This is the best Pumpkin Pasta sauce with a creamy walnut and Sage finish- rich and flavorful, and great for all seasons. Made with solid pumpkin pack, coconut milk, white wine, sage, black lentils, and walnuts. This pumpkin pasta is creamy and delicious and sure to please!
Making pumpkin pasta the plant-based way:
When we first started eating plant-based, one recipe we really loved and missed was Rachael Ray’s Pumpkin and Sage Pasta. It was a special fall pasta dish with a creamy vegan pumpkin sage sauce that was loaded with sausage – but definitely NOT vegan.
It's easy enough to veganize your favorite recipes with a few thoughtful ingredient substitutions. You need to start with what you already have and think what plant-based foods you could use instead.
Did you know that coconut milk and coconut cream are great substitutes for dairy cream? When I think of coconut milk, I think of creamy ice cream recipes and richly decadent desserts. But coconut milk also works as an easy substitute for creamy savory main course dishes and soups as well!
Brussels sprouts are made into a savory creamy casserole with coconut milk as an ingredient and my favorite butternut squash soup with a creamy coconut lime drizzle was only made possible because of coconut cream!
Just switch out a few ingredients:
Sounds easy, right? While it was easy enough to switch out the heavy cream and use coconut milk. And using veggie broth instead of using chicken broth is a no-brainer, replacing the sausage was a little more tricky.
We are pretty lucky that we have a variety of great-tasting vegan meats to choose from nowadays. I wanted something a little more whole-food plant-based for this recipe. I happen to have an awesome Sausage Tofu Crumbles recipe that works great when stirred into a finished hearty dish such as this pumpkin pasta. BUT, that takes a little more effort and I wanted something that still offered high protein and easy cooking – lentils! Beautiful black lentils – perfect!
Once you get started with making substitutions it’s easy, lentils for beef in shepherd’s pie, hearts of palm for scampi in Vegan Scampi in Lemon Garlic White Wine Sauce, and
Truth be told though, I don’t always have time to make both the main recipe and the sausage tofu crumbles. The addition of lentils and walnuts gives this pumpkin pasta dish just the right special texture. And luckily it is flavorful enough with the extra veggies, lentils, sage, and seasonings that we didn’t miss the sausage at all! (But, this pasta IS extra fabulous if you have the time to make the tofu crumbles too. Just wait until the meal is fully cooked to stir it in.)
Another really tasty recipe I adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe is my Pumpkin Black Bean Soup. So easy and delicious!
To make this creamy pasta with pumpkin sage sauce you will need:
- Your choice of pasta. The original recipe calls for penne pasta – I chose to use linguini today.
- canned pumpkin puree – solid pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
- canned diced tomatoes – There is nothing wrong with saving a little time using canned food items in your recipes!
- dry white wine – check Barnivore for vegan compliance.
- lite coconut milk –
- vegetable broth – Buy commercial or make your own vegetable stock from scratch.
- tahini paste
- black lentils – You could use brown or green lentils, but black lentils are really special.
- chopped walnuts– Use pecans if you prefer.
- minced garlic, red bell pepper, shallots (or red onion), fresh sage, cayenne pepper, chives, salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil – I like robust flavored
- optional: my recipe for Sausage Tofu Crumbles
The best ingredients make the best pumpkin pasta:
- White Wine –
- Make it a dry crisp white wine such as a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. This article by Kitchn has some great suggestions.
- Make it an awesome wine – one that you would drink. If you use a crap wine, it will affect the flavor of your sauce. AND you will only be using 1 cup so you will have extra to drink with your meal. So again, use a good one!
- If you don’t want to use wine, use vegetable broth along with 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice. The flavor will be…somewhat similar.
- Black Lentils (also called Beluga Lentils)
- I use black lentils because I like the texture better than brown or green lentils. They are firmer and almost nutty.
- Black lentils can be tricky to find. I source mine on (affiliate link) Amazon.<
- If you want to sub in brown or green lentils that will be fine. Black lentils are really nice though and you should become familiar with them if you aren’t already.
- Oil – f you want to make this recipe oil-free then use vegetable broth to saute the vegetables. The flavor will not be affected but the texture or “mouth-feel” will not be the same.
- Use a large enough saute pan that everything will easily fit.
- Shallots – you can sub in regular onion as in the original recipe. I personally like the flavor of a shallot better for this recipe though.
Time it Right!
- Start with the lentils – they will take the most cooking time.
- Put the water for the pasta on to boil.
- Chop your vegetables and begin to saute.
You’ll have three pots going at once, but if you time it right, your sauce will be ready about the same time that the pasta and lentils will!
- Again, you can’t go wrong with serving this along with a crusty loaf of bread and a glass of white wine. You’ll have enough left over for a generous glass so again, choose the wine you use in the recipe wisely.
- Top with chopped chives (dry is fine) and an extra sprinkling of chopped walnuts if desired.
- This dish works great for meal prep. It makes six meal prep servings and will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.
The Recipe for Pasta with Pumpkin Walnut Sage Sauce
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Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Walnuts and Sage – Creamy and Delicious
- large saute pan
- 1/2 cup black lentils dry (1 cup cooked)
- 12 ounces pasta dry (linguine or fettuccine)
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 medium shallots diced (1 ¼ cup)
- 1 Tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 large red bell pepper sliced in thin strips
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch fresh sage chopped (1/4 cup)
- ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme dried
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 15 ounce fire roasted diced tomatoes undrained
- 15 ounce pumpkin solid pack
- 13.5 ounces lite coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon tahini paste
- 3/4 cup walnuts chopped
- 2 Tablespoons dried chives chopped
- Optional – Sausage Tofu Crumbles Recipe
- Prepare lentils and pasta to package directions. Set aside.
- Chop vegetables and set aside.
- Line the bottom of a large saute pan with avocado oil. Add in shallots, red bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes or until tender and shallot is translucent and just starting to brown.
- Add in white wine, chopped sage, canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes, and cayenne pepper, salt, and thyme. Continue stirring and heating for about 1 minute.
- Stir in canned pumpkin and lite coconut milk. Stir until heated through.
- Fold in cooked pasta, lentils, and chopped walnuts and chives.
- Top with additional chives and walnuts if desired.