Category Archives: Sauce

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

This savory pumpkin recipe pairs pumpkin with hints of garlic and thyme for a delicious pumpkin pasta sauce. Enjoy it with pasta or veggie noodles for a healthy comfort food dinner.

An ivory rustic, ceramic bowl with spiral shaped pasta tossed in pumpkin pasta sauce and garnished with parsley.

This post may contain affiliate links.

If y’all recall, it’s pumpkin palooza week here on NTF! A couple of days ago I shared a simple pumpkin chia pudding recipe that my family has been loving for yummy, easy snacking! Yesterday we did a deep dive into the nutrition and health information on all things pumpkin. Today? We’re switching gears and going in a more savory direction with this pumpkin pasta sauce.

A glass jar of pumpkin pasta sauce on a marble surface against a white and blue broad striped kitchen towel.

How to Make Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

To make these pumpkin pasta sauce, you need the following ingredients:

  • 100% pumpkin puree
  • Yellow or sweet onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Dried thyme
  • Broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dice the onion and then saute in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until onions are starting to caramelize and turning a light golden brown (you can certainly caramelize them much longer for even greater depth of flavor!). Add minced onion and thyme and saute briefly.

Combine caramelized onions and pumpkin puree in a blender with the broth. Puree briefly until a smooth sauce forms.

Then just season the pumpkin sauce to taste. I typically add a generous pinch of black pepper and a small pinch of salt if I’m using an unsalted broth. Salt can totally elevate flavors in our meals, but we want to be cautious of using too much from a nutrition standpoint.

That’s it! From there you can combine your sauce with your favorite noodle or veggie noodle of choice! Or you can even make an autumn lasagna using this instead of tomato sauce, or even use it as a sauce for autumnal enchiladas with black beans, kale, sweet potato, mushrooms, etc.

An up-close shot of spiral-shaped pasta tossed in pumpkin pasta sauce garnished with green parsley.

Nutritional Highlights of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a pretty awesome little fruit – yup, that’s right! Pumpkins have seeds, so technically they’re botanically a fruit, although nutritionally they’re more like a vegetable. They’re packed with vitamins A, E, C, K, folate, iron, and fiber which can provide health benefits like improved immunity, lessened risk of certain cancers, better eye health, improved skin health, protect heart health, and more.

Check out this pumpkin nutrition post to get a deep dive in all things pumpkin nutrition, health benefits, side effects, how to cook it, and how to freeze pumpkin.

Part of Easy, Balanced Meal Solutions

A 3-compartment glass meal prep container featuring pumpkin pasta, grilled chicken tenderloins, and steamed spinach.

I find some of my nutrition coaching clients can get a little apprehensive about pasta, wondering how it (as one of their favorite foods!) can fit into a balanced diet. If you’re unfamiliar with my nutrition philosophy, I believe in lots of micronutrient-rich, nourishing foods, including more produce (like the pumpkin in my pasta sauce!). But I also believe in sustainable lifestyle habits, and if you love pasta, it can absolutely be a part of your life.

We often like a legume-based pasta, as they typically provide a decent amount of fiber and protein for a pasta. If you eat gluten (there’s nothing wrong with it if your body tolerates it!), you can also use whole wheat pastas. You can also use veggie noodles (like zoodles, or zucchini noodles), or a mix a both of both zoodles and regular pasta.

Here we tried Modern Table pasta and actually REALLY enjoyed it! Plus the spiral shapes were a big hit with even the baby. 😉

You can also just focus on pairing your pasta as part of a balanced meal, like in the meal prepped lunch I showed above with leftover pumpkin pasta, leftover grilled chicken tenderloins, and some steamed spinach with a little squeeze of lemon.

More Pumpkin Recipes

For more pumpkin fun, check out these additional pumpkin recipes:

If you like this recipe be sure to comment and rate it below and share on PinterestInstagram, and Facebook. Live well!

An ivory rustic, ceramic bowl with spiral shaped pasta tossed in pumpkin pasta sauce and garnished with parsley.

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Course: Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 37 kcal
Author: Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN

This simple pasta sauce requires just five ingredients for a plant-based, flavorful fall sauce with notes of thyme, garlic, and caramelized onion.

free from: gluten/ wheat, soy, egg, dairy, fish/ shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow or sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup unsalted or low sodium vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and caramelize until lightly golden brown (about 9-10 minutes) stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and thyme and saute 1-2 minutes.

  2. Combine caramelized onions, pumpkin, and broth in blender. Starting at low speed and increasing to high, blend 30-60 seconds or until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I always add a pinch of black pepper and typically a pinch of salt when I use unsalted broth).

  3. Enjoy this pasta over your noodles or vegetable "noodles" of choice! I find this to be the perfect amount of sauce for 16 ounces of pasta, but use as much or as little as you prefer. The sauce freezes well, so you can freeze half for another meal later.

Recipe Notes

The recipe makes 8 servings. One serving is a heaping quarter cup, and what I find to be a good amount for a two ounce serving of pasta.

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 37 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 9mg0%
Potassium 102mg3%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 4766IU95%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Text graphic that says, "Make this recipe? Tag @nutritiontofit on Instagram and use the hashtag #nutritiontofit."

Pinterest image of an ivory shallow bowl of pumpkin sauce coated pasta spirals with text A glass jar of pumpkin pasta sauce with text saying "pumpkin pasta sauce" Pinterest image of up close spiral pasta noodles covered in pumpkin pasta sauce with green parsley and descriptive text.

Easy Chia Jam

Easy Chia Jam

Chia jam so easy you need just ten minutes and two ingredients. It makes a nutrient-dense, flavorful addition to parfaits, oatmeal, toast, and more! Homemade jam sounds kinda daunting, and chia jam just sounds…weird. And still daunting. But it absolutely is such a low-maintenance recipe – even your kids can help! In fact, I’d recommend… Continue Reading

Healthy Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Healthy Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

This easy homemade honey mustard salad dressing is delicious, healthy, and beyond simple with just three ingredients. It pairs great with salads, grain bowls, and family-friendly chicken tenders! Have y’all ever heard of a restaurant called PDQ? It’s kind of a fast food/ fast casual hybrid (think: feels closer to Chipotle in atmosphere than McDonald’s).… Continue Reading

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Healthy sweet and sour chicken is a much healthier easy homemade dinner when takeout cravings strike. It’s a great recipe for both meal prep and busy weeknight dinners! Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken As you saw in my last no bake peanut butter energy balls post, life has been a bit busy since we welcomed… Continue Reading

Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Garlic Ginger Sauce

Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Garlic Ginger Sauce

Easy chicken stir fry with garlic ginger sauce is a simple, healthy meal that can be made on a busy weeknight or easily added to your meal prep rotation. As a dietitian, one of the most frequently discussed topics with my clients is how to make easy, healthy dinners that are uncomplicated and perfect for… Continue Reading

Grilled Watermelon Skewers with Yogurt Lime Sauce

Grilled Watermelon Skewers with Yogurt Lime Sauce

Grilled fruit is the perfect summer dessert and these grilled watermelon skewers with yogurt lime sauce are no exception. Simple, fast, and full of flavor, grilled watermelon skewers are a great way to make a healthy grilled dessert the whole family will enjoy. Grilled fruit is one of the quintessential summer desserts. While there are… Continue Reading

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cilantro lime dressing is a flavor-packed healthy salad dressing that needs just a handful of simple ingredients. Let me preface this by saying I know – cilantro is super polarizing. If you’re not a cilantro fan, go ahead and skip this cilantro lime dressing recipe. May I suggest making these more universally appealing oatmeal banana… Continue Reading

5-Minute Avo Green Sauce

5-Minute Avo Green Sauce

This 5-Minute Avo Green Sauce is a simple, bright sauce you can use on pasta, burrito bowls, salads, sandwiches, and more. The base recipe just needs avocado, leafy greens, and citrus! It’s vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of all of the most common top 8 food allergens. Happy Friday, friends! How’s your week been? For… Continue Reading

Hasselback Baby Potatoes with Orange Basil Pesto

Hasselback Baby Potatoes with Orange Basil Pesto

Hasselback Baby Potatoes with Orange Basil Pesto are a sophisticated, flavorful, fresh, yet simple side dish. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and vegan. It’s the week of Valentine’s recipes to take you from dinner to dessert for a romantic, homebody date night in. A couple days ago I shared with you guys one of my… Continue Reading

Salted Caramel Honeycrisp Apple Butter

Salted Caramel Honeycrisp Apple Butter

Salted Caramel Honeycrisp Apple Butter tastes like caramel sauce drizzled over apple pie. It’s totally plant-based, dairy-free, and entirely fruit-sweetened with zero added sugar! This post contains affiliate links. Hiiii and get ready for some yummmm! Let me introduce you to Salted Caramel Honeycrisp Apple Butter: aka the apple butter my family is obsessed with.… Continue Reading

Welcome to Nutrition to Fit - I'm SO glad you're here! NTF is about easy recipes (that don't sacrifice flavor or nutrition) and simple nutrition strategies for small, consistent habits that help you meet your goals. I know the wellness world can be confusing and overwhelming, so I'm here to help you find health and nutrition to fit your life!

Popular Posts