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Nothing screams Fall more than this Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce!
There is just something so cozy and comforting about this irresistibly creamy and indulgent pasta. It’s filled with warm spices, fresh sage, just the right amount of pumpkin-y flavor and Parmesan cheese.
I feel like once Starbucks launches their seasonal pumpkin spice latte in August, it’s acceptable to start posting and eating pumpkin-filled treats and savory pumpkin filled meals like this Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce.
You only need 1 cup of the canned pumpkin for this recipe, so you’ll have some leftover pumpkin puree needing to be used up. Put that leftover pumpkin to use and try my pumpkin pie overnight oats recipe, pumpkin french toast casserole, or my pumpkin pie smoothie.
Why this recipe works:
- It’s ultra creamy and cozy
- An easy meal to get you in the Fall mood
- Great with any pasta shape
- A great change up from regular Alfredo pasta.
- Has big bold Fall flavors that you’ll love!
For the ingredient measurements and entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.
- Fresh sage and rosemary: the fresh herbs really set this pasta sauce apart! I don’t recommend using dried, it won’t give the sauce the big flavors it needs.
- Pasta: This Pumpkin Alfredo works really well with most pasta shapes. Ravioli, like shown in the photos here, works well or you can use rotini, fettuccine, rigatoni, elbow, penne, etc.
- Pumpkin: be sure to use 100% pure canned pumpkin puree, and not the pumpkin pie filling.
- Heavy cream: the heavy cream is key to giving the sauce it’s luxuriously rich and creamy texture. I have not tested this recipe with any other option.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg: give this Fall meal warmth and cozy vibes. And it compliments the pumpkin well.
- Parmesan cheese: fresh Parm is a must! I like using a microplane to get the fine shreds of parmesan cheese that just melt right into the sauce.
Step by Step Directions
For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.
- Cook pasta of choice.
- Fry the sage leaves.
- Bring together the sauce: whisk the flour into the nutty-brown butter.
- Add the garlic and then whisk in the cream, milk and herbs. Simmer until thickened.
- Add in the spices and pumpkin. Whisk until smooth then add in the cheese.
- Serve over pasta and garnish with sage.
Expert Tips and Variations
- Add bacon 🥓 or pancetta on top for extra yummy-ness (this is how I serve my pumpkin mac and cheese and it’s the best combo!)
- If your Alfredo sauce is too thin, be sure to reserve some of the starchy pasta water so you can add a splash to thin it out. If you forgot to reserve some of the pasta water, a splash of milk will do the trick too!
- Cook the pasta until al-dente so it doesn’t get mushy when mixed with the Alfredo.
- When you fry the sage leaves, the butter will begin to brown. This is perfect! Hello nutty brown butter deliciousness. Just be careful and don’t let it start to burn, be sure to whisk in the flour to make the roux before that happens. 👍🏼
- Use whatever pasta shape you like! Works well with most shapes.
- Use a whisk: be sure to whisk, rather than stir with a spoon, when making your sauce to keep ingredients from separating or getting lumpy.
- Make and serve right away: the sauce gets thick as it sits, so be sure to serve the pasta straight away.
- Use fresh, high quality ingredients for best flavor. (fresh Parmesan grated off the block, fresh herbs)
- This pasta would be great served with chicken, fish, tofu, or steak!
- Feel free to use asiago or Pecorino Romano instead of Parmesan cheese.
How long does Pumpkin Alfredo last?
The sauce will last up to 3-4 days in the fridge in an air-tight container. If you plan to have leftovers, I recommend keeping the sauce separate from the pasta.
How should I reheat leftovers?
You can thin out the sauce with a little water or milk when reheating on the stove top or in the microwave.
Why is my Alfredo sauce so thick?
It thickens as it cools. Be sure to reserve some starchy pasta water to thin it out or add a splash of milk and whisk it in to thin the sauce out again over medium-low heat.
Can I freeze the sauce?
I haven’t tried freezing this sauce personally, but it could work! Just be sure to let it cool completely and then maybe freeze in something like these souper cubes to make it convenient when you want to thaw the sauce.
Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 15-20 fresh sage leaves, plus 2 tsp. finely chopped sage
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. crushed garlic
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 cup canned 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated (I used a microplane)
- 1 lb. pasta of choice, cooked
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta of choice according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water. Drain and set aside.
- Fry the sage leaves: melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 15-20 whole fresh sage leaves to the melted butter and fry for about 1 minute, flip and continue to cook for another minute.
- Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. (Butter will begin to brown a little, that’s perfect!)
- Add the flour and whisk together to make a roux. Add in garlic and stir for ~20 seconds or until fragrant and combined.
- Whisk in heavy cream, milk, chopped sage, and rosemary. Stir for ~3-4 minutes until thickened.
- Add in the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth. Add in the Parmesan cheese at the very end.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (Note: the sauce thickens as it cools. If your sauce is too thick you can add a splash of milk or some of the reserved pasta water from earlier).
- If serving right away, toss cooked pasta in the Alfredo sauce. Or feel free to keep the sauce and pasta separate and spoon over the pasta. Garnish with the fried sage leaves and more Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
- I love this pasta the day of, but if you have any leftovers they will last in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. If you plan to have leftovers, I’d recommend keeping the pasta and Alfredo separate so it doesn’t get clumpy. You can thin out the sauce with a little water or milk when reheating on the stove top or in the microwave.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Megan from The Broke Girl Table.