Pumpkin Pasta with Crispy Sage

5 from 3 votes

This vegan Pumpkin Pasta is a savory fall-inspired recipe made with a dairy-free sauce that is full of nutrients and vitamins with a subtle pumpkin taste.

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I’ve made loads of fall recipes with pumpkin puree; most of which are in the dessert category, like Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesPumpkin Balls, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. But you can also use pumpkin in savory recipes too. And one of my favorites is this simple quick Pumpkin Pasta!

Pumpkin Pasta plated on a gray bowl topped with crispy sage and crushed cashews

Why I Love Pumpkin Pasta?

  1. It’s a great way to use up any leftover pumpkin during the fall after using ½ a cup here and there.
  2. It packs a healthy dosage of vegetable servings secretively from the pumpkin without a strong pumpkin flavor – great for picky eaters!
  3. It’s plant-based so it’s very light, yet the flavors are warm and comforting.
  4. It creates a gorgeous pumpkin sauce color that screams *FALL*!

How to Make Pumpkin Pasta

  1. Heat the olive oil and fry the sage in it. You’ll use the sage to serve with the pumpkin pasta. But, it’s also a great way to flavor the oil. When it’s dark and crispy, remove as much of it as you can and set aside.
  2. In that same pan, add the garlic and thyme and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Then add the pumpkin puree and marinara sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to low.
  3. Slowly add the milk to the skillet, whisking as you pour.
  4. Continue whisking until the milk is fully incorporated into the pumpkin sauce.
  5. Add the cooked drained pasta on top of the sauce.
  6. Toss it all together until the pasta is fully covered with the sauce.

Process shots showing how to make the sauce and then adding the pasta on top and tossing it together

When it’s all done, serve it with the crispy sage. If you think that part is optional, I guess it kinda is. But I think it totally makes the recipe so unique. It adds a crunchy savory taste that pairs so well with the creamy tender pasta. Plus it’s a great way to use up leftover sage you might have during the holidays.

Tips for Making Pumpkin Pasta

  1. Salt the pasta water. Salt penetrates the pasta while boiling, allowing it to get properly flavored. It’s much harder to flavor pasta after it’s been cooked, and you will most likely end up using way more salt than needed. Plus, we’re going to be using this salted pasta water in the lemon ricotta pasta sauce!
  2. Cook the pasta al dente. I highly recommend cooking the pasta al dente, so it has a nice bite to it even after it’s been tossed in the warm pumpkin sauce. You don’t want it to become soggy after you toss it in the sauce for a couple minutes.
  3. Use gluten-free pasta instead. This sauce works well with any pasta of choice, so feel free to switch it around. You can also use zucchini noodles or butternut squash noodles if you want to make it low-carb.
  4. Use pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling. The cans sit right next to each other on shelves, so it’s easy to mistake them for each other. But you want to make sure the only ingredient is pumpkin puree so the pumpkin pasta isn’t sweet.

I love serving the pumpkin sauce pasta with a side of seasonal vegetables (kale is in season during the fall) and some type of learn protein. In this case, I served it with my cilantro chicken recipe. It’s a diary-free, well-balanced and super filling milling!

Plate of some of the pumpkin pasta, served with steamed kale and grilled chicken

Pumpkin Pasta is made with a healthy pasta sauce is dairy-free and loaded with nutrients and vitamins from the pureed pumpkin and tomato-based sauce. There is a subtle pumpkin flavor, but even the pickiest eaters will hardly notice it! And if you like this, be sure to check out my no-stir pumpkin risotto!

Fore more vegan pasta recipes, check out:

If you make this healthy-ish feelgood Pumpkin Pasta recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

This Pumpkin Pasta recipe was originally published on October 17, 2017. I’m re-sharing it today with more step-by-step photos.

Pumpkin Pasta with Crispy Sage

This vegan Pumpkin Pasta is a savory fall-inspired recipe made with a dairy-free sauce that is full of nutrients and vitamins with a subtle pumpkin taste.
5 from 3 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Main Course
Calories 276
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces Rigatoni pasta or other variety
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
  • 5-10 fresh sage leaves sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside with a little pasta water to keep it from sticking.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil at medium heat. Add the sage and stir frequently until the sage gets dark and crispy. Remove the sage and set aside in a small bowl.
  • Add the garlic and thyme to the oil leftover in the skillet and cook until the garlic gets lightly toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin puree and the marinara and stir to combine with the garlic and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the unsweetened almond milk to the skillet and simmer the sauce for about 5-7 minutes until it thickens. Stir in the pasta and toss to coat with the sauce
  • Serve with the reserved crispy sage, if desired.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, just add a splash of milk to keep the sauce from drying out.
Make Ahead: You can make the sauce up to 3-4 days ahead of time and freeze it for up to 3 months. Then just heat through a large pan, and toss with pasta.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe:
  • To make it gluten-free, you can use any gluten-free pasta of your choice.
  • To make the sauce more creamy, you can use heavy cream or more milk.
  • Feel free to substitute the fresh garlic for garlic powder, and the fresh thyme for dried thyme (1 teaspoon)
Nutritional Data: The information below is an automated estimate and could vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used. It's estimated for 2 ounces of pasta per person.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 276kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 140mg, Potassium: 285mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 6499IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 2mg

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Final Pumpkin Pasta recipe plated in a large bowl and served with crispy sage

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Comments

  1. Amazing recipe! We tried today and the comments were “This is restaurant quality pasta” super happy with this one. One question, video shows the recipe with vegetables broth and the recipe is with unsweetened milk. Is it a matter of tastes?

    1. Aww so glad to hear that! Thank you!! And yes I originally made this with vegetable broth but then photographed it with milk for a creamier texture. Both ways work well!!