This dish screams Wisconsin. The beer and cheeses used are all made in my home state, so you know it’s going to be good. We do cheese (and beer) right.
Warm up your house, hearts, and stomachs with this amazing pumpkin mac & cheese. Beer replaces some of the milk, real Wisconsin cheeses make this decadent, whole wheat pasta ups the fiber content, and Greek yogurt adds a nice dose of lean protein. Pair it with a salad and you’re good to go.
It’s comfort food taken to the extreme – you’ll definitely want seconds!
Healthy Pumpkin Mac & Beer & Cheese, adapted from The Lemon Bowl
- 14 oz whole wheat pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 C nondairy or skim milk
- 1 C (8oz) beer (I used a summer ale – drink the rest!)
- 1.5 C shredded cheese (I used a blend of cheddar and edam – both Wisconsin-made)
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/3 C nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 and spray a medium-sized casserole dish (8×8″) with olive oil PAM.
In a large pot, cook pasta to al dente. Drain, return to pot, and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium sauce pot and saute diced onion until transparent. Add the milk, beer and flour and continuously whisk over medium heat until it begins to thicken, about 5-7 minutes.
Tip: use your food processor to speed up the cheese shredding. Cut your cheese off the block in 1″ cube chunks, and pulse until you reach a consistency that will melt into the sauce. Do the same for the parmesan that goes on top!
Stir in shredded cheeses, pumpkin, mustard, grated garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk mixture until cheese is melted and sauce thickens even further, about 5 more minutes.
Pour pumpkin cheese sauce over the pasta in the pot and mix until pasta is evenly coated. Taste and make sure you like it. Stir in yogurt, then pour entire mixture into prepared baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and parmesan with olive oil until evenly coated. Sprinkle on top of the pasta. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes until the cheese bubbles and a crust forms on top. Serve and eat hot. Enjoy!
Not sure what to do with your leftover pumpkin puree? Transfer to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge until morning, when you can make a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte!