Pumpkin Pasta Bake

BY : PUBLISHED : October 27th, 2021 UPDATED: August 5th, 2022

This Pumpkin Pasta Bake is a belly-filling dish made of tender pasta tossed into a pumpkin-infused herb sauce. It is topped with a vegan buttery crumb and baked to golden perfection. This lightened-up vegan pasta recipe is great to enjoy all year round but is especially good during the fall season.

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completed vegan pasta bake in a white dish with utensils in the dish

I've had this recipe posted for quite a while now, and it is always a big hit every time the fall season comes in! Which is not surprising at all because who can resist using pumpkin in anything we can get our hands on, right? This luscious pumpkin pasta sauce is no exception. The delicious roux-based sauce is a mix of delicately sweet pumpkin puree, garlic, and sage leaves - an earthy herb with hints of mint, pine, and citrus. It is topped with a bread crumb mix before baking, giving the dish a buttery and crunchy top layer. And best of all, it is so easy to make, budget-friendly and is customizable too.

Why You’ll love this Pumpkin Pasta Bake

  • Quick and easy.  You can have this ready to bake in just 20 minutes (less if you are using pre-cooked pasta). The rest of the time is just waiting for the oven to do its job.
  • Reheats beautifully. This dish gets better as it ages! Reheating it after a day or two will bring you more amazing flavors. So make enough to enjoy now and leave plenty for later.
  • Make-ahead. This pumpkin pasta dish can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated overnight. Do everything except the baking part, then pop it in the oven 20 minutes before dinnertime, and you are good to go.
  • A Fall comfort food. Since this recipe uses pumpkin puree, you can enjoy this cozy and heart-warming dish any time of the year!

Ingredients Used to Make Pumpkin Pasta Bake

  • Pasta - Campanelle is my preferred pasta for this recipe. However, you can use penne, rotini, ziti, or any medium-sized pasta will do. The curly ones are better as they are designed to allow the sauces to cling more to their nooks.
  • Roux - A combination of vegan butter and all-purpose flour is a great base for making thick sauces.
  • Garlic - will give the pasta sauce a sharp and savory taste.
  • Sage leaves - You can use either fresh or dried ones. This aromatic herb will add so many flavor nuances to the pasta sauce.
  • Vegetable broth - Because the pumpkin can make the sauce fairly thick, this will thin it to the proper consistency. Adjust the sauce thickness to your liking.
  • Pumpkin puree - You can make this from scratch or use store-bought puree. Canned pumpkins can come in handy and are well priced during the fall season.
  • Panko bread crumbs - Flaky bread crumbs for that crunchy topping to add texture to this baked pumpkin pasta.
  • Salt and pepper - to taste

Pumpkin Pasta Bake Ingredients against a white surface

How to Make It

Preparations:

  • Preheat the oven. Set the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Boil water and follow the package instructions in cooking your pasta.

Steps:

  • Make the sauce. In a large saucepan, melt vegan butter over medium-low heat, then sprinkle in flour. Continue stirring until it turns brown/gold in color. Add minced garlic and sage and cook for a minute. Slowly add vegetable broth and whisk until you get a thick consistency. Turn off the heat, then add pumpkin puree. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

process showing ingredients next to a black pan proces showing the mixing of ingredients in a black pan with a whiskproces showing the mixing of ingredients in a black panproces showing the mixing of ingredients in a black pan process showing Pumpkin Pasta Bake ingredients next to filled black pan process showing Pumpkin Pasta Bake sauce in a black pan

  • Assemble. Mix cooked pasta and sauce. Add a splash of veggie stock or water if the pasta looks dry.

process showing Pumpkin Pasta Bake sauce in a bowl and pasta in another bowl process showing Pumpkin Pasta Bake with ingredients being added to the pasta in a white bowl

  • Make the Topping. Add panko bread crumbs to the melted vegan butter and stir until well coated. Sprinkle over pasta.

process showing Pumpkin Pasta Bake ingredients next to a black dishprocess showing Pumpkin Pasta Bake with the addition of the ingredients onto the pasta

  • Bake. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Recipe Tips

  • Boil the pasta until al dente. If the package instruction does not specify how long the boiling time for al dente is, take off 2 minutes from total cook time.
  • Check your seasoning. Before putting your pasta bake in the oven, make sure everything is well seasoned. Remember to use salted water for your pasta and season your sauce as needed.
  • Let your pasta bake rest before serving. I understand how tempting it is to eat it right out of the oven. However, it's important to wait 5-10 minutes for the pasta to firm up, making it easier to serve and eat.

Pumpkin Pasta Bake Possible Add-ons

  • Add some vegan cheese on top to make it even more comforting and delicious.  Place the oven to broil for the last few minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Make it healthier and more nutritious by adding extra greens of your choice like spinach, kale, collard, or arugula.
  • If you want that extra kick, sprinkle some red pepper flakes before serving.
  • Add some spices like rosemary, thyme, or basil if you prefer more flavors.

completed vegan pasta bake in a white dish with utensils in the dish

Storing Tips:

  • Fridge. For making ahead and for leftovers, simply place in an airtight container or cover dish with foil and store for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer. Put it in a freezer-safe container and make sure to consume it within 3 months. Label the container with the storage date to make sure you know until when it should last.
  • Reheat -  If the pasta bake is frozen, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge or a few hours at room temperature. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Reheat single servings in the microwave with a splash of vegetable broth to keep it from drying out.

Frequently Asked Questions for Pumpkin Pasta Bake

  1. Can I make this with butternut squash puree? Absolutely. Butternut squash is a delicious and healthy substitute for pumpkin puree. Use cooked butternut squash puree instead of pumpkin puree if you have it.
  2. Can I make this with fresh pumpkin? The fresh pumpkin should work in this recipe, but it must be cooked and pureed first.
  3. Can you bake pasta with a cover? You'll want to bake the pasta uncovered to prevent it from steaming, which eventually can make the pasta soggy. Baking it uncovered also ensures that you get that crispy golden crust that will add texture and flavor to your dish.

completed vegan pasta bake in a white dish

Other Pumpkin Recipes to Try!

  1. Vegan Pumpkin Oats. Brimming with all the amazing fall flavors for your healthy morning treat.
  2. Pumpkin Muffins. These pumpkin muffins will satisfy your pumpkin cravings on cool autumn mornings and lunchtime snacks.
  3. One-Pot Pumpkin Chili | Budget-Friendly Dinner. Super high in protein and fiber to warm you up during this fall season.

We also have 24 Easy Vegan Canned Pumpkin Recipes you might like to try as well!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed vegan pasta bake in a white dish with utensils in the dish

Pumpkin Pasta Bake

David Sterkel
This Pumpkin Pasta Bake is a belly-filling dish made of tender pasta tossed into a pumpkin-infused herb sauce. It is topped with a vegan buttery crumb and baked to golden perfection. This lightened-up vegan pasta recipe is great to enjoy all year round but is especially good during the fall season.
4.98 from 43 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 462 kcal
METHOD Stove and Oven
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package pasta 1-pound
  • ¼ cup vegan butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 pieces fresh sage leaves minced (or 1 teaspoon of dried leaves)
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions and set aside when finished.
  • While pasta is cooking, vegan butter in a large saucepan, over medium-low heat. Once it is melted, sprinkle in flour.
  • Cook butter-flour mixture until it begins to turn gold, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Once it begins to change color, add minced garlic and sage and cook one minute more, while stirring.
  • Whisking constantly and quickly, slowly add vegetable broth. Continue whisking, raise heat to medium-high and cook until mixture is boiling and thick.
  • Turn the heat off. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until smooth. Check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Combine the cooked pasta and sauce and toss to coat. Pour the pasta into 2 ½ qt. baking dish. If pasta looks dry, pour another ¼ - ½ C. stock or water over the top and stir. Set aside.
  • In a medium pan, melt 2 T. butter. Add panko bread crumbs and stir until coated. Remove from heat and sprinkle over pasta.
  • Bake pasta 20-25 minutes, or until panko topping is golden-brown.

Notes

  • Boil the pasta until al dente. If the package instruction does not specify how long the boiling time for al dente is, take off 2 minutes from total cook time.
  • Check your seasoning. Before putting your pasta bake in the oven, make sure everything is well seasoned. Remember to use salted water for your pasta and season your sauce as needed.
  • Let your pasta bake rest before serving. I understand how tempting it is to eat it right out of the oven. However, it’s important to wait 5-10 minutes for the pasta to firm up, making it easier to serve and eat.

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 12gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 605mgPotassium: 290mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 7069IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Honor

Loves baking, gardening and preparing delicious, compassionate meals for her vegan family of four.

View all posts by Honor

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Katie says

    5 stars
    This pumpkin pasta bake is the perfect easy fall dinner recipe! It's healthy and so delicious!

    • Andrea White says

      Gotta love the easy ones! I'm excited to add this one to the rotation this fall!

  2. Natalie says

    5 stars
    Loved your pumpkin pasta recipe. It was even better in the evening, yum! Thanks!

    • Andrea White says

      The flavor comes out so nicely! Perfect for a fall dinner 🙂

  3. Jess says

    5 stars
    This recipe is so delish and perfect for fall!

    • Andrea White says

      Agreed! Such a fun pumpkin-flavored dish!

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