This amazing creamy vegan pumpkin pasta sauce is a quick and savory stovetop recipe featuring veggies such as onion and spinach and is infused with dried sage, marjoram, and garlic.
It's perfect for a hearty and quick weeknight dinner, yet it's luxurious enough to serve when you have friends over or as a Thanksgiving pasta dish!
The creamy sauce is ready in 20 minutes, and the flavors don't disappoint.
Yes, it's pumpkin season. And although you can enjoy this squash year-round, it always has a special place in my kitchen coming fall.
This vegan pumpkin pasta sauce recipe uses canned pumpkin puree—a typical fall pantry staple in my house.
It's creamy and savory, filled with tender, sweet pieces of onions, packed with quickly wilted spinach, and nicely balanced with dried sage and marjoram.
It's a one-pot dish like my pasta with peas. You'll still cook the noodles separately because you want that al dente bite from cooked pasta that'll contrast the silky, creamy texture of this sauce—It'll be worth it.
Enjoy as-is or with a large side salad like this apple-kale salad!
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
You only need a few basic ingredients to make this vegan pumpkin sauce. Here's what should be on your grocery list:
- Favorite pasta: We use gluten-free pasta from Jovial. Go for any pasta you love and cook it according to the package instructions.
- Pumpkin puree: You'll need two (12-ounce) cans.
- Olive oil: You need a tad to sauté the onions in.
- Garlic and yellow onion: They create a flavorful base for this creamy pumpkin sauce.
- Spinach leaves: They're quickly wilted to create a nutty taste and pair well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Seasoning: Sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried sage, and marjoram combine it all and create a depth of flavor.
- Coconut cream and milk: Use full-fat coconut milk. It creates the perfect creamy dairy-free sauce and pairs so well with the more meaty and earthy squash. Any leftovers can be used to make chia seed pudding or nice cream recipes.
How To Make It
See the full recipe with measurements in the recipe card.
Tip: First, boil a large pot of salted water to cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, you can make this creamy vegan pumpkin pasta sauce.
Step One (Picture 1 above) - Add the garlic and onion. Cook and stir in a large saucepan over medium heat in olive oil until the onion is translucent, not browned.
Step Two (Picture 2 above) - Add the spinach. Cook until wilted. Season with salt.
Step Three (Picture 3 above) - Change the heat to medium-low. Then stir in the pumpkin puree and season with sage, marjoram, and garlic powder.
Step Four (Picture 4 above) - Add the coconut cream and milk.
Step Five (Picture 5 above) - Stir until well blended. Taste test and adjust seasoning to taste.
Step Six (Picture 6 above) - Stir drained al dente pasta into the creamy vegan pumpkin pasta sauce. Season royally with black pepper and serve hot.
It's a straightforward, easy recipe, so I only have a few notes to make this creamy pasta:
- Pasta selection: Any pasta shape will work, but don't overcook the noodles. You want an 'al dente' texture—chewy but still firm.
- To make it gluten-free: Go for gluten-free pasta. I love the organic brown rice noodles from Jovial because their texture holds well during cooking. Know that gluten-free varieties probably cook faster, so add extra cooking time if you opt for regular pasta.
- The herbs: Dried sage and marjoram's assertive flavors will bring out the pumpkin's softer nature and reveal a more meaty and earthy squash that works so well in the rest of the sauce ingredients. Don't skip it.
- Coconut cream/milk: The recipe calls for both, but you can also use either or. If the sauce needs more liquid to smooth out the flavors, you can get it from leftover pasta water. But it's usually not necessary. I highly recommend adding the suggested amount of coconut milk for a more luxurious pumpkin pasta sauce.
- Extra seasoning: Add salt to taste, a tad of garlic powder, and be royal with fresh black pepper.
- Try this Kale Apple Salad.
- A hearty arugula salad or any tossed Green Cucumber Salad.
- Crusty bread or Gluten-Free Drop Biscuits (vegan).
Pasta for Thanksgiving: It's one of those comfort dishes that's suitable to serve for pretty much every occasion, and the Holiday season is no exception. It can be your main dish paired with white wine or a pasta side dish. A sage pumpkin pasta that still has all the traditional fall flavors but is ready in 20 minutes—talk about a stress-free menu. Serve with this vegan chocolate peanut butter mousse for dessert.
This pasta is best served immediately when hot, but if you have any leftovers, store everything in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
Then, briefly reheat over the stove.
This dish serves a more prominent family or group of people. But just in case you want to make dinner for two for a date night or just yourself (with some leftovers), then all you need to do is make a few adjustments.
Cook one 12-ounce pack of gluten-free penne pasta instead of two, and use only 3-quarts of water for boiling.
Use only one 16-ounce package of pumpkin puree—unless you like the extra sauce.
Decide for yourself how much spinach you want in this dish. I would lower it to 2 or 3 cups packed.
Taste test when adding the dried herbs. Start with 1 ½ teaspoon dried sage and a teaspoon of dried marjoram.
Keep the rest of the ingredients the same. The coconut milk is optional. But just adding a few tablespoons makes the sauce super silky and creates a delicious flavor.
More Pasta Or Squash Dishes You Might Like
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Here you have it, a super easy and creamy vegan pumpkin pasta sauce all wrapped up in cooked al dente pasta and delicious for any occasion.
Creamy Vegan Pumpkin PastaMariska Ramondino
- 1 large deep skillet or saucepan
- 2 boxes brown rice pasta (12 ounces/340 grams each)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste (plus extra to salt the water of the pasta)
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 large yellow onion chopped (305 grams)
- 4 - 5 cups packed chopped spinach 80 grams
- 2 cans organic pumpkin puree (I use canned) (16 ounces/454 grams each)
- 3 teaspoons dried sage
- 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream 20 grams, plus ½ cup extra coconut milk, based on preference and optional
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a large pot with 5 to 6 quarts of water and bring to a rolling boil (to cook the pasta al dente and according to package instructions). Add salt to pasta water (about 1 tablespoon or more to taste). When the water is boiling, add the pasta noodles and cook until al dente.2 boxes brown rice pasta, 1 teaspoon salt
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook and stir for 5 minutes and until the onion is translucent, not browned.2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 garlic cloves, 1 large yellow onion
- Add the spinach. Cook and stir for one minute or until wilted. Season with one teaspoon salt.4 - 5 cups packed chopped spinach
- Change the heat to medium-low. Then stir in the pumpkin puree—season with sage, marjoram, and garlic powder.2 cans organic pumpkin puree (I use canned), 3 teaspoons dried sage, 2 teaspoons dried marjoram, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Stir in the coconut cream and coconut milk.2 tablespoons coconut cream
- Cook and stir for a few minutes until the sauce is sufficiently warm.
- At this point, the pasta should be boiling in the water and almost ready (cooked al dente). Drain the pasta when ready and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Pour the pumpkin puree pasta sauce over the hot pasta noodles and stir to combine.
- Season to taste with more salt, if preferred, and royally with black pepper.Freshly ground black pepper
- Stir until everything is well combined. Serve immediately while still hot!
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Nutrition (% Daily value)
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.