I love pretty much anything that involves pumpkin. My kids love pretty much anything that involves cheese. So this is like a slice of heaven for all of us.
The great thing, though, is that the pumpkin flavor isn’t very prominent, which helped my Picky Eaters not turn up their noses. Instead, the pumpkin just adds an amazing creaminess. Plus, in keeping with the Deceptively Delicious concept, the pumpkin adds some great extra nutrients.
1 16-ounce package macaroni noodles, cooked to al dente
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree (click here to learn how to make your own)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook approximately 1 more minute.
3. Stir in the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring, for 1 minute.
4. Reduce heat to low and stir in the nutmeg, mustard, and pumpkin. Add 2 cups of the cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.
5. Remove from heat. Carefully mix in the pasta, until thoroughly coated. Spoon into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and sunflower seeds.
6. Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.