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This No-Boil Baked Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Sourdough Rosemary Breadcrumbs is the perfect fall comfort food! An upgraded mac & cheese with a seasonal touch.
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The search is over – I’ve found my new favorite fall comfort food. This No-Boil Baked Pumpkin Mac & Cheese topped with Sourdough Rosemary Breadcrumbs is the creamiest pumpkin pasta dish that’s so cozy, it might as well come with a blanket. 😉
A silky-smooth pumpkin cashew cream coats every last bite of pasta while a crisp, herby sourdough breadcrumb brings the perfect crunchy finish! And best of all, this fuss-free main is a no-boil, ‘set it and forget it’ recipe. Let’s get into the yummy details…
Ingredients + Inspiration
This recipe is inspired by all the cozy feels that come with autumn. There’s nothing like a hearty, creamy, stick-to-your-ribs recipe to get you through the darker, rainy days, am I right?
The pumpkin cream sauce for our Baked Vegan Pumpkin Mac & Cheese is a simple, but flavor-packed blend of cashews, pumpkin puree, olive oil, and spices. The buttery sourdough breadcrumbs on top are technically optional, but trust me when I say they take the dish to the next level! Plus, they’re infused with fragrant rosemary that packs loads of fall flavor 🙂
How to Make No-Boil Baked Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
I know how much you all love the dump-and-bake recipes on the blog, and I’ve got another favorite for you to add to this list! While this recipe takes about an hour until it’s ready to enjoy, it only needs 10 minutes of prep work—the remaining time is in the oven. All you need to do is:
- Blend the pumpkin “cheese” sauce until smooth & creamy.
- Place the diced pumpkin, pasta, and shallot in a casserole dish, pour the sauce over then cover and bake.
- Add the sourdough to the oven on a separate baking tray and bake until crisp & golden. In a food processor, pulse with rosemary, oil, salt, and pepper to make breadcrumbs.
- Spread the breadcrumbs evenly over the casserole and bake until golden and fragrant.
- Transfer to serving dishes and enjoy!
Enjoy this creamy, fall-inspired pumpkin mac & cheese anytime you’re craving something comforting! A cozy dish like this is perfect for lunch, dinner, or to bring along to a get-together this season 🙂 It’s great on its own, or you can pair it with more fall-flavored sides like these Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins or this Fall Vegetable Salad with Smoky Tempeh! Store in the fridge and enjoy within 5 days.
Baked Vegan Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
For the Pumpkin Cream Sauce:
- 3/4 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight*
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 4 1/4 cups water
For the Pasta:
- 12 ounces pasta, gluten-free if necessary*
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 2 cups diced pumpkin; see notes for substitutions
For the Breadcrumbs:
- 3.5 ounces sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- Prep: preheat the oven to 425F and set a 9×13″ casserole pan aside.
- Blend: add the soaked and drained cashews, pumpkin puree, garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, salt, and water to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 45-60 seconds, until the cashews completely dissolve and you are left with a smooth and creamy sauce.
- Mix: add the pasta, pumpkin, and shallot to the casserole dish and mix until evenly distributed. Pour the sauce over the casserole, then use a spatula or spoon to press everything down evenly into the sauce, especially the pasta noodles.
- Bake: Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil (or parchment paper, followed by aluminum foil) and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes.
- Breadcrumbs: place the sourdough on separate baking tray and bake alongside the casserole for 10-20 minutes, until dry and golden; bake time will depend on the size of your bread. Roughly break up the bread with your hands, then transfer it to a food processor along with the chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper to taste. Pulse until a fine but crumbly texture forms. Drizzle the oil over the breadcrumbs, then pulse again until evenly distributed. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a small bowl and set aside.
- Make it Crispy: after 45 minutes, remove the casserole dish from the oven and stir well to evenly distribute the sauce. Cover the pasta evenly with breadcrumbs, then return to the oven and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes. (See notes for cooking time without breadcrumbs)
- Serve + Store: serve warm; leftovers can be stored in the fridge and are best eaten within 5 days
- Cashews: If you forget to soak your cashews ahead of time, you can (1) cover them in boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes, or (2) cover them with water and microwave for 3 minutes, then let sit for 3-5 minutes before draining.
- Pasta: I recommend using short pasta shapes (as opposed to noodles) for this recipe. If you are using gluten-free pasta, corn & rice varieties tend to hold up better without breaking.
- Pumpkin: cubed pumpkin can be replaced with peeled sweet potato, butternut squash, or kabocha squash.
- No Breadcrumbs: bake the casserole for 45 min only, but let sit 5 minutes covered before mixing and serving
- Oil-Free: you can omit the oil from the sauce if you’d like, but it will not be as smooth. Same with the breadcrumbs; they will not get as golden, but will still be tasty!