Pumpkin Pasta With Ground Sausage

5 from 2 votes
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Creamy, savory pumpkin pasta sauce is creamy, rich and super satisfying served with sausage crumbles. Ready in 30 minutes or less!

Grey pottery bowl with noodles and pumpkin sauce and a silver fork.
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Why You Need This Pumpkin Pasta Sauce.

This sauce is not your average pasta sauce, it has notes of pumpkin, cinnamon and savory herbs in it. It is nothing you’d expect and it’s full of fiber. Creamy, silky texture with hot Italian sausage crumbles for an added level of flavor and protein. By far one of my favorite fall, early winter meals. This makes a great meal prep dish.

Pumpkin pasta sauce is one such culinary delight that captures the flavors of the season in a creamy, rich, and slightly sweet sauce. Whether you’re a pumpkin enthusiast or someone curious to explore new flavors, this homemade pumpkin pasta sauce is a must-try for fall. If you are craving a little more spice, try my Cajun Shrimp & Sausage Pasta.

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients needed to make this recipe in small glass bowls, measuring cups and spoons on a counter.

Pumpkin Puree. You want to be sure it is pure pumpkin puree, fresh or from a can. Do not confuse this with pumpkin pie filing!

Seasonings. Salt, thyme(fresh or dried), oregano, cinnamon, red pepper flakes

Roasted Red Bell Pepper. This adds savory flavor and texture to our sauce. Use jarred or roast a red bell pepper in the oven.

Milk. Use any milk of choice, I prefer whole milk.

Hot Italian Sausage. You can use any ground sausage of choice!

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card below. 

Recipe Variations

Canned Pumpkin. Fresh baked pumpkin will also work and recommend if you have the time!

Roasted Red Bell Peppers. Use fresh bell peppers and roast them in the oven if you’d prefer.

Pasta. Any pasta shape will work. Choose a hearty noodle that holds a creamy thick sauce. Fettuccine, rigatoni, penne and so on.

Milk. Use any milk of choice, cream will also work. Coconut milk or almond milk will also work for dairy free alternative.

Ground Sausage. Use ground beef or ground turkey in place of the sausage. The sausage adds a unique rich flavor that pairs great!

How To Make This Recipe

Steps to make this recipe in a skillet.

Step 1. Begin prepping pasta of choice according to the package. Add 1/2 tsp of oil to a large skillet, add the hot Italian sausage to the skillet. add a small pinch of salt and pepper and brown the sausage for about 5-8 minutes until it’s cooked through. Set the meat aside in a large bowl.

Step 2. In the same skillet, add a spritz of olive oil if needed, or use the grease residue from the sausage. Add the onions, sauté for about 3 min, add garlic sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, red peppers, seasoning and pumpkin. Bring to a simmer for about 3 minutes.

Step 3. Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the creamy sauce back to the skillet. Place on medium/low heat. let the sauce warm and start to lightly bubble. Add the milk and gently stir it in. Once it’s fully blended, take it off the heat.

Step 4. Drain Pasta (Save some pasta water to the side!) Add the pasta back to the pot, add in the pumpkin sauce and mix well, add 1/4 cup of hot pasta water if needed to thin and spread the sauce. Once it’s to your liking of consistency add cooked sausage crumbles. Serve and garnish with plenty of Parmesan. Enjoy!

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze these for up to 2 months.   

Grey pottery bowl with noodles and pumpkin sauce and a silver fork.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin puree?

Yes, you can use fresh pumpkin to make your own puree for the sauce. To do this, roast or steam pumpkin pieces until they are soft and then blend them into a smooth puree. However, canned pumpkin puree is a convenient alternative, especially if you want to save time.

What types of pasta work best with pumpkin pasta sauce?

Pasta shapes like fettuccine, penne, or rigatoni are excellent choices for pumpkin pasta sauce. Their nooks and crannies allow the sauce to cling to the pasta, ensuring each bite is packed with flavor. Ultimately, the choice of pasta is a matter of personal preference.

Recipe Tips

Don’t Overcook the Pumpkin. Overcooking the pumpkin puree can lead to a grainy texture in the sauce. Cook it just enough to soften it and enhance the flavor but avoid prolonged cooking.

Gradually Add Liquid. When incorporating the cream or pasta water (if needed) add gradually, stirring continuously. This prevents the sauce from becoming too thin and helps you achieve your desired consistency.

Experiment with Texture. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until it’s silky. For a rustic feel, leave some pumpkin bits intact.

To Make This Recipe Healthier, use lean ground beef or turkey instead of sausage (but I really prefer the rich sausage flavor!)

Other Pasta Recipes To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Grey pottery bowl with noodles and pumpkin sauce and a silver fork.
5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce With Sausage

Creamy, savory pumpkin pasta sauce is creamy, rich and super satisfying served with sausage crumbles. Ready in 30 minutes or less!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 4-5 cup rigatoni , *see notes
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • .75 lb ground Italian sausage , * see notes
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, jarred
  • cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt, more to taste
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried or fresh thyme
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup milk , *see notes
  • ¼ cup parmesan

Instructions 

  • Begin prepping pasta of choice according to the package. Add 1/2 tsp oil to a large skillet, add the hot Italian sausage to the skillet. add a small pinch of salt and pepper and brown the sausage for about 5-8 minutes until it's cooked through. Set the meat aside in a large bowl. 
  • In the same skillet, add a spritz of olive oil if needed, or use the grease residue from the sausage. Add the onions, sauté for about 3 min, add garlic sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, red peppers, seasoning and pumpkin. Bring to a simmer for about 3 minutes
  • Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the creamy sauce back to the skillet. Place on medium/low heat. let the sauce warm and start to lightly bubble. Add the milk and gently stir it in. Once it's fully blended, take it off the heat. 
  • Drain Pasta (Save some pasta water to the side!) Add the pasta back to the pot, add in the pumpkin sauce and mix well, add 1/4 cup of hot pasta water if needed to thin and spread the sauce. Once it's to your liking of consistency add cooked sausage crumbles. Serve and garnish with plenty of Parmesan. Enjoy! 

Notes

*any pasta shape of choice will work. Be sure to save a little pasta water to thin the sauce before serving!
*ground turkey, venison or beef will also work well. 
*use whole or 2% milk. Coconut milk or extra creamy plain almond milk will also work well. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 763kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 1529mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 9943IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 233mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 763
Keyword: 30 minute, pasta, Pumpkin,
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Really good. We had a lot of sauce left over and we’re able to make it again for another night during the week. Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    Really filling and hearty. Loved the cinnamon flavors.