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Author Notes: Cheesy pasta shells coated with rich, slightly sweet pumpkin puree, bite size kale, and just a kick of garlic. Fall meets comfort food in this deliciously creamy pumpkin kale mac and cheese. —Andrea Giang
- 2 cups dry pasta (shell, rotini, penne)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese, more to taste
- 1/2 cup kale, torn into bite size pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- Boil water in a medium sized pot. Once the water comes to a boil, pour in the pasta. Cook the pasta for about 7-9 minutes until the pasta become al dente. The pasta will be soft but still firm. Drain the pasta and run it through cold water to prevent the pasta from continuing to cook.
- Add half of the milk and cornstarch into a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the cornstarch in the milk. Make sure that the cornstarch has dissolved completely. Otherwise, clumps may form.
- Pour the cornstarch milk mixture into a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Stir to evenly heat the mixture. Add in the rest of the milk, pumpkin puree, and cheese. Stir to evenly distribute and to evenly melt the cheese.
- Add in the kale and cook for about a minute.
- Then add in the pasta. Stir to evenly coat the pasta with the pumpkin cheese mixture. If needed, add more milk until the consistency is to your liking.
- Season the pasta with garlic powder and salt. Add more to taste.
- Serve the mac and cheese warm.