Watch out fettuccine alfredo, here comes creamy Sausage Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce that's perfect for fall. A creamy sauce, rich with all the flavors of pumpkin and autumnal spices, an edge of earthiness from sage, and a toasted nutty flavor from browned butter. It's the perfect comfort food dinner that takes less than 30 minutes from prep to table.
This post has been sponsored by Minerva Dairy and its product line of the highest quality butters. The recipe and opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Yep, it's pumpkin season and I've baked just about everything with it. I've made cocktails, like my Pumpkin Spice White Russian, breakfasts like Pumpkin Pie Smoothies, and plenty of desserts but I've never made an actual meal out of it.
About this time you're thinking I've gone off the deep end. Pumpkin with pasta, no way! Yes way! This is one of the richest, creamiest sauces I have ever made and it's the true essence of a fall comfort food.
My husband wasn't so sure either when I told him what we were having for dinner. However, just one taste and he was over the moon about it, telling me I could fix this creamy pasta with pumpkin sauce any time I wanted. Score one for mama!
The sweet pumpkin butter, which is an absolute must for fall, is easy to make and acts as the rich base for the brown butter sauce. It helps create an almost alfredo-like sauce without the use of any cream. The autumnal spices in the butter bring the sauce home along with the savory flavor of sage and a kick of heat from cayenne pepper and hot Italian sausage.
The brown butter pumpkin sauce is a delicious sauce to make and freeze for the middle of winter. It will keep about 3 months in the freezer in an airtight container or, if meal prepping ahead of time, about 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Butter - this dish relies on the use a high quality, rich, creamy butter as a major flavor to the sauce. So start with one of the highest quality butters from Minerva Dairy. Their 85% butterfat unsalted butter turns into liquid gold when browned.
- Pumpkin Butter - is pure pumpkin, flavored with spices and a bit of sugar. This pumpkin butter gives the sauce a rich creaminess similar to a creamy alfredo without the cream.
- Garlic and onions - are used to flavor the brown butter. Shallots can also be used.
- Sage - use fresh sage rather than dried sage to get the freshest, earthiest flavor. This herb adds a savory depth to sauce in contrast to the sweeter pumpkin. Sage goes perfectly with anything pumpkin or squash-related and is usually readily available through fall and Thanksgiving.
- Cayenne Pepper - gives a little heat to the sauce. It complements the sweeter tones of the pumpkin without being obvious. Red pepper flakes are an alternative.
- Hot Italian Sausage - is totally optional but the spiciness of the sausage lends a heartiness to the dish and is the perfect contrast to the more mellow pumpkin. Mild sausage can also be used as well as chicken sausage, chicken apple sausage and smoked sausage.
- White Wine - is used to thin the pumpkin mixture and make it more saucy. Chicken broth, vegetable broth or pasta water can be used in its place.
- Pasta - any type of pasta will work for this pasta with pumpkin sauce recipe. I used penne but ziti, rotini, or fettucine as well as gnocchi or ravioli will work. Other options include gluten-free pasta or chickpea pasta.
This creamy sausage pasta with pumpkin sauce can be made any number of ways to suit your family.
Gluten-free - substitute gluten-free pasta for regular pasta. It's as easy as that.
Vegan - simply change out the butter for vegan butter and either omit the sausage or add mushrooms in its place.
Vegetable lovers - add spinach to the seasoned browned butter and garlic in the last minute and cook until spinach is wilted.
Herb Lovers - add a touch of rosemary to the sage for a more herbal-based sauce
Cheese Lovers - not only will parmesan enhance the dish after it is served but goat cheese mixed in at the end will create a creamier, richer sauce
Sauce with a crunch - garnish with roasted walnuts, hazelnuts, or pepitas
No pumpkin butter - Take the time to make it for the best results. Plus, you'll have some for breakfast in the morning. If you must, you can replace the pumpkin butter called for with 1 cup pumpkin puree, ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and about ⅛ cup apple cider. It won't be quite the same but similar.
How to Make Sausage Pumpkin Pasta
While making the sauce, cook the pasta and reserve some of the water if you are going to use it, in lieu of wine, to thin the pumpkin sauce. Pan fry or air fry the Italian sausage then slice. Put aside.
- Place butter in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until melted. The pan should be large enough to hold the cooked sausage and pasta when finished.
- Place the garlic, chopped onion, sage leaves and some salt and pepper into the melted butter.
- Bring to a boil then whisk continuously until the butter begins to brown. This should take between 5-8 minutes.
- Add pumpkin butter to browned butter and stir well.
- Add enough wine, chicken broth or leftover pasta water to the pumpkin mixture to make a nice creamy sauce.
- Stir until smooth and well incorporated.
- Pour the cooked pasta into the sauce.
- Add the cooked sliced Italian sausage.
- Stir to combine.
- Ready for serving. Doesn't that look simply divine?
Just look at that mouthwatering bite of sausage pasta with pumpkin sauce. It's a delicious, filling, satisfying fall dinner. It is best served with something light such as a tossed or Caesar salad. Of course, garlic bread is always a welcome addition.
I'm telling you if you're a pumpkin fan you've got to whip up this recipe and give it a try. I promise you'll fall in love after the first bite. Happy fall and enjoy!
More Comfort Food Recipes
Meatball Casserole - combines everyone's favorites, meatballs, pasta, cheese, and tomatoes, into a delicious casserole that goes together quickly and easily.
Turkey Tetrazzini - a perfect comfort food dinner made from leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken. Just toss pasta with turkey, mushrooms, and a rich cream sauce that's flavored with sherry, cheddar cheese, and bacon in a casserole dish and bake.
Chicken and Stuffing Casserole by The Seasoned Mom - Just 15 minutes of prep to this deliciously easy comfort food dish with rotisserie chicken, canned soups, and packaged stuffing.
Tuna Noodle Casserole - is a one-dish dinner that turns cans of tuna fish, egg noodles, soup, and veggies into a quick & easy dinner.
Find more easy Main Meals at 2CM!
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Creamy Sausage Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce
- ¾ lb. penne pasta or your favorite pasta cooked
- ½ cup Minerva unsalted butter
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2-3 Tablespoons sage leaves chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ½-1 cup white wine pasta water, chicken stock or cream
- ¾ cup pumpkin butter
- ¾ lb. Italian Sausage hot or mild, cooked and sliced
- Garnish: Parmesan cheese chopped parsley
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Cook sausage either in a skillet or in an air fryer.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.
- Add chopped onion, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, sage leaves, salt and pepper to the melted butter. Bring to a boil then whisk continuously until the butter begins to brown.
- Bring to a boil then whisk continuously until the butter begins to brown.
- Stir in pumpkin butter and enough wine or pasta water to make a creamy sauce.
- Add pasta and sliced sausage to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Divide into four portions and place in large pasta bowls. Garnish with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.