This Family-Favorite Pumpkin Pasta is a quick and easy dinner on a busy weeknight.
Family-Favorite Pumpkin Pasta
This easy and healthy Pumpkin Pasta is one of my families all-time favorite dinners! It can be made from scratch in only 15 minutes and with only 7 easy-to-find ingredients. Great for baby-led weaning, toddlers, picky-eaters, kids and adults alike! Can be made gluten-free or vegan!
If you want to go all-out and have a few extra minutes, you can make a fresh green salad for the adults and add some chopped veggies to your kid’s plates.
Reasons to Love this Pumpkin Pasta
- fast – can be made in 15 minutes
- easy – made with 7 easy-to-find ingredients
- great for any age – baby-led weaning, toddlers, picky eaters, kids and adults
- creamy and delicious
- leftovers are perfect for packed lunches
- sauce can be frozen to use at another meal
- simple and wholesome
Pumpkin Puree: for the star of this dish, I used canned pumpkin puree in this recipe, which makes for a super easy and fast meal. Just make sure you use the canned pumpkin puree without any extra ingredients in it. You can also use homemade pumpkin puree in this recipe if you prefer.
Tomato Paste: we are adding tomato paste to ground the pumpkin puree and to give it a slight tomato sauce taste, just enough for those picky eaters, but not enough to overpower the pumpkin flavor of this recipe.
Garlic: pasta is not pasta, without some garlic in it;). Fresh minced garlic is always preferred, but you can use a good quality brand of garlic powder if you prefer.
Cream or Coconut Milk: I have made this dish with heavy whipping cream, half and half and also canned coconut milk with similar results. This will add the creaminess and crave-worthiness to the sauce. Please don’t skip this ingredient, it really makes all the taste difference.
Chicken or Veggie Broth: you can use either one you prefer or have on hand. We are using this to thin out the pumpkin sauce and make it more creamy.
Nutmeg: we are adding just a pinch of nutmeg to give this dish a little earthiness and to ground the pumpkin.
Balsamic Vinegar: this is optional but highly recommended. I find that the balsamic vinegar balances out the sweetness from the pumpkin and the acidic taste from the tomato paste.
Pasta: you can use any pasta your family prefers – regular, gluten-free, lentil, chickpea, etc and in any shape you prefer. I would recommend a shape for baby, toddlers and small kids as they are easier to prick with a fork (or to eat with their hands).
How to Make this Pumpkin Pasta
Cook Pasta: bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta according to directions. This recipe calls for an entire pound of pasta, but you can cook less and then have leftover sauce, which you can use later in the week or freezer for another use. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water to use in the sauce.
Brown Garlic: in a large saucepan, gently cook the garlic in the olive oil for 1-2 minutes.
Add Ingredients: add in the pumpkin puree, tomato paste and broth and stir until combined. Drizzle in cream or canned coconut milk, balsamic vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir until well mixed.
Combine: toss the cooked pasta with the pumpkin sauce, adding the reserved pasta water if needed. I find that the reserved pasta water really makes the sauce thick and stick to the pasta.
Serve: serve to the family with a sprinkle of parmesan and enjoy!
More Family-Favorite Recipes
- Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Green Bean “Fries”
- Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Risotto
- Crispy Seasoned Fish with Pineapple & Avocado Chunks for Toddler + Kids
- Taco Tuesday for Baby + Toddler
- Mexican Sweet Potato Boats for Baby + Toddler
Family-Favorite Pumpkin Pasta
- 16 ounce pasta, regular, gluten-free, lentil, chickpea, etc. (any shape you like)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup veggie or chicken broth
- 3-4 tbsp cream or canned coconut milk
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- pinch nutmeg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil and cook pasta according to instrucitons on package. Before straining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan pour in the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 mintues, stirring often. Add in the pumpkin puree, tomato paste and broth and bring to a simmer, stir until combined. Reduce heat to low and add in the cream, balsamic vinegar, nutmeg and salt and pepper, stir and let simmer while pasta cooks.
- Strain pasta and transfer to saucpan of pumpkin sauce. Stir in the pasta, adding the reserved water in 1/4 cup increments to thin out the sauce. I used the entire 1 cup of water for the recipe in the pictures above.
- Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan (if using).