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Pumpkin pasta with turkey sausage is going to be your go-to weeknight dinner recipe this fall! It’s creamy and savory, with just a touch of sweetness from the pumpkin.

Overhead shot of creamy pumpkin pasta with chicken sausage in white bowl
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Pumpkin isn’t just for pie and muffins; in fact, pumpkin pasta might just be one of my favorite ways to use pumpkin puree. I’m a huge fan—it makes the creamiest sauce and it’s a nice change of pace from the typical tomato- or cream-based pasta sauces. The earthy flavor of pumpkin cuts the richness of the cream, making for a nicely balanced sauce that doesn’t leave you feeling like you need to lay down and recover after eating.

Of course, you can make this year round, not just in the fall! Pumpkins might only be in stores for a few short months each year, but luckily canned pumpkin is always in season!

What You’ll Need

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make pumpkin pasta:

  • Mild Italian turkey sausage – Ground turkey or ground chicken would work, too. You want leaner meats for this dish so you don’t overpower the delicate, earthy flavor of the pumpkin.
  • Bucatini pasta – One of my favorite pasta shapes! I love it in this recipe because it grips the sauce so well.
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Bay leaf
  • Fresh sage – Fresh thyme or rosemary would be good, too, if you have those on hand.
  • Dry white wine – Or omit and use pasta water instead.
  • Chicken stock
  • Pumpkin puree – Make sure you don’t buy pie filling!
  • Heavy cream – You can omit this or swap in whole milk.
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Is there a substitute for heavy cream?

You can either omit it or use whole milk. I haven’t tried this with a dairy alternative, but I imagine almond or oat milk would work as well.

Overhead shot of creamy pumpkin pasta with chicken sausage in white bowls with gold forks

How to Make Pumpkin Pasta With Turkey Sausage

Ready to get started? Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Cook the pasta. Bring a pot of water to a boil, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente, then drain and set aside.

Cook the sausage. Brown the sausage in a large skillet, then transfer it to a bowl. Return the skillet to the stovetop.

Cook the aromatics. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet you used for the sausage. Add the minced garlic and onion and cook until soft and fragrant. Add the bay leaf, sage, and wine, and cook until the wine is reduced by half.

Make the sauce. Add the stock and puree to the skillet and stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the cream and sausage, then add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Finish the pumpkin pasta recipe. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Remove the bay leaf and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 

Overhead shot of creamy pumpkin pasta with chicken sausage in Staub skillet

Tips for Success

This recipe is simple and forgiving, so even if you’re a novice cook, you’ll nail it! Here are some tips for getting it right:

  • Use fresh herbs. There is nothing better than fresh herbs in a recipe. 
  • Choose the right pasta. As noted above, I like bucatini because sauce sticks to it nicely, but pappardelle is always good in creamy recipes, and both penne and rotini will do a decent job holding the pumpkin sauce.
  • Use fresh seasoned turkey sausage. It helps bring out the flavors of this dish.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store leftovers of this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the pasta in the microwave; you can add some additional fresh herbs and Parmesan to liven up the flavor. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this recipe, though.

Pumpkin Pasta Recipe Variations

Pasta recipes are always a great way to experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations. Here are some other ideas to try:

  • Swap the onion for two shallots for a more pronounced flavor.
  • Make crispy fried sage for topping the pasta.
  • Try Romano, Pecorino, Grana Padano, or Manchego cheese.
  • Sprinkle chopped pecans or hazelnuts over the pasta before serving.
Close-up photo of creamy pumpkin pasta with chicken sausage in white bowl, topped with freshly cracked black pepper

Other pumpkin pasta recipes that you may like:

This creamy pumpkin pasta with turkey sausage is the coziest Fall pasta dish that needs your attention ASAP! #pumpkin #pumpkinrecipes #pumpkinpasta #pastarecipes #pumpkinseason
5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Pasta with Turkey Sausage

A flavorful and easy way to make pumpkin pasta for weeknight meals!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound (454 g) fresh mild Italian turkey sausage
  • ¾ pound (340 g) bucatini pasta
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-6 leaves sprigs of fresh sage, sliced into chiffonade
  • 1 cup (237 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 cup (237 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (245 g) pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated to top
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  • In a pot, bring water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente then drain it and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, brown sausage until cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic and onion and cook until soft & fragrant – about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the bay leaf, sage, and wine and cook until wine reduces by half, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and pumpkin puree and stir to mix well. Stir in the cream then add the sausage back in.
  • Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and let simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Add in the pasta and stir to get the sauce coated on all the pasta.
  • Serve hot (remember to remove the bay leaf) with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.



Source: adapted from Rachael Ray


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 644kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 31g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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Photos by Jamie Vespa

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  1. Hi Julie! Me again. :) Wanted to let you know that I made this last night with some turkey sausage I picked up from Trader Joes. Kevin isn’t a fan of pumpkin so I made it for my friend and I. We LOVED it!!

    1. So awesome, Sally! I feel so honored that you made one of my recipes! Turkey sausage with this pasta sounds super yum!! xo

  2. I really love the idea of making a recipe like this. You dont usually think pumpkin being in savory dishes (although the rest of the world doesnt think of pumpkin being used in sweet recipes), but it really does make for a great dish. I love the addition of the turkey sausage too. yum

  3. pumpkin and sage – a seriously uderrated combination in my opinion Julie! I am so glad you used the two together in this dish. You can go a long way with a pumpkin pasta dish and one that includes sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turkey sausage… oh man. Can I come over for dinner??? PS: I adore halloween but spending the money on a costume you will wear ONCE does totally blow. my flapper dress was $30 and i’m obvs never going to wear it again!!

  4. But… you can bake cute stuff! That’s the only reason I like Halloween. I don’t do the dressing up thing, though. :)

    These looks so pretty. I’m not sure about savory pumpkin dishes yet. I think I need more convincing.

    Oh, and I’m happy that the storm didn’t get you (that sounds weird but you know what I mean).

  5. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! Yeah, those slutty costumes really annoy me!! Maybe I’m just jealous… lol. :)