Butternut mac ’n’ cheese with pumpkin seed crumb

This creamy pasta dish gives the classic mac ’n’ cheese a twist. Switch it up with pumpkin, herbs and toasted pepitas.





  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 900g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces, seeds reserved
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 1/4 cups (100g) grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup (25g) Coles Asia Panko Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (50g) pepitas (pumpkin seeds), coarsely chopped
  • 300g macaroni



Prepare a camp fire. Heat 2 tbs oil in a heavy-based flameproof frying pan over low embers. Add pumpkin and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until pumpkin starts to colour. Add milk and rosemary. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover and cook for 15 mins or until pumpkin is tender. Remove and discard rosemary sprig. Add mascarpone and use a fork to mash until almost smooth. Stir in 1 cup (80g) parmesan.


Meanwhile, rinse and drain the reserved pumpkin seeds. Pat dry with paper towel. Coarsely chop.


Heat remaining oil in a heavy-based flameproof frying pan over low embers. Add pumpkin seeds. Cook, tossing, for 2 mins or until golden. Add the panko crumbs and pepitas. Cook until golden.


Cook the pasta in a heavy-based flameproof saucepan of boiling water over low embers following packet directions or until al dente. Drain. Add to pumpkin mixture. Stir to combine.


Sprinkle the pasta mixture with the remaining parmesan and cover with foil. Cook over hot embers for 10 mins or until golden. Sprinkle with pumpkin seed mixture to serve.


Make it at home

Cook pumpkin mixture and pumpkin seed mixture on stove over medium heat. Bake pasta mixture at 200°C for 10 mins or until golden.

Waste wise 

Keep any leftover dry macaroni in a jar. You can combine different types of short pasta, such as penne or rigatoni, until you have enough for your next family meal.

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.