Fall perfection comes in the form of one pan Pumpkin mac and cheese with beer. The flavors are out of this world and it’s even a little lighter thanks to the pumpkin and whole wheat pasta.

Pumpkin mac and cheese in a yellow pot.
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Macaroni and cheese, in any form, is one of my favorite things. My recipe for the easiest ever macaroni and cheese is one of the most popular recipes on Rachel Cooks. My copycat Panera macaroni and cheese has inspired all sorts of feedback…seems like people either love it or hate it.

Why you’ll love this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

  • One Pan: This pumpkin mac and cheese is a one pan recipe. The pasta is cooked right in the broth, pumpkin, beer, and milk for the creamiest, most delicious macaroni and cheese. It’s full of flavor and so easy to make.
  • Whole Wheat: This macaroni and cheese is full of healthy whole grains thanks to whole wheat pasta – but you can definitely use regular pasta if that’s what you prefer!
  • Slightly less cheese: It doesn’t use quite as much cheese as traditional macaroni and cheese since the pumpkin helps provide creaminess and color. I used extra sharp cheddar in this recipe but it would be great with a more mild cheddar as well.
Pumpkin mac and cheese in a yellow pot with a wooden spoon.

More One Pan Pasta Ideas


One Pan Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese with Beer

3.90 from 10 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Fall perfection comes in the form of One Pan Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese with Beer. The flavors are out of this world and it’s even a little lighter thanks to the pumpkin and whole wheat pasta.
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  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree (plain – not pie filling!)
  • 12 ounces beer – I recommend IPA (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (more to taste)
  • 1 box (16 oz.) whole wheat pasta shells
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese


  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring milk, pumpkin, beer, chicken stock, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne to a good simmer (do not boil).
  • Reduce heat to medium and add pasta. Cook, stirring frequently, for 12-14 minutes or until al dente. Make sure to stir frequently so pasta cooks evenly and does not burn.
  • Reduce heat to low and add cheddar and cream cheese.
  • Serve immediately.


  • Use macaroni instead of pasta shells, if you prefer. You can also use regular pasta instead of whole wheat.
  • Make sure you choose plain pumpkin puree, and not the canned pumpkin with pumpkin pie spices added.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 353kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 404mg, Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did You Make This?Share a comment and rating below! I love hearing what you think!

Disclosure: I have been compensated by Milk Means More for my time to develop this recipe and write this post. All opinions are as always, my own. Find out more about why Milk Means More on TwitterFacebookYouTubeInstagram and Pinterest.

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3.90 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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  1. Walter says:

    Whole wheat pasta is hard to find in my area. Can regular pasta, as in your “easiest ever mac & cheese” be used instead?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Yes it definitely can!

  2. Lizette says:

    Please, Rachel I would very much appreciate your feedback. I’m planning ahead for Thanksgiving and I loved this pumpkin and cheddar pasta recipe, we are a BUNCH and also kids , we don’t want to be cooking last minute , I was wondering if I could leave the dish ready and at dinner just warm it up. Thank

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I think that would work! I haven’t tried it, but let me know if you give it a try!

  3. Anna says:

    Can you imagine making a beer mac and cheese and then complaining it tasted like beer? Can’t relate!

    I loved this recipe so much. It’s easy to make, and I looove that you can actually taste the beer. I’m always so disappointed when beer mac and cheese recipes call for, like, 1/4 cup of a beer and you can’t taste it at all. This was delicious.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      :) :) :) I’m glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  4. Shelby says:

    Is the beer an optional thing? Will it be good without it? My friends and I yknow kinda can’t buy that stuff

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      You can use chicken stock/broth instead of beer. Don’t omit it without replacing that liquid, though. :) Enjoy!

  5. Cassie says:

    This was such a hit! I love mac n cheese and adding the pumpkin and beer twist was a near genius move. The flavors complemented each other perfectly and I loved the pinch of nutmeg to give it an extra boost. This is sure to be a regular on my list of comfort foods this fall. 

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  6. Sara says:

    I agree, Donna! We used a West Coast IPA (Elysium SpaceDust), and I thought the beer taste was waaay too strong also! 

  7. Donna says:

    Made it. Sounded good in theory, and may be delicious with a different beer. IPA was recommended, but a west coast IPA (specifically Stone IPA) Is way too strong of a flavor for this recipe.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      We love the strong flavor of the beer – I think that’s what make this recipe stand out. In my mind, there’s no sense using a bottle of beer if you can’t taste it. We’re all different, though!