Creamy Parmesan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is a flavorful and umami-packed pasta dish. It's simple to make with just a few ingredients, and loaded with comforting ingredients such as parmesan, heavy cream, and of course pumpkin.
Sometimes we want a classic spaghetti bolognese, and that's amazing. Sometimes we want seasonal recipes, and that's when this pumpkin pasta sauce is perfect, or pumpkin gnocchi if you want to spend more time creating your masterpiece.
They all have their time to shine, which is the beauty of food!
Why you’ll love this recipe
This is a recipe that is great for
- freezing - it's one of those dishes that remain in flavor and in texture!
- batch-making - again, the quality remains
- not to mention it is easy to make
- and comforting - for cold fall nights, for hard weeknights or romantic date nights
- seasonal produce - who doesn't love to use pumpkin during fall?
- but can be made all year round - as it uses pumpkin puree (which you can keep in your freezer!)
- it feels fancy, but the flavors are mild so I'm sure many kids will enjoy this too - it is pasta!
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- Onion and garlic
- Herbs like basil and thyme
- Pumpkin puree
- Tomato puree
- Chicken or veggie broth
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Ground beef
- Fresh spinach
Can you tell this is going to be delicious?
Umami comes from sun-dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs, and tomato puree. Cooking ground beef to crispylicious makes for a deep, savory flavor as well. So delicious with the mild heavy cream and parmesan.
Begin by adding sun-dried tomatoes + 1 tablespoon of its oil, garlic, onion, and basil to a large pot. Sauté on medium until soft and fragrant, about 7 minutes (1-2).
Add pumpkin puree and tomato puree, chicken broth, thyme, and nutmeg. Simmer for 15 minutes, covered (3-4).
Add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese (5). Blend the pasta sauce (6) (either use a blender or an immersion blender) and reheat the sauce if needed.
While the sauce is simmering, begin with the beef (7). In a large skillet, heat some oil (oil from the sun-dried tomatoes is fine here), and over high heat, brown the minced beef + some salt, until it has some crispy bits.
Reduce the temperature to medium and add the onion and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent (8-9).
The last step is combining everything (10). Add the cooked beef and spinach and stir to combine (11). Right before serving, add the fresh spinach and stir until wilted (12). Taste and see if you want to add some more salt and pepper.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain. Serve with the pasta sauce and some fresh basil and more parmesan if desired. Enjoy!
This dish is great for make-ahead! The sauce can be stored, and covered, for about 4 days in the refrigerator. But I prefer to freeze what I don't use.
It is amazing for freezing. The flavor and the texture remain the same, so it's perfect for those lazy days when you don't want to cook but want to eat something delicious.
It's best within the first three-four months but remains safe after that.
Thaw the box in the refrigerator overnight/while at work and reheat it in a saucepan. If it is too thick, add a splash of water or chicken broth. Cook pasta and enjoy!
What can I do with leftover pumpkins?
You may have a Halloween pumpkin just sitting there, and if you have carved it. Unfortunately, there's not much to do with it. However, if you leave it uncarved as I do, you can use it to make pumpkin puree.
Keep in mind it will not be as delicious as if you use other pumpkins, like my favorite, butternut squash or sugar/sweet pumpkins.
Sugar pumpkins and butternut squash are also delicious in soups, salads, gnocchi, or this Moroccan chicken and butternut squash. You can also switch out the sweet potato with butternut squash in this sweet potato tray bake.
Just search for butternut squash or pumpkin on my site and you will get tons of new ideas!
What goes well with pumpkin?
Pumpkin pie spice is called that for a reason. Warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice are delicious with sweet pumpkin dishes. You can use a pinch in savory dishes too, hence nutmeg in this dish.
It is also delicious with heavy cream, hence this pumpkin pasta sauce and the crème brûlée mentioned above.
Nuts are another classic. Like walnuts in the butternut squash kale salad.
Go for comforting flavors, and it will be a generally safe bet!
Either way, I hope you'll enjoy this pumpkin pasta sauce recipe. Scroll down to find a printable recipe card.
Did you like this recipe? Here are more pumpkin recipes I think you’d love:
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me@thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free tosubscribe to my newsletter.
As thanks, you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year.
To keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.
This recipe was originally published on Nov 8th, 2018, but updated on Oct 23rd 2022 for better photos and content.