This vegan pumpkin pasta recipe is easy to make with just a few simple, everyday ingredients. Serve the decadent pumpkin cream sauce over your favourite pasta for a plant-based meal that’s pure comfort food.

A white bowl of creamy vegan pumpkin pasta.

Features

  • quick and easy – you’ll need just 20 minutes and a handful of ingredients
  • dietary needs – vegan, nut-free, can be gluten-free, can be oil-free

Ingredient Notes

  • Pumpkin. Use canned pumpkin puree. I like Farmer’s Market canned pumpkin best but any brand works.
  • Coconut milk. You’ll need canned, full-fat coconut milk to create the rich and creamy base of the recipe. And don’t worry if you don’t love coconut, the garlic, paprika and pumpkin add enough flavour that the coconut gets overpowered.
  • Vegan butter. There’s nothing like garlic sautéed in butter! If you don’t have vegan butter, you can use olive, avocado or coconut oil. If you prefer to keep the recipe oil-free, use a little splash of vegetable broth.
  • Garlic. Garlic is a must when it comes to pasta, don’t you think? The recipe calls for 2 cloves but feel free to add more if you’re a big time garlic lover!
Creamy pumpkin pasta on a small white plate.

Step by Step Instructions

Before you start: Start boiling water to cook your choice of pasta. Get that cooking as soon as the water boils.

Step 1. Melt the vegan butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or two, until fragrant.

Garlic being sautéed in a black skillet.

Step 2. Stir in the canned pumpkin, coconut milk, paprika and salt. Mix it all up and simmer for 5-10 minutes until it thickens up.

Pumpkin and coconut milk being mixed into a skillet.
Vegan pumpkin cream sauce being stirred in a skillet on the stovetop.

Step 3. Add the drained cooked pasta and stir to combine.

Dumping cooked pasta into a skillet of pumpkin cream sauce.

Garnish with fresh or crispy fried sage leaves and serve right away.

Creamy pumpkin pasta on a small white plate.

Pasta Options

  • any shape of regular or whole-wheat pasta such as penne, linguini or bows
  • zucchini noodles
  • chickpea pasta
  • edamame noodles
  • brown rice pasta or another gluten-free pasta of choice

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Bowl of creamy pumpkin penne topped with fresh sage.

Vegan Pumpkin Pasta

  • Author: Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

This pumpkin cream sauce is warm, savory and perfectly suited to sweater season. For those who aren’t fond of coconut, fear not. The taste is barely detectable beneath the flavorful layers of pumpkin, garlic and paprika.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (454 g) penne pasta
  • 1 ½  tbsp (22 g) vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-oz [425-g]) can pumpkin purée
  • 1 (13 ½ -oz [382-g]) can coconut milk
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Fresh or crispy sage leaves, for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the vegan butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or two, until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the pumpkin purée, coconut milk, paprika and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Drain and rinse your pasta and combine it with the pumpkin cream sauce. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  5. Garnish with fresh or crispy sage leaves if using, and serve immediately.

Notes

This recipe has been re-printed with permission from Frugal Vegan by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017. 

Keywords: pumpkin pasta, cream sauce, easy, comfort, plant-based

Update Note: This recipe was originally published on August 28, 2017. It was updated in November 2019 with new photos and text.