Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce | Real Food Whole Life

Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Simple and elegant, Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is easy to make with pantry ingredients. It feels indulgent, yet is packed with veggies and is naturally creamy without a trace of dairy. Perfect for a cool autumn evening or any night of the week.

The other day I was at the grocery store and a jar of bottled pasta sauce caught my eye. It’s contents were pumpkin-orange colored and just screamed to be poured over a big pile of noodles for the coziest of fall dinners. 

I flipped the jar over to read the ingredient list (as I always do) and found that cream was listed as the third ingredient.

Now, I’m not opposed to cream, but my husband tries to avoid it as it often makes his allergies worse.

And I generally don’t buy pasta sauce because it’s so darn easy to make at home.

So I decided to try to recreate the Tuscan Pasta Sauce in my own kitchen. 

In recreating the sauce I tried to keep the ingredient list short so it would be feasible to make on a regular basis.

I also wanted to come up with a dairy-free option so our whole family could enjoy it.

The final result is not nearly as bright orange as the store-bought version but it still has a warm, pumpkiny undertone.

It also doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of pumpkin. The pumpkin basically adds a richness to the sauce plus it adds an extra veggie to your pasta dinner. Love that!

To replace the cream I used full-fat coconut milk, which I know sounds strange but trust me, it really works.

The coconut flavor is undetectable, so it should work even for people who don’t love the taste of coconut.

I also added a tiny pinch of cinnamon, as it was included in the store bought version, but you can skip it if you like.

Fresh rosemary and sage really add a lot of flavor to this dish. If your budget allows I’d recommend both, but just rosemary or just sage would also work.

I haven’t tried it with dried herbs, so if you do and it works well let us know in  the comments.

The final result is a sauce that’s rich, creamy, and completely comforting. Serve it over any type of pasta you like, or as a sauce for chicken or fish. It makes a lot so you will probably end up with leftovers.

Enjoy it for lunch or freeze for another night. 

KID-FRIENDLY + Recipe ADAPTATIONS

1 | Depending on your child’s tastes, skip the cinnamon, sage, and rosemary.

My daughter never noticed the pumpkin in this sauce but she did notice the cinnamon and herbs, which made her wary of eating it.

Now I pull some sauce aside for her before adding the cinnamon and herbs.

2 | Lightly sauce the pasta and then top with parmesan cheese. 


THIS RECIPE IS . . .

Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, Grain-Free, Whole30 (served over a pasta alternative), and Vegetarian


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Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

  • Yield: 6 cups 1x


Description

Simple and elegant, Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce is easy to make with pantry ingredients. It feels indulgent, yet is packed with veggies and is naturally creamy without a trace of dairy. Perfect for a cool autumn evening or any night of the week.


Scale

Ingredients

16 oz pasta (gluten-free, soba, or whole wheat)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 ½ teaspoons salt, divided

2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated

2 15-oz cans pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 15-oz can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons honey (omit for Whole30)

1 cup water

½ cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can, not coconut beverage)

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste


Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or saucepan. Add the onion, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and sauté until the onions are soft and very tender, about 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring to avoid burning. Add the pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, honey, 3 teaspoons salt, and water, stirring to combine. Stir on medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble (be careful, the sauce will be thick and might splatter). Turn the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the coconut milk, cinnamon, rosemary, and sage, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss the cooked pasta with 2-3 cups of the sauce. Serve warm with additional sauce if desired.

Notes

This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so if you’re only making 16 oz of pasta you will have leftover sauce. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Depending on your child’s tastes, skip the cinnamon, sage, and rosemary. My daughter never noticed the pumpkin in this sauce but she did notice the cinnamon and herbs, which made her wary of eating it. Now I pull some sauce aside for her before adding the cinnamon and herbs.

Lightly sauce the pasta and then top with parmesan cheese.

 

0 comments to " Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce "

  • Kelsey

    This was the BEST sauce I have ever come across, THANK YOU! My husband and I were all but eating I like soup! So soooo good! 🙂

  • Shanna

    I made this on Halloween and we LOVED it! Now I’m trying to decide what to do with the leftover sauce sans pasta. Any ideas?

    • Robyn Downs

      Shanna, yay, I’m so glad you liked it! You could add some chicken or veggie stock, a little more salt and another splash of coconut milk to make Tuscan Pumpkin Soup. Or, if you eat meat you could grill some chicken and serve with the sauce. Or, you could freeze for another night when you want to eat the pasta again.

  • Sarah

    Hi – I’ve been dairy free for one week now in an experiment for my son who is breastfeeding. I just made this with pantry staples, using dried herbs, and it is delicious!! I am so thankful for your site – I will be trying many of your recipes in the coming weeks – I love that I don’t have to figure out how to make substitutions. I’ve never had to live with diet restrictions, so this is all new to me and your site is going to make it much easier! Thank you! – Sarah

    • Robyn Downs

      Sarah, thank you for your note! I had to go dairy-free while breastfeeding my daughter and I remember having no idea what I was going to eat! So happy you’re enjoying the recipes and it’s making the process simpler for you. Best of luck in your journey! xxoo

  • Sharyn

    The whole time I was making this (I put it over zoodles) I was wondering how in the world I was going to sell it to the family. I didn’t have to, it came together nicely and tasted fabulous! This is definitely a keeper! Thank you.

  • Nicole

    Hi Robyn ☺
    Thank you for this most delicious unique fall feeling sauce! I had last minute company over and was wanting something fall like because this season is here and you can’t help but love it, so I looked up pumpkin pasta sauces and yours caught my eye!
    Same values as us, I cook whole clean eating food. My in laws were nervous as they usually are when I try something new (they tend to be the guinea pigs lol)
    I received thumbs up and wow this is delicious! reviews from everyone down to my 4yr old!
    Thanks for helping me make happy guests and a happy family! This is an awesome delicious easy to follow sauce! Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Nicole

    • Robyn Downs

      Nicole, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know you and your family enjoyed this recipe! My family is also used to being the guinea pigs when it comes to new recipes. 🙂 So glad you all enjoyed! 🙂

  • Tomasso

    What does Tuscan have to do with it?

  • Joan Fraser

    I just made this sauce. It’s still on the stove. Delicious. In September I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. Without meds and staying dairy free and red meat I have it now to a good level. I’m searching always for vegetable recipes for my cooking as the more vegetables and fruits eaten the better. Pasta is not often eaten but I am now using whole grain plus ancient grain pasta. Only a fistful with this wonderful sauce. Thank you so much. It’s delicious

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