This Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is the perfect way to celebrate pumpkin season! It tastes like a restaurant-quality meal, but it takes less than 20 minutes to make.
This creamy pumpkin pasta sauce is inspired by the Tuscany Pumpkin Pasta Sauce I saw at the grocery store. A pumpkin marinara sauce, with a creamy texture, is the perfect Fall twist on your traditional pasta night!
The flavor is so delicious, you can also enjoy it straight as a soup, or as a dip for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in pumpkin pasta sauce?
- Pumpkin puree
- Diced tomatoes
- Coconut milk (optional; for creaminess)
The combination is simple, but delicious! The pumpkin puree gives this sauce a velvety texture that’s a little heartier than traditional marinara sauce, and the coconut milk makes it creamy, without a significant flavor, for a dairy-free sauce.
Note: If you don’t need a dairy-free sauce, you could swap the coconut milk for a 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream.
How to Make It
1. Saute. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the onion until it’s tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add in the garlic and sage, and stir until very fragrant, about 1 to 2 more minutes.
2. Blend. Add the diced tomatoes, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and sauteed veggies to a blender, along with salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth. (Blending before you heat the tomatoes and pumpkin makes it a little safer to blend, since everything won’t be piping-hot yet!)
Taste the sauce, and then blend in the coconut milk, if you’d like a creamy sauce. I highly recommend it!
3. Simmer. Return the blended sauce to the pan, and heat it until it’s gently simmering, stirring often. Taste the sauce, and adjust any seasoning to taste.
Serve over your favorite cooked pasta, and enjoy!
Can I use a whole can of pumpkin? Yes! This recipe is very flexible. I purposefully decided to use only 1 cup because I wanted to use the rest of the can to make another pumpkin recipe. But if you want to use a whole can, or only 3/4 cup pumpkin in this recipe, you are welcome to do that.
Tomato swaps. If you don’t have diced tomatoes on hand, you can use a can of tomato sauce or strained tomatoes for similar results. When using tomato sauce as a substitute, be sure to cut back on the salt and omit the maple syrup, since tomato sauce may already have seasoning added.
Using dried herbs. I have tested this recipe using dried sage instead of fresh, and I love it that way! Use a 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage as a swap for the 1 teaspoon of fresh.
Is this recipe vegan? Yes! As written, this recipe is dairy-free and vegan. However, all of my family members are not vegan, so we usually add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top, for those who want it.
Also, don’t be afraid to add more seasoning to your liking! The most common mistake people make with cooking is not adding enough salt. I start on the smaller side with this recipe, because I don’t want you to over-salt your food, but I do intend on you adding more as you go. I use Real Salt brand, if you want to use the same kind I do.
I hope you’ll enjoy this pumpkin pasta as much as I do!
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- 16 ounces spaghetti noodles (or pasta of choice)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced sage , plus extra for garnish
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- salt & pepper , to taste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (optional)
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. While the noodles are cooking, prepare the sauce by adding the olive oil to a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion until softened, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and sage, and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 more minutes.
- In a blender, combine the tomatoes, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of salt, a 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, maple syrup, and the cooked onions, garlic, and sage. Blend until very smooth. For an extra-creamy sauce, add in the coconut milk, too. (Highly recommend!)
- When the pasta is done cooking, drain the noodles. Pour the blended sauce back into the large skillet, and heat it up, so it's ready to serve. Toss with the noodles, and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. I usually have to add at least a 1/2 teaspoon more salt, but that will vary based on how much salt the pasta absorbs while cooking. You can also adjust the flavor by adding a touch of lemon juice for more tartness, or another teaspoon of maple syrup for more sweetness.
- Serve warm, with any extra pasta toppings you love. This recipe is vegan as written, but you can top it with a little Parmesan cheese if you don't need a dairy-free recipe. Leftover sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
If you try this Pumpkin Pasta Sauce, please leave a comment and star rating below so I’ll know how you like it!
Reader Feedback: Do you have any other Fall-inspired recipe requests? I’d love to hear them!