This vegan pumpkin pasta is ultra creamy and oh so comforting. A delicious fall dinner that comes together in a flash!
This is one of my favorite fall recipes that I actually enjoy all year long, since canned pumpkin is always in season! This dish is creamy, and comforting, so it's perfect for dinner on chilly fall nights, but also any other time of year when you want to just pretend that it's fall (because it is the best season, after all).
It's also dairy-free (though you'd never know by the taste!) and really easy to make.
The vegan pumpkin sauce is pretty much a no-cook deal! Just blend a bunch of ingredients up and you'll end up with a super luscious mixture that has a texture similar to an Alfredo sauce, but with savory fall flavors.
What You'll Need
- Dried pasta. I used penne, but feel free to substitute with your favorite pasta shape.
- Pumpkin puree. Use the canned variety that you'd find in your supermarket's baking aisle. Make sure you're not using pumpkin pie filling.
- Raw cashews. They must be raw. Roasted cashews will totally mess up the flavor. You'll need to soak your cashews in water for a while to soften them up.
- Non-dairy milk. Just about anything that's unflavored and unsweetened will work.
- Lemon juice.
- Nutmeg. You can leave this out if it's not your thing.
- Frozen peas. These are optional, but I love the little bursts of sweetness they add to the dish. Just thaw them out before adding them to your pasta.
- Fresh sage. It has to be fresh — dried sage won't work in this recipe.
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish, along with some tips! Scroll all the way down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe.
- Start boiling your pasta. Be sure to use salted water, and follow the instructions on the package. When the pasta is done you can drain it into a colander, but save a little bit of the water — you might need it later!
- While the pasta boils, make the sauce. Place the pumpkin, cashews, milk, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and nutmeg into a food processor or blender, and blend it up until it's nice and smooth.
- Tip: Be patient when blending. Depending on what type of device you're using, it can take a few minutes.
- Pour the sauce over your pasta and stir it up. If the sauce needs thinning, use the water that you reserved when you drained the pasta.
- Tip: Thinning the sauce with your pasta cooking water helps bond the sauce and pasta together, thanks to the little bit of starch in the water.
- Season your pasta with some salt, then stir in the peas and fresh sage. Hopefully your pasta is still hot at this point, but you can pop it on the stove for a few minutes to heat it up if it's not.
Leftovers & Storage
Leftover vegan pumpkin pasta will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. The sauce may thicken up over time — just thin it with a few splashes of water!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Just use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
I haven't tested the recipe with anything but cashews, but raw sunflower seeds and macadamia nuts often work, so they would be worth a try.
The recipe should work with fresh pumpkin, but you'll need to cook and puree it first. Try this method.
Need more guidance on how to make this recipe? Check out my video!
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Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
Penne is drenched in a silky cashew pumpkin sauce and seasoned with savory sage and a dash of nutmeg to make this creamy vegan pumpkin pasta.
- 12 ounces dried penne pasta
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup unflavored soy or almond milk, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
Drain the pasta into a colander and return it to the pot, reserving about a cup of the pasta boiling water.
While the pasta cooks, place the pumpkin, cashews, milk, lemon juice, garlic, salt and nutmeg into a blender or food processor fitted with an S-blade.
Blend until smooth. Taste-test and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. Thin the sauce with the reserved pasta water, if needed.
Stir in the peas and sage. Season the pasta with additional salt to taste.
Divide onto plates and serve.
If you timed everything well, your pasta should still be hot by the time you add the sauce. If it's cooled down by then, just place the entire pot of pasta and sauce on the stove once mixed and warm it up for a few minutes before serving.