Updated: Mar 16, 2019
So apparently I've been on a post-fall pumpkin binge as of late. I guess I can never get enough of the fall feels! Do you feel the same? I've been obsessively making this particular dish too. It's just that good!
This pumpkin "mac n' cheese" may be made with pumpkin, but is great all year round. It really satisfies that mac n' cheese craving that I get basically all the time. Hence me making it.. all the time.. If you follow me on Instagram you know this is true. Dare I say I might even like it better?! Gasp!
Possibly one of my favourite parts of this recipe is just how SIMPLE it is! I love quick and easy dishes that taste great. Don't you?
I start by boiling water for my noodles of choice. I like the Thai kitchen thin rice noodles (not paleo I know.. but rice is my weakness. Don't judge me.). I also really like these sweet potato glass noodles, or kelp noodles. Whatever you tolerate best! Be sure to check the cook time before you start.
Then I prep the chicken breasts by cutting them into 1-2" cubes, and portion out the coconut cream. To start, you brown the chicken breast on medium-high heat in a large skillet to seal in the juices, turn, and set aside. I like to use coconut oil or ghee, but you can use whatever your favourite cooking fat is. Make sure you let your pan heat up before you add the chicken or you wont get a good sear and you'll loose the little fat and juices that chicken has. *Don't worry about cooking it all the way, you'll add it back to the sauce to finish cooking later.
Once you remove the chicken from the pan, reduce the heat to low and add the coconut cream. If you're using canned coconut milk like I do, refrigerate it for a couple hours (or just always keep some in the fridge) and use the cream off the top. You can use the remaining coconut water in your smoothies! Then add the pumpkin and nutritional yeast. By using the same pan you get all the yummy goodness from the chicken.
The sauce should be nice and thick and creamy. Yummmm! Then I'll add the spinach. I don't usually measure it, but just add a couple big handfuls. You can add more if you'd like! Then I cover the greens with the pink himalayan garlic salt and the sauce to help it wilt down. I'm also completely obsessed with this garlic salt. I put it on everything. You have to try it!
Once the spinach is wilted, I add the chicken back in, covering it thoroughly and let it finish cooking, about 5 minutes. Depending on how long your pasta of choice takes to cook, I add it to the water at this point (the Thai kitchen thin rice noodles and the sweet potato glass noodles only take about 5 minutes). See how that timing matches up! Love it when that happens. Remember: Be sure to read the instructions for whatever noodles you make before you start!
Your sauce will continue cooking for the approximate 5-6 minutes your noodles are cooking. Once they are finished, add them to your sauce, mix, and enjoy!
AIP/Paleo Pumpkin "Mac n' Cheese"
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Medium Pot for pasta (you may want a large pot if you are using a different pasta)
Ingredients (organic, non-gmo):
2 chicken breasts, free range (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 cup coconut cream (you'll need two cans of coconut milk; refrigerate and use the solids off the top)
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 large handfuls fresh spinach
Garlic salt to taste (I usually use about a 1/2 tsp)
2 tbsp ghee or favourite cooking fat
1. Boil water in medium pot for pasta of choice.
2. Add ghee to skillet and heat pan on medium-high. Brown the chicken and set aside.
3. Reduce the heat to low and add the coconut cream, pumpkin, and nutritional yeast to pan. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and spinach to wilt. Stir occasionally.
4. When water reaches a boil, add in your pasta (it will take about 5 minutes to cook if using one of the above suggestions).
5. Add chicken to the sauce to finish cooking (about 5 minutes). Stir occasionally.
6. When the pasta is done, strain and add to the sauce.
7. Mix and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts (using glass noodles; serving size 6):
Calories 379 Total Fat 9g Cholesterol 80mg Sodium 301mg Potassium 445mg Total Carbohydrates 43g Dietary Fiber 5g Sugars 7g Protein 34g Vitamin A 360% Vitamin C 29% Calcium 11% Iron 33%
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