Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

a bowl of pumpkin Alfredo pasta with sage and pine nuts

Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta is made with just 6 simple ingredients in 15 minutes! It’s a Fall comfort food powerhouse just waiting to happen in your kitchen. Yes carbs ~ but there’s plenty of veggie action in there too!

pumpkin alfredo pasta in a white bowl

pumpkin Alfredo pasta is like a big hug in a bowl

Creamy Alfredo sauce is a dreamy pasta sauce on its own, but in fall we always zhuzh it up a bit with equally creamy pumpkin puree, and just a hint of spice. Makes the most amazing comforting meal ever in the time it takes the pasta to boil. (Just making sure you heard that ~ the meal is done from start to finish in 15 minutes!) Top it with fresh sage and toasted pine nuts, or not. Either way it’s pretty special.

creamy pumpkin alfredo sauce on pasta

what you’ll need

  • pumpkin ~ we’re using a whole can of pumpkin here so there’ll be no annoying bits leftover.
  • pasta ~ fettuccine is traditional, but there’s nothing traditional about this sauce, so go with what you love. I used bucatini.
  • cream ~ ya gotta have it for Alfredo sauce.
  • butter
  • garlic ~ garlic, and a good amount of it, is one of the main flavors here, so don’t skimp.
  • Parmesan cheese ~ I like nice moist shreds, but you can use the dry powdery stuff if you must.
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
canned pumpkin, sage, and garlic

the optional stuff

Only if you want to take your pumpkin Alfredo to the next level

  • nutmeg ~ I think it enhances the pumpkin flavor.
  • toasted pine nuts ~ you’ve heard me talk about these, here, and here. So good, and so easy. I consider them to be the vegan equivalent of bacon!
  • frizzled sage ~ another crazy intense flavor I’ve talked about before. Just pop little shreds of sage in some hot oil in a frying pan for just a few seconds and they turn crisp and wonderful.
a pan of pumpkin alfredo sauce with pasta

how it’s done

  1. Cook your pasta.
  2. While that’s happening heat butter in a large pan and sauté garlic gently so it doesn’t brown.
  3. Stir in cream, pumpkin, and a little nutmeg and let it get nice and hot.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in Parm until it melts. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pop it back on the burner and drop in your cooked pasta along with a little of that hot starchy pasta water.
  6. Toss like mad.
  7. Eat like you mean it!
serving pumpkin Alfredo pasta with tongs

pumpkin Alfredo faqs

Can I use fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned?

You can, but I have actually found that canned pumpkin puree usually has better flavor and texture than homemade! If you are using fresh pumpkin puree, make sure it’s well drained so it’s about the same consistency as canned pumpkin. You may not need to add as much additional pasta water if you use homemade pumpkin puree.

Can I use pureed butternut squash?

Yes, go for it! Just about any winter squash like hubbard, kabocha, or kuri, would be delicious. And anyway, the secret’s been out for a while that canned ‘pumpkin’ is not really pumpkin at all, but a mix of various squash which are sweeter and less stringy that actual pumpkin. Who knew?

What protein can I add to pumpkin Alfredo?

If you’re looking to boost the protein content of this dish for a main course, I’d suggest chicken breast, crumbled sausage, or even a little bacon or pancetta. In each case, I would cook the meat separately, and add it to the dish at the end. If you’re using bacon, use some of that bacon grease for flavor.

How do I reheat my leftover pumpkin Alfredo?

Creamy sauces like Alfredo are best eaten fresh, but we found this sauce reheats fine in the microwave, or you can gently heat it in a saucepan on the stovetop over low/medium heat. You may want to add a small splash of water or cream to the sauce to account for the liquid absorbed by the pasta.

Can I make a vegan pumpkin Alfredo?

Yes, I’ve seen it done with cashew cream, here, or with non-dairy milk and nutritional yeast, here.

Can I make pumpkin Alfredo a little lower in fat and calories?

You might try using half and half, or even evaporated milk in place of the heavy cream. But remember, if you’re having this for a meal, it’s not that bad, especially when you consider it’s taking the place of traditional meat heavy menus.

adding Parmesan shreds to pumpkin Alfredo pasta

Srsly, pumpkin Alfredo pasta is the best

Easier than mac and cheese, so much better than scrambled eggs, I think this must be the best emergency comfort food out there.

closeup of pumpkin pasta Alfredo with sage and Parmesan

easy pastas perfect for Fall

a bowl of pumpkin Alfredo pasta with sage and pine nuts
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5 from 5 votes

Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta is made with just 6 simple ingredients in 15 minutes! It's a Fall comfort food powerhouse just waiting to happen in your kitchen. Yes carbs ~ but there's plenty of veggie action in there too!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Calories 629kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (I used bucatini, but feel free to use any shape you like!)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (about one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, optional
  • 2 Tbsp fried sage leaves, for topping, optional (see how in the notes below)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, for topping, optional (see how in the notes below)

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions, and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.
    pasta draining in a colander
  • Melt the butter in a large pan big enough to hold your pasta, and add the minced garlic. Sauté for just a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, but don't let it brown.
  • Add the cream, the pumpkin puree, and nutmeg (if using) and whisk gently until everything is well combined.
  • Heat the mixture until just simmering, and then, off the heat, add the shredded cheese, and salt to taste. Stir to melt the cheese thoroughly into the sauce, and then put back on low heat.
    adding cheese to pumpkin Alfredo sauce
  • Use your 1 cup of reserved pasta water to thin down the sauce as much as you'd like. I used about 1/2 cup of my pasta water.
    adding pasta to pumpkin Alfredo sauce
  • Toss the cooked pasta into the alfredo sauce, and serve topped with the fried sage leaves, pine nuts, and extra parmesan cheese.
    a bowl of pumpkin Alfredo pasta with sage and pine nuts

Cook’s notes

  • To fry sage leaves, just heat a little olive oil in a pan until hot and drop them in. They’ll sizzle and curl up in just seconds. Remove to a paper towel to drain. You can fry whole leaves, or stack them and roll up like a cigar, then slice your roll into thin slices. You’ll get fine shreds which are fabulous to fry.
  • To toast pine nuts start with a dry pan and heat over medium. Add the pine nuts and stir or shake the pan until they start to turn golden and fragrant. I will sometimes start with a little oil, which toasts them faster and adds a lovely sheen to the nuts.

Nutrition

Calories: 629kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 362mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 10726IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 257mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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6 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Joslyn
    October 30, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    This sounds amazing. Glad I resisted using that last can of pumpkin puree in my pantry. Making this tomorrow for sure?

  • Reply
    lowandslow
    October 29, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    5 stars
    This looks great who doesn’t love Alfredo! We made these ravioli during the Bomb Cyclone last Sunday here in CA. Also used pine nuts,so good and fairly easy and fun! Please try it, we think this is right up TVFGI alley!
    https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/sage-butter-pumpkin-cheese-ravioli/

  • Reply
    Alex
    October 29, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Yum! Cannot wait to make this. I’ve wanted to make a pumpkin based pasta since last winter but haven’t found and easy and tasty looking recipe until now. Will post update when I make this. Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 29, 2021 at 7:57 am

      Hope you love it Alex 🙂

      • Reply
        Susan Galyon
        October 29, 2021 at 10:04 pm

        5 stars
        I have also been looking for a pumpkin pasta recipe.

        I love spinach alfredo. Do you think I could add some fresh spinach to this dish?

        • Reply
          Sue Moran
          October 30, 2021 at 5:20 am

          Yes, sure. You could throw it in to cook briefly with the pasta at the very end of the cooking time. It would be great!

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