Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
with Toasted Walnuts and Spinach

 This 20-minute Pumpkin Pasta with Toasted Walnuts & Spinach is perfect for fall! This creamy pumpkin pasta with toasted walnuts and spinach dish is as flavorful as it is nutritious. Serve it for a fall dinner party or quick weeknight meal. 

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Overhead Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach in bowls with fork

I shared this creamy pumpkin pasta with a room full of people at my “all about pumpkin dem”o a couple weeks ago. Though they loved the smell of it, there were more than a few side eyes in the room. No one had used pumpkin in pasta before and let’s just say they were skeptical but curious. Well. It was a hit!

Most people said they couldn’t taste the pumpkin. And that’s not surprising. Pumpkin doesn’t have a strong flavor. The flavors we associate with pumpkin usually come from the spices paired with it. There is one major exception. Fresh pumpkin can be incredible when it’s roasted until it’s caramelized and sweet.

This 20-minute Pumpkin Pasta with Toasted Walnuts & Spinach is perfect for fall!Click To Tweet

That’s not what I’m using today. Maybe later. Today, I used leftover canned pumpkin to make a luscious, silky smooth pumpkin pasta sauce that’s full of nutrition. It’s got vitamin C, beta-carotene, and fiber which can help keep the immune system and your skin glowing as the weather starts to cool down.

You can use any pasta you’d like. For more protein and fiber but without changing the flavor of the dish too much, I suggest using chickpea pasta. I prefer it to whole wheat or some of the other “healthy” pasta options. If you’re living on the edge, boil some water and cook some old school, regular white pasta! I’m just being sarcastic. Use the pasta that works for you and your family. Just don’t overcook it.

Pumpkin Pasta with Toasted Walnuts and Spinach in bowls with two forks

For the sauce: sauté fresh garlic in olive oil just until fragrant. Add the other ingredients and let it simmer. I found that this sauce tastes better the longer it simmers. It tastes even better the next day, so it’s the perfect pumpkin pasta sauce for meal prep! I stored it in a mason jar and used it throughout the week. It also freezes well on its own.

Once the pumpkin sauce is ready,  add a couple large handfuls of baby spinach. Add in the pasta and heat the dish just until all are heated through and the spinach wilts.

Front view Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach in bowls with fork

Dish it up and top with roasted walnuts and grated Parmesan to make it pretty and to add extra flavor and texture. This pumpkin pasta dish would be an impressive vegetarian dish to serve at fall dinner parties but it’s also quick and easy enough for a fast weeknight meal. Kids and adults will both love it. It’s also a tasty way to use up any extra canned pumpkin you might have leftover. This recipe will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.

If you open up a new can of pumpkin for this recipe and need to use up the rest, here are a few tips for using up leftover pumpkin:

  1. Double this pumpkin pasta sauce recipe. I’m a huge fan of cooking (and cleaning) once and eating twice! You won’t regret having an extra batch of this sauce ready to go in a month.
  2. Make my easy homemade pumpkin spice granola!
  3. Stir extra pumpkin into oats or Greek yogurt.
  4. Feed the extra plain pumpkin to your pup. She will love it as is or mixed in with her regular food. My Biscuit loves it as a treat and it’s good for her digestion.

Try this nourishing recipe for yourself. Pin it for later and tag me on Instagram when you make it!

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5 from 7 votes
Overhead Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach in bowls with fork
Pumpkin Pasta with Toasted Walnuts and Spinach
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This 20-minute creamy pumpkin pasta with toasted walnuts and spinach dish is as flavorful and nutritious. Serve it for a fall dinner party or quick weeknight meal. 

Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin pasta
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 388 kcal
Author: Marisa Moore, RDN
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces shells or bowtie pasta
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (I used canned)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp half and half (Exclude for a vegan recipe.)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • Cracked black pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach, heaping
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • Parmesan cheese (Optional; Use crushed walnuts for a vegan recipe.)
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside but keep it warm.

  2. While the pasta cooks, bring a large skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil and minced garlic. Cook just until fragrant. Whisk in the tomato paste, pumpkin, and half and half. Add the vegetable broth. Stir and let cook on low about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the spinach. Cook until it lightly wilts.

  4. Stir in pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts and Parmesan, if desired and serve. 

Recipe Notes

Adjust the salt based on the broth you use. For example, if you are using a lower sodium broth, add salt to suit your taste!

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Pasta with Toasted Walnuts and Spinach
Amount Per Serving
Calories 388
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pumpkin Pasta with Toasted Walnuts and Spinach

This 20-minute pumpkin pasta with toasted walnuts and spinach dish is as flavorful as it is nutritious. Serve it for a fall dinner party or quick weeknight meal. #healthyfood #pumpkin #healthyrecipes #marisamoorenutrition #pastarecipes

15 Comments on Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
with Toasted Walnuts and Spinach

  1. Kelly Anthony
    September 25, 2018 at 9:09 AM (2 months ago)
    I've never tried pumpkin in pasta either but it looks so good. I have some leftover pumpkin in my fridge and I'm going to give this a try today. Thanks for sharing.
    Reply
    • Marisa
      September 25, 2018 at 9:51 AM (2 months ago)
      I tried it for the first time last year and I've been hooked ever since. Hope you fall in love with it too! Reply
    • Marisa
      September 25, 2018 at 9:50 AM (2 months ago)
      Yes. It's the best and ready in abot 20 minutes so there's also that! Reply
  2. Whitney
    September 25, 2018 at 9:34 AM (2 months ago)
    Oh my goodness, two of my favorite things in one! Love this idea!
    Reply
    • Marisa
      September 25, 2018 at 9:49 AM (2 months ago)
      haha! There's no way it could go wrong, right? Reply
  3. Bethany | A Simple Palate
    September 25, 2018 at 9:42 AM (2 months ago)
    oh my goodness- pumpkin pasta! Looks and sounds absolutely delicious and perfect for fall!
    Reply
    • Marisa
      September 25, 2018 at 9:48 AM (2 months ago)
      Bethany, It's so delicious! I've been loving it over the last couple weeks! Reply
  4. Eden | Sweet Tea and Thyme
    September 25, 2018 at 9:56 AM (2 months ago)
    This just screams fall and I just love all the different flavors you've put into it, Marisa!
    Reply
    • Marisa
      September 25, 2018 at 10:05 AM (2 months ago)
      Thanks, Eden! I'm loving it for fall too! Reply
  5. Courtney
    September 25, 2018 at 10:21 AM (2 months ago)
    Love this recipe, and that its on the table in 20 minutes!
    Reply
    • Marisa
      September 25, 2018 at 10:36 AM (2 months ago)
      Courtney, That might be the best part! So tasty! Reply
  6. Heidy L. McCallum
    September 25, 2018 at 10:51 AM (2 months ago)
    I have to say this recipe for Pumpkin Pasta is one of the best ones I have seen to date-- a MUST try ASAP!
    Reply
    • Marisa
      September 25, 2018 at 10:55 AM (2 months ago)
      Thanks, Heidy! I hope you get to try it. It's SO delicious and EASY! Reply

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