I developed this recipe right as I was learning that Kraft is releasing a new flavor of their boxed mac n’ cheese in “pumpkin spice” flavor, which sounds revolting to my taste buds (yes, my taste buds can hear), so I was a little concerned about this recipe being lumped in with that. Never fear: it is not. Pumpkin purée just makes it creamier and is a lovely seasonal touch but this is not a sweet version of macaroni and cheese: it is distinctly savory with a little bit of a naturally sweet note from the pumpkin. Annnnnyway, here you go! It’s creamy, rich and decadent. Please note, you don’t need an Instant Pot to make this, though I did: Just cook the same way on the stovetop with the same ingredients until the potatoes are tender and continue through to the blender.
12 ounces elbow macaroni pasta1 tablespoon olive oil 1 yellow onion, diced 2 cups peeled and diced russet potato 1 cup peeled and diced carrot 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 1 tablespoon tamari 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1 cup plain, unsweetened vegan milk 1 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix) ½ cup unsalted, raw cashews ⅓ cup nutritional yeast 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper Pepper to taste 2 tablespoons fresh sage, julienned 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ½ - ⅔ cup panko or breadcrumbs
Start your pasta water and cook the macaroni. Lightly oil a casserole pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, spread the olive oil in the Instant Pot and heat on the sauté function for 30 seconds, then add the onions. Sauté, stirring constantly to keep from sticking for three minutes. Add the potato, carrot, garlic and tamari, stirring for three more minutes. Add the broth and nondairy milk, and turn to the manual function, cooking for ten minutes. Quick release.
Add the cooked veggies to a blender along with the pumpkin, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth. Drain the macaroni, mix with the blended sauce, mix in 1 tablespoon of the fresh sage, reserving the second tablespoon for the top along with any additional salt and pepper. Mix well and spoon into your prepared casserole pan. Sprinkle the panko or breadcrumbs, remaining sage and red pepper flakes over the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes uncovered and serve warm.
Pumpkin, Pasta, Main Dish, Main, Entrée, No Oil, Oil-Free, Protein
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