This creamy vegan pumpkin pasta sauce is the perfect autumn dinner recipe! It comes together quickly while the pasta cooks and is super warm and cozy. Anyone you serve is sure to love this easy gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan meal.
The idea for this pumpkin pasta sauce recipe came to me one night when I was craving pasta but didn't feel like any of my go-to sauces. I wasn't in the mood for my spinach and basil pesto, sausage and eggplant pasta, or vegan mac and cheese recipes. I also happened to have bits and bobs of pumpkin in the fridge from all of the fall baking I had been doing.
Then it hit me—wow, a pumpkin pasta sauce would be really good. And this gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan pumpkin pasta sauce was born. Pumpkin actually has several health benefits, and this sauce is creamy all on it's own from the thick purée.
This vegan pumpkin pasta sauce is warm, cozy, creamy, and all kinds of comforting. Enjoy it this fall when you have leftover pumpkin! Keep reading to learn how to make a pumpkin pasta sauce in just 20 minutes.
Looking for more fall recipes? Why not check out some of these:
- Healthier Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
- No Bean Chili
- Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
- Dairy-Free Vampire Bite Cupcakes
- Starbucks Copycat Pumpkin Scones
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Everyone can enjoy. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and easily nut-free.
- Uses up leftover ingredients. I seem to always have just a smidge of pumpkin left after a baking recipe, so this pasta sauce is perfect to use it up!
- Sauce cooks while the pasta boils. So this dish comes together super quick!
You probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry already! Here's what you'll need:
- Gluten-free pasta: Use your favourite brand! I like a pasta that has a mix of flours like rice, corn, and starch. This pasta sauce will work with long or short noodles.
- Olive oil: To sauté the garlic and tomato paste.
- Garlic: Fresh is best, but use what you have.
- Tomato paste: This adds a real depth of flavour to the sauce without being overpoweringly tomato-y.
- Pumpkin purée: Because it's in the name! Pumpkin adds so much creaminess to this sauce.
- Dairy-free milk: Use a little bit of an unsweetened milk to add a touch more creaminess to the sauce.
- Vegetable broth: This not only thins the sauce a bit but adds so much flavour! Ensure your vegetable broth is gluten-free because they can be sneaky sometimes.
- Salt, pepper, and nutmeg: These season the sauce and add a little bit of that fall spice flavour.
- (Vegan) parmesan or nutritional yeast: I recommend using one or the other to finish the dish. Throw some in the sauce at the end or sprinkle on top. It not only adds flavour but presentation as well.
- Spinach: I like to sneak veggies into a recipe anywhere I can. You really cannot taste it here when coated in the sauce and it adds a nice colour contrast to the dish. I used fresh but I imagine frozen would work the same.
- Walnuts: The crunch on top of the pasta is such a welcomed textural change. All you have to do is chop some raw walnuts, throw them in a small skillet on medium heat, and shake every few minutes while you're making the sauce. It's worth it, trust me.
Be sure to read the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and instructions.
(1) Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. The sauce can be made entirely while the pasta cooks.
(2) If you wish to top with toasted walnuts, ensure they are chopped small and place in a small skillet on medium-low heat. Let them sit, shaking every few minutes, while you make the sauce. Once they start to darken and are fragrant, remove from heat.
(3) Warm the olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned, then add the tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.
(4) Add the pumpkin purée, dairy-free milk, and vegetable broth to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a pinch of nutmeg for spice. Whisk to combine and cook for another 3-5 minutes, turning the heat to low.
(5) When almost ready to serve, add the spinach if you wish and cook for 2 minutes until wilted.
(6) Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Cook in the sauce for 1 minute.
(7) Top with toasted walnuts and (vegan) parmesan or nutritional yeast. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Vegan pumpkin pasta sauce is best served immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and heated up on the stove or microwave the next day.
- Pre-measure your ingredients. This sauce will come together fast!
- If using a fresh pasta that cooks quickly, start the sauce first. This will ensure the noodles aren't sitting and overcooking.
- Add in the extras. I love the vibrancy that spinach gives this dish. I also love the textural crunch of the walnuts and the depth of flavour added by some vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast.
- Serve immediately. Like any pasta sauce, this dish is best served hot and immediately after cooking for optimal flavour!
Frequently Asked Questions
This dish can absolutely be made nut-free! There are just a few things to watch out for.
1) Ensure your dairy-free milk is nut-free.
2) Be careful if using vegan parmesan, as they can sometimes be made of nuts.
3) Omit the toasted walnuts.
Mostly, but not all of the time. Be sure to check that your specific brand of pasta is gluten-free and vegan. Pasta can often contain eggs, which are not vegan.
This pumpkin pasta sauce recipe is creamy, cozy, and the ultimate fall comfort meal. Not to mention it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Perfect for anyone you serve it to!
Have you made this vegan pumpkin pasta sauce? Be sure to leave a comment telling me how much you loved it, and tag me on instagram @fromoliviaskitchen! I hope you enjoy as much as I do!
More Fall Recipes You'll Love
Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- 2 servings pasta about 250-300g, long or short pasta works great
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup pumpkin purée
- 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- pinch salt, pepper, and nutmeg
- sprinkle (vegan) parmesan or nutritional yeast
- 1 cup spinach
- handful toasted walnuts, chopped
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. The sauce can be made entirely while the pasta cooks.
- If you wish to top with toasted walnuts, ensure they are chopped small and place in a small skillet on medium-low heat. Let them sit, shaking every few minutes, while you make the sauce. Once they start to darken and are fragrant, remove from heat.
- Warm the olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned, then add the tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Add the pumpkin purée, dairy-free milk, and vegetable broth to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a pinch of nutmeg for spice. Whisk to combine and cook for another 3-5 minutes, turning the heat to low.
- When almost ready to serve, add the spinach if you wish and cook for 2 minutes until wilted.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Cook in the sauce for 1 minute.
- Top with toasted walnuts and (vegan) parmesan or nutritional yeast. Enjoy!