DSC01595I can’t take credit for the idea of adding pumpkin to the bechamel sauce, but it’s a lovely way add a little extra vegetables and decrease the amount of butter needed for the sauce. Having grown up on white cheddar mac & cheese, the orange is a little unnerving, but it is all natural food coloring. Feel free to substitute other vegetables for the green beans, such as broccoli, kale, or even peas.

It’s a lovely, substantial meal for cold weather. I still served it over steamed spinach to up the veg content. A side salad would be another way to lightened up the meal.

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese with Green Beans

6-8 oz macaroni (I used Wegman’s store brand gluten-free macaroni)
12 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2″ lengths
2 T butter
2 T corn flour
2 1/2 c 1% milk
1 c pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2-3 oz percorino romano, grated
Extra cheese to top, if desired

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Add the green beans 3 minutes before the pasta is fully cooked. Drain, and pour into an 9″ square baking pan. Preheat the oven to 375F. Melt the butter in the saucepan. Add the corn flour, and stir briefly. Pour in cold milk and whisk in. Allow the milk to warm, and the sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally. When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and add the pumpkin, paprika, and cheese. Pour the sauce over the pasta, top with extra cheese if desired, and bake for 25-35 minutes.