Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
This Easy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is a fall-inspired, high protein dish including gluten free pasta with a pumpkin cottage cheese alfredo sauce. I’ve also included a dairy free option for this creamy pumpkin pasta sauce recipe.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Yay for pumpkin season! I’m not going to lie – I used to be skeptical of using pumpkin in savory dishes. Typically when people think of pumpkin, they think of sweet pumpkin recipes like these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies or Pumpkin Blondies. However, pumpkin is actually a delightful ingredient to include in gluten free pasta recipes! The pumpkin flavor isn’t overpowering in this pumpkin sauce recipe.
This Pumpkin Pasta recipe is packed with fall flavors and made with a cottage cheese pasta sauce that doesn’t require any heavy cream. It’s the perfect way to use that canned pumpkin sitting in your pantry! Cottage cheese is really having a moment right now! I have been loving coming up with cottage cheese recipes like this Cottage Cheese Ranch Dip. Blending cottage cheese and adding it to sauces is a great way to add protein to dishes. You can’t even really tell that it’s in there! Cottage cheese in pasta sauce is my new favorite way to use it.
- High in protein
- Easy to make
- Ready in less than 30 minutes
- The best recipe for pumpkin pasta sauce
- Vegetarian dinner recipe
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free option
Ingredient Notes for Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Gluten Free Pasta: I like to use Banza Bucatini for extra protein (and because it’s my favorite pasta shape) in this recipe, but any type of pasta will work! This would also make a great pumpkin ravioli sauce.
Pumpkin Puree: Make sure to look for a can where the ingredients only contain pumpkin. Do NOT use pumpkin pie filling! You can also use canned butternut squash.
Garlic: Feel free to use fresh chopped garlic cloves or minced garlic.
Cottage cheese: Good Culture is my favorite brand. They also make a lactose free cottage cheese. For dairy free, use Kite Hill cream cheese as a cottage cheese substitute!
Butter: Use vegan butter or olive oil for dairy free. Unsalted butter is preferred.
Gluten Free 1:1 Flour: I like King Arthur brand for this. Any measure-for-measure gluten free flour will work. Use regular flour if you don’t need to be gluten free.
Unsweetened almond milk: Any milk will work. Use regular cow’s milk, soy milk, full-fat coconut milk, or oat milk for nut free.
Grated parmesan cheese: Omit this for dairy free. I like stirring it in with the sage at the end for the best flavor combination!
Spices: Salt, garlic powder, black pepper nutmeg, paprika, sage, and cayenne. It’s not very spicy as-is, but omit the cayenne for no heat!
Fresh sage leaves This makes the perfect flavorful garnish for this creamy pumpkin pasta recipe.
How To Make Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- Cook the gluten-free pasta according to the package directions in salted water, drain, and set aside. I like to cook it until it is al dente.
- Meanwhile, combine the pumpkin purée, cottage cheese, salt, garlic power, pepper, nutmeg, sage, paprika, and cayenne in a blender.
- Blend until smooth. You can also use a food processor. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the flour and whisk to form a roux paste.
- Slowly pour in the almond milk. Continue whisking over medium high heat until it starts to bubble, then reduce the heat to medium-low heat. Stir constantly for 6-8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat (important so the cheese doesn’t curdle).
- Pour the pumpkin cottage cheese mixture into the pan with the almond milk and whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Add the cooked drained pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Add the parmesan and sage on top, and enjoy!
Mary’s Tips & Tricks
Stirring: Make sure to whisk constantly after adding the flour / milk to avoid any lumps.
Dairy Free: To make a vegan pumpkin pasta sauce, use Kite Hill dairy free cream cheese instead of cottage cheese, and olive oil or vegan butter instead of butter. Omit the parmesan and add a little nutritional yeast in its place, instead.
Pan: Use a large saucepan deep enough to hold the cooked pasta and pumpkin pasta sauce.
Storing Pumpkin Pasta Sauce: Add the pasta and sauce to an air-tight container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove top with a splash of almond milk, or reheat individual portions in the microwave.
Gluten Free Pasta: Gluten free pasta can get hard when stored overnight in the refrigerator. If you plan on making this dish ahead of time, I recommend storing the sauce separately and making the pasta / adding it to the sauce right before serving.
Freezing: You can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. I would not recommend freezing this dish when combined with the gluten free pasta.
Protein: If you want to add a meat protein to this recipe, I recommend adding some cooked Italian sausage, chicken, or chicken apple sausage!
Yes, pumpkin is naturally gluten free!
Bucatini is a long spaghetti-like pasta with a hollow center. Almost like a long macaroni noodle! It is the perfect vessel for recipes with creamy sauces, as you get more sauce with each bite inside the noodle.
Yes, cottage cheese is naturally gluten free. Creamy cottage cheese makes a great high-protein addition to pumpkin sauce for pasta! I love making alfredo with cottage cheese like in this Viral Tik Tok Spaghetti recipe. Cottage cheese pasta sauce is flavorful and a lower-fat option than using other types of cheeses.
Yes, they are the same thing. As mentioned before, look for cans where the ingredients only include 100% pumpkin and nothing else.
More Gluten Free Pasta Recipes
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- 8 oz gluten free pasta, I like using Banza Bucatini for this recipe!
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup cottage cheese, sub Kite Hill cream cheese for dairy free
- 1 tsp salt, + more to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp dried sage
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 2 tbsp butter, sub vegan butter for dairy free
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp gluten free measure for measure flour, I like King Arthur Baking brand
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup grated parmesan, for serving, omit for dairy free
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage, for garnish, optional
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine the pumpkin puree, cottage cheese, salt, garlic powder, pepper, nutmeg, sage, paprika, and cayenne in a blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the flour and whisk to form a roux paste. Slowly pour in the almond milk. Continue whisking over medium high heat until it starts to bubble, then reduce the heat to medium. Stir constantly for 6-8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat (important so the cheese sauce doesn't curdle).
- Pour the pumpkin cottage cheese mixture into the pan with the almond milk and whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Taste and add additional salt if needed.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Add the parmesan and sage on top and enjoy!