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Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese RecipeThe quest for mac and cheese that pleases both parents and kids has ended in success! Cheesy macaroni and cheese with a veggie substitution for less fat and more vitamins is a total win. Plus, it’s built for the slow cooker, making the precious time right before dinner a little less stressful.

Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Healthier ingredients, still lots of cheese!

As we developed this mac and cheese we saw lots of delicious recipes that included everything from mayonnaise to butter to cream cheese – no doubt delicious, but also not the healthiest. While we kept plenty of cheese in this recipe, we substituted Greek yogurt for lots of these fats. The yogurt not only cuts down on fat but also increases protein – and adds a little tang.

Pumpkin was added in order to add some creaminess and vitamins! Pumpkin is used in place of fats in some baking, so why not also use it in macaroni and cheese!? Plus, the color is totally perfect and sneaks the veggie in nicely.

We considered adding additional veggies, such as spinach, shredded carrots, mushrooms, etc. In the end, we decided to keep a basic recipe because sometimes you just need straight up macaroni and cheese! Feel free to add the vegetables that work best for your family, just make sure to wilt the spinach or sauté the mushrooms a little first.

Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Preparing the macaroni and cheese

Even though this mac n’ cheese is built for the slow cooker, we found that cooking noodles first was helpful. Make sure to boil them until juuuust al dente – firm enough that they can handle some time in the slow cooker afterward. Drain well but do NOT rinse. We need the noodles to keep all that starch to help thicken the final cheesy mixture.

While the noodles are cooking, prepare the slow cooker by spraying the pot or lining, if using. Cheese tends to stick, so you’ll want it well-greased. Then add the pumpkin, milk, and Greek yogurt.

In a medium bowl, combine all the spices and flour, then toss in the cheddar and parmesan cheese so that the spice-flour mixture coats it well. Mixing this way helps keep the flour from clumping and gets all the flavor well-distributed. Pour the cheese-spice mixture into the crockpot and mix everything well. Add in the noodles and stir again.

Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Cook the noodles for 1 hour on high, stirring occasionally, until everything has melted together. If you prefer to cook a little longer, feel free to leave the noodles on low for 2 hours, also making sure to stir every 15-30 minutes. Make sure not to leave the noodles cooking or even on ‘warm’ too long – after a while they tend to get too mushy.

The cheesy mixture might look a little separated while very hot, but once you serve it and it cools just a bit it comes together nicely. Serve with some fresh veggies and fruit for a kid-friendly dinner. We loved this tasty, cheesy, healthier take on macaroni and cheese!

Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Recipe FOOD - Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese. Cheesy macaroni and cheese with a veggie substitution for less fat and more vitamins is a total win. Plus, it's built for the crockpot for less fuss! http://www.superhealthykids.com/crockpot-pumpkin-macaroni-cheese-recipe/

Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients
  • 12 ounce – macaroni pasta, whole-wheat, dry
  • 1 – cooking spray
  • 1 cup – pumpkin, canned
  • 1 cup – milk
  • 1/2 cup – Greek yogurt, plain
  • 3 cup – cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup – Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/8 cup – flour, all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon – mustard, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon – onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon – sage, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon – garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon – black pepper, ground
Serve With:
  • 6 medium – kiwi
Directions
  1. Cook noodles until very al dente ( only about 5 minutes). Drain but do not rinse.
  2. Spray a slow cooker well with cooking spray , then add pumpkin, milk, and yogurt.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together cheese, flour, and seasonings; add to the crockpot and stir to mix.
  4. Add the drained noodles to the crock and stir again until well combined.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, or on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with sliced kiwi on the side. (Each serving 1 cup macaroni, 1 kiwi).

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5 Comments

KrisB

So, the trick here is to come up with a food that’s healthy yet, too delicious kids wouldn’t know they’re eating veggies and this is just a perfect one. I tried this and used bentilia pasta and added more cheese for my cheese lovers.

Reply
Edward Kowalski

I’ve been told to never put milk products in a slow cooker.
I’m guessing that your secret is that it’s only for an hour?
Otherwise the curds will separate out of the milk.
Your readers should know not to leave this in the cooker for 6-8 hours!

Reply
Katrina Nelson

Hi Edward, thanks for pointing that out! Not to mention, if you leave it on too long the noodles will get soggy, and no one wants that. 🙂

Reply
Kate

I tried cooking this one and it makes me feel to cook again. My kids just love the tasty milk and the bentilia pasta I used also. Thanks for the recipe! Now I’m looking for another recipe from this website to serve my little picky eaters.

Reply

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