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Vegan Pumpkin Mac & Cheese w/ Sage Breadcrumbs

Cheesy, creamy, and cozy Vegan Pumpkin Mac & Cheese w/ Sage Breadcrumbs. This Mac & Cheese is the perfect fall dinner. It’s quick and easy enough to be a busy weeknight dinner but looks and feels a little more fancy and could be a wonderful dinner for a date night in. Serve with garlic bread or roasted vegetables and a nice glass of wine.

This delicious pumpkin mac and cheese gets the cheesy flavor from my personal favorite ingredient, Nutritional Yeast. The flavor is mellowed out and balanced with some lemon juice and mustard powder. The pumpkin purée flavor isn’t overwhelming but is rather balanced out by the sage, onion, and garlic. The pumpkin is what is going to create a silky smooth creamy sauce along with the unsweetened plant milk. Salt, miso paste, black pepper, and pinch of red pepper flakes are important and will bring out all the wonderful flavors of the sage and pumpkin. Topping it off with crunchy toasted sage breadcrumbs for more sage flavor and a nice crunch. This is a must try!

Kitchen Essentials:

This pumpkin pasta dish doesn’t require any fancy kitchen essentials other than a blender but given that all the ingredients are very soft, any blender will do.

Main Ingredients:

  • Rigatoni Pasta
  • Fresh Sage
  • Pumpkin Purée
  • Onion & Garlic
  • Nutritional Yeast

Substitutions:

  1. Rigatoni Pasta: Any pasta shape will do!
  2. Fresh Sage: Fresh is best but dried will also work here. Use 1 teaspoon dried in replace of each tablespoon of fresh.
  3. Nutritional Yeast: This is what gives this recipe a cheesy flavor and can’t be substituted.
  4. Pumpkin Purée: Use fresh pumpkin that has been mashed, mashed butternut squash, or even sweet potato. The butternut squash and sweet potato will make the overall flavor have a bit of sweetness but it still should be delicious.

Tips & Tricks:

Make sure you reserve some of the pasta water! This sauce thickens fast so if it sits too long you’ll want to splash it with a little pasta water to thin it out. You may not need the full 1/2 cup but reserve it just in case.

More Pasta Recipes You Might Like:

If You Make This Recipe:

Tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I would greatly appreciate if you share your review in the comments below. Don’t forget to add if you made any fun substitutions. Thank you!

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Vegan Pumpkin Mac & Cheese w/ Sage Breadcrumbs

  • Author: Liv
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 Min
  • Yield: 46 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Cheesy, creamy, and cozy Vegan Pumpkin Mac & Cheese w/ Sage Breadcrumbs. This Mac & Cheese is the perfect fall dinner. It’s quick and easy enough to be a busy weeknight dinner but looks and feels a little more fancy and could be a wonderful dinner for a date night in. Serve with garlic bread or roasted vegetables and a nice glass of wine. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Sage Breadcrumbs:

  • 1 tablespoon Vegan Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Sage Leaves
  • 3/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese: 

  • 1lb Rigatoni or Pasta of Choice
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Half a Large Sweet Onion, diced
  • 34 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Sage Leaves
  • 3/4 cup Pumpkin Purée
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Plant Milk
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons White Miso Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Mustard Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Instructions

  1. Melt the vegan butter in a pan on medium heat. Add the chopped sage and breadcrumbs and toss constantly until golden brown. This happens fast, about 2 minutes.
  2. Remove and transfer to a bowl. Stir in nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  3. Dice the onion and add to a pan heated to medium-high heat along with the olive oil. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until soft and starting to brown. Add in minced garlic and chopped sage leaves. Cook for another 2 minutes and turn off heat.
  4. Add the cooked onion mixture to a blender along with the pumpkin puree, plant milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso paste, ground mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Blend until smooth.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  6. In a large pot on medium heat, combine the pasta and pumpkin cheese sauce. Use the reserve pasta water and thin out your sauce as needed. It thickens as it sets.
  7. Taste and add more salt & pepper, if needed.
  8. Divide the pasta in to serving dishes and top with sage breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

Notes

Reheating: Re-heat on the stove top with a splash of unsweetened plant milk and toss until creamy and warmed through. Keep leftover breadcrumbs separate and add once plated. 

Keywords: pumpkin pasta, pumpkin Mac and cheese, Mac and cheese, vegan Mac and cheese, vegan pumpkin Mac and cheese, sage breadcrumbs, Mac and cheese with breadcrumbs

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