This Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is creamy and decadent - made with a pumpkin cauliflower sauce that is healthy & delicious. Nut-free. Potato-free. Carrot-free.
This Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese might be my new favorite pasta recipe. It is so freaking good and weirdly healthy. You wouldn't know that this creamy sauce is actually made from CAULIFLOWER!
You need to add this mac to your Fall dinner rotation or even serve it at Thanksgiving. I'm telling you, no one will know it's vegan!
Cauliflower cream sauce, what???
Yep, this creamy sauce is made from our good old friend cauliflower. Is there anything that veggie can't do?
Some things you WON'T find in this creamy sauce are cashews, potatoes, carrots, nutritional yeast or fake cheese!
And to be honest, a cauliflower cream sauce is not a new concept here on TSV. I've used it to make the best Alfredo Pasta with broccolini and this Chicken Alfredo Pasta. It is one of my favorite ways to make a creamy (and healthy) sauce.
Now, when I saw this orange beauty at the store, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it...mac and cheese! The orange cauliflower is not necessary - you can use a regular cauliflower as well. But it just gives it an extra burst of "mac and cheese" color that is irresistible.
Can this Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can definitely make this ahead of time and reheat before serving. This makes A LOT of sauce. And when it comes to mac & cheese, too much sauce is never an issue.
You can also make the sauce ahead of time and then cook up the pasta right before serving. This will ensure everything stays hot and creamy.
To serve, I like to add additional pepper and maybe even some fried sage. I also tried this with some everything but the bagel seasoning and it was 🙌
Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER SAUCE
- 1 head cauliflower about 4 heaping cups, cut in florets, I used orange cauliflower but white works too
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 shallot diced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 3 sage leaves diced
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup non-dairy milk unsweetened
- ¾ cup broth*
- lemon juice & zest to taste**
- salt & pepper to taste
FOR THE PASTA
- 1 lb pasta shells
- fried sage, everything but the bagel seasoning, parsley, hot sauce optional toppings
- Add cauliflower to a large pot and fill with water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and lower heat to a simmer. Cook cauliflower until fork tender (approx. 10 minutes). Drain and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is cooking melt the vegan butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic & sage and sauté until tender (approx. 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To a blender, add the cooked cauliflower, pumpkin puree, non-dairy milk, broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, a healthy pinch of salt & pepper and the cooked shallot/garlic mixture. Blend until smooth and set aside.***
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and place the pot back on the stove with no heat.
- Add the hot pasta back to the empty pan and pour your desired amount of sauce over the pasta. Toss to combine and heat through - if needed turn heat to low until hot. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with optional toppings.
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I tried the recipe today and I was a bit disappointed I must admit. It is not bad - it is just quite bland. I added quite some more spices to give it some more flavour. Now it is a bit better but still not great. It was worth a try and thanks for sharing anyway!
Tastes like nothing but lemons. Would maybe try again without lemons at all, cause the pumpkin sage shallot combo smelled great and its very creamy.
So sorry it didn't work out for you. I have updated the recipe to add lemon juice to taste. Thanks for the feedback!
My husband and I made this tonight. We both thought the zest and juice of one lemon was a lot, but followed the ingredients listed. The lemon taste was insanely over powering, even after trying to add additional pumpkin and seasoning. I’m wondering if maybe this is a typo or if it’s meant to be that lemony? The texture of the sauce was awesome, we plan to try again in the future but generously cut the lemon.
Definitely not a typo - that's what I used. Sorry it didn't work out for you. Maybe your lemon was just extra juicy 😬
I also had this problem :/
So sorry it didn't work for you. I have updated the recipe based on your feedback, so thank you for letting me know!
What blender do you use? Do you have an Amazon shop that lists all your gadgets? I want to make this but right now I only have a food processor. I am not sure I can duplicate the smooth consistency in a FP.
I use a vitamix, but I have made a similar sauce in a Nutribullet. You are correct, I don't think you could get it as smooth with a food processor.
Sis, you did that. I loved it. The creaminess is on point. Thank you!
Thanks girl! So glad you liked it!!!
This vegan mac is sooo good and is the perfect healthy meal! I used regular cauliflower and I think it might be the best “cheese” sauce I’ve had! I’ve tried so many over the years so I’m very excited about this! I highly recommend giving it a try and I am planning to put this in my fall/winter rotation of meals! Thank you TSV!
I'm so glad you liked it!!!