Our creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Italian sausage and fresh sage is pure, seasonal comfort food. This easy weeknight dinner recipe is ready in 30 minutes and always disappears!
When the weather turns cooler, we all start craving comfort food, preferably food that can be on the table ASAP.
If the only pumpkin recipes you think of are Thanksgiving related, we have an easy weeknight dinner recipe that will give you a new way to look at pumpkin from now on with this Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce.
Why this recipe is unique
- Pumpkin recipes don't have to be sweet! Zippy Italian sausage, a creamy pumpkin sauce and fragrant fresh sage ensure this pasta dinner is packed with
- savory, crave-able flavors.
- Pasta is always a fan favorite and this homey pasta recipe only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish - perfect for busy weeknights and chilly fall evenings.
- Easy to make it alcohol-free by swapping the wine for extra chicken stock.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the ingredient list. Almost everything is a pantry staple that you probably have on hand. A few ingredient notes:
A few ingredient notes:
- Pasta - I like medium-sized pasta for this recipe because I feel it works well with the sausage chunks but any pasta shape will work just fine.
- Italian sausage - Want a little kick? Go for spicy or hot sausage. Prefer a more family-friendly vibe? Choose mild Italian sausage.
- White wine - I used a Washington Pinot Gris. Opt for a drier wine instead of a sweeter one.
- Chicken stock or chicken broth may be used.
- Pure canned pumpkin puree is the only option. Do NOT use pumpkin pie filling (it has spices and is pre-sweetened for use in pies).
Brown sausage with onion and garlic. Add wine (or extra chicken stock), sage and bay leaf. Cook until wine is reduced by about half.
Stir in stock, pumpkin and cream. Season sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Step 3: Add pasta to pot with pumpkin pasta sauce and stir to combine.
Tip: Don’t feel like doing extra dishes tonight? Cook the pasta in the same pot before starting the sausage!
Yes, but I recommend making the sauce and the pasta separately and combining when you are ready to eat so the cooked pasta doesn’t absorb all of the sauce as it sits. Just before serving, gently warm the sauce, add the cooked pasta and heat through.
Add an equal amount of chicken stock in place of the wine. Reduce extra stock just as you would wine as directed in the recipe.
Rinse the hot cooked pasta with cold water and let drain well. Place cooked pasta in an airtight container and drizzle with olive oil. Stir to coat and refrigerate. Plain cooked pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
A killer salad is a must with this pasta recipe. A few of our favorites are this Arugula Salad with roasted grapes and feta cheese as well as this Pear Salad with candied nuts and a maple vinaigrette.
And don't forget dessert! Whip up a batch of these Baked S'mores Bars to nosh on after dinner all week long!
Expert tips for making pumpkin pasta sauce
✘ A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is the only garnish needed for this recipe.
✘ No pumpkin? You can seamlessly substitute butternut squash puree instead.
✘ Half and half can be used instead of heavy cream. You can also use whole milk, but the sauce will not be as creamy.
✘ Avoiding alcohol? Use chicken stock instead and reduce just like you would wine.
✘ Cook the pasta ahead of time and store it plain in the fridge with just a light drizzle of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
✘ Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More easy dinner recipes
And don’t forget to check out all of our main dish recipes for more dinnertime inspiration!
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Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Sausage & Sage
- 1 pound medium-shaped pasta
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, mild or hot
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf, dried
- ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.1 pound medium-shaped pasta
- Meanwhile brown sausage in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for another 3 minutes. Add bay leaf, sage and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 10 minutes.1 pound bulk Italian sausage,, 4 cloves garlic,, 1 medium onion,, 1 bay leaf,, ¼ cup chopped fresh sage, 1 cup dry white wine
- Stir in chicken stock, pumpkin and cream until sauce is thoroughly combined. Season with nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer sauce for 5-10 minutes.1 cup chicken stock, 1 cup pumpkin puree, ½ cup heavy cream, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, Salt and pepper
- Add cooked pasta to the sausage sauce and heat through. Remove bay leaf.
- Top with parmesan cheese and serve warm.Parmesan cheese,
- You'll find canned pumpkin puree in the baking aisle. Just be sure to grab the plain canned pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- Butternut squash puree can also be used instead of pumpkin puree.
- Half and half an be used instead of heavy cream. You can also use whole milk, but the sauce will not be as creamy.
- Avoiding alcohol? Use chicken stock instead of white wine.
- Make ahead tips: Cook the pasta ahead of time and store it plain in the fridge with just a light drizzle of olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Make the sauce separately and refrigerate. Warm the sauce in a large pot when ready to serve and toss in pasta. Heat through.
- This recipe was adapted from Food Network.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.