This pumpkin pasta sauce is a fall-inspired cozy meal that you can make tonight for dinner in just 20 minutes! Fresh sage leaves, pumpkin puree, and a creamy coconut base give this pasta a decadent flavor that's sure to please everyone!
Starting on September 1st, I want alllll the pumpkin recipes! Gimme pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, and especially my favorite pasta with pumpkin sauce! Are you like this too?
This pumpkin sauce is so rich, creamy, and flavorful! It's made with creamy coconut milk, a can of pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spices, wine, garlic and onions, plus a touch of sage that gives it the most amazing flavor!
My husband has never been a fan of pumpkin-flavored anything, but now he loves pumpkin pasta! When I told him that I was going to make pumpkin pasta for dinner, his smile instantly turned into a look of uncertainty. All it took was one bite for him to change his mind. This pumpkin sauce recipe converted him into a pumpkin lover and hopefully it will do the same for you!
Besides being absolutely delicious, this simple fall-inspired pumpkin recipe is so easy to make, and it's ready to eat in only 20 minutes! I make it so much during the Fall and everyone who has tried it has absolutely loved it!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This pasta sauce recipe is made with a combination of fresh and pantry ingredients. Let's go over everything you'll need and substitutions if you need it.
- Onion - I used a red onion, but you can use sweet, white, or yellow onions. Shallots would be delicious too!
- White Wine - Pino Grigio is added for flavor, but you can omit it if necessary.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic adds so much flavor! You could sub 1 teaspoon of dried garlic.
- Dried Seasonings - Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne enhance the pumpkin flavor.
- Nutritional Yeast - This ingredient adds a cheesy flavor that pairs so well with the pumpkin.
- Sage - I used fresh sage because it's so flavorful and it's a pretty garnish, but you can also use dried sage. Start with ¼ teaspoon and add more to taste.
- Pumpkin Puree - I used a carton (or can) of pumpkin puree (Make sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling) because it's convenient, but of course, you can use fresh pumpkin puree if you prefer. You could also use sweet potato or butternut squash instead of pumpkin for a similar flavor profile.
- Coconut Milk - This recipe is made without cream, butter, parmesan, milk, ricotta, or cream cheese, so I used full-fat canned coconut milk to make it taste rich and creamy. Full-fat coconut milk gives the best flavor and richness to this sauce. You can substitute unsweetened oat milk or unsweetened cashew milk if necessary.
How to Make Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce
In a large pan, saute the diced onion until the onions are soft and translucent (Photo 1). While you're sautéing the onion, boil water in a separate pot and cook the pasta. The noodles should be done cooking around the same time that the pumpkin sauce is ready.
Next, deglaze the pan with ½ cup of white wine (I used pinot grigio) and let it cook for a few minutes until most of it has cooked down (Photos 2 & 3).
Next, add the minced garlic, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, nutritional yeast, fresh sage, a pinch of cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir and let the flavors meld (Photos 4-6).
Add the canned coconut milk and pumpkin puree to the pan and stir to combine. Reduce the heat and let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes (Photos 7-9).
Lastly, drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the pasta sauce. Toss to combine and coat every noodle with the sauce. Garnish the pasta with fresh sage and enjoy!
This pumpkin pasta is delicious just like this, but you could switch it up with these simple variations:
- Vegan Sausage - You can add sauteed slices of meatless sausage (we like Field Roast Italian sausage) to the pasta to make it more substantial, it's a delicious addition!
- Pumpkin Pasta Bake - Put the pasta into a casserole dish and top it with buttered bread crumbs and then bake it for 25 minutes at 400 degrees or until the crumbs are golden!
- Fresh Greens - Mix in a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves or thinly sliced kale to this pasta right before you serve it for a pop of color. I like to do this as an easy to way get more greens in.
- Roasted Vegetables - Mix roasted broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus, or bell peppers with the pumpkin sauce to add more fiber and to make the meal even more filling.
- Plant-Based Protein - You could add green peas, chickpeas, or white beans for an extra boost of plant-based protein.
What Goes With It?
This creamy pumpkin sauce is insanely delicious tossed with your favorite variety of freshly cooked pasta. I like to use noodles that have pockets or ridges to catch the sauce.
- Gluten-Free Bow Tie Pasta
- Pumpkin Shaped Pasta (This pasta would be perfect for Halloween dinner!)
The sauce is very versatile and it can also be served in the following ways:
- Ravioli - You can use store-bought vegan ravioli and drizzle this savory pumpkin sauce over the top for a quick dinner.
- Gnocchi - Toss hot gnocchi (I like to use the dairy-free cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe's) in this pumpkin sauce for an incredibly satisfying and easy meal!
- Lasagna - Use this recipe for spinach artichoke lasagna and substitute this pumpkin sauce for the tomato sauce in the recipe. Can you imagine how delicious creamy spinach artichoke dip and savory pumpkin sauce would taste together? Holy yum!
- Vegetable Noodles - If you're looking for a low-carb option, you could serve the sauce over spaghetti squash noodles or zucchini noodles.
How To Store It
Store the leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can reheat the pasta in the microwave or in a pan on the stove top. Add a little bit of water or plant milk to the pasta to help loosen up the sauce if it's too thick.
This sauce also freezes perfectly. Pour the pumpkin sauce into a freezer-safe container and freeze it for 2-3 months. When you're ready to eat it, remove the container from the freezer and put it in the fridge to defrost for 24 hours. Then you can reheat it in the microwave or in a pan on the stove top.
Frequently Asked Questions
White beans, chickpeas, green peas, or crispy baked tofu are all delicious, protein-rich options that will go perfectly with this pumpkin pasta.
Canned or a carton of pumpkin is just plain pureed pumpkin. Pumpkin filling is usually sweetened and has spices added like ginger, cinnamon, clove, and allspice, because you would use it to make pumpkin pie.
Want More Dairy-Free Pasta Recipes?
Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Hummus Pasta
15-Minute Cashew Alfredo Sauce
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- Large Saute Pan
- Large Pot
- 8 oz bow tie noodles use gluten-free iff necessary
- 1 small red onion diced
- ½ cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
- 4 medium garlic cloves minced
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp fresh sage roughly chopped
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (add more to taste)
- ¼ tsp sea salt (add more to taste)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 16 oz carton pumpkin puree
- 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk
- In a large pan, saute the diced red onion over medium heat, until soft and translucent.
- While the onions are sauteing, boil water in a separate pot and cook the noodles. The noodles should be done cooking around the same time that the sauce is done cooking.
- Deglaze the pan of onions with ½ cup of white wine (I used pinot grigio) and let it cook for a few minutes until most of the liquid has been cooked off.
- Add the minced garlic, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, nutritional yeast, fresh sage, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir and let the flavors meld for 1 minute.
- Add the canned coconut milk and pumpkin puree to the pan and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce heat up for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Drain the noodles and add them to the pan with the pumpkin sauce. Toss to combine and garnish with roughly chopped fresh sage.
- Make sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. They're not the same.
- Store leftover pumpkin sauce in an airtight container for 2-3 days or freeze it for 2-3 months.
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