All holiday meals need a mac and cheese, in my humble opinion. This vegan one pot pumpkin bacon mac and cheese is the greatest and my first choice for holiday mac and cheese this season. Not only is this the creamiest, yummiest, fall inspired mac and cheese, it is a one pot meal! So add this to the list for when you are so over cooking for the holidays, but need maybe just one more dish. And great aunt Clara absolutely refusing to do thanksgiving without macaroni and cheese. No one will know this pumpkin macaroni and cheese is vegan, they will all want the recipe when they leave.
What You Need For This One Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese:
- Vegan Bacon: I like Sweet Earth or Lightlife brands!
- Garlic and Olive Oil: To sauté with the “bacon”.
- Non-dairy Milk and Water: To simmer the pasta in. I like to use oat milk.
- Sage, Thyme, Nutmeg and Cayenne: To give this mac and cheese a great flavor.
- Pumpkin Puree: I like to just used canned pumpkin puree to make it easy on myself.
- Pasta: I like to use shells or macaroni.
- Vegan Cheese: I like to use Violife cheddar style shreds. It melts really well.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly love a traditional macaroni and cheese made with a béchamel sauce. However, I think my new favorite way to make mac and cheese is all in one pot. Cooking the pasta in liquid that will thicken and become a sauce. I’m a busy lady, ya know. This vegan one pot pumpkin “bacon” mac and cheese will simplify the holidays while simultaneously making them more delicious! Win win!
Why Should You Make This Pumpkin Mac and Cheese?
- One pot. Yes, please.
- It is so creamy and cozy and delicious.
- The combination of pumpkin, “bacon” and cheese is mouth-wateringly delcious.
- It makes the perfect Thanksgiving side dish!
- It takes about 20 minutes to make.
Vegan One Pot Pumpkin “Bacon” Mac and Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
- 5 Ounces Vegan bacon, diced (I used Sweet Earth)
- 2 1/2 Cup Non-dairy milk, unsweetened I used oat milk
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Canned pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- Pinch of Cayenne pepper
- 16 Ounces Pasta, shells or macaroni
- 8 Ounces Vegan cheddar style shreds, I used Violife
- Heat the olive oil on medium high in a large non-stick pot or skillet that will fit the liquid and pasta in it.
- Add the garlic and vegan bacon to the pot and sauté, reducing heat as needed until the "bacon" is brown and crispy. About 5 minutes. Remove the "bacon" and garlic from the pot and put into a bowl. Set aside.
- Add the non-dairy milk, water and pumpkin puree to the pot and whisk to combine.
- Pour in the salt, pepper, sage, thyme, nutmeg and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
- Heat on medium and bring to a simmer. Pour in the pasta and then stir making sure the pasta is submerged in the liquid.
- Simmer the pasta, stirring frequently, until it is tender and the liquid has mostly been absorbed. Usually about 13 to 15 minutes.
- Add the vegan cheese to the pot and stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is nice and thick.
- Put the bacon and garlic back into the pot with the mac and cheese and stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.