Holy cow it’s fall! Welcome fall and all things pumpkin! Including this dreamy Creamy Cheesy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta. I couldn’t deicide if I should name this “creamy vegan pumpkin pasta” or “vegan pumpkin mac’n’cheese,” and since the dish falls somewhere in the middle, I just went with Creamy Cheesy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta. I hope you’re okay with the title. I am. According to James ‘It’s not about the pasta’ anyways (…Vanderpump Rules reference anyone?)
Now let’s talk about this pasta. This Creamy Cheesy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta is lucious, healthful, dish bursting with warm flavors and nooshy goodness.
The deep umami flavor of the pumpkin puree is embellished a bit with aromatics like shallots and garlic, and punched up a notch with a bit of mustard, as well as some spices, like cayenne, cinnamon and paprika. If you’re feeling ambitious, feel free to steam or roast pumpkin or butternut squash, then cool it and puree. If using canned pumpkin is easier for you, that will work just fine.
Either way, you’ll be adding some beta-carotene and fiber-rich vegetable goodness to the base of your pasta, building a healthful, nourishing, and satiating plant-based meal.
If you don’t like any of the above mentioned spices, feel free to omit them. This pasta is fairly forgiving; as long as you have a good amount of salt, the pasta will taste delicious.
Now let’s chat about noodles for a hot second. You can use whatever noodles you like. I like Banza. I am not sponsored by Banza but give them lots of free press because I seriously adore their products.
This pasta was made with their gemelli variety. It was great. I adore bean pastas in general because I tend to prefer the texture over other noodles, and they are higher in protein and fiber, which I find to be a bit more satiating.
But use your noodle to pick your favorite noodle. If you’re gluten-free, use gluten-free noodles (PS: Banza is also gluten-free). You do you!
Please note that while preparing this recipe, you need to reserve some pasta water to help thin out the sauce. You’ll also notice that you can add as much or as little pasta water to the sauce as you desire, depending on how thick or thin you like your sauces.
I like them thick, so I add less. But maybe you like it thinner. You do you. And if you forget to save the pasta water, sub more unsweetened non-dairy milk. Just don’t use vanilla non-dairy milk. That might make things weird.
Paired with a salad or some roasted vegetables, this Creamy Cheesy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta is the perfect fall meal. I suggest sprinkling with extra nutritional yeast (aka love) or Vegan Hemp Parm before serving.
I hope you make this Creamy Cheesy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta and I hope you love it! If you do, give me a holler on Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. Have a good one! Millie loves you! And happy pumpkin season!
Creamy Cheesy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
Prep Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: ~2-3 entree servings, or ~4 sides
- 8 ounces cooked pasta (1 box, I used Banza)
- 1 tablespoon olive or other neutral oil, or non-dairy butter such as Earth balance
- 1 small shallot
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or fresh, can sub butternut squash puree)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or sub 3/4 teaspoon mustard powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t like spicy)
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup pasta water, depending on how thick or thin you like your sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Vegan Hemp Parm for serving (optional)
- Cook noodles to al dente according to directions on box. Reserve about 1 cup pasta water before draining. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, warm oil or vegan butter over medium heat. Dice shallot and mince garlic and add to warmed oil. Cook shallot and garlic over medium heat until shallot pieces are translucent and aromatic, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Add canned pumpkin to saucepan (if you only have a small saucepan, transfer shallots/onions to a large bowl before adding pumpkin). Stir. Add mustard, cayenne, paprika, cinnamon, and nutritional yeast to saucepan. Stir.
- Add non-dairy milk and stir. Add pasta water, a couple tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition, until desired sauce consistency is achieved. This may take anywhere from 1/3 cup to 3/4 cup pasta water, depending on how thick or thin you prefer your sauce.
- Add sauce to noodles and mix until noodles are evenly coated. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve immediately. Reserve leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
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- Easy Pesto Hummus Pasta
- Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Broccolini and Vegan Parm
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