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Pumpkin Sausage Pasta with Spinach

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Pumpkin Sausage Pasta is the perfect pasta dinner recipe for fall! Sweet Italian sausage and noodles are mixed in with a cheesy, creamy pumpkin sauce that is the definition of comforting!

A bowl of pumpkin sausage pasta.

This Pumpkin Sausage Pasta is Divine!

Saying goodbye to summer can be bittersweet, but here’s the upside: You get to start making fall comfort food again! There are a number of different recipes that you could choose to celebrate fall with, but my mission today is to convince you to pick this Creamy Pumpkin Sausage Pasta. It. Is. Fabulous. And to those of you who “don’t like pumpkin”, DON’T WORRY! The pumpkin in this recipe makes things creamy and delicious, while not being pumpkin-y. Trust my kids on this one!

Rigatoni noodles and crumbled Italian sausage are combined with fresh spinach, canned pumpkin, and more, and tossed in a decadent cream sauce. Oh, and then all of that is topped with grated Parmesan cheese. Because (life tip) cheese makes everything better.

So, if you’re looking for an opportunity to spice up your weekly pasta dinner, here’s a golden one. ‘Tis the season of all things pumpkin, after all.

What Makes this Recipe So Good?

How much time do you have?

Just kidding, just kidding. I’ll boil down my pumpkin-sausage-pasta-loving-spiel down to three main points so that you don’t have to be here reading all day:

  • It’s Easy: All you have to do is cook some veggies, sauté some sausage, and boil some pasta. I can’t say that it’s an easy one-pan recipe because technically you need two (a skillet for the sauce and a pot for the pasta), but I can say it’s a super simple skillet recipe!
  • It’s Flavorful: There’s sweet sausage, spicy red pepper flakes, rich pumpkin undertones, savory seasoning, etc. If you like your pasta dinners to be even more complex flavor-wise, feel free to add in more spices of your choosing.
  • It’s Perfect for Fall: This sausage pasta recipe is a great option if you’re throwing a fall dinner party. It’s festive, totally comforting, and it presents really nicely, too!
Ingredients for pumpkin sausage pasta.

Recipe Ingredients

Alright, so by now I suppose you’ve gathered that you’ll need some sausage and noodles, but there are a few other things to round up for this pumpkin sausage pasta too:

  • Olive Oil: For sautéing the onion and sausage in.
  • Onion: I used a diced yellow onion for this recipe.
  • Sausage: I like sweet Italian sausage in this pasta dinner, but feel free to switch it up.
  • Seasoning/Spices: Combine minced garlic, ground sage, kosher salt, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, and ground nutmeg.
  • Chicken Stock: This will be the base for the cream sauce.
  • White Wine: Dry white wine is best – try not to use a sweet wine.
  • Canned Pumpkin: It can’t be a pumpkin cream sauce without pumpkin!
  • Heavy Cream: To thicken up the sauce/add some richness. You can use milk instead if you want to lighten things up a little.
  • Pasta: I like to use rigatoni pasta, but use whatever small-medium sized pasta you’ve got on hand.
  • Spinach: Fresh spinach adds a little color, plus it’s healthy. 🙂
  • Cheese: Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese adds great flavor to the sauce, plus it’s perfect for garnish.

How to Make Pumpkin Sausage Pasta

  1. Sometimes on hectic weeknights I’m tempted to default to spaghetti and meatballs because it’s simple, still comforting, and I know everyone will devour it. But, this pumpkin sausage pasta really doesn’t take much more than half an hour to make, so keep it in your back pocket for busy weeknights too! Here’s how it all comes together:
  2. Sauté the Onions: To start, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook them until they start to soften. Mix in the Italian sausage and cook until no pink remains. Then, add in the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
  3. Add the Spices: Season the meat mixture with the sage, salt, pepper, red pepper, and nutmeg.
  4. Make the Sauce: Pour in the chicken stock, wine, pumpkin, and cream, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  5. Make the Pasta: While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.
  6. Add in the Spinach and Cheese: Stir the spinach into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes, until wilted. Add in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Serve warm with more cheese if desired.
Rigatoni in a cream sauce with spinach and sausage.

Tips for Success:

Simple, yet so flavorful. Anyway, before you get started, here are some pumpkin-sausage-pasta making tips:

  • Can I Use Fresh Pumpkin? Sure! It’s a bit of extra work because you’ll have to boil and mash the pumpkin, but if you’ve got the time, go for it.
  • Sausage Substitutions: You can use Italian sausage, other kinds of ground sausage, ground turkey, etc. Pick your favorite! If you want to make this a vegetarian meal and omit the sausage entirely, that works too.
  • Add in More Vegetables: I generally just leave it at spinach, but you could throw in chopped zucchini, peas, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc.
  • Can I Make this Ahead? Definitely. I find that this meal turns out best when you refrigerate the sauce/meat mixture and the pasta separately, and then combine them when you’re ready to eat the dinner.
Noodles with sausage and spinach in a pumpkin cream sauce.

Serving Suggestions

What goes with pumpkin sausage pasta? Good question. It’s a pretty hearty/filling dinner, but here are a few small suggestions:

  • Salad: A simple salad is easy, healthy, and it goes with everything – this pasta dinner included.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Another healthy option. Roasted asparagus and squash in particular go great with this meal.
  • Crusty Bread: Any time you’ve got a killer cream sauce like this one, bread is always a must. Whip up some garlic bread, toast slices of French bread, etc. Whatever works best!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Keep any leftover sausage and pasta in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. To reheat, simply warm the pasta in a skillet over medium heat. You might want to add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick.

More Pumpkin Recipes to Try:

Looking for more easy pumpkin recipes to try this fall? Check out these ones:

Print

Creamy Pumpkin Sausage Pasta

A bowl of pumpkin sausage pasta.

Description:

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta is the perfect pasta dinner recipe for fall! Sweet Italian sausage and noodles are mixed in with a cheesy, creamy pumpkin sauce that is the definition of comforting!


Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add in the Italian sausage and cook until no pink remains. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Season the meat mixture with the sage, salt, pepper, red pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Add in the chicken stock, wine, pumpkin, and cream and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.
  5. Stir the spinach into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes, until wilted. Add in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and stir to combine.
  6. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Serve warm with more cheese if desired.

Notes:

  • Can I Use Fresh Pumpkin? Sure! It’s a bit of extra work because you’ll have to boil and mash the pumpkin, but if you’ve got the time, go for it.
  • Sausage Substitutions: You can use Italian sausage, other kinds of ground sausage, ground turkey, etc. Pick your favorite! If you want to make this a vegetarian meal and omit the sausage entirely, that works too.
  • Add in More Vegetables: I generally just leave it at spinach, but you could throw in chopped zucchini, peas, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc.
  • Can I Make this Ahead? Definitely. I find that this meal turns out best when you refrigerate the sauce/meat mixture and the pasta separately, and then combine them when you’re ready to eat the dinner.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. 

Keywords:: pumpkin pasta, creamy sausage pasta

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