Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Vegan pumpkin pasta sauce

The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
112 Calories
8g Fat
11g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 112
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 321mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 155mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you're bored of the usual spaghetti and marinara, try this pumpkin pasta recipe for something different. Savory and aromatic, this vegetarian and vegan pumpkin and sage sauce is naturally lower in fat than others and is perfect for an unique main dish for autumn or winter months when pumpkin seems to be everywhere.

"This vegan sauce was really delicious, and it comes together very quickly. I'll definitely be making this recipe for the holidays for my vegan and vegetarians guests and serve it over a bed of roasted vegetables. I topped my pasta with nutritional yeast."

Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 large onion, diced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried sage

  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the water

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts, finely chopped, optional

  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumb or vegan Parmesan cheese substitute, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make pumpkin pasta sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  2. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes.

    Onion and garlic cooking in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  3. Add sage and heat for another minute.

    Onions, garlic, and sage cooking in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  4. Reduce heat to low, and add the non-dairy milk and pumpkin. Stir gently to combine ingredients.

    Stirring non-dairy milk and pumpkin into the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  5. Allow mixture to simmer until flavors are well-combined, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and walnuts or pine nuts if using, stirring to combine, and then remove from heat.

    Walnuts and black pepper added to the pumpkin sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

  6. Serve sauce over cooked pasta of your choice, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and/or vegan Parmesan cheese if using.

    Pumpkin sauce served over pasta and topped with vegan parmesan cheese

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

    Tips

    • 3 ounces of dried pasta per person is a good rule of thumb for serving.
    • Serve the pumpkin sauce over cooked shaped pasta, such as rotini or penne. The shaped pasta is better than spaghetti or other forms of long noodles because it has plenty of crevices to hold the sauce.
    • If you don't need the recipe to be vegan, substitute the non-dairy milk with dairy milk. Use at least 2 percent milk to increase the flavor, but you can use heavy cream for a real indulgence.
    • For extra protein, add baked tofu or soy chorizo. If you're not vegetarian, add chicken or chorizo sausage.
    • Save about a half-cup of the water that the pasta cooked in, and add it to the pumpkin sauce. The starch in the water allows the sauce to adhere to the cooked pasta better.
    • Make this dish after Thanksgiving when you have a few cans of leftover pumpkin puree left in your fridge or pantry. However, make sure that it's plain pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix, which has sugar and spices already mixed into it.
    • Play around with the herbs and spices that you use in the dish, adding other classic pumpkin flavors like nutmeg or all-spice.

    Recipe Variations

    • Replace the pumpkin puree with another type of winter squash puree. Try butternut, acorn, or maple squash puree, or a combination of winter squashes.
    • Turn this into a baked pasta dish by combining al dente pasta and sauce in a prepared casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake the dish for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling. If it seems to be drying out, add a little bit of vegetable broth to moisten it.