During the fall months, it seems like everything gets pumpkin-ized: coffee, desserts, and even pasta sauce! So, if pasta is a weeknight dinner staple in your home, give it a fun update this season by swapping out your go-to red marinara sauce for a creamy, comforting, festively orange-colored pumpkin pasta sauce instead.
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Is Perfect For Weeknights
As featured on TheKitch.com, the alfredo-like recipe boasts a rich sauce and subtle pumpkin and sage flavors, so it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser during the cooler autumn months. It’s also super-quick to make, taking less than 10 minutes or so to prep. As a bonus, you may find that it’s also lower in calories than a typical alfredo sauce since it relies on the pumpkin for its delicious creaminess instead of calorie-dense cheese.
Not to mention, it offers a great way to use up any leftover cans of pumpkin — or even the puree from full pumpkins, if you prefer — that you might have lying around post-Thanksgiving. Forget spending the time to create and bake yet another pie: pumpkin pasta sauce is perfect for low-labor dinner any night of the week.
Making Pumpkin Pasta Sauce At Home
Making pumpkin pasta sauce couldn’t be simpler and the results are basically guaranteed to taste so much better than pre-made jarred varieties from grocery stores. The recipe utilizes ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and refrigerator, including a can of pumpkin puree, a can of crushed tomatoes, butter, heavy cream, and a blend of dried rosemary, sage, and parsley spices. You’ll also need cayenne pepper, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper, and a dash of vinegar and granulated sugar.
Thankfully, for the time-crunched among us, no chopping or dicing any herbs is required for this recipe. All of the ingredients can simply be tossed into a food processor or blender to be mixed to a smooth texture and then transferred to a saucepan to heat up.
Once you’ve finished cooking the sauce, you can toss it with whatever type of al dente pasta noodle you prefer. (The original recipe features elbow noodles, but I personally love a rotini or a penne noodle for a thick sauce like this.) For some extra pizzazz, consider topping the pasta with some grated parmesan, toasted nuts, or a sprinkling of fresh parsley or other herbs.
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe Notes
When making this sauce ahead of time, be sure to store it in an airtight container and eat it within three days, per TheKitchn. You can also freeze the sauce for up to six months in .5 or 1 cup servings. The recipe makes eight servings, so you may very well have a bit left over to save.
This pumpkin pasta recipe is also easy to switch up to match your personal preferences. Want to incorporate some additional vegetables beyond just tomatoes? Consider adding canned mushrooms or half a chopped yellow onion for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition. Cut up some garlic and add that in, too.
This recipe can be easily adapted for vegans, as well. You only need to swap out the heavy cream for nut-based milk or a can of unsweetened coconut milk and the dairy butter for olive oil or plant-based butter in order to make this dish even more plant-friendly. Top it with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast instead of parmesan for some cheese-like nutty flavor.