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Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce (Easy 30 Minute Meal)

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce (Easy 30 Minute Meal)

It’s Fall, y’all! Whip up a batch of this creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce to make pumpkin pasta, topped with walnuts, parmesan and fresh sage, in just 30 minutes!

Use any leftover pumpkin puree, to make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Pumpkin Pie Bites or Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese! Any of these pumpkin recipes would make a great dessert pairing with this pumpkin pasta sauce recipe!

Pot of pumpkin pasta sauce with tongs.

The Best Type of Pasta for Pumpkin Pasta

Use any noodle that is designed to hold sauce: fusilli (pictured), penne, fettuccine, rotini or bowtie all work well. You can even use whole wheat pasta if that’s your jam. 

Pumpkin Sauce For Pasta

This pumpkin pasta sauce recipe takes only 30 minutes to prepare. It is best to serve as soon as you finish making it for the best texture. This sauce does thicken as it sits, so keep some reserved pasta water handy to thin, if needed.

Please note, we have not tested this recipe with any low fat or no fat dairy options (think skim milk, light cream cheese, etc.). If you opt to make it with a low fat version, leave a comment and let us know how it went!

Spices in glass bowls next to fusilli.

How To Make Pasta In Pumpkin Sauce

Pumpkin pasta sauce is surprisingly easy to make, considering the final flavor and texture of the dish.

Boil the Noodles – Boil the noodles in salted water to al dente.

Make The Roux – This is the foundation of a creamy sauce. You’ll brown the butter and flour together before adding the onions and garlic to soften.

Add the Milk – Add the milk and let the sauce thicken, before adding the rest of the ingredients. This step can’t be rushed or else you’ll have a runny sauce.

Side by side photos showing the making of roux.

Add the Rest of the Ingredients – Whisk in the pumpkin, cream cheese and spices.

Add the Noodles – Gently toss the noodles with the creamy sauce! Taste and adjust any spices.

Side by side photos showing pumpkin in a cream sauce along with noodles.

Add In Ideas

Bulk up this pasta with pumpkin sauce with any of the below:

  • Chopped Walnuts
  • Italian Sausage
  • Chicken
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Burrata
  • Fresh Mozzarella, Torn

Expert Tips

  • Make sure to only cook the pasta to al dente. You won’t want mushy pasta shells.
  • Use water, Instant Pot Bone Broth or Vegetable Stock if you forgot to reserve pasta water and you wish to thin the sauce.
  • Use a large stockpot or dutch oven. Once you add the cooked noodles to the cream sauce, you’ll wish you had more room!
  • Follow up your meal with Pumpkin Snickerdoodles for the ultimate pumpkin flavored meal!

Cream dutch oven with an orange cream sauce inside.

Pumpkin Ravioli Sauce

Many of you have written in to ask for a pumpkin sauce to pair with ravioli. This is it! No edits are required. Just cook the ravioli in place of the noodles.

Storage

Store pumpkin pasta sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, just add a splash of liquid (milk/water/heavy cream) and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and repeat, until warm throughout. 

Can You Freeze Pumpkin Sauce For Pasta

You can freeze this dish, however dairy generally does not freeze well. As such, changes to the texture will occur. 

Pasta in pumpkin sauce in a white bowl.

Drink Pairings

Our favorite wines to pair with creamy pasta with pumpkin sauce recipe: Dry Chenin Blanc, Dry Riesling, Grüner Veltliner or Viognier.

It's Fall, Y'all! Whip up a batch of this creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce to make pumpkin pasta, topped with walnuts, parmesan and fresh sage, in just 30 minutes!
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Whip up a batch of this creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce to make pumpkin pasta, topped with walnuts, parmesan and fresh sage, in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cream Cheese Recipe, Fall Recipes, Pasta Recipe, Pumpkin Recipes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 619kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $8

Ingredients

  • 12-16 oz Pasta (*Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Diced Onion
  • 2 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 oz Full-fat Cream Cheese
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage, Divided (*Note 2)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt, + More, To Taste (*Note 3)
  • Black Pepper, To Taste

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Walnuts

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water and 1 tbsp of kosher salt to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the "al dente" directions on the back of the box. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking constantly until it turns light golden brown.
  • Add the onions and continue to whisk until softened (approx. 2-3 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Whisking constantly, add the vinegar and milk, a little at a time. Increase the heat to medium high, and cook for 7-9 minutes, until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Keep whisking to avoid burning.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, cream cheese, half the chopped sage leaves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until the cream cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Taste and add salt and black pepper as desired.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently toss to combine. For a thinner sauce, add some of the reserved pasta water until your desired consistency is achieved.
  • Top with walnuts, parmesan and the remaining sage. Serve immediately for best texture.

Notes

Note 1- For extra saucy noodles, stick to 12 oz. There is enough sauce to fully coat 16 oz, however.
Note 2 - You can opt to use dried sage if that's what you have on hand. Add 1.5 tsp when it's time to add the chopped sage to the sauce.
Note 3 - This pasta sauce needs salt to bring out the full flavors of the pumpkin and fall spices. Start with  1/4 tsp. and add more after tasting the finished sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 619kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 342mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 10118IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 344mg | Iron: 3mg
Recipe Rating




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