Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Bacon & Kale

6-8 servings
Active Time
Cook Time
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Pumpkin mac and cheese adds autumnal flavor to your favorite comfort food. Made with creamy Gouda and nutty Grand Cru® cheeses.


  • 1 pound medium shells pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 6 ounces Roth Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 6 ounces Roth Grand Cru® cheese, shredded
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 3 cups chopped, packed kale
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  3. In a separate Dutch oven or large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add onion. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and begins to brown around the edges. Add garlic, and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and melt. Stir in flour to form a roux. Slowly whisk in milk until fully incorporated. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until sauce has thickened. Whisk in Dijon mustard, garlic powder, nutmeg, and pumpkin until fully incorporated. Add cheese, one handful at a time, whisking between each addition to ensure cheese melts into the sauce. Reduce stovetop heat to low.
  5. When pasta reaches al dente, strain and add to the pumpkin cheese sauce. Mix until pasta is coated.
  6. While pasta warms, cook bacon in a sauté pan until crispy. Remove bacon from heat, and dice. Add chopped kale to leftover bacon fat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until kale begins to wilt and soften. Once kale has wilted, fold into pasta mixture along with bacon. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  7. Transfer pasta mixture to a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Top with an even layer of panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle olive oil over breadcrumbs to help them brown.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until pasta is bubbling, and breadcrumbs are golden brown.