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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.

bowl of pumpkin pasta next to a white skillet

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 pasta ingredients in small glass bowls

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.

fork twirling the pumpkin pasta in a white bowl

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.

pumpkin pasta in skillet topped with parmesan

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.

sage and garlic sauteed into onions

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. 

blended pumpkin sauce in blender

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.

cooked pasta combined with pumpkin pasta sauce in skillet

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a whole can of pumpkin?

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.

Do I have to use diced tomatoes?

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.

Can I use 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.

Looking for more pumpkin recipes? Be sure to try Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Smoothie, Pumpkin Oatmeal, or Healthy Pumpkin Bars.

bowl of pumpkin pasta next to a white skillet

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

4.95 from 38 votes
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is a delicious Fall-inspired sauce that you can whip up in just 20 minutes. Serve it over your favorite noodles or as a dip for a crispy grilled cheese sandwich!
prep5 mins cook15 mins total20 mins


  • 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.



Nutrition information is for roughly 3/4 cup of sauce, not including the pasta. This information is just an estimate and not a guarantee.
If you don’t want to use coconut milk, you can leave it out for more of a marinara sauce texture, or use another milk that you like instead.
I purposefully only used 1 cup of pumpkin puree in this recipe, because I wanted to use the rest of the can for a different recipe. If you want to use an entire can of pumpkin puree in this recipe, you can! And if you have a little less pumpkin to use up, it will work here, too. This recipe is very flexible, so adjust as needed.


Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 175mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6356IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

If you try this Pumpkin Pasta Sauce recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below so I’ll know how you like it!



Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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  1. Thank you so much for all the vegan recipes. I first started following your blog five or so years ago, when I was vegetarian. Since becoming vegan, I’m still finding I can do about 99% of your recipes…Btw, I make a soup that also uses tomatoes, pumpkin puree, and coconut milk as the base (with water and vegetable broth to thin it out). It is a winning combination of flavors and texture. Will definitely be trying your recipe over spaghetti squash.

    1. Funny you should mention that, because I just tried turning this into a soup, too! The flavors are so delicious, I just wanted to eat it with a spoon. 🙂 Glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes!

  2. Dear Megan, I think we don’t have pumpkin puree to buy ready to use in my country. Do you think fresh made pumpkin puree will work as well? Thank you, also for all your great recipies!

  3. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Question: my husband is not supposed to have night shades so need to delete the tomatoes. Any other suggestions of what I can use besides tom paste?

  4. Thanks for your wonderful receipts I am a vegetarian trying to avoid shop products my only problem is some of the spices are hard to come by in Jamaica but managing. Excited to try this pumpkin sauce

  5. Megan this recipe sounds delicious, can’t wait to try it. For the coconut milk, do you use the “cream” or the liquid?

    1. It was warm enough in my kitchen that they were actually mixed, but if they were separated I would just use the cream.

  6. Made only the sauce tonight will make pasta tomorrow and meal will be done.
    It tastes awesome!!
    I made the Argula potatoe soup and it was to die for, I am sharing my lunch with a co-worker and she is in love with the soup.
    Thsnks fir this recipes!!

    1. No, it’s not concentrated like tomato paste. The product I buy is called “strained tomatoes”– it’s pureed tomato with the seeds taken out.

  7. Why the maple syrup? Can we have any foods left natural or unseeetened. It’s bad enough store bought. I’d like to try it without.

    1. You’re welcome to try it without! The store-bought version that I was trying to mimic called for honey, and I find that a bit of sweetness helps to perfectly balance the acidity of tomatoes. But that’s just my taste buds… you might feel differently so taste as you go!

      1. I agree as well. It’s not too sweet. My husband who isn’t big on sweets loves this sauce. The sweet compliments the other ingredients.

  8. Yum! This sounds delicious!! I love all things pumpkin and this is brilliant…and isn’t a sweet 😉 I will definitely be making this soon for my family.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Agreed! I saw that same jar of pumpkin sauce at Whole Foods, but it was way too pricey for me!!!! Thrilled by the idea of making my own. My mother actually ended up though buying several bottles because she has no scruples, is retired and doesn’t need to worry about $$ and it was good!