Pumpkin Sausage Mac and Cheese

When it comes to mac and cheese, there are really only two ways of going. There are many passionate views on whether stove top or baked is better. I’ll happily eat either but if I am choosing, I choose stove top every time. I just think it is a little more creamy and less dry. It’s one of my absolute favorite comfort foods in the world. So I decided to give this classic a Fall inspired and slightly more sophisticated twist with this pumpkin sausage mac and cheese. It was luscious and comforting and everything mac and cheese should be.

The bechamel sauce bubbling away. It's the perfect base for this pumpkin sausage mac and cheese!
I started the sauce for the pumpkin sausage mac and cheese first. The base was a classic béchamel sauce that I flavored with an onion pique. An onion pique is a classic French way to flavor sauces when you attach bay leaves to an onion with whole cloves. As it simmers in the sauce it perfumes the whole thing gorgeously.
The chorizo is the perfect savory element in this pumpkin sausage mac and cheese!
While the white sauce base simmered, I seared a bunch of lovely chorizo sausage rounds in my skillet.   The chorizo was the perfect savory element in this pumpkin sausage mac and cheese since it had some kick. I also got water on to boil and cooked my pasta shells at this time.
The luscious, creamy pumpkin sausage mac and cheese sauce.
Then I brought everything together quickly. I added lots of cheese, pumpkin puree and pumpkin beer to the sauce to finish it. The luscious, creamy pumpkin sausage mac and cheese sauce looked incredible already.
The pumpkin sausage mac and cheese all finished!
After that, I just stirred in my cooked sausage and pasta shells into one glorious mixture. The pumpkin sausage mac and cheese was all finished and ready to eat!

I just scooped the pumpkin sausage mac and cheese into little ramekins and served it immediately. Well, almost immediately…my poor husband was waiting and salivating while I took picture after picture before we ate, ha! The wait was worth it though. It was so incredibly creamy and flavorful. The addition of the pumpkin beer and pumpkin puree gave a lot of dimension to the cheese sauce, while the chorizo gave the most amazing savory, spicy and salty counterpoint. You will definitely want this as a dish on your table this fall. Enjoy! xoxo

Pumpkin Sausage Mac and Cheese
Pumpkin Sausage Mac and Cheese

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Pumpkin Sausage Mac and Cheese
Pumpkin Sausage Mac and Cheese
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
For the sauce
  • 1/2 of an onion peeled
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin beer
  • 1 pinch truffle sea salt
For assembling the macaroni and cheese
  • kosher salt as needed for the pasta water
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 1 dash olive oil
  • 5 links chorizo sausage
Instructions
  1. First, prepare the bechamel sauce base for the cheese sauce. Take the onion half and lay the bay leaves across its open face. Push the cloves through the bay leaves into the onion to hold them in place.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, combine the flour and butter and heat it over medium heat. Stir the butter and flour together until it is a thick, uniform roux mixture. Slowly add the milk into the pan while you keep stirring. Add the prepared onion pique and nutmeg, then reduce the heat to medium low to let the sauce gently cook and thicken for 20 minutes.
  3. While the sauce cooks, get a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring it to a boil for the shells. Then slice the chorizo sausage links into thin rounds. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the sausage rounds and brown them until they are completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Set the pan aside. Meanwhile, pour the shells into the pot of boiling water and cook them until tender, about 8 minutes.
  4. The bechamel sauce should be ready by this point. Remove the onion pique and discard it. Add the grated cheeses, pumpkin puree, pumpkin beer and salt to taste. Stir it all together thoroughly and take the sauce pan off of the heat.
  5. Drain the shells, which should be done by this point. Transfer them back into the pot that they cooked in. Pour the cheese sauce over the shells and add the cooked chorizo sausage rounds. Stir it all together thoroughly.
  6. Scoop out the pumpkin sausage mac and cheese into bowls and serve it immediately. Enjoy!

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