Pumpkin pasta made with pure pumpkin puree, heavy cream, Italian sausage, and a blend of delicious spices is the perfect autumn dish!
This pumpkin pasta recipe tastes like fettucine alfredo and fall had a baby. Rich, delicious, and always a hit with the whole family. Try it with roasted brussels sprouts or air fryer broccoli and a slice of Dutch apple pie for dessert!
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Pumpkin Pasta Ingredients
- Pasta – We used penne noodles, but any shape will work.
- Sausage – Mild or sweet ground Italian sausage,
- Onion – White or yellow sweet onion, finely diced.
- Garlic – Minced.
- Stock or broth – We like chicken stock in this, but vegetable stock or broth is also suitable.
- Pumpkin – Pure pumpkin puree, canned.
- Heavy cream – Whipping cream or heavy whipping cream will also work. Milk is not a suitable substitute.
- Spices – Nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
- Optional garnishes – Fresh sage, grated parmesan.
How do you make pumpkin pasta? (step-by-step)
⭐ First, prepare pasta according to package directions and drain.
⭐ Next, cook the Italian sausage with the onions and garlic, until sausage is browned and onions are tender and translucent.
⭐ Then, add broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pumpkin, nutmeg & cinnamon. Reduce heat and stir in heavy cream. Season with salt & pepper.
⭐ Finally, if desired, simmer sauce to thicken. Fold in the cooked pasta and mix to combine. Garnish with sage and parmesan.
Can you make pumpkin pasta sauce ahead of time?
You can prepare the pumpkin meat sauce ahead of time, but do not add it to the pasta until you are ready to eat.
The sauce can be made 2 – 3 days in advance and then heated on the stove top or in the microwave before being added to your cooked pasta. Thin with additional water as necessary when reheating.
Can I use homemade pumpkin puree that isn’t canned?
Absolutely, just be aware that canned pumpkin tends to be smoother and less watery. You’ll want to make sure your homemade pumpkin puree is very well blended.
Alternatively you can use butternut squash puree (from leftover roasted butternut squash or leftover mashed butternut squash) or sweet potato puree (from leftover baked sweet potatoes or crockpot sweet potatoes).
What kind of sausage for pumpkin sausage pasta?
We love sweet Italian sausage in this recipe, but you could absolutely use a spicy Italian sausage or even a ground breakfast sausage.
What kind of noodles for pumpkin pasta?
Penne noodles are what’s pictured, but any shape noodle will work. Try tossing with a cheese filled tortellini for that extra wow factor!
Leftovers and storage
How long does pasta in pumpkin sauce last?
The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days or longer in the freezer. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best results.
Can you freeze pumpkin pasta sauce?
The sauce can be frozen, but we do not suggest freezing after pasta has been added as the texture of the pasta will deteriorate and the noodles will continue to soak up the sauce.
To freeze the sauce, allow it to cool to room temperature, then store in an air tight freezer safe container (making sure to leave headroom for expansion). Freeze for up to 3 months, thaw in the refrigerator, in the microwave on low power, or on the stove top on low.
Tips, tricks, and frequently asked questions
✅ Toss in a handful of fresh spinach and stir right before serving.
✅ Use spicy sausage for some heat, or a sage breakfast sausage for a more earthy flavor.
✅ Make a double batch of the sauce and freeze half for a quick pasta dinner later.
✅ Do a vegan version by using vegan sausage crumbles, vegetable stock, and cashew cream.
What to eat with pumpkin sausage pasta (serving suggestions)
More delicious recipes with pumpkin
- Pumpkin crinkle cookies
- Pumpkin pie bites
- Creamy pumpkin soup
- Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
- Pumpkin cream cheese bread
- Pumpkin pastry
- See all our easy pumpkin recipes!
Other pasta recipes to enjoy
- Chicken bacon ranch pasta casserole
- Creamy chicken alfredo bake
- Amish macaroni salad
- Baked broccoli mac and cheese
- Rigatoni recipe
- See all our pasta recipes!
Sausage recipes to try next
- Sausage and pepper stuffed shells
- Italian sausage soup
- Sausage and peppers flatbread
- Sheet pan sausage and peppers
- Crockpot sausage and potato soup
- Sweet potato and sausage hash
- See all our recipes with sausage here!
Tools we love
- Collapsible strainers – If you have a small kitchen and a lot of mouths to feed (like me!) this collapsible strainer set is just what you need.
- Enameled cast iron – Perfect pot of pasta maker!
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How to Make Pumpkin Pasta
- 1 pound pasta we used penne
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage we used sweet/mild
- 1 small onion finely diced (about ¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 can pure pumpkin puree 15 ounces
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- salt & pepper to taste
- Garnishes fresh chopped sage, grated parmesan cheese
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet over high heat, brown the Italian sausage with the onions and garlic, until sausage is cooked through (no pink remaining) and onions are tender and translucent.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pumpkin, nutmeg & cinnamon.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in heavy cream. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- If desired, simmer sauce for an additional few minutes to thicken. Fold in pasta and stir to combine.
- Plate and finish with freshly chopped sage and grated parmesan.
- Substitute sausage for vegan sausage crumbles (may need to add some olive oil while cooking, use your discretion).
- Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
- Swap cashew cream for heavy cream.
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