sage from my sister-in-law, so I added half fresh sage and half dried thyme. FANTASTIC! My new go-to vegan mac and cheese. Cheesy, creamy, flavorful, comfort food. Thank you!

  55. Andrew Schneider says

    Tasted before adding spices, was a little too sweet. Swapped pumpkin pie spice with cumin and chili p and tofurkey sausage and it came out nice and smokey. Cayenne is definitely a must on the list of optional items.

  56. Baiba says

    Dear Dana,
    Thanks again for the incredible recipes! When being a fan of yours it’s difficult to adapt to other recipe creators – so I don’t :)
    This one was wonderful, never would’ve thought of using pumpkin as base for mac n cheese.

  57. Payson Cunningham says

    I made this yesterday, roasted my own pumpkin and added broccoli. I totally recommend this recipe, it was amazing!

  58. Alyssa says

    I was sooo excited to make this and it did not disappoint! I did half sage, half thyme. I used cornstarch because I did not have arrowroot starch – no issues there. I also used canned pumpkin and still tasty. Maybe someday I’ll roast a pumpkin, but for now, I’m about that #cannedlife. Looking forward to making a bigger batch next time!

  59. Annette says

    I made this with chickpea pasta and WOW that was a filling meal. It was also awesome broiled with both extra cheese and gf panko :)

  60. Megan @ A Continual Feast Blog says

    This looks like the perfect fall meal. I recently made something similar but totally forgot the sage! Saving this recipe!!

  61. Elizabeth says

    I made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful! I subbed dry sage and thyme for fresh and also added chopped mushrooms and spinach which worked well. I did everything else the same as written above and it turned out great. My toddler loved this too, so I will definitely be making this again.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  62. Judy Bernes says

    Had a craving for rice pasta but w/something different than tomato sauce….shoulda stuck with tomatoe or anything but this..just not a good taste-combo; sorry. Overpowered by fresh sage even though I used a tsp (fresh sage is best sauteed). Saved the meal by adding about 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup fresh chicken bone broth (was very thick pumpkin puree and I didn’t use the arrowroot) and more roasted red pepper/garlic seasoning! Waste of pumpkin…:(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Judy, sorry you didn’t enjoy this! Did you have the chance to use fresh pumpkin? It yields the best flavor in my opinion.

  63. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    In my book, it’s ALWAYS pumpkin season. No. Matter. What. Anyways, I love how creamy and vibrant this sauce looks! I love that it doesn’t contain cashews! Not that cashews are bad, but I think too many contain them, plus I don’t often have cashews on hand! Maybe I’ll have to change that soon, but for now, I’ll stick to my pumpkin! :)

  64. Sarah says

    I JUST made this and it’s glorious. It’s so rich even without any added fats (I didn’t use the olive oil). I used canned pumpkin and red lentil penne so I had it on the table in like 20 minutes. I subbed the fresh sage for 1 tbsp dried and the vegan Parmesan for more nutritional yeast (and a little more salt too) because I was lazy and didn’t want to make vegan parm. You could definitely stretch the sauce further and make another serving or two of pasta – but I like it saucy so this was perfect. Gonna bring it to school and reheat it tomorrow for lunch. Yum!

    • Sarah says

      Oh – I also used raw garlic instead of roasted and I didn’t find it overpowering at all. Sorry for all the subs, but I was in a hurry to get this in my belly and boy was it good!!!

  65. Susan says

    This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing – I will be making this with my extra fresh pumpkin puree from Thanksgiving desserts.

  66. Beth Gilmour says

    Hello Dana,
    This looks great! I live in the uk and don’t think we have ready-made pumpkin pie spice mix here… is there a spice blend I can make myself?
    Thank you ,
    Beth

    • trish says

      3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves. Mix the spices together in a small bowl

  67. Alexa says

    I definitely want to make this for Thanksgiving! For the sake of saving time, I like the idea of using pumpkin puree. Does this sacrifice any flavor or anything?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Kami Liddle says

      I made this dish this evening with store bought puree and I didn’t think it was that flavorful. I am going to buy a pumpkin to bake tomorrow for our Thanksgiving dish.

    • Lindsay says

      I think fresh pumpkin would be amazing but when I made it I used purées pumpkin and it was still incredible. It had a slight sweetness but can only imagine what a fresh, roasted pumpkin would do!