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Fork full of pumpkin pasta with pappardelle pasta and topped with grated parmesan cheese and fried sage.
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5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

This easy, creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is the ultimate fall comfort food! Savory, cheesy, and luscious with plenty of herbs, and cheese. Serve with your favorite pasta, and enjoy a quick meal!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 182kcal
Author: Briana



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided (to taste, and can vary depending on if you used pasta water or not)
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced (one whole head, or less if you don't like garlic!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional and to taste)
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional and to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 15 ounces pure pumpkin puree (1 can)
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces half and half
  • 1 pound pasta of choice (we used papparadelle pasta
  • 1.5 - 2.5 cups reserved salted pasta water (add as needed to loosen the sauce)
  • Parmesan cheese and fried sage leaves to garnish (optional)


  • Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil to a hot skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine as the butter melts. Add in the onion with a pinch of salt, and cook until softened and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. We like to start the water about 20-30 minutes or so before the sauce is done so that it can all come together at once. Once boiling, add salt and cook pasta for a few minutes under the package directions.
  • After the onion is mostly translucent, add in 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, the minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of dried sage, ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constnatly to prevent anything from burning until the tomato paste deepens in color and the garlic is nice and fragrant.
  • Pour in 1.5 cups of chicken broth to deglaze the pan, followed by the can of pumpkin puree. Stir to combine and add a good pinch of salt.
  • Next, stir in the half and half, followed by the ricotta cheese. Continue stirring until the sauce comes together and is nice and warm. If desired, you can use an immersion blender or regular blender to make the sauce nice and silky smooth. We highly recommend doing this, it makes the sauce so velvety smooth.
  • Add the cooked pasta directly into the sauce with a few ladles of pasta water, tossing gently to coat the noodles. Add more pasta water as needed to thin the sauce and to help the sauce cling to the noodles.
  • Serve right away, and top the pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and fried sage. Enjoy!
  • This pasta is most definitely enjoyed fresh, while it's nice and hot. However, it can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If stored separately, you can freeze the pumpkin pasta sauce for up to 6 months. We don't recommend freezing the sauce with the noodles. If possible, save some pasta water in a separate container in the fridge to help loosen up stiff noodles on the stovetop.


  • Nutrition facts are for the sauce only. Garnishes and pasta are not included. All garnishes are optional and to taste. 
  • Always heavily salt the pasta water to make sure the noodles absorb flavor. You will need at least 1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt per pound of pasta. 
  • Cook the pasta al dente.
  • Add pasta water to reach your desired texture. If more liquid is desired, add in chicken or vegetable broth. 
  • Use fresh ingredients whenever possible for this recipe. 


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 842mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8704IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 1mg