Pumpkin Beer & Pretzel Mac and Cheese

A Thanksgiving menu just isn’t complete without a hearty macaroni and cheese recipe! This mac and cheese starts out with a pumpkin beer-flavored roux, laced with three different kinds of cheeses and topped with crunchy pretzels. It’s seriously a comfort food masterpiece. We have quite a few beer lovers in my family so I know that this will be a hit for the holiday!

I don’t know about you, but Thursday always comes far quicker than I think it does so I have already started to grocery shop for my menu, pull out table décor and plan out what I’m making the night before.

Thanksgiving is the big leagues for us food bloggers so I always try and make the most of it! We are pulling out the classics like roasted turkey, green bean casserole and pecan and pumpkin pie. We are also doing some new side dishes like Brussels sprouts gratin and this pumpkin beer and pretzel macaroni and cheese. My family always has some kind of macaroni and cheese at major holidays so this year I knew I wanted to jazz it up!

The base of this mac and cheese recipe starts out with a standard roux but I have taken out a portion of the milk and added in pumpkin beer! If you’re not a beer girl (I’m actually not either!) have no fear! By the time this dish comes together the beer just enhances the entire mac and cheese and doesn’t overpower it in the slightest! The pumpkin flavor adds a rich, umami essence to this classic dish. I love serving this up in my Staub Dutch oven, it keeps the mac really warm (especially if your transporting the dish!) and I love that it can go from stovetop to festive serving dish.

For the cheeses we have Fontina, Gouda and Parmesan. I love Fontina and Gouda because they are great melting cheeses and Parmesan gives the recipe a mega flavor kick. My favorite part of the whole recipe is the pretzel topper! I am such a sucker for pretzels and melted cheese. This recipe has it all rolled up into one! If you love a breadcrumb-topped mac and cheese then this is totally for you! It has the same crunch as breadcrumbs but even more flavor! Save this recipe for you Thanksgiving menu or the next time you need a hearty mac and cheese recipe!

Pumpkin Beer & Pretzel Mac and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese starts out with a pumpkin beer-flavored roux, laced with three different kinds of cheeses and topped with crunchy pretzels. It’s seriously a comfort food masterpiece.
Course Salads and Sides, Soups
Servings 6
Calories 962 kcal


  • 1 lb macaroni pasta
  • .25 cups unsalted butter
  • .25 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 cups light pumpkin beer
  • 2 cups Fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1 cups Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded + more for topping
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .25 tsp black pepper
  • .25 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cups pretzels


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Spray a Staub Dutch oven with non-stick spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop pasta in and boil for 7 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • In a large sauté pan melt ¼ cup of unsalted butter on medium heat. Add flour to melted butter and cook for 2 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add in minced garlic and whisk once more to avoid burning. Add milk and beer to butter flour mixture and turn heat up to medium high. Whisk mixture occasionally for 3-4 minutes or until boiling, and until the sauce has thickened.
  • Remove mixture from heat and whisk in cheeses to mixture until melted. Stir in cayenne, nutmeg and salt & pepper. Stir in mixture to macaroni noodles and transfer to sprayed Dutch oven.
  • Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and bake until melt-y on top.
  • Sprinkle pretzels on top just before serving.


Serving: 1gCalories: 962kcalCarbohydrates: 97.2gProtein: 47.5gFat: 41.3gSaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 1744mgFiber: 4.1gSugar: 8.9g
Keyword Cheese, Fall, Side dishes