This Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is the perfect way to celebrate pumpkin season! It tastes like a restaurant-quality meal and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare.
This creamy pumpkin pasta sauce is inspired by the Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce I saw at the grocery store. It’s the perfect Fall twist for your next pasta night!
As written, this is a vegan pumpkin pasta sauce recipe, but it’s also delicious with a topping of grated parmesan cheese if you don’t need a dairy-free dish.
The flavor is so delicious that you can reheat the leftovers as a quick soup or as a dip for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Ingredients You’ll Need
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 adding a significant flavor, for a dairy-free sauce. If you have cooked butternut squash on hand, that will work here, too!
If you don’t need a dairy-free sauce, swap the coconut milk for a 1/4 cup of heavy cream, instead.
How to Make the Best Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
If you plan on serving this sauce over pasta right away, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.
Use gluten-free pasta if you need a gluten-free dish. Any type of pasta, like spaghetti or rigatoni, will pair well with this delicious sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a separate skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the onion until it’s tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add in the minced garlic and fresh sage, and stir until very fragrant, about 1 to 2 more minutes.
To a high-speed blender, add the diced tomatoes, canned pumpkin, coconut milk, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Add in the cooked onion, garlic, and sage then blend until smooth, about 60 seconds.
Safety Tip: Blending the sauce before you heat the tomatoes and pumpkin makes it a little safer to blend since everything won’t be piping hot yet.
Return the blended sauce to the pan on the stove and warm it over medium heat until it’s gently simmering. Whisk often, to prevent any sticking to the pan.
Drain the cooked pasta and toss it with the pumpkin sauce. Taste the pumpkin pasta and adjust any seasoning to taste. (It may need more salt once you’ve added it to the noodles.)
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This creamy pumpkin sauce 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- ½ 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 recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below so I’ll know how you like it!