Creamy Pumpkin Pasta (So Easy and Delicious)

This creamy pumpkin pasta is gluten-free and made from canned pumpkin. This easy fall dinner idea is a cozy, satisfying meal for any season and so easy.

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta from

Are you craving a comforting and creamy pasta dish with a seasonal twist? 

Look no further than this delightful creamy pumpkin pasta recipe on our site that has been my family favorite since 2009. 

Perfectly balanced flavors and a creamy texture make this dish a fall favorite for many readers. 

The best part about this unique recipe is that this pasta sauce is creamy AND gluten-free! The secret thickening ingredient is sour cream!

In this article, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on preparing this mouthwatering pumpkin sauce recipe and answer a frequently asked question to help you master this dish.

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta from

How to Make Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe

Scroll down to see the complete ingredient list and printable step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: In a large skillet, sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add turkey sausage, cook until no longer pink, and remove from skillet.

Step 2: Pour chicken stock into skillet to deglaze. Whisk in half & half, sour cream, pumpkin, white vinegar, nutmeg, salt, white pepper, and sage. Simmer for 10 mins.

Step 3: Boil penne in salted water until al dente (about 11-12 mins). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

Step 4: Stir drained pasta into pumpkin sauce with sausage. Simmer for 3 mins, adding reserved pasta water to thin as needed.

Step 5: Garnish with grated cheese and parsley. Customize to taste. Enjoy!

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about this recipe:

How Many Cups Are in a Can of Pumpkin?

How Many Cups Are in a Can of Pumpkin?

A 15-ounce can of pumpkin contains about 1 ¾ cups of pumpkin. One can of pumpkin is needed for this recipe. 

Can I Use a Different Type of Pasta For This Dish?

While penne and rotini are excellent choices for this creamy pumpkin pasta, you can certainly use other pasta shapes like fettuccine, linguine, or spaghetti. 

Just be sure to adjust the cooking time according to the pasta type you choose.

Can You Substitute Pumpkin Puree for Canned Pumpkin in Your Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Recipe?

Absolutely! You can seamlessly swap canned pumpkin for homemade pumpkin puree in many pumpkin recipes.

Both pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin are often used interchangeably due to their similar consistency and flavor profiles.

However, it’s essential to avoid using pumpkin pie filling as a substitute, as it contains added sugars and spices that can significantly alter the flavor of this pumpkin pasta sauce.

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

What Goes Well with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce?

Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like green beans, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts complement the pumpkin sauce beautifully.

Sausage: Just like in the recipe you provided, sausage, whether it’s a sweet Italian turkey sausage or a spicy sausage, adds contrast to the creamy pumpkin sauce.  

Spinach or Kale: Fresh greens like spinach or kale can be wilted into the sauce for added color, nutrients, and a touch of bitterness that balances the sauce’s richness.

Bacon or Pancetta: Substitute the sausage with crispy bacon or pancetta bits to add a smoky, salty crunch that complements the creamy pumpkin sauce.

Nuts: Toasted nuts like chopped walnuts, pine nuts, pepitas, or pecans sprinkled on top can add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor that contrasts with the creamy sauce.

Dried Cranberries: You can sprinkle some dried cranberries on top for a touch of sweetness. Their tartness can be a lovely contrast to the richness of the sauce. 

A Dash of Spice: You can add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a subtle kick or a hint of acidity, respectively. Remember, the white pepper in this recipe will already give this recipe a kick. 

Ground White Pepper

What is the Difference Between White Pepper and Black Pepper?

White pepper is a milder spice than black pepper, with a subtle, earthy flavor. 

You can find it in the spice section of most grocery stores, online retailers, specialty spice shops, or international markets. 

It’s commonly used in creamy sauces like this pumpkin pasta dish and incorporated in my chai latte mix which is also popular around the holidays. 

The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

What Can I Do With Leftover Canned Pumpkin?

While you can use the whole can of pumpkin for this recipe, there are many recipes on the site to try with canned pumpkin.  

Our family loves this gluten-free pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice pancakes, pumpkin chili, and pumpkin spice lattes.

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Creamy pumpkin pasta is an autumn-inspired dish that combines the rich, velvety goodness of pumpkin puree with a blend of spices for a cozy and comforting meal.


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound package of Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (removed from its casing)
  • 1 cup to 2 cups pureed pumpkin (adjust to personal taste)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (chicken broth or vegetable broth work too)
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup half & half
  • ½ cup sour cream (low-fat or fat-free)
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • ¼ cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound penne or rotini pasta (can substitute with gluten-free)


    1. In a large skillet, sauté the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook until it is no longer pink, breaking the meat up with your spoon as you cook it. Once cooked, remove the turkey sausage and garlic from the skillet.
    2. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet to deglaze the pan. Use a wire whisk to scrape up all of the flavorful bits stuck to the pan.
    3. Whisk in the white wine vinegar, half & half, sour cream, pumpkin puree, nutmeg, salt, white pepper, and sage. Let the sauce simmer for about ten minutes, to allow the flavors to meld together.
    4. While the sauce simmers, boil the penne in salted water until it reaches an al dente texture (approximately 11-12 minutes). 
    5. Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve a cup of the pasta water to help thin the sauce later. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside.
    6. Stir the drained pasta into the pumpkin sauce, along with the cooked turkey sausage, and let it simmer for three more minutes or until the sauce thickens and clings to the pasta. Add small amounts of the reserved pasta water to thin as needed. 
    7. To finish this dish, garnish it with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and a sprinkle of parsley.


Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your taste. You can adjust the amount of pumpkin puree for a stronger or milder pumpkin flavor or experiment with different pasta shapes, as mentioned in the frequently asked question.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 868mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 21g

The calorie and nutrition information provided with our recipes is intended to be an estimate based on commonly used ingredients and serving sizes. However, individual nutritional needs may vary, and the actual values can depend on factors such as specific brands of ingredients, preparation methods, and portion sizes. Please use these figures as estimates.

Tell Me: What did your family think of this recipe?

Published September 09, 2023 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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