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This is the creamiest pumpkin pasta recipe and you wouldn’t even know it’s vegan if I didn’t tell you! Vegan pumpkin pasta is a giant bowl of comfort — one that is much needed in the chilly Autumn air. With warming spices like paprika and nutmeg, it is like a big hug in a bowl.
This vibrant dish is a delightful way to embrace, what I think, is the best season — Fall. Creamy, velvety pumpkin sauce coats tender pasta, while an array of aromatic spices and herbs adds an Autumnal depth of flavor that will have you coming back for seconds. Whether or not you’re vegan, this pasta dish is sure to warm you up and satisfy your cravings for something comforting and delicious!
The star of this recipe is the rich and velvety pumpkin sauce, which is made from a cashew sauce, coconut milk, and a blend of aromatic spices. The sauce coats the pasta, infusing it with a delightful combination of Fall flavors that will leave you craving more. This vegan twist on a classic creamy pasta dish is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients and perfect for those following a plant-based lifestyle or those dabbling in it. Heck, even if you aren’t, this pumpkin pasta is honestly for anyone!
Why You’ll Love This
- Fall flavors. Fall is the time for all things pumpkin, and I’m a champion for savory pumpkin recipes. This recipe allows you to fully indulge in the cozy and comforting flavors of Fall. From the earthy sweetness of pumpkin to the warmth of spices like paprika and nutmeg, each bite is a celebration of the season!
- Plant-based satisfaction. For those following a vegan or plant-based diet, or those dabbling in the idea of it or even just wanting a really freaking good pasta dish, finding satisfying and flavorful recipes can sometimes be a challenge. This creamy pumpkin pasta dish is a fantastic option that delivers on taste and nutrition. By using cashew-based sauce and omitting dairy, this recipe offers a plant-based alternative to traditional pasta dishes, and hey – if you’re lactose intolerant (like I am), this pasta dish is going to have you wondering how there isn’t any sort of cream! Win-win.
- Weeknight-friendly. From start to finish, you’ll have this on your dinner table in less than 45 minutes. We call that amazing!
Ingredients You’ll Need
The ingredients for vegan pumpkin pasta are typically everything you already have in the pantry. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements.
- Olive oil
- Sage leaves
- Cashew sauce
- Coconut milk
- Pumpkin puree
- Sweet and smoked paprika
- Salt + pepper
How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
Grab that pot and get ready to make this creamy pumpkin pasta! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Prepare the pasta. Prepare your pasta according to the package instructions. When draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water and set it aside.
Fry the sage. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a good handful of sage leaves to the oil and fry the sage in the oil.
Make the sauce. Add the garlic and onion to the same skillet and sauté until fragrant. Add the cashew sauce, coconut milk and pumpkin puree to the skillet and whisk together with a skillet. When the mixture is hot and starts to bubble, add the seasonings. Add a small amount of the pasta water and whisk until the sauce reaches the thickness of your liking.
Add the pasta. Turn off the heat then add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to incorporate and coat all the pasta. Crush half of the sage leaves on top of the pasta and place the rest of the sage on the pasta whole.
Recipe Tips, Substitutions, and Variations
- Achieving a creamy texture. To ensure creamy, velvety texture, make sure you whisk well and when making the cashew sauce, use a high-powered blender.
- Don’t forget to reserve pasta water. The pasta water contains the starch of the cooked pasta and it is so much better than just regular water. You’ll want to reserve this so you can use it to thin out the pasta sauce if it’s too thick.
- Use pumpkin puree. Don’t use pumpkin pie filling! It’s a common mistake and let’s make sure we’ve got you covered.
- Add a bit of cheesy flavor. Stir in a tablespoon of nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese to the sauce to enhance the cheesy flavor profile.
- Load it up with leafy greens. Feel free to add some kale leaves or baby spinach leaves to this for some greens.
- Turn up the heat. If you’re feeling a bit spicy, adding some crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce is a great addition to bump up the heat.
- Use another pasta shape. I used rigatoni in this but another pasta shape like penne would work as well. You can use long pasta shapes like spaghetti or bucatini, too.
- Add a protein. If you want to un-veganize this, you could add cubed chicken breasts to this or to keep it vegan, add tofu.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Allow the pasta to come to room temperature then put it into an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To reheat, add a bit of liquid to it to help thin it out (the chill from the fridge will harden the sauce up around the noodles and the starchiness of the pasta will stiffen it too) and reheat on the stovetop or microwave.
What to Serve with Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
- Garlic Herb Parker House Rolls
- Extra Garlicky and Cheesy Bread
- Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins
- Roasted Honeynut Squash
- Roasted Delicata Squash
Craving more savory pumpkin recipes? Give these a try!
- Pumpkin Sausage Pasta
- Nourishing Pumpkin Wild Rice Soup (Vegan)
- Pumpkin Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
- Pumpkin Pasta with Turkey Sausage
- Pumpkin Lasagna with Sausage and Kale
Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch sage leaves
- ⅓ cup (53 g) minced onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- ½ cup (65 g) cashew sauce
- ½ cup (118 ml) full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup (245 g) pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 ounces (227 g) pasta of choice, I recommend rigatoni or penne
- ½ cup (118 ml) or more reserved pasta water
- Prepare your pasta according to the package instructions. When draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water and set it aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a good handful of sage leaves to the oil and fry the sage in the oil. Once they are slightly golden, carefully lift them out of the skillet and place them on a piece of paper towel.
- Add the minced onion to the pan and saute until soft, then add the garlic and stir until fragrant.
- Add the cashew sauce, coconut milk and pumpkin puree to the skillet and whisk together with a skillet. When the mixture is hot and starts to bubble, add the paprika, smoked paprika, nutmeg, salt, black pepper and thyme. Stir until the sauce has come together and thickens. Add a small amount of the pasta water and whisk until the sauce reaches the thickness of your liking.
- Turn off the heat on the stovetop. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir the pasta into the sauce. If needed, add more of the reserved pasta water until a creamy sauce coats the pasta. Crush half of the sage leaves on top of the pasta and place the rest of the sage on the pasta whole. Top with more paprika and a lot of black pepper and serve!
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