Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

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Creamy pumpkin pasta and your favorite cheeses combine for an irresistible fall dish. This easy pumpkin pasta recipe is perfect for a hearty weeknight meal.

If you’re looking for something both delicious and filling, this is the pasta dish you want this time of year! It’s dairy-free, and can easily be made plant-based. It’s a savory dish the whole family will love!

A closeup of Pumpkin Pasta in a white bowl, garnished with parmesan cheese.

The Best Pasta To Use For Pumpkin Pasta

The pasta used for this recipe was Rigatoni. But Penne pasta is also a good choice here. Really, you could probably use any shape you prefer. Even spaghetti! But I’m partial to rigatoni for this type of sauce.

How Can I Turn My Pumpkin Into A Lovely Pasta Bake?

It’s really quite simple! With just a change of cheese, you can put this in a casserole dish and serve it as a cheesy pasta bake! Here’s how to do it:

  • Make the recipe completely.
  • Put the pasta and sauce into a casserole dish.
  • Generously sprinkled grated cheese over the top.
  • Bake at 350 F. for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted.
  • Suggested cheeses are Jack cheese, mild, white cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or white American cheese (block, not single, wrapped slices). If you are vegan, use the vegan version of any of these cheeses.
A female hand holding a fork reaches for a bite of pumpkin pasta from a white bowl.

How Do I Make Vegan Pumpkin Pasta?

This recipe is actually formulated to be vegan. I simply mention regular cheeses for those of you who are not plant-based. Simply put, if you want this to be vegan, use vegan cheese. Easy!

Can I Use Different Squash?

You absolutely can! Here are some suggestions:

  • Sugar pumpkin
  • Butternut squash
  • Honeynut squash
  • Acorn squash

About The Ingredients

Pasta – Gluten-free pasta or regular. Pick your favorite. Any shape will work, but Rigatoni and Penne work best here.

Pumpkin purée – 15 oz. canned or 1½ homemade. If you purchase it canned, make sure you do not grab pumpkin pie filling on accident!

Full-fat coconut milk – No sugar added. This is the canned stuff. Not the stuff in the refrigerator section at the store. Look for the ethnic section at your local store.

Garlic cloves – You can use more if you like. But 2 large cloves are about right for this. You don’t want the garlic to overpower everything in this recipe.

Fresh sage leaves – Or as many as you like.

Smoked paprika – Make sure it’s smoked paprika. Regular paprika just won’t be the same in this dish.

Parmesan cheese – Or as much as you like. Can be vegan parmesan. You can also use any other cheese you prefer.

Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt. But use whatever you normally use in your kitchen for cooking. And don’t forget to salt your pasta water!

Ground black pepper – White ground pepper is also a good choice here.

Walnuts – You’ll want to either pulse these in a food processor or chop them very fine. You want a slightly chunkier but similar consistency to grated parmesan without turning the nuts into walnut flour.

How To Make Pumpkin Pasta

Pumpkin Pasta Recipe ingredients gathered on a white countertop.

Gather and measure all the ingredients.

Cooked quash in a mixing bowl.
Pumpkin Pasta sauce ingredients sitting in a blender.
Blended Pumpkin Pasta sauce sitting in a blender tumbler.

Making The Sauce

Cut the pumpkin and bring it to a boil for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin softens enough to make a purée. Remove the skin and discard it. Transfer the squash to a food processor or high-speed blender and add the coconut milk, olive oil, salt & pepper to taste and blend until you get a creamy sauce.

Sage leaves frying in a skillet.

Prepping The Garnish

In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil and fry the sage leaves until they turn darker and hardened. Leave them to dry on a paper napkin. Save it for later. (Don’t let the heat get too high on this or they will easily burn!)

Pumpkin Pasta sauce in a skillet.

Cooking The Pasta

Cook the pasta to package directions in salted water to al dente. While the pasta cooks, transfer the pumpkin sauce into a frying pan and adjust it to medium heat. Add the paprika to the sauce. Simmer the sauce for about 4-5 minutes, depending on how thick you want it. The more you cook it, the thicker it will get. Remove from heat. If your sauce gets too thick, simply add a bit of pasta water to the sauce.

Pasta sitting in pumpkin pasta sauce in a skillet.

Transfer the cooked pasta to the sauce in the pan.

Parmesan cheese sprinkled over pasta and sauce in a skillet.

Finishing The Dish

Sprinkle on walnut and top with parmesan cheese. Garnish with the sage leaves. You can crush them or enjoy them whole.

A female hand holding a fork picks up some Pumpkin Pasta out of a white bowl.

Serve and enjoy!

Other Topping Ideas

  • Chopped pecans
  • Dried cranberries
  • Italian sausage if you aren’t vegan
  • Shredded chicken if you aren’t vegan
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • A pat of butter (vegan or regular)

How To Store Pumpkin Pasta

Pack this in an airtight container and store it for up to 2 days in the fridge. If the sauce dries out, add some coconut milk or pasta water to make it creamier.

How To Reheat Pumpkin Pasta

The easiest way is in a microwave for a minute or two. But if you prefer to avoid that, you can warm this on a pot on the stovetop. But you will need to add some extra liquid to the pot. Water or coconut milk will work.

An extra up close shot of Pumpkin Pasta sprinkled with parmesan and chopped walnuts.

What Else Goes Well With Pumpkin Pasta Sauce?

  1. Other great choices are rice or cauliflower rice in place of pasta.
  2. Couscous, orzo, millet, or quinoa will work if you keep the sauce light. You may need to thin it out a bit for smaller grains or pasta.
  3. For non-vegans, chicken or pork works well with this.

Recipe Supplies

For this recipe, you’ll need a pot to cook the pasta in, a skillet for frying the leaves and combining everything, and a strainer for your cooked pasta. Click the images below to be taken to that item on Amazon. (Affiliate links)

Large pasta pot sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Skillet sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Strainer set sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

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A closeup of Pumpkin Pasta in a white bowl, garnished with parmesan cheese.

Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

Delicious, creamy pasta that is perfect for Fall!
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 523kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley

Equipment

  • 1 Large Skillet
  • 1 pasta pot
  • 1 strainer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pasta (Gluten-free or regular. Pick your favorite.)
  • cup pumpkin puree (15 oz. canned or 1½ homemade)
  • 15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk (No sugar added)
  • tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 7 large sage leaves (Or as many as you like)
  • ¾ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (Or as much as you like. Can be vegan parmesan)
  • tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup walnuts (coarsely ground or chopped fine)

Instructions

  • Gather and measure all the ingredients.
    Pumpkin Pasta Recipe ingredients gathered on a white countertop.
  • Cut the pumpkin and bring it to a boil for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin softens enough to make a purée. Remove the skin and discard it. Transfer the squash to a food processor or high-speed blender and add the coconut milk, olive oil, salt & pepper to taste and blend until you get a creamy sauce.
    Blended Pumpkin Pasta sauce sitting in a blender tumbler.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil and fry the sage leaves until they turn darker and hardened. Leave them to dry on a paper napkin. Save it for later. (Don't let the heat get too high on this or they will easily burn!)
    Sage leaves frying in a skillet.
  • Cook the pasta to package directions in salted water to al dente. While the pasta cooks, transfer the pumpkin sauce into a frying pan and adjust it to medium heat. Add the paprika to the sauce. Simmer the sauce for about 4-5 minutes, depending on how thick you want it. The more you cook it, the thicker it will get. Remove from heat. If your sauce gets too thick, simply add a bit of pasta water to the sauce.
    Pumpkin Pasta sauce in a skillet.
  • Transfer the cooked pasta to the sauce in the pan.
    Pasta sitting in pumpkin pasta sauce in a skillet.
  • Sprinkle on walnut and top with parmesan cheese. Garnish with the sage leaves. You can crush them or enjoy them whole.
    Parmesan cheese sprinkled over pasta and sauce in a skillet.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    A female hand holding a fork picks up some Pumpkin Pasta out of a white bowl.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 9690IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg

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I'm Tiffany, a writer for MSN and the AP Newswire, a cookbook author, digital publisher, food lover, and mom. I create healthy, clean eating recipes for everyday living.

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