Once upon a time, I figured out a phenomenal vegan mac and cheese recipe. I was waiting and waiting and waiting to start my blog and to work my way up to it one week. Also, I knew I had to wait it out to make this recipe again, because it’s so good that I eat triple servings at every sitting.
Fast forward about a year. I’ve been reading recipes left and right for pumpkin mac and cheese, and I have to say, I’ve been super intrigued (also, I’m totally obsessed with pumpkin). Then, I came home one day to this delicious smell filling the apartment as my roommate baked some pumpkin mac and cheese in our oven. Next, I spent the week of Thanksgiving at home and who did my mom invite over for Shabbat lunch while I was there? Our vegan neighbors.
Obviously the stars had aligned and some cosmic force was telling me that I simply had to make my own pumpkin mac and cheese. So I pulled out the vegan recipe that I had so lovingly created, slapped a can of pumpkin puree in the ingredient list, and got to work balancing out the flavors.
It was so worth it. This amazing recipe features pumpkin (duh), and all its pumpkin-enhancing spices. It also uses what I have to say is the best vegan cheese I’ve found thus far; Daiya vegan cheese style shreds. No, it doesn’t taste like cheese, but it does mimic a lot of the flavor notes of cheese. It’s also one of the few brands that actually melts, which is important when you’re making a cheesy sauce, like you do for baked mac and cheese.
If you’re not vegan, and you want to use real cheese here, go for it. I would subtract the soy sauce (real cheese doesn't need the extra umami like soy cheese), but otherwise keep the recipe as is. This creamy, pumpkiny dish is super satisfying and really just screams fall. Pair it with something green and you’ve got yourself a great vegan meal.