Easy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Serve this easy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce over fettuccine, penne noodles, spaghetti or any of your favorite noodles for a creamy and delicious meal. The entire dish come together in 20 minutes or less!

A large skillet with cooked pumpkin pasta in it.

Creamy homemade pumpkin sauce is easy to make. Combine a few ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge with pumpkin puree to create an easy and delicious meal with savory flavor. Even non pumpkin lovers will love this sauce!

This pumpkin pasta recipe is made with a few basic ingredients, similar to alfredo sauce. It comes together in less than 20 minutes and is served with your favorite type of pasta.

It’s the perfect easy weeknight dinner!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The creamy sauce cooks in under 20 minutes!
  • It’s one of the best savory dishes with real pumpkin.
  • The whole family will love it.

Ingredients You Need

This simple recipe comes together with a few basic pasta cream sauce ingredients plus pumpkin puree. You can serve the sauce with any type of pasta noodle. Always use good quality ingredients for the best texture and flavor.

Ingredients for pumpkin pasta sauce sitting on a white countertop including pasta, pumpkin puree, grated parmesan, spices, garlic, heavy cream and butter.
  • Heavy Cream – Heavy cream is preferred for the best texture. It also helps to prevent the sauce from curdling, as heavy cream has a higher fat content than milk. You can use half and half or a mixture of milk and heavy cream, if desired, but be sure to follow instructions to prevent curdling. Allow the heavy cream to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before making the sauce.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – Use freshly grated Parmesan for the best texture and flavor.
  • Pumpkin Puree – You can use canned pumpkin puree or fresh homemade pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, you can reduce the amount of additional salt you add to the pasta sauce. You can substitute the butter for extra virgin olive oil, but the butter helps to make the sauce creamy.
  • Pasta – Any type of pasta works well with this sauce. Whole wheat pasta noodles are a good choice. You can also use gluten-free pasta.
  • Spices – You can omit nutmeg, if desired or even add a dash of cinnamon. You can also garnish with fresh herbs like minced sage or parsley.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced garlic cloves tastes the best.

You can substitute the pumpkin with butternut squash puree to make an easy butternut squash pasta sauce.

How to Make Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

First prepare the pasta in a large pot according to the package instructions. Cook until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, make the pumpkin sauce.

Mixing together the ingredients to make the pasta sauce in a large skillet.
  1. Cook the Butter and Garlic – While you cook the pasta, heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Melt the butter and add the minced garlic. Cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the Heavy Cream – Lower the heat to low and pour in the heavy cream, while continuing to whisk. Bring to a simmer and whisk occasionally until it starts to thicken.
  3. Add Spices – Stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg and grated Parmesan cheese. Whisk gently until the cheese is melted completely.
  4. Add Pumpkin – Add the pumpkin to the pan and stir until it has been incorporated completely.
  5. Add Cooked Pasta – Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat.

Be sure to whisk while adding the heavy cream, cheese and pumpkin to the pan. This will help prevent the creamy pasta sauce from curdling.

Close up photo of creamy pumpkin pasta in a pan with chopped fresh sage on top.

Recipe Tips

  • Prevent Curdling – Sometimes when preparing cream sauce recipes, the sauce may curdle. To prevent curdling be sure to bring the heavy cream to room temperature and adjust your temperature to low heat before adding the cream. Also be sure to whisk the sauce continuously while adding the heavy cream to the pan. Using heavy cream as opposed to milk or lower fat products will also prevent the sauce from curdling.
  • Adjust ingredients to fit your taste – Add more heavy cream to make the sauce thinner or more pumpkin puree to make it thicker. You can also thin the sauce with vegetable broth or water.
  • Serve the pasta with extra protein like chicken or sausage.
  • Make it healthier – You can cut back on the cheese or heavy cream slightly to make it healthier.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on low heat to warm. You can also freeze the sauce separately or with the pasta for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat prior to serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does pumpkin pasta sauce taste like?

Pumpkin pasta sauce tastes like alfredo sauce with a hint of pumpkin flavor. The creamy texture combines with the savory flavor to create a delicious meal for the fall season.

What goes well with pumpkin pasta sauce?

It tastes best when served over your favorite pasta noodles. Both traditional and gluten-free pasta work great for this recipe. You can also serve the pasta with a protein like chicken or sausage. Or use the sauce as pizza sauce and make a pizza with other fall flavors.

Pumpkin pasta on a white plate with a fork on the side.

Once you make this pasta sauce once, you will want to make it again and again. It’s an easy recipe that requires little prep. Whisk together this easy dinner in less than 25 minutes and enjoy.

Best Pumpkin Recipes

Enjoy the taste of pumpkin season with your favorite pumpkin recipes. Your taste buds will thank you!

Did you try this creamy pumpkin pasta sauce recipe? Leave a recipe rating and review below!

A large skillet with pumpkin pasta sauce ready for serving.

Easy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
A rich and creamy pumpkin sauce that you can mix together with your favorite pasta noodles!
4.89 from 17 votes


  • 1 pound pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree*
  • Fresh sage, chopped (optional)


  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  • While pasta is cooking, in a medium sized skillet over medium low heat, melt butter. Add minced garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Lower heat to low and pour in heavy cream and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until it starts to thicken.
  • Add in salt, black pepper, nutmeg and grated Parmesan and whisk gently until the cheese has melted completely.
  • Add pumpkin and stir until it has been incorporated completely. Add pasta to pan and toss to coat. Garnish with chopped fresh sage and enjoy!


*PUMPKIN PUREE: You can use up to one full can of pumpkin puree, depending on how taste for pumpkin flavor.  
  • This dish tastes great with any kind of pasta. However, keep in mind that some pasta noodles soak up sauce faster then others so you may not have enough sauce for an entire pound of pasta. Slowly add the pasta to the sauce until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Serve it with Italian sausage or chicken for additional protein and flavor.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
  • To freeze, cool the dish completely, then store in a freezer safe container for up to three months. The sauce can also be frozen separately. To reheat, stir over low heat to prevent it from curdling. 
  • If the sauce gets too thick while cooking or reheating, just thin it out with some water.


Calories: 592kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 635mg, Potassium: 316mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 7381IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 292mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Ashley C.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

7 comments on “Easy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce”

  1. Sadly my cheese curdled! What did I do wrong?!

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear this. There could be a few reasons why the cheese curdled. Be sure to use all full fat ingredients (ie: heavy cream not milk.) Also continue to whisk while adding the cream, cheese and pumpkin to the pan. Allow the cream to come to room temperature. It’s also possible that the heat was too high when cooking the sauce. If the heat is too high and the cream is too cold, the sauce may curdle. Bring the heat to a low temperature before adding the cream.

  2. Wow! This pasta was out of this world! Pumpkin pasta sauce is a new favorite at our house!

  3. This dish was insane. LOVED the flavors everything was so balanced. Delicious!

  4. This was so good with some leftover fettuccine noodles we had from dinner last week! YUM!

  5. Love how quickly this comes together! The best fall inspired pasta dish!

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