Easy Vegan Pumpkin Sauce Pasta Recipe

When Pumpkins are in season, don’t miss making this deliciously creamy pasta recipe using pumpkin sauce. Vegan, Dairy Free, Creamy and so good!

Step-wise Recipe to make the pasta sauce from scratch. Grab a pumpkin and check out this recipe!

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Sauce Pasta Recipe

Are you bored of the regular tomato sauce or white sauce pasta recipe? Try this Creamy, Delicious, Easy Vegan Pumpkin Sauce Pasta Recipe without any cream, cheese or dairy products and using whole wheat fusilli pasta.

My husband is a huge pasta lover so once a month we make pasta for our weekend brunch. With a kilo of Pumpkin or “Kadduas its called in Hindi stocked in my refrigerator, I decided to make the sauce using the pumpkin.

As South Indians, Pumpkin is always available in my refrigerator. We add chunks of this vegetable to our Sambar or Lentil Stew. I make a delicious Pumpkin Methi Dana Sabzi to serve with rotis and parathas.

Pumpkin is quite a versatile vegetable. It can be used in both savoury and sweet recipes. I should also add here that it is naturally sweet, budget friendly and quite healthy too.

Autumn or Fall season marks the beginning of winters and also “Pumpkin season”. In the US, Pumpkin is harvested in September and October just in time for the fall holidays – Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin or “Kaddu”

Pumpkin or Indian "Kaddu"

I love vegetables that encourage “Zero Waste Cooking” and pumpkin is one such vegetable. As you can see below, the guts or the flesh of the pumpkin and the skin or peel was used to make thogayal or South Indian chutney.

The ripe part was used for the pumpkin sauce and the seeds were sun dried and frozen for adding to my dry chutney powders at home.

Pumpkin - Zero Waste Cooking

An extremely kid-friendly pasta recipe, this is a great way to feed vegetables to your kids. Pumpkin, being naturally sweet is loved by all age groups and trust me, the kids will not miss the cheese because the sauce is creamy in texture without any dairy.

A hot bowl of pasta is satisfying and comforting on cold winter nights and they make a perfect and filling meal when served with a side of bread. Focaccia Bread is our personal preference at home.

You have to try the Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Focaccia Bread and if you love warm buns then try the Cumin and Onion Buns. Both are whole wheat bread recipes from the blog.

So if you have excess pumpkins at home post Halloween or if you are a big fan of this low calorie vegetable, then you should definitely try this recipe. This is a great savory pumpkin recipe that your family will definitely love.

The recipe is slightly extensive as it involves two steps (1) Preparation of the Pumpkin Pasta Sauce from scratch (2) The Whole Wheat Vegetable loaded pasta with the sauce. But first, let us check out the list of ingredients to be used for both the sauce and the pasta.

Ingredients for the Vegan Pumpkin Sauce Pasta Recipe

Pumpkin – 1/2 kg or 750 gms of Pumpkin (to be prepped as explained above). You can easily make the recipe using butternut squash too.

Please note that the above measurement was before slicing the peel and removing the seeds or guts.

Whole Wheat Fusilli Pasta – You can opt for Penne, Farfalle or even spaghetti or linguine.

Durum Wheat Pasta can also be used. Whole Wheat Pasta takes a while to cook. If you are gluten sensitive, opt for an appropriate variety.

Note – Please retain some water after the pasta is drained. It is used to adjust the sauce consistency.

Cashews – Since the recipe is vegan and we are not adding any cream or cheese either, soak the cashews in hot water for atleast 10 to 15 minutes before you grind it into a smooth paste.

Onion and Garlic – Finely minced or chopped.

Herbs and Spices – I have used smoked paprika, kashmiri red chilli powder (for the colour), Black Pepper Powder, Dried Rosemary and Oregano Powder along with a touch of nutmeg because pumpkin, spinach and nutmeg make a wonderful combination.

Use fresh herbs if you grow them at home or can have easy access to. I have used dried herbs for this recipe.

Vegetables for the Pasta – Spinach and Corn. A classic combination with the pumpkin. I have added a lot of black olives too in the pasta for that salty bits of explosion in your mouth.

You can add vegetables like Mushroom, Bell Peppers, Baby Corn, Zucchini and Broccoli if you like.

Vegan Pumpkin Sauce
(Note – The pumpkin seeds and paprika are sprinkled to capture the aesthetic beauty of the sauce)

The recipe yields 2 & 1/2 cups (1 cup is 250 ml) Pumpkin Pasta sauce. I used 1 & 1/4 cup for making the pasta for the two of us and froze the remaining sauce and used it the same weekend to make another batch.

Please also note, the amount of sauce to be added to pasta is a personal choice. We add the sauce just enough to coat the vegetables and the pasta. Some prefer adding less pasta and more sauce. So add according to your preference.

If you want to add cream to this recipe, skip the cashew paste.

This pasta sauce is naturally a tad sweet due to the presence of cashew paste and pumpkin puree. If you prefer spicy pasta, sprinkle some chilli flakes while serving.

For all cheesy pasta lovers, please grate some parmesan cheese just before serving. I honestly don’t think you will miss the cheese in this recipe.

Creamy Pumpkin Sauce Pasta with black olives, spinach and corn

Step by Step Pumpkin Sauce Pasta Recipe

Please note that the exact measurements to this recipe are given in the recipe card below. Please scroll down and check the measurements before trying the recipe.

Step 1 – Making the Vegan Pumpkin Sauce

Soak the cashews in hot water for atleast 10 to 15 minutes.

Cashews soaked in hot water

In the meanwhile, cut the skin, remove the flesh or pumpkin guts and separate the seeds, keep it aside.

Roughly chop the pumpkin into thick chunks. Give it a good rinse.

Heat water in a pan, add the pumpkin and cook it until its soft. Switch off the flame and allow the pumpkin to cool.

Chopped pumpkin cooking in water
Pumpkin pieces cooked, cooled and to be pureed for the sauce

Once cool, use an immersion blender or a mixer grinder jar and blend into a smooth paste. Do not add any water.

Pumpkin puree ready

Put the same pan back on the heat, add oil, finely chopped garlic and onions.

Sauteing the onions and garlic in olive oil for the sauce

Saute until they have caramelized or golden brown.

Brown or caramelize the onions

Now add the pumpkin puree, herbs, salt to taste, smoked paprika powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and mix well until it thickens slightly.

Pumpkin puree and spices added to the caramelized onions and garlic

While the pumpkin cooks, drain the water from the cashews and grind it into a smooth paste. Add couple of spoons of water, if required.

Cashew Paste ready

To the pumpkin mixture, add the ground cashew paste and mix well. Ensure the flame is low at this point. We don’t have to boil the mixture for too long.

Adding the cashew paste to the pumpkin puree

Add nutmeg powder and switch off the flame.

Pumpkin sauce is ready

Your Pumpkin sauce is ready. Either cool it and then transfer it to the refrigerator or freeze it for use later

Step 2 – Making the Whole Wheat Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

As mentioned above, I have used 1 & 1/4 cups of pumpkin sauce for making the pasta.

To cook the pasta, boil water with salt in a wide pan. Add the pasta and cook it al dente.

Drain the pasta. Note – reserve some pasta water for the gravy.

Whole Wheat fusilli pasta cooked and drained

Heat a pan, add olive oil and saute finely chopped onion.

Onions sauteed in olive oil

Add finely chopped spinach and allow it to wilt slightly. Ensure the flame is on medium heat.

Finely chopped spinach leaves added to onions

Add the steamed corn and saute well.

Steamed corn added with spinach

Now add the cooked pasta to the vegetables and pumpkin pasta sauce along with some reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency.

pasta added with vegetables
pumpkin sauce added to the pasta and vegetables

Mix well, add sliced olives and switch off flame once you see the pasta thickening.

Garnish it with basil leaves and some extra sliced olives and serve piping hot with bread.

reserved pasta water added to adjust the consistency

Recipe Notes –

  • I have made the pumpkin sauce from scratch. You can make use of canned pumpkin puree or frozen pumpkin puree for this recipe as well. It would drastically cut down the cooking time.
  • Always add pasta to boiling water with salt. The water should be salty so that the cooked pasta doesn’t taste bland.
  • Please also note that whole wheat pasta takes a bit longer to cook than regular durum wheat pasta. Keep an eye to avoid overcooking. Pasta should be al-dente.
  • Reserving and adding the cooked pasta water adds a silky texture to the sauce and is the best way to adjust the consistency instead of plain water.
  • If you notice, I have not added any herbs to the pasta because the sauce has all the flavours. If you love spicy pasta, you can sprinkle some red chilli flakes on top.
  • Leftover pasta can be refrigerated and re-heated in a microwave oven.
  • The pumpkin sauce stays fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days and freezes for atleast a week. I honestly haven’t tried freezing the sauce more than a week since I make a small batch.
  • Herbs can be entirely your choice. I have added herbs that match well with pumpkin and spinach.
  • Ensure you do not add more than a tiny pinch of nutmeg to the recipe. It adds a lot of flavor especially when you make pasta pumpkin with spinach.
  • I always stock corn at home that is usually steamed with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Add salt with caution. The reserved pasta water and the pasta sauce both have salt. Please taste check before you add extra.

Some Recipes for the Holidays –

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Sauce Pasta Recipe

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Sauce Pasta Recipe

Vidya Narayan
Creamy, Delicious, Easy Vegan Pumpkin Sauce Pasta Recipe without any cream, cheese or dairy products using whole wheat fusilli pasta. A must try Kid Friendly, Savory Pumpkin Recipe with a side of Focaccia Bread.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course brunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pasta Sauce (1 cup is 250 ml, 1 tsp is 5 ml and 1 tbsp is 15 ml)

  • 750 gms Pumpkin
  • 20 nos. Cashews (soaked in 1/2 cup hot water)
  • 1/2 cup Onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 tsp Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika Powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano Powder
  • A pinch of Nutmeg powder
  • 2 & 1/2 cups Water (for grinding the cashew, cooking the pumpkin and adjusting the sauce consistency)
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Whole Wheat Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

  • 1 & 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Fusilli Pasta
  • 1 & 1/4 cups Pumpkin Sauce
  • 1 & 1/2 cup Finely chopped Spinach
  • 1 cup Steamed Corn Corn steamed with salt and turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup Finely chopped Onions
  • 10 nos. Pitted Black Olives Sliced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Pasta Water to adjust consistency
  • Basil Leaves for Garnish
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

Step 1 – Making the Vegan Pumpkin Sauce

  • Soak the cashews in hot water for atleast 15 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile, cut the skin, remove the flesh or pumpkin guts and separate the seeds, keep it aside.
  • Roughly chop the pumpkin into thick chunks. Give it a good rinse.
  • Heat water in a pan, add the pumpkin and cook it until its soft. Switch off the flame and allow the pumpkin to cool.
  • While the pumpkin cools, drain the water from the cashews and grind it into a smooth paste. Add couple of spoons of water, if required.
  • Once cool, use an immersion blender or a mixer grinder jar and blend into a smooth paste. Do not add any water.
  • Put the same pan back on the heat, add oil, finely chopped garlic and onions. Saute until they have caramelized or golden brown.
  • Now add the pumpkin puree, herbs, salt to taste, smoked paprika powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and mix well until it thickens slightly.
  • To the pumpkin mixture, add the ground cashew paste and mix well. Ensure the flame is low at this point. We don't have to boil the mixture for too long. Add nutmeg powder and switch off the flame.
  • Your Pumpkin sauce is ready. Either cool it and then transfer it to the refrigerator or freeze it for use later.

Step 2 – Making the Whole Wheat Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

  • I have used 1 & 1/4 cup of pumpkin sauce for making the pasta.
  • To cook the pasta, boil water with salt in a wide pan. Add the pasta and cook it al dente.
  • Drain the pasta. Note – reserve some pasta water for the gravy.
  • Heat a pan, add olive oil and saute finely chopped onion. Add finely chopped spinach and allow it to wilt slightly. Ensure the flame is on medium heat. Add the steamed corn and saute well.
  • Now add the cooked pasta to the vegetables and sauce along with some reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency.
  • Mix well, add sliced olives and switch off flame once you see the pasta thickening.
  • Garnish it with basil leaves and some extra sliced olives and serve piping hot with bread.

Notes

  • I have made the pumpkin sauce from scratch. You can make use of canned pumpkin puree or frozen pumpkin puree for this recipe as well. It would drastically cut down the cooking time.
  • Always add pasta to boiling water with salt. The water should be salty so that the cooked pasta doesn’t taste bland.
  • Please also note that whole wheat pasta takes a bit longer to cook than regular durum wheat pasta. Keep an eye to avoid overcooking. Pasta should be al-dente.
  • Reserving and adding the cooked pasta water adds a silky texture to the sauce and is the best way to adjust the consistency instead of plain water.
  • If you notice, I have not added any herbs to the pasta because the sauce has all the flavours. If you love spicy pasta, you can sprinkle some red chilli flakes on top.
  • Leftover pasta can be refrigerated and re-heated in a microwave oven.
  • The pumpkin sauce stays fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days and freezes for atleast a week. I honestly haven’t tried freezing the sauce more than a week since I make a small batch.
  • Herbs can be entirely your choice. I have added herbs that match well with pumpkin and spinach.
  • Ensure you do not add more than a tiny pinch of nutmeg to the recipe. It adds a lot of flavor especially when you make pasta pumpkin with spinach.
  • I always stock corn at home that is usually steamed with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Add salt with caution. The reserved pasta water and the pasta sauce both have salt. Please taste check before you add extra.
Keyword Pumpkin Pasta Sauce, Pumpkin Sauce, Savory Pumpkin Recipes
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We will be back again with yet another exciting recipe .. Until then, stay healthy and happy!

Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

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