This Pumpkin pasta is a delightful dish that brings together the savory taste of pumpkin puree and the comfort of cooked pasta. The combination of fresh sage, minced garlic, and chopped onion in olive oil offers a rich flavor profile that perfectly compliments the creamy pumpkin sauce. The toasted pine nuts provide a delightful crunch, making every bite absolutely delicious!
This recipe is an excellent way to introduce a unique pasta dish at your dinner table. Pumpkin pasta is straightforward to prepare, requiring only a handful of ingredients. The dish is not only delicious but also nutritious, packed with the goodness of pumpkin and fresh herbs.
What sets this pumpkin pasta recipe apart is the use of canned pumpkin puree instead of the usual tomato-based pasta sauces. The pumpkin puree lends a creamy texture and a distinct, slightly sweet taste to the pasta.
What’s best is that you can choose any pasta you like and just toss it in this dairy-free pumpkin sage sauce for a healthy and satisfying fall meal!
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious pumpkin pasta recipe today!
- What is Pumpkin Pasta?
- Why This Is The Best Pumpkin Pasta Recipe
- What You Need to Make Pumpkin Pasta
- How to Make Pumpkin Pasta Step by Step
- Tips For Making the Best Pumpkin Pasta
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Pumpkin Pasta
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Pasta
- Similar Recipes
What is Pumpkin Pasta?
Pumpkin pasta is a delightful, hearty dish that is perfect for the colder months. It is a creative blend of cooked pasta, typically rigatoni, penne, or farfalle, tossed in a savory pumpkin sauce.
This pumpkin pasta recipe is a fantastic dish to make at home because it is not only delicious but also very comforting. The creamy pumpkin pasta has a rich, savory taste that is wonderfully satisfying.
The pumpkin sauce adds a unique flavor that is both sweet and earthy, and when combined with the cooked pasta, it creates an irresistible dish that is sure to impress anyone who tries it. Trust me, you’re gonna love it!
Why This Is The Best Pumpkin Pasta Recipe
Quick and easy: This creamy pumpkin pasta recipe is made with just eight ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes! No complicated steps or obscure ingredients, making it a breeze to whip up even on a busy weeknight.
Time-saving technique: Time is precious and this recipe respects that. There's no need to make your own pumpkin puree. This recipe uses canned pumpkin puree which makes the whole process easy peasy, and quick. Your delicious meal will be ready before you know it!
Family favorite: This vegan pumpkin sage pasta is healthy and great for children and adults alike. It is a meal that's packed with flavor and nutrients, making it a hit with the entire family.
Vegan and Versatile: Whether you are vegan, dairy-free, or simply enjoy delicious pasta dishes, this recipe is for you. It is versatile, you can use any type of pasta you prefer and make substitutions as needed. If you don't have fresh sage, use dried sage or thyme. Want a different plant-based milk? No problem, use your favorite.
What You Need to Make Pumpkin Pasta
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious pumpkin pasta recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
Pasta: The backbone of this dish, I used bow ties in my recipe, but feel free to use your favorite type or a gluten-free version if you prefer. If you use Farfalle like I did, cook them a little longer than spaghetti or penne, for example. Farfalle has a thicker part in the middle of the "bow-tie" and it cooks slightly longer than other pasta.
Olive Oil: Adds a rich flavor and silky texture to the dish. It is used to sauté the onions and garlic, and also helps to blend the flavors of the other ingredients.
Onion: This ingredient adds a savory touch to our pumpkin pasta recipe, providing a nice balance to the sweetness of the pumpkin puree.
Garlic: A key flavor enhancer in many pasta recipes, garlic gives our pumpkin pasta a robust flavor.
Fresh Sage: This herb brings a warm and earthy flavor to the dish. If you don't have fresh sage leaves, feel free to substitute with dried sage or dried thyme.
Pumpkin Puree: The star of this dish, providing a sweet and creamy texture. I used canned pumpkin in this recipe, but make sure that it is not pumpkin pie filling.
Vegetable Broth: Helps to thin out the pumpkin sauce and adds an extra layer of flavor.
Plant-Based Milk: Adds creaminess to the sauce. I recommend using neutral-flavored milk, such as almond or oat milk. Canned coconut milk has a rich flavor. However, you can use it too. I would suggest mixing it with other plant milk. That way, the sauce will be rich and creamy without a coconut flavor. I also suggest buying plant milk that doesn't have any additional ingredients like oils or sugar. See my Vegan Grocery List for specific recommendations.
Salt: This ingredient is key for bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients. Be sure to season to your liking.
Pepper: Adds a bit of heat and depth to the flavor profile of this creamy pumpkin pasta recipe.
How to Make Pumpkin Pasta Step by Step
Making this incredible pumpkin pasta recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
1. Start off with cooking your pasta. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add salt and add pasta. I used bow ties. Cook pasta for 7-10 minutes or until it's fully cooked.
2. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts. You can either do it in a dry skillet or in a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place pine nuts in a baking dish and toast them for 7-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside.
3. While you toast your pine nuts, it's time to make the pumpkin pasta sauce. Heat olive oil in a large pan and over medium heat. Add onion and sauté stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes until the onion is translucent.
Add garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds.
4. Next, reduce the heat to low and add fresh sage, vegetable broth, canned pumpkin purée and plant-based milk. Simmer the pumpkin alfredo sauce for 7 minutes. Add salt, pepper and remove sauce from the heat.
5. Drain cooked pasta and add it into the pumpkin sage sauce. Toss to combine.
6. Arrange pumpkin pasta among the bowls, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.
Tips For Making the Best Pumpkin Pasta
Choose the right pasta: This recipe uses bow tie pasta, but feel free to use gluten-free pasta or other shapes like rigatoni. The choice of pasta can influence the texture and overall taste of your dish.
Make use of pasta cooking water: After you've drained your cooked pasta, remember to save some pasta cooking water. This can be used to adjust the consistency of your pumpkin sauce, making it just the right thickness for your liking.
Season well: Make sure to season the sauce really well. Starting with the proposed amount of salt, you can add more as per your liking. This helps make sure that the sauce isn't too sweet and brings out the savory flavor of the dish.
Substitute wisely: If you don't have fresh sage, you can use dried sage or dried thyme. However, be mindful of the quantity. About a third of a teaspoon of dried herbs is usually enough.
- Enjoy this creamy pumpkin pasta recipe with a side of garlic bread for a perfect dinner. The robust flavor of garlic compliments the savory pumpkin sauce beautifully.
- If you are a cheese lover, sprinkle some extra parmesan cheese on top of your pumpkin pasta. It adds an extra layer of flavor and a lovely, gooey texture.
- For a healthier twist, serve this pasta with a side of steamed spinach or kale. These greens will add a fresh taste and a vibrant color contrast to your dish.
- Craving for a bit of crunch? Top your pasta with toasted pine nuts or even roasted pumpkin seeds. They add a delightful crunch and a nutty taste that pairs well with the creaminess of the pumpkin sauce.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Pumpkin Pasta
This delicious pumpkin pasta recipe is so flavorful and easy to make, you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Make it Cheesy: For cheese lovers, this variation is a dream come true. Add a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese to your cooked pasta and pumpkin sauce. The cheese adds a delightful savory taste and enhances the creamy texture of the pasta.
Boost It with Greens: If you love adding a healthy twist to your pasta recipes, try adding spinach or kale to this dish. Simply stir in the fresh greens just before the pasta is done cooking. They add a nice contrast in texture and a boost of nutrients.
Try Nutritional Yeast: To boost the nutrients in this vegan pasta recipe, you can sprinkle already cooked pasta with some nutritional yeast. It's a wonderful alternative to "cheese" and also a great source of B vitamins.
Frequently Asked Questions
The choice to cook pasta "al dente", or slightly undercooked, is completely up to you. Most pasta recipes do recommend this method, but if you prefer your pasta to be softer, feel free to cook it until it reaches your desired level of softness. Just make sure it doesn't become too soft or start falling apart.
Absolutely! If you don't have fresh sage on hand, dried ground sage is a perfectly good substitute for this pumpkin pasta recipe. However, dried sage has a more concentrated flavor, so you'll need less of it. About a third of a teaspoon should be enough.
Yes, you certainly can. Butternut squash puree makes a delicious and healthy alternative to pumpkin puree in this recipe. If you have cooked butternut squash puree available, feel free to use it instead of the pumpkin puree.
If your pumpkin sauce turns out too thick, don't worry. You can thin it out with some of the pasta cooking water you saved when you drained your pasta. This will not only thin out the sauce but also add a bit of extra flavor.
How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Pasta
Storage. You can easily store leftovers of this delicious pumpkin pasta. Firstly, allow your pumpkin pasta to cool completely before you plan to store it. Once it is cooled, transfer it to an airtight container. Pasta tossed in a dairy-free pumpkin sauce will keep for about one to two days in the refrigerator.
Reheating. When it comes to reheating, it is best to do it on the stovetop. Take a saucepan or a large skillet, and heat your pasta over medium heat. To prevent it from drying out, you can add a few tablespoons of plant milk, such as almond or oat milk. These milks have a neutral flavor which won't interfere with the savory taste of your pumpkin sauce. Remember to stir the pasta occasionally to make sure that it heats evenly.
Freezing. If you've made a big batch of pumpkin sauce and you're wondering if it can be frozen, the answer is yes! This sauce freezes well. Simply distribute the sauce among freezer-friendly bags and store it in the freezer. It should keep for about two to three months.
Thawing. When you're ready to serve, thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight. Then, simmer the sauce in a small or medium pot over medium heat. If needed, add a bit of plant milk to reach the desired creamy consistency. Stir in freshly cooked pasta, and your meal is ready!
However, it is important to note that pasta itself, especially when cooked, doesn't freeze as well as the sauce. It tends to become mushy when thawed and reheated. So, for the best flavor and texture, we recommend freezing the sauce separately and cooking the pasta fresh when you're ready to eat.
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Best Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
- 8 oz pasta I used bow ties. You can use gluten-free pasta
- ¼ c pine nuts
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage
- 1 ½ c pumpkin puree I used canned pumpkin, make sure it's not pumpkin pie filling
- ½ c vegetable broth
- ½ c plant-based milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Cook your pasta
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add ½ teaspoon salt and add pasta. Cook pasta for 7-10 minutes or until it's fully cooked.
Toast the pine nuts
Make the pumpkin pasta sauce
- Heat olive oil in a large pan and over medium heat. Add onion and sauté stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds.
Add the rest of the ingredients
- Reduce the heat to low and add fresh sage, vegetable broth, canned pumpkin purée and plant-based milk. Simmer the pasta sauce for 7 minutes. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper and remove sauce from the heat.
Add pasta to the pumpkin sauce
- Drain cooked pasta and add it into the pumpkin sage sauce. Toss to combine.
- Arrange pumpkin pasta among the bowls, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.
Iryna Bychkiv is the founder and writer of the culinary website Lavender & Macarons, where she shares clean, European-inspired recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and made with wholesome ingredients. Iryna loves creating meals that are simple yet healthy and unique, including vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Iryna is also a freelance writer for MSN and Associated Press Wire.