This creamy pumpkin pasta sauce recipe is healthy, hearty, and savory – Comfort food at its finest! Coat this thick rich sauce over your favorite pasta for the ultimate fall dinner. Dairy free, vegan friendly, gluten free option.
What's more comforting than a big bowl of creamy pasta? This easy recipe is perfect for when you want an elevated dinner but only have 30 minutes.
This was actually one of the first recipes on my blog back in 2017. Since then (it's now October 2021) it's still one of my seasonal favorites!
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce without Cream
Of course, there's no cream or milk in here! The recipe does call for dairy-free butter but feel free to use olive oil or refined coconut oil instead.
The original recipe didn't call for creating a roux but I really think it makes a difference. A roux is simply the method of heating oil or butter then whisking in flour. To avoid clumps, stir in cold [plant-based] milk! This helps the sauce thicken up.
Don't be intimidated! Let me walk you through it.
- Step 1: Cook pasta, once cooked, drain and reserve some cooking water.
- Step 2: Melt butter, cook onion and garlic, then stir in flour. Add milk and cook for a couple minutes.
- Step 3: Add pumpkin puree, rosemary, paprika, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you want.
- Step 4: Stir in cooked pasta, coat with pumpkin sauce, add in reserved water until your desired consistency is reached.
That's it, then enjoy and do a little happy dance because it's so dang delicious.
One of the great things about this recipe is that it's super versatile and easy to adapt. Here are a few notes about different types of alternatives that will work for this recipe.
- Dairy free butter: Any vegan butter will work here, or use a neutral tasting oil.
- All purpose flour: If you're gluten free, simply use a gluten free 1-for-1 flour.
- Coconut milk: I love using canned coconut milk in this recipe but if you don't have that on hand feel free to use oat milk, soy milk, flax milk, almond milk, or whatever you have in your fridge/pantry.
- Nutritional yeast: This optional ingredient seasons the dish with a subtle nutty, cheesy flavor.
FAQ, Variations, and Substitutions
Zucchette means small pumpkins and that's what these adorable pasta shapes look like! You could also use fettuccine for a pumpkin alfredo. Spaghetti, penne, shells, and rigatoni are all great options too.
For this recipe, canned coconut milk gives the sauce a gorgeous silky smooth texture and consistency. I've made this meal with several different types of milk, so use what you have!
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. To reheat, stir in a little extra water or non dairy milk, then place in the microwave, warming in 30 second increments.
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I hope you enjoy this dairy free pumpkin pasta sauce as much as we do! It's the ultimate cozy autumn meal.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe (Vegan)
- 8 ounces pasta of choice
- 1 tablespoon dairy-free butter
- ¼ onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package direction. Once cooked al dente, drain, reserving about 1 cup water.
- As the pasta cooks, melt dairy-free butter in a saucepan or skillet. Add onion and let cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Stir in flour to create a roux, stream in dairy-free milk, and stir together. Bring to a low boil then add in remaining ingredients. Let cook for about 10 minutes, until thickened.
- Add cooked pasta to sauce and stir together to coat. Add desired amount of reserved pasta water until you reach desired pasta sauce consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve warm and enjoy!